At this time last year, Roast Battle was wrapping up Season One of the Comedy Central iteration of the show. At roughly the same time Mike Lawrence hoisted the championship trophy, the 2016 Roastie Award winners were announced. While television was understandably grabbing the headlines, the Roasties rewarded the incredible moments that led up to the show going mainstream. Fast forward a year, and the show has continued to climb to incredible heights. A second season of the show aired, with Frank Castillo pulling off the ultimate Cinderella story win. New York champion Eli Sairs called out the West Coast and sparked a coastal rivalry that’s resulted in two supercards and a handful of other high-octane battles. And now, with vague rumblings of a “big announcement” on the horizon, we gather once again to honor the best in the sport for the last year. The ballots have been tabulated, and we’re ready to hand out some hardware.

In the category of Undercard of the Year, the winner is…

Joe Eurell vs. Haiti!

In the Roast Battle world, most of the clashes boil down to a simple jokewriting contest. Both competitors are comics, they’re friends, and the audience doesn’t generally choose sides before the battle starts. That wasn’t the case here. Haiti fully embraced the role of heel while going up against the fan favorite Eurell, entering in his own makeshift wheelchair and giving off an air of superiority because his legs worked. The crowd was bloodthirsty before the battle even began, and then Joe gave them exactly what they wanted – a bloodbath. Even as Haiti delivered his best performance to date, it wasn’t enough. Joe delivered knockout punch after knockout punch, and by the time Haiti stumbled over his words in the last joke the room had reached a fever pitch. Effectively nailing both the joke writing and showmanship that Roast Battle is all about, these two put on a show that will not be forgotten any time soon.

In the category of Rookie of the Year, the winner is…

Bryan Vokey!

Rookie of the Year proved to be one of the closest categories on the ballot, as we entered the final three ballots with one vote separating the top four nominees. Vokey pulled away at the end and won the award by a nose, putting an exclamation mark on a fine rookie season. He debuted last September with a win over the (at the time) ranked Ken Garr. He followed that up with a win over Nicole Becannon, who would go on to receive several nominations this year as well. He added wins over Bruce Gray and the previously undefeated Jesse Villacis before taking a controversial loss to the unbeaten Rena Hundert a few weeks back. In a year that featured several impressive rookies, Bryan Vokey stands above the crowd and takes home the Roastie.

In the category of Comeback of the Year, the winner is…

Jay Light!

“Kevin is right, my ex is an actress who tried standup comedy, and dating her was great training for this battle because I’m amazing at wrecking unfunny pussies.”

After several years as one of the main faces of Roast Battle, Jay Light takes home a well-deserved first Roastie. There were no shortage of Jay Light highlights in his public beheading of Kevin McNamara a few weeks ago, but this retort was perhaps the peak of the battle. After not having a killer rebuttal for Pat Barker in his first battle post-breakup, Jay came much more prepared this time around and turned Kevin’s light jab into a knockout punch. The ability to effectively turn the tables is something that’s learned over time, and with 25 battles under his belt, Jay has mastered the move.

In the category of Judge of the Year, the winner is…

Mike Lawrence!

Mike Lawrence won the award last year, when he lived in New York. Then he moved to LA and took his impeccable timing to the judge’s table about three times more frequently. The result was an easy second Roastie win, as he doubled up the second-place performer and took home well over 40% of the total vote. You’ve gotta think that as long as Lawrence stays out here and remains active in the VIP section we’ll be giving him this award for years to come.

In the category of Craziest Moment of the Year, the winner is…

The Wave’s Breastfeeding Act Out!

In another one of our closest races, voters proved that costumes, alter egos, cross-country rivalries, invasions from NBA Hall of Famers, and verbal altercations with former child stars all pale in comparison to some good old fashioned unexpected nudity. Every choice performed well in this bracket, but at the end of the day Sylvia Saige prevails over Dennis Rodman and Corey Feldman and takes home her first Roastie.

In the category of Upset of the Year, the winner is…

Frank Castillo!

All of the nominees in this one pulled off shocking wins, but Frank was the only one to do it over 15 of the biggest names in roasting over the course of three nights. He was the 16th and final entrant into the Season Two field, and proceeded to run the table and walk away with the trophy. Now, like Jay Light, he has a long overdue first Roastie to add to his hardware collection after dominating the voting. He secured over 60% of the votes, and pulled off the biggest landslide victory in the Roasties this year – a victory that, unlike his others back in January, we all saw coming.

In the category of Three Round Battle of the Year, the winner is…

Pat Barker vs. Doug Fager!

After taking home the Battle of the Year Roastie in 2016 for his clash with Keith Carey, Pat Barker again delivered an all-time classic when he went against Doug Fager in February. After splitting the first two rounds and having a too-close-to-call third, the judges went to an overtime. And then another. And then another, this one being designated as an ultra-rare “burnout” round where the two battlers traded jokes back and forth until Jeff Ross finally declared the fight over and proclaimed it the first double win in the history of the show. In a year full of great battles, this one stood above the others as a display of what the battle is truly capable of when everything goes right.

In the category of Five Joke Battle of the Year, the winner is…

Robin Tran vs. Keith Carey!

We had another close vote here, as both of Jamar Neighbors’ nominations (vs. Joe Dosch and Keith) garnered strong support, but at the end of the day this September slugfest took home the gold – and with good reason. Robin delivered so many amazing haymakers here (one of which was nominated for Joke of the Year, which we’ll be getting to shortly), but Keith countered every one with fire of his own. When the dust had settled, two of the best joke writers in the history of the show had set the room on fire and delivered the best abbreviated Main Event we’d see for quite some time.

In the category of TV Battle of the Year, the winner is…

Mike Lawrence vs. Ralphie May!

The voters have spoken, and while they appreciate the back-and-forth nature of the other five close battles on the list… they really just enjoyed this beatdown most of all. Of all the television moments through the first two seasons of the show this one has gone the most viral, and it’s easy to see why. You’ve got an established, popular comic in Ralphie May stepping up and walking into four of the best roast jokes ever written. He gets flustered, yells at the Wave, and even sprays a can of Febreze at his opponent. It’s amazing theater, and the voters agree that it represents the TV Battle of the Year. Special congrats to Mike Lawrence, the only person to win two Roasties this year (to this point).

In the category of Joke of the Year, the winner is…

Robin Tran!

And just like that, Robin Tran has joined Mike as a two-time winner. In what was expected to be a close vote, Robin’s 9/11 slam against Keith won by a significant margin, doubling up the next closest competitor. It combined everything people love in the Belly Room – cleverness, September 11th, and calling Keith Carey fat. In what was itself an award winning battle, this final knockout punch served as the most devastating one thrown all season.

In the category of Battler of the Year, the winner is…

Kim Congdon!

We close out the show with another remarkably close vote, as current number one ranked battler Kim Congdon ekes out a win over the only other battler to ever win this award (Keith Carey), and the guy who won it all on Season Two (Frank Castillo). Both Keith and Frank finished a mere one vote behind, and three other battlers were two back, but at the end of the day the award goes to Kim – and deservedly so. Her 2017 battle resume was as perfect as it gets: a win over Keith in a three-rounder, a win over Dan Nolan in an award-nominated one-rounder, a win in Atlanta on television, a win against New York host Luis J. Gomez in the Belly Room, and a three-round win over former NYC champion Zac Amico at the Stand in Manhattan. All of that… and no losses. And now she finishes the year with one final win – a Roastie for Battler of the Year.

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