by Tony Bartolone, photos by Troy Conrad

The New York/LA beef is heating up to a fever pitch. I’ve traveled to cities all over the country, and everywhere I go people seem to have a problem with Los Angeles. It’s the same story in every big city in America. They hate LA and think their city is better. Whether it’s Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis or New York. People hear you’re from LA, and they can’t hold their tongue. The thing is, if you mention another city to somebody in LA, they have nothing but good things to say. Everybody has this false feud going on with Los Angeles that the people who actually live here are largely unaware of. All these fake wars people are fighting, but people in LA are from everywhere. I am from the suburbs of Los Angeles. I’ve lived here my entire life. So from an LA native, to all the haters, to all the challenges being thrown down, I’ll say this: We don’t have to compete because we’ve already won. We’re in LA. It’s the best. But the New York battlers (or “roasters” as they call themselves) have provoked us and called us out, and we will not shy away from a challenge. The periscope broadcast begins with everybody’s favorite racist, Earl Skakel, busting a promo right outside the Belly Room door:

The Battle chants ring out as Earl speaks his last few strong words, then turns around into the belly of the beast and takes his place at ringside. And we’re off. Another night of highly combustible Battles ignites the Belly Room and the billowing smoke smells of sweet leaf for miles. The crowd is as lit as the opulent pre-rolled blunts from our favorite cannabis consignment company, LA SpeedWeed. The VIP section is packed with VIP’s including judges The Sklar Brothers, Adam Hunter & Mark Normand and special guests Deon Cole and Atlanta’s own Waka Flocka Flame.

The first battle pits Caesar “Coño” Lizardo against Jesus “Puto” Erra. Caesar comes out dancing to a Latin beat and gets the crowd pumped for a flashy fun time. The All Black Girl Choir joins in singing, “He’s black today… He’s black today…” in reference to Caesar’s slight blackness. RoastMaster General Jess Ross shows up just in time to burn Jesus.

“This guy has his coat on like he parks cars.” – Jeff Ross

“Jeff, who do you wanna see first, the Cuban or the Dominican?” – Brian Moses

“I don’t really wanna see either of them to be quite frank.” – Jeff Ross

“I think Trump wants to build a wall around this stage.” – Earl Skakel

Caesar kicks things off.

“Jesus, is one Cuban bastard. His dad came here on a floating tire and his mom came on his uncle’s dick.”

Caesar is doing a Dominican accent and playing up the fact that he’s from a foreign country with posture and gestures. It is unclear after his first joke if the audience buys into his character or if his character is going to be funny, but the joke does okay.

“The only thing worse than watching Caesar perform his mediocre jokes, is watching him beatbox to prove that he’s an eighth black.”

Caesar starts beatboxing after that mediocre joke, and The Wave starts dancing.

“Ok, ok, everybody calm down, ok? Mira, mira, mira, mira… Phony Montana, when he was a kid, his molester say hello to his little friend. Now he’s emotionally scarred-face.”

This joke gets a huge pop, Coach Tea hits the Latin beats and Caesar & The Wave start dancing to the crowd’s delight.

“Ok, everybody take it easy, ok? Caesar almost got a dui. But he got it reduced to a broken tail light when he told the cop he wasn’t even black.”

That was almost a joke, but it got reduced to a statement when it wasn’t even funny. Jesus adopts Caesar’s strategy and accent, but the crowd had already seen him use his normal voice and doesn’t appreciate the mid-round desperation.

“Thank you Cuba Good-at-nothing. Este… Jesus was born in a bodega, porque his mom was the daily special: 69 cents per pound.”

His play on Cuba Gooding Jr. got a big reaction, and the joke that followed got a good hit too. Jesus needs a real banger if he’s going to dig himself out of this hole.

“Despite Caesar’s nauseating personality, we’re all very proud of him. He’s proof that you can attempt to do comedy living with two extra chromosomes.”

And this is not the banger he needs. Jesus goes in for an early hug, trying to get offstage as soon as possible. It’s obvious that he’s a little flustered.

“I told you, Chris D’Elia must be double parked.” – Jeff Ross

“I don’t know about the comedy career, but you guys really make me want plantains.” – Mark Normand

Jeff Ross gives Jesus some more lashings, accusing him of being underprepared and not giving a shit. Leave it to a Jew to go after Jesus. I’m a little sympathetic to Jesus. I know how it feels to have some fag dance onstage and take a battle from you (see last week’s report for more information). It’s always good to over-prepare, but I think Jesus was more frustrated than anything. Despite some off-the-cuff stuff that doesn’t quite land, Caesar really owns this one and earns every bit of that sweet, sweet victory. We’ll be standing by to see if he has further characters up his sleeve, but either way Caesar puts on an impressive performance.

Next up, Sam Demaris calls out the human answering machine, Jay Mandyam. Coach Tea brings up Sam to the Cops’ theme “Bad Boys”.

“I like that the dude that’s laughing the most looks just like me.” – Sam Demaris

“Nigga, I’m not fat.” – Haiti

Haiti gets a roar out of the crowd, a quick sound drop from Coach, and shows off his ridiculously chiseled abs.

“That was like Blagic Mike.” – Mark Normand

Jay Mandyam takes the stage and Sam takes first joke.

“Gotta make this quick, I told your dad to keep the meter running outside. I love when guys who can’t grow facial hair attempt to anyway. Your top lip looks like the rim of a public urinal and the rest of your head looks like a lint roller from the set of The Mindy Project.”

“Alright, alright. You look like the lead singer of Counting Crows was burned alive. Sam’s what we call a road comic, but the Houston Sherriff’s Department calls him a fugitive.”

“Wow, I didn’t know they make bombs in India. Jay, I went to your website and looked at your resume before I got here. How does it feel to be untouchable in two different caste systems?”

“Nicely done, Vanilla Ice Cube, uh… Umm… Sam’s cologne is a Truth.com commercial.”

A few people in the crowd audibly say “What?”

“He smells like cigarettes, guys.”

Jay is bombing hard.

“This is so weird for me, I normally only eat white pussies, umm… Jay, I wrote like four different jokes about your mom, but I decided not to do them out of respect since you people consider cow’s so sacred.”

“Sam, that was a great joke when Lance did it our last battle, but uh…”

“Even your comebacks are Waka Flocka Lame.”

“Sam likes to brag about knowing big words like facetious, but that’s just his sister’s name.”

It’s clear Jay has given up. He isn’t having any fun. The audience overwhelmingly chooses Sam.

In our third undercard, Joe Eurell goes wheel-to-toe with Eric Abbenante. Joe is carried onstage first, and Moses asks, “Why Eric?”

“I just wanted to battle somebody who’s the same height as me.” – Joe Eurell

Joe already gets raucous appreciation from the crowd, The Wave comes out and chants of “Special needs! Special needs! Special needs!” And Eric hasn’t even set foot onstage yet. It’s gonna be quite a mountain to climb for Eric, but he has two working legs so he is capable. Eric claims first joke and away we go.

“Joe sounds like a challenged Christopher Walken. Minus the Walken.”

“Eric tutors the autistic. That’s like me teaching other crippled people to river dance.”

“Joe’s a man. He wears the pants in the relationship. Once you help him put them on.”

“Eric only dates black women because as a Jew he needs somebody else to blame for not tipping.”

This blows the room apart. The true handicap in Roast Battle is being of an oppressed race.

“Joe wanted to be a lawyer, but his legs couldn’t file a motion.”

“We both have short legs. Eric’s relatives might’ve been put in ovens, but Eric’s so tiny you can just throw him in the microwave.”

Joe totally dominates, but Eric puts up a good showing despite it. He has a little banter with the Sklars about their Burger King commercials.

“Can you hook me up with free Burger King?” – Joe Eurell

“We don’t wanna do anything to damage your health.” – Jason Sklar

The crowd loves Joe and elevates him to handicap hero. A big win for Joe “You’re Going to Hell” Eurell.

In the final undercard before our hard-hitting main event, Brent Duncan tries to put a ban on Omid Singh. Duncan claims first joke and confidently starts things off.

“Omid’s half Indian and half Iranian. I don’t know what that means, but I definitely don’t want it on my fucking plane.”

“Brent is from Boston and his last name is Duncan so it makes perfect sense that his asshole is constantly cream filled.”

“Omid’s comedy is so bad the last time he killed an audience he was driving a van through France.”

“Brent is raising a kid who isn’t his or as the cops call it: kidnapping. It’s pretty cool that Brent is raising a kid that isn’t his, now there’s two bastards living under one roof. It’s a 2003 Subaru, but it’s still a roof.”

Omid somehow squeezes in an alternative take on that joke with two extra punches and the crowd loves it.

“Omid was making fun of me earlier that I vape. Omid’s just jealous I can walk out of a cloud and nobody’s looking for a backpack I put on the ground.”

“It would’ve been funnier if that was a genie joke, but whatever.”

“You look like a fucking genie gave you one wish and you wished for my body hair.”

And Brent answers with an extra joke of his own. These two came ready to fight.

“Brent, you look like you shot yourself in the face with a t-shirt cannon.”

Overall, this was a great undercard with fierce performances from both competitors.

“Fox News was good, but I give it to Al-Jazeera.” – Adam Hunter

The crowd agrees with Adam and chant “ISIS! ISIS! ISIS!” to commend Omid on his victory.

On to our heavy-hitting main event. Pat Barker and Doug Fager are arguably the most consistent joke writers in the game today. These dudes pack punches. Doug comes to the stage first and Moses asks the pre-roast query: “Why you battling Pat Barker?”

“Pat’s having a baby, and they went with IVF treatments instead of adopting. So somebody’s gotta punish him for passing on those shitty fucking genes.”

“I’m battling Doug because he’s great at this. And only this. This is it. Outside of this room, he’s a degenerate, he’s in massive debt, he’s a failed actor, he’s a failed improv guy, he’s a failed stand up, but he’s good at this.”

Doug seizes the opportunity for first joke. Usually, Pat pounces on first joke, so this may be a new strategy from him.

“I don’t know if Pat’s baby will be a boy or a girl, but I know that it will be disappointed.”

“Doug is a great writer. The only thing that he has trouble writing are rent checks.”

“Doctors put Pat’s seed inside of his wife using a tiny needle. Which is also how Pat does it.”

“Doug’s dad was a shitty amateur boxer, so those mediocre punches are hereditary.”

“Pat’s name rhymes with fat, which isn’t inherently funny… until you see how fat he is.”

“True story, one time the cops thought Doug robbed a gas station. They put him in cuffs, threw in him in the car, and then realized their mistake and let him go. And that’s the story of the one time Doug almost got booked for something in Hollywood.”

It’s a rock-solid first round with Pat having a slight edge. Doug lands just as many punches, but Pat’s hits have more impact. The round goes to Barker.

Jeff Ross is a little underwhelmed by Fager’s first round performance.

“I don’t know if he can come back or not. This might be a two rounder, I hate to break it to you. Unless, you saved your best shit for the second round, Doug, it’s over.” – Jeff Ross

“From the guy who wrote The Comedian? You might ruin De Niro’s career, you won’t ruin mine.” – Doug Fager

“Doug… What career?” – Brian Moses

When given the choice, Doug usually goes first in the second round. However, this time he defers. Perhaps we’re seeing new strategy from Doug.

“Doug’s career appears to stalled, but really he just can’t get it to start because of the court-ordered Breathalyzer.”

“Doug was an amateur bowler. Now he’s more like a bowling pin: a redneck who spends most of his time in the gutter.”

“Doug’s had an on-again/off-again girlfriend for the last nine years. So it’s nice to know that even if you quit drinking you can still have a relationship that’s on the rocks.”

“Pat, why do you squint so much? Because you can’t see past 40?”

“Pat’s resume is an Applebee’s menu with his name on top.”

“Pat literally took his wife to Applebee’s on their first date. He still refers to going down on her as Eating Good in the Neighborhood.”

The Wave does a fantastic bit bringing out an actual mixtape hustler who passes out his CD’s on Hollywood Blvd. complete with a mouthful of gold and recording the whole thing on his phone for Instagram. We’re seeing the most whimsical version of Doug Fager tonight. The Applebee’s jokes along with the fat joke from the first round, these are some of the silliest shots we’ve heard from Fager, and the crowd is eating it up. Pat’s jokes are deceivingly simple. The thing you start to notice about Barker when you really analyze his jokes, is that he looks at things from every angle. He puts in a ton of work crafting unique jokes that don’t seem unique. Again, deceptively simple and straightforward, but the craftsmanship and work ethic should not go unnoticed.

“Much like Doug’s girlfriend, we are tied up.” – Mark Normand

This battle is shaping up to be an all-time slugfest. Doug wins the second round and elects to start the third and final round.

“Pat was born in South New Jersey, but unlike Bruce Springsteen, no one in Pat’s family was born to run.”

“Doug works at an oyster bar. He’s overqualified since he’s a spineless shell of a man who probably has crabs.”

“Pat uses a diet app that assigns points to food. Pat’s screen name is Wilt Chamberlain.”

And with that the mixtape hustler keeps hustling, passing out CD’s to the audience.

“Guys, Doug is a Christian and he’s actually just like Jesus. He hasn’t done anything relevant in a long time and most of the people in Hollywood don’t believe in him.”

“Pat recently baby-proofed his apartment. It’s just a bunch of signs that say, “If Hungry Do Not Eat Baby.”

Mixtape Hustler comes back onstage and Haiti snatches his fake gold grill right out of his mouth.

“Doug, since you moved here, you gave up on acting, you gave up on improv, you gave up on standup… You’re gonna kill it in AA because quitting is the only thing you’re good at.”

This is a goddamn slobberknocker! There is really no clear winner, but we go to the judges to hear their decision. The Sklar Brothers wanna see overtime, but give their vote to Doug. Adam also votes for Doug.

“I wanna see a sudden death so bad.” – Mark Normand

“It’ll happen for Pat soon.” – Randy Sklar

Mark Normand votes for Pat and begs for sudden death and we go to the Roastmaster General for the final decision.

“It sounds like the crowd wants to see one more joke.” – Jeff Ross

We are going to sudden death. Each opponent gets one joke to take the entire battle. Pat volunteers to go first.

“Doug looks like the only date rapist that has to ask the girl to split the check.”

“Pat’s sex is so unwanted he can only fuck his wife rescue doggie style.”

Back to the judges. There is discussion of double overtime and both battlers are vocal about being game to go one more. And the battle chants take us into a second sudden death.

“You can catch Pat during season two of Road to Roast Battle or during mating season off the coast of Long Beach.”

“Everybody who battles Doug makes fun of his dead brother, but I would never do that. Not out of respect for him, I just feel weird making fun of the most successful member of your family.”

The judges shout out for a more. The audience screams for more. And Tony Hinchcliffe proposes a special Burn Out round where they go back and forth until one of them bombs or taps out. They both agree and Barker begins:

“Doug drives part-time for Uber. The flexibility allows him to pursue his true dream of quitting comedy and working full time at an oyster bar.”

“Pat wrote for the show Any Given Wednesday, but now on any given Wednesday you can find him at any given Wendy’s.”

“That’s a pretty vicious joke coming from a guy who looks like Paul Bunyon if the only ax he used was the body spray.”

“Pat’s wife had a miscarriage, but it’s not her fault. If Pat tried climbing on top of you naked all you would think was, “Abort!”

“You know the funny thing, I have a baby that died before it was born and you two have the same number of TV credits.”

The crowd goes wild, The Wave comes out and Jamar punctuates the pandemonium by screaming “Worldstar!” If we’re scoring the match on burn out rules Pat got the last joke, but if we’re going by crowd reaction overall, Doug may have just barely eked it out. Both these battle badasses left it all on the stage. They are awarded a Double Win and given a well-deserved standing ovation from an appreciative crowd. There’s a certain bar set for all-time performances. It was set by Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. Most people don’t get close to that bar, but let it be none that Doug Fager and Pat Barker reached it one Tuesday night in Hollywood. As the dust begins to settle, Pat looks straight into the camera broadcasting live on Periscope and calls his next shot:

“I’m coming for you, New York.” – Pat Barker

Follow @RoastBattle on Twitter for all the latest updates, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest pictures from the impeccable Troy Conrad, and watch live on Periscope at 11 PM PST every Tuesday if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person. Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to our sponsor SpeedWeed.

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