It’s been said that comedians are one of the few professionals that are forced to fail publicly until they learn from their mistakes, persevere, and hope to one day become undeniable. Musicians can teach themselves scales in their bedroom and then emerge as a bassoon-playing beast. Even beauticians practice on a mannequin’s head so their future clients don’t look like a suicidal girl that chopped her hair off in a fit of teen angst. The same sort of public failure goes for Roast Battle, as well. All a battler can do is study it, be as cruel as they can while being as funny as they can, and hope for the best. The theme of the night can be best summed up by host Brian Moses continually shouting, “it’s not easy!”. However, this show is still entertaining to watch especially with a panel of judges that are as quick-witted, shameless, and biting as these hysterical comedians. Tossing out jokes that land like laugh grenades, we have Jeff Ross, Dave Juskow, Yamaneika Saunders, Nicole Becannon, Kim Congdon, Big Jay Oakerson, and Luis J. Gomez.

The Belly room is packed and after getting hyped by the Chantmaster, this crowd is thirsty for some vicious verbal hilarity.

Unfortunately, this battle will not be that. First up are Andrew Ryan Fox and Daniel Vargas. Andrew basically tells Daniel he’s going first and he accepts it.

“Andrew ‘Stupid Jokes’ over here is in his second marriage now. His first marriage fell apart because of cocaine use. His second marriage is an open marriage.. probably because of cocaine use.”

“You know, before this battle Daniel told me he was Mexican, that he had a single mom, and that he dropped out of high school. Dude, after the first two, you really didn’t have to tell me the third.”

“I can’t believe they think you look tough. I think you soft and mushy to me. Gayish a little bit. You were in a punk band, right? You look less like Sid Vicious and more like Sid Delicious.”

“Dude, look at that fucking face. I bet you have to beg for hand-jobs from hookers you’ve already paid.”

“Andrew Ryan Fox is in an open marriage. He’s the cuck in the cuckoo. Fuck, I fucked that up—”

Moses gives Daniel permission to do another one. Instead of saying the joke correctly, Daniel decides to go with a different one. Knowing the room and it’s history, it seems it’s a good bet to go with a new joke if you botch one up. Daniel decides to go with–

“Andrews wife is into IPAs- impotent punk assholes.”

The crowd doesn’t dig it.

“ Daniel is like a genital wart. He’s brown, he’s stubby, and ladies: if you let him touch your vagina, you’ll never fucking get rid of him.”

The lesson here is word economy. While some jokes were right to the point, it seemed like both comics threw a can of alphabet soup against the wall and tried to make sense of it. You don’t need a can full of set up, a spoonful will do just fine. Begrudgingly, the audience gives the win to Andrew.

“Andrew, take no solace in beating him, it was like beating a retard.”  – Yamaneika Saunders

After this bust, the audience begins to lose their excitement. Victor and Albert both come out energetic and confident that they will beat the other one with hot fire jokes. Although, we soon find out they are more like hot fire diarrhea.

“Give it up for Antonio Ban–Fat Ass. Victor comes from a Spanish speaking family. He actually learned his English from the dollar menu.”

“Thank you, Less Luther. I’d rather look like a fat lesbian than a Mexican Caillou any night. Albert looks like he’s dying of Pete Davidson’s disease.”

“Thank you very much Ralphie De Mayo. Victor says his girlfriend never sucks his dick. But this bitch? Not only will she not suck it, she won’t even help him find it.”

“Albert, you settled battling me. You’re usually a main event.. but your fiancé settled with you so we’re even, you know?”

They don’t know. And they don’t care. They just want to laugh. 

“Victor wants to host the first weed themed talk show but no one wants you to get stoned on TV unless it’s because you’re an opinionated lesbian.”

“Albert quit his job being a veterinarian tech because they always made him hold the balls.”

None of these jokes really get any big pops, but Jeff’s comments such as “I didn’t know this was stinko de mayo,” and “I didn’t know your jokes could also give me diarrhea,” are what keep the audience engaged and laughing. Given the history of both of these battlers and their abilities, this is a letdown. It’s not so much of a battle as it is accidentally jostling shoulders as they reach for frozen burritos at 7-11. The judges are mixed but Victor takes the win in the same way Trump became president. Barely… and because the crowd had to choose somebody. Both of these battlers walk back to their sad lives and the audience feels as disappointed as the “women” these two “have sex with”. Again, Yamaneika’s comment can wrap up how the audience felt: “It was like watching a Netflix documentary about retarded people trying to make it in the world”.

Host Brian Moses brings up the next two comics, Kal Hamilton and Ken Marshall. Moses, Ken, Kal, and our judges have some amusing pre-battle banter and we’re onto the battle. 

“Ken just recently got married which is good for his wife because she finally married a bitch that looks like a lesbian.”

“I was married 6 years ago it’s not like I was JUST married. Shoutout to Kal. He’s been in California for a long time man. Congratulations on first movie role. He’s starring in Honey I shrunk Charles Barkley.”

“Ken is the father of three baby boys which is a damn shame because he’ll never the half the man his mother was.”

“I just realized this. Kal is short for calories.”

“Ken cries when he eats his wife’s pussy. But that’s the only way she can get wet.”

“You should change your Instagram name to @baldweirddude.”

Moses lets in a few extra fun burns from both comics at the end. The judges have a lot of fun with them. Kim remarks that they are “the blackest dudes named Ken and Kal” and Yamaneika claims they both look like open mic comics she’s boned. Other than Ken’s Charles Barkley joke, none of the jokes pop too much, which earns Ken the win in his first battle ever.

There is a lot banking on this main event battle to bring back the night for this audience. But before that, “Saudi Prince is in the house mother-bitches!”. The Saudi Prince, running on typical Saudi people time, is here. Jeff and Brian play around with him before our host brings up Ashley and Billy as  “Proud boys’ favorite comedians” after a “White Power” chant.

When asked why they are battling, Ashley remarks that he thought Billy was the gay guy from modern family and was disappointed. Billy retorts back with he thought Ashley was Paige Wesley, another battler that frequents this competition. “This is a new audience,” Brian Moses says. It is a classic mistake to reference someone that the audience doesn’t know. Billy should know better. And we’re off!

“Ashley is only two years older than me. Two years, people. It’s wild to think that in two years, I could look exactly like Ashley if every part of my life got completely fucked up.”

“I don’t know where Billy is from but that accent sounds like secret fag.”

“I would expect nothing less from alt right Santa Claus. I’m just glad you could take time off from your main hobby which is nodding in agreement at Fox News.”

“How are you going to call me racist? You look like you listen to Trump rallies on vinyl.”

“Despite how he looks, Ashley is very educated. He graduated from high school to college, and from cones to hats.”

“Billy thinks he’s better than me because he only puts roofies in ‘craft cocktails’”.

“Ashley is a failed musician who starting doing stand up and his dad is a former preacher who is now gay. Oh well, I think it’s wild the only thing he passed onto you is unoriginality.”

“Close to home. Okay. Billy likes to get blackout drunk. Which is basically just him getting drunk and yelling at black people to get out.”

“Ashley has a weird relationship with his family. He’s estranged from his dad. They don’t talk at all. He has no kids but he recently had to have an abortion. I just think it’s sad that both generations have sons that are dead to them.”

“Billy still lives with his ex-girlfriend because apparently he’s too poor for dignity.”

This battle was exactly what this room was hungry for. While Billy’s jokes are wordier, he makes it work most of the time with the way his jokes build suspense. It’s a risk and here, it did not always work in his favor. Ashley gets bigger pops with his punchy and clever joke structures as well as his “I literally don’t even care” attitude. The judges remark on their joke writing abilities and thank them for bringing the audience an actual battle. This is what you want from a roast battle. They both went surface and also dug deeper into personal issues. In a strange turn of events, we all watch as the judges spend a good amount of time telling Billy he’s gay and deteriorate his heterosexuality relentlessly. They award Ashley the W and successfully gaslight Billy into being gay.

We’ll see you all next week where hopefully the judges continue to do what West Hollywood does best: turn the world gay. Until next time!

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