by Dan Nolan
In the three years since it began as a means of settling an
argument between two comics at a Belly Room open mic, Roast Battle has grown
into something so unique, with so many moving parts, that it can barely be
explained to an outsider. You’ve just got to experience it. This week’s fights, along with the recent Comedy Central
taping, seemed to mark a true maturation point for the show. While it’ll
hopefully never truly shake loose the manic energy
born from its open mic roots, the popularity of the Roast Battle has allowed for it to
attract greater talent. It’s because of that we get to enjoy
nights as magical as this past Tuesday.
Some weeks, the show seems to just begin out of nowhere. The
preceding standup portion ends abruptly as Brian Moses is introduced, and the
chants of “Battle! Battle!” begin to rock the room.
The evening starts slowly with an undercard matchup between
two untested battlers as newbie James Welsh (1-0, Unranked) shows that nepotism
has no place in the Roast Battle ring by taking down comedy semi-royalty, Hank
Murray – Bill Murray’s nephew – in a lukewarm debut for both battlers.
James and Hank (0-1, Unranked) both smile nervously through their
introductions, and commence quickly with the jokes. At the start, we seem to be
doing okay on both ends:
“Everyone always said that comedy is in Hank’s blood,
but personally I don’t see the humor in AIDS.”
“I lived with James, and I know for a fact that he gets
absolutely no pussy, whatsoever. But if you made the Stanford swim team, you
would’ve at least fucked one girl.”
The audience is enjoying it, but suddenly the quality of
jokes peters off noticeably, particularly from Hank.
“Hank’s nickname in college was actually “The Ghostbuster.”
Not because of Bill Murray, though. But because every time he jizzed in a girl,
they wouldn’t know he put it in.”
"James, I think I speak
for everyone that we would all rather fill out the ‘how are we doing’ portion
of a CVS receipt than hear you say another joke.”
"Hank’s actually a method actor, and he takes his
craft very seriously. In fact he’s currently working on a role as the piece of
shit Bill Murray’s brother took 26 years ago.”
“James, the only way that any of us could care about
you any less would be if you were a poor black person from Chicago, because
that way no one would care if you were dead.”
Not sure what that CVS receipt joke was even supposed to
mean, really. Something must have gotten Lost In Translation. In the end, after some ribbing from the Haters’ section, the audience
votes pretty unanimously for James Welsh, and we’re onto the next undercard.
Al Bahmani (2-2-1) and Cody Morley (2-5-1) are both back for redemption, and
they more or less get it with a tie in sarcastically-requested overtime. Even
with less-than-perfect jokes, the audience stays on board the whole time, never turning against the pair. We know these guys, we like these guys, and faced with
a battle they had less than a week to prepare for, both deliver in an entertaining undercard,
along with a little help from Hater Earl Skakel.
"Why’d you want to do this?” – Brian Moses
“Because Courtney Banks said no.” – Al Bahmani
“That’s a first.” – Earl
On to the jokes from Cody and Al:
"Al’s been robbed, shot, beaten, and half-molested. But
he’s only a victim when he tries do dress himself.”
"Cody, you’re what happens when a suicide note becomes a
"Al’s like if the Orlando shooting was one person. He’s
half Mexican, half terrorist, and all faggot.”
"Cody’s mother is british. His father is a bloody coke
"Al’s known for taking a lot of pictures of open mike.
Mike is the boy he abducted 3 weeks ago, and open is the position on his bed.
"Cody is a failed child actor. IMDB doesn’t allow kiddie
Just as we saw in the first battle, the jokes start out with
strong reactions from the audience and quickly dip in quality, but the energy
of the room never goes off course. Cody’s Orlando joke works very well until he
tries to tag it, and neither contender hits much of a pop after that. Yet, the mood remains
light, and a draw is declared which means neither battler really loses. In a room
where booing performers off the stage is a completely viable option, there are
far worse fates then a tie.
After some more standup, the battles are back in full force.
Matt LeGrande (1-1, Unranked) makes his return to the ring after coming out strong in his first
battle, and still delivers upon high expectations, despite ultimately losing to
newcomer Rachel Mac (1-0, Unranked) in overtime.
“Rachel runs a show called Bitchface, which explains
why she can’t go to a dog park without getting fucked.”
“Matt likes to top during sex, because everything else
in his life is rock bottom.”
“People know Rachel’s from Wisconsin because her pussy
is so yeasty, every time someone goes down on her they call it giving her cheese
“The closest Matt will get to stardom is licking Joe Dosch’s
“Rachel looks like if a troll doll was used to show
where the pedophile touched you.”
“Matt’s a big fan of Lena Dunham, because that’s what
he’s gonna look like in five years.”
“Rachel, you look like Wilma Flintstone if she was on
her way to a concentration camp.”
“Matt fucked his roommate because that’s the only man
who can’t leave him.”
By this time, the VIP section has filled, the judges are
present, and this undercard is exactly what the night needed to really get the
room pulsating. There’s a long back-and-forth between the judges and the
battlers, and Matt and Rachel’s friendship shows as the two bounce more jokes
off each other, even after overtime. The crowd is delighted, and Rachel takes
it in a tight vote.
After the temperature in the room is brought to a boil by
our own Boon Shaka Laka, we begin our first of two main events, in which Alex
Duong (5-4, #26) prevails with a Pearl Harbor-level attack on the ethnically ambiguous Nick
Petrillo (3-2, #37).
Alex had seemed to hit a slump in recent battles, but is
back in full force for this one, extending his win streak to two. Nick starts off strong, and the
match remains close even as he fires a few misses in round three.
ALEX ON NICK
“Nick believes in the paranormal, because his real parents
“You look like Aladdin if his third wish was to become a DJ.”
“Nick did some research on Ancestry.com. All he got back was
a picture of diarrhea.”
“Your teeth look like the Chiclets your dad sold to get to
“Nick enjoys buttplugs. It’s the only time he has solid
material in him.”
“Nick, your biggest credit will always be opening for Earl in
Olivia Grace’s pussy.”
NICK ON ALEX
“Alex, you’re pretty dark for an Asian. You look like your tanning bed was set to orange chicken.”
“You look like your pussy tastes like tempura.”
“Alex is dating an Asian girl. They met on
“Alex used to rob electronics stores, or as he likes to call
it, taking back his culture.”
“Alex is a Vietnamese comic whose career can be described as
the Ho Chi Minh Fail.”
“Alex likes cars, but it looks like the only drag race he
ever won was RuPaul’s.”
Alex handily takes the W in regulation. Just as it’d normally happen after any main event, the
exodus of comics from the back slowly begins. During the judging for Nick and
Alex’s battle, they’ve already begun to file out without waiting for a verdict.
Even Autistic Thunder himself, Josh Meyrowitz, stands up to leave before
realizing the show’s not over yet.
We’ve still got a second helping of main
event battlers, and the ensuing battle is likely to go down in the show’s
history as probably the greatest bout we’ve ever seen.
Pat Barker (9-3, #7) and Keith Carey (9-6, #2) are the best we’ve got to offer.
Both have got brilliantly written jokes and incredible presence so perfectly
befitting of the Roast Battle stage. By the end of a 25-minute battle with
extended overtime, the audience is on their feet
screaming and cheering in an ovation the likes of which have not been seen in Roast Battle history.
PAT ON KEITH
“Keith has the teeth of a poor British person,
and the pounds of a rich British person.”
“Keith’s parents were both drug addicts, but
he’s never used. Mainly because he can’t find anyone to cook his meth Animal
“Keith is like hazard lights – a blinker that
goes both ways and only gets turned on when he’s about to be smashed from
“Keith smokes a ton. It’s a shame you can’t buy
your parents’ love with Marlboro Miles.”
“Keith looks like he skipped leg day, but killed
it on breast, thigh, and wing day.”
“Keith looks like the kid from Up, if his mom
used all those balloons to store heroin.”
“Keith is so heavy, girls need help from their
friends to swipe him left on Tinder.”
“You’re right Keith, my baby died before it was
born. Which means me and your father have spent the exact same amount of time
with our children.”
KEITH ON PAT
“Pat Barker is from Philadelphia. He’s such a greasy failure
his mom calls him a Philly Cheese Mistake.”
“Pat’s wife had a miscarriage. On the plus side, now he knows what it feels like to lose a few pounds.”
“In the gay community I am a bear, and Pat is a barely
“Pat’s wife is the only woman who ever found a lump, and then
“Pat’s favorite team is the Baltimore Orioles. Sorry, I read
that wrong. Pat’s favorite dream is biting more Oreos.”
“Pat’s dad died of a heart attack. He would’ve survived, but Pat made the ambulance stop at Arby’s.”
“Pat, why are you always squinting? You look like you’re
staring into the son you’ll never have.”
“Pat’s dad worked at the post office. It’s inspiring that
you defied the odds and found a way to disappoint a failure.”
This is it. This is the battle by which all other
battles will be compared moving forward. It should be studied, and learned
from. A simple reprinting of the jokes can’t come close to doing it justice.
I have the audio, if anyone wants it. It belongs in a museum.
make it all the way through triple overtime without a single dud, and the only
thing that probably prevented a tie was that Pat still had one absolute banger
left with the leg day joke. When
the fight started, half of the back of the room had already left, and by the
end it seemed even fuller than it had even started out.
Best of luck to whoever has to follow this battle next week.
Oh, it’s me and Leah Kayajanian? Well, fuck.
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 11:30 PST every Tuesday if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person. Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to our sponsor LA SpeedWeed.