by Pat Barker
Yankee Stadium was the home to many legendary
players – Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Derek Jeter, to name a few. But it was
always known as The House That Ruth Built. Similarly, the Belly Room on Tuesday
nights will forever be The House That Earl Built. From day one, Earl has been
seated to the side of the stage as the House Hater. He tosses out sharp, quick,
biting quips that leave the room in stitches. He saves bad battles, and
elevates good battles into great ones. He knows when to talk and when to keep
quiet. As someone who’s done the job alongside him a handful of times, believe
me when I say this – the Haters Table is the hardest gig in Roast Battle. You
need to have a sniper’s precision; you can’t afford to empty out a full clip in
hopes of hitting your target. You have about two seconds to nail them, and he
succeeds at a ridiculously high rate.
Recently, Earl started rising from the table and
getting into the ring. His battle with Olivia Grace at Riot LA seemed like it
would be his only one for the foreseeable future, but when two battlers were hospitalized
on a Tuesday in April, Earl stepped up and battled Keith Carey on about 20
minutes notice. It was a seemingly impossible situation, but Earl went into his
version of survival mode – an elaborate entrance and the fighting style of a cornered
animal, roasting anyone and everyone in sight until the dust has cleared and he’s
the last one standing.
Earl’s battle with Keith was amazing live, but even
more impressive to watch back on Periscope. The online audience can be notably
fickle and has a low tolerance for weak performances. They hate lots of things
and lots of people, but every single one of them loves Earl. When he made his
entrance for the Mystery Battle, the Periscope feed lit up like it never has
before and may never again. This past Tuesday, Earl got a much-deserved chance
to roast in front of the Comedy Central cameras, going against Jesse Joyce.
That’s the same Jesse Joyce that wrote for every CC roast, the same one that
was Greg Giraldo’s writing partner. He’s as close to Roast Royalty as it gets,
but in the Belly Room Earl is king. After blowing the roof off of the Store with a performance that’ll soon be in living rooms everywhere, Earl answered a few questions for VerbalViolence.TV.
Why do you
it’s completely out of my comfort zone but at the same time I’m SUPER
COMPETITIVE so I want to try my hand at something I’m naturally not good at. I
want to only take on people in both Top Tens so at the end of the day I will go
down as having the best fight card in the history of the show. THAT and I love
your favorite battle that you’ve ever been a part of?
That’s a tough question as
I’ve loved all of them, but I would say my battle with Olivia Grace at Riot LA
as it was outside of The Belly Room in a huge theater and it was her return to
the show. We had an amazing back and forth battle, so much so that I might be
the only winner who’s ever asking for a rematch. October 4, Olivia,
I want your ass in The Belly Room.
Carey because unfortunately due to bad circumstances, we were given 20 minutes
notice to do a battle and that was petrifying to me to go up against the #2
ranked battler. We had an amazing battle and people still talk about it.
with the legend Joe Dosch where at some point we gave up roasting each other and
set our fangs on judge Joe Derosa!!
recent battle with Jesse Joyce as I here I was going up against Comedy
Central’s #1 roast joke writer trying to get on a show on Comedy Central. When
I saw him walk up with literally 3-4 pages of jokes I knew I had to bring the
the greatest joke anyone has used against you?
Olivia Grace – “Earl is
very funny but the only time he kills is when he cracks a walnut with his
silly and simple and it KILLED so I had to go to my homerun joke right after to
deflect the awesomeness of this joke.
What is the most underappreciated joke you’ve
ever told? One that didn’t work nearly as well as you expected.
I was battling the super
talented Whitney Rice and I knew she would have an age/dick pill joke so my
rebuttal (and keep in mind we were dating at the time) was
maybe I wouldn’t have to take dick pills if your tits were as big as your
nose”. It got NOTHING and probably lost me the battle. Looking back it was
a mistake to do the joke as she’s obviously insanely beautiful so to make fun
of her looks was stupid, but in the moment I was so proud of that joke and it
BOMBED so bad The Laugh Factory and Improv went quiet.
process of preparing for battle.
I think I do it in a very
opposite way of others as I don’t write jokes about the other person right away
but I write more rebuttals for what I think they’ll say about me. Like if I’m
going up against say Comic X I think to myself what can they say about me and
then I write rebuttals which for me are actually my main jokes.
it’s super important to know your roasting weaknesses so as soon as I agree to
do a battle that night I go home and
myself naked and say what visually can they make fun of?
think what can they say about me personally – am I dating someone, recently had
a bad breakup…and write rebuttals.
any family history which for me is a big target and write rebuttals.
think who they are going to have help them with jokes on me and guess the style.
jokes about the actual person is the last step for me and then I go in to
research mode, but by that point in the process I’m pretty confident that my
rebuttals will be as good as any joke about them that I can come up with.
novice roasters aren’t honest with themselves. As an example if they are fat they
won’t admit it so they won’t write any fat rebuttal jokes, and then the night
of the battle they get hammered once they don’t have one! I mean I’m a pretty
open book with no secrets so I know what’s coming fairly easily and I have
probably ten rebuttals for each roasting weakness. I would say of all the
people at the top of the rankings I’m by far the weakest roast writer as it’s
not my normal style, but where I give people problems is in the performance
angle with my wacky entrances and pro wrestling style cadence!!
your favorite people to watch on nights where you’re not battling?
Too many to name
To have the whitest person I know running The Negro Wave is the best part of the
show to me.
Jamar – The
movements he does sticking his ass in the air and walking like a kid in the
last 10 yards of The Special Olympics always makes me laugh.
Kreischer – He has so much fun judging and it makes everyone in the room have
fun which is the whole point of the show.
Brothers – They get the show better than any judges.
Moses – To
host this show for 2 and a half years keeping it fresh and interesting is
unreal to me.
Thunder – The show isn’t the same without him.
– As crazy as he is I know when the crowd is into him it’s going to be a great
your favorite Wave moment?
So hard to pick as each week
they KILL!! I’m partial when they all wear diapers and you see how truly
massive Haiti’s dick is and yes I’m being serious.
decide to retire, but not before doing three more battles. Who are the
I like to put myself in
unwinnable situations as it pushes me to write and perform out of fear.
Carr – He’s so good and unflappable that I want his ass!!
– She’s the best as she just laughs off what you will say about her and I think
nobody in the room would think I have a chance.
Grace – Beating her once was tough but beating her twice in The Belly Room
would be a HERCULEAN task.
Kayajanian – Her jokes are so clever and mean.
Perez – He’s an improv roaster so I don’t know how I would prepare.
Fager – So funny and his rebuttals are LEGENDARY.
– So likeable, goofy, and funny. It would be tough!!
Horton – Such a great writer and has that pro athlete swagger.
– He’s so like able and good that it would be a challenge to win the crowd over
Barker – The swagger of a homerun hitter walking up to the plate.
Singh – His jokes are so silly but smart that rebuttals would be hard.
Hooper – He’s the champ.
Sewing – He’s the new breed and such a good writer.
Mcspadden – So hard to make fun of that it would be a real challenge.
– So good and delivers with such confidence.
Pete C – He’s
not a comic so he doesn’t really give a shit about approval from other comics,
he might have the best fight card of all time.
Congdon – A hot girl but with the jokes and meanness of a dude.
Frank Castillo – He has battled so many times all of the good jokes have been
said about him and I would have to be super creative against him.
Stuart Thompson – He’s so normal I think it would be a wild challenge to make
fun of him. That and his jokes are so smart and mine dumb it would be a great
the headliner Top 10 as I think even if you lose if your fight card is filled
with greats you get more respect versus taking on people you know you can beat.
could witness a Roast Battle between any two comics ever, who would you pick?
Jeff Ross vs Dave Attell
because they are best friends and know all the secrets of the other. I think
that’s the key to a battle and I know NO STONE would be left unturned.
Rell – I mean this sells itself!
be off-limits in the Roast Battle?
I will ask out of respect if
there is anything out of bounds. In my recent battle with Jesse Joyce I asked
him that as I had a few homerun jokes about his best friend Greg Giraldo, and
he smiled and said “hit me with them!!” To me I will only battle
friends so even though I want to win if they say there is a topic that is a no
go, it’s a no go.
I’m a fan of The Dean Martin Roasts and what I loved about them was they would
KILL each other but you could tell that they LOVED each other. I will only
battle people I respect as not just comics but as people.