by Tony Bartolone

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein

Trump’s America, Day 35. The CIA has concluded that Russia has tampered with the results of the recent US election. And nobody seems to care that much. Nuclear paranoia is mounting, we’re possibly looking toward World War III, but Tuesday night in the Belly Room is always war. Our form of aggression does not seek to hurt, but to relieve hurt. Our battlers are freaks of every race, creed and color. We will not be intimidated by hate speech. We will only appropriate said hate speech and use it for jokes. And we will keep the battles going until they drop an A-bomb on the B-Room.

Our judges’ panel features some of the best Roast Battle judges in The Sklar Brothers. Randy and Jason Sklar are two of the quickest draws to ever pick up a mic. You’ve seen them on ESPN, heard them on their fantastic podcast Sklarbro Country, and will see and hear them in their new special coming to Seeso in 2017. Our third judge has been on countless TV shows, is a Comedy Store regular and an experienced Roast Battle judge, as well. Cort McCourt was shooting movies before most Roast Battlers were even shot out of their daddy’s dick. Let’s Roast!

In a double virgin sacrifice, Ron Swallow goes head-to-head with Drew Marks. What Ron lacks in chin, Drew makes up for in ears. Ron Swallow hosts the long-running Liquid Zoo open mic, and Drew Marks hosts the Bad Advice podcast. These two comedy veterans will wage war to see who is the host with the most, and who is the sad, ugly* loser. Will Ron Swallow his opponent whole or will Drew mark his adversary for death. If you’d like to challenge Ron for a future battle, you can catch him every Wednesday night at the Liquid Zoo.
*They are both ugly.

In our second undercard we have Steven Alan Green battling his daughter that he lost custody of, Hana Michels. Green doesn’t have the best battle history, but he pulled off an impressive upset in his last bout. Hana Michels, who is a great writer and experienced comic, will give this old goofball a run for his money. It’ll be cool to see Juno battle her social studies teacher. We can’t wait to see this little woman beat the shit out of this middle-aged creep. You can get hyped for this battle by checking out the 2005 movie, Hard Candy. Or at least watch the trailer to see what I’m talking about.

Then we have an actual father-son battle. Zack Kennedy will be bludgeoning his son, Logan Kennedy. Usually, a battle is better when the two opponents really know each other, so this has potential. Logan gets to live out a 90’s grunge song, and Zack gets to take out his rage about that time Logan drew on the wall when he was kid. We’ve never had this dynamic in Roast Battle before, and we’re interested to see how it will play out. They will pick up the fights where they left off on Thanksgiving. It has all the makings of a Greek tragedy, but let’s hope nobody gouges their eyes out.

Next up, an undercard of undefeated records sees Anish Shah reaching for his third win, while Robbie Goodwin seeks to go 4-0. Robbie has been dominant in all of his battles against opponents of varying skill level, but Anish may be his fiercest competitor to date. This should be a fun fight full of savage jabs and relentless uppercuts. Robbie has some ancestry in the Middle East, and Anish is Indian as fuck. So get your hummus and Darjeeling tea, and get ready to see some suicide bombing. That is, if Donald Trump doesn’t deport Anish before the battle begins.

Handicapped battlers are always a favorite at Roast Battle. Steve Lee does not have a fully functioning body. But let’s be honest, neither does his opponent, Anthony Desamito. I don’t know why they didn’t just wait to have this battle until Anthony was constricted to a Rascal scooter. Mobility just isn’t the strong suit of these battlers. I just hope Steve doesn’t use his disability as a crutch. Anthony is a genuinely funny comic who had a strong first battle. He’s also a gay Mexican, which means he makes tacos, but doesn’t eat them.

Erica Rhodes jumps into to the Roast Battle arena to take down Jason Pickard. We’re excited to finally see one of the three bears get his revenge on Goldilocks. Jason looks like an overinflated Mike Lawrence with better eyesight. Erica Rhodes has been on @midnight and a ton of other stuff, and she’s a really strong writer. Jason has his work cut out for him, and he’s probably just doing this for the post-battle hug. If Jason wins this battle the curse will be broken and he will be transformed back into a handsome prince.

Matt LeGrande takes on newcomer Jared Goldstein in an all-gay slug fest. I can only imagine these two dudes are fighting over who wore it better or which Madonna album is best (it’s Ray of Light, obviously) or whether or not it was okay for Jennifer Lawrence to sit on sacred rocks in Hawaii. Jared Goldstein has quite the challenge in front of him. Matt not only has the experience, but also has the momentum coming off a big win. Jared is a good comic, so this Queer Eye for the Straight Guy battle should be a good one.

Dave Neal attempts to continue his streak and serve Julian Fernandez his second loss in our next undercard. This matchup looks like the deleted Hardy Boy versus Juan Favreau. Dave has podcast called Sex Actually, which is a coincidence because Julian looks like he’s never actually had sex. Both have had impressive previous showings, so this should be a satisfying battle. In his last appearance, the judges took Dave to task for his slicked ponytail. We’ll see if he has the balls to show up to Roast Battle with a hair tie again.

In our final undercard of the night, Nat Baimel takes on Kayla Rosenberg. These two rising stars of Roast Battle (and of David) will try to establish themselves as cutthroat competitors in the Thunderdome of comedy. Nat looks like Hebrews his own craft beer, and Kayla looks like the female version of Kyle from South Park. Kayla had an impactful debut knocking out Sameer Suri, who destroyed Nat in his debut match.  This will be a big blowout brawl in the art of Jew-jitsu. We’ll see who has the chops when these two lox up. This’ll probably be a close one. Expect to see a winner by a nose.

Who knows what the future holds for America? We are living in terrifying times. When a country that locked up an all-female punk band is tampering in our elections, there is an affront to our civil liberties. When a President has threatened to censor the press and open up the libel laws, there is a direct threat to our freedom of speech. Fuck that orange-faced fuck. At Roast Battle, we will continue to exercise our freedoms to an absurd degree. We will not go gently into that good night. We will go out screaming like a siren, like a punk rock love song, like war.

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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