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by Tony Bartolone, photos by Troy Conrad

The Belly Room is packed to the gills with Roast Battle fans frothing at the mouth, hungry for some verbal violence. Before the undercards start, all the judges are present and accounted for, including special guest, the living legend, the Insomniac himself, Dave Attell. The audience is rabid and ready for action. Let’s Roast! Moses brings up Alisa Kasimova to the Belly Room stage saying she’s from Denmark and she knows Zack Kennedy because she fucked his son. Alisa confirms the sex story to audience cheers and then explains that they didn’t really have sex to the disappointment of the fans, setting the precedent for her overall performance. Coach Tea plays Zack up to “Born To Be Wild,” and he makes his way to the stage in trademark black leather jacket looking like he eats way to much Hell’s Angel food cake. Zack does some clarifying of his own: 

“She’s not from fucking Denmark. She’s from fucking Russia.” 

“Yeah, take that you bitch!” -Earl Skakel 

“It’s Jim Henson presents a meth dealer.” -Mike Lawrence 

“I like how fucking someone’s son is a new credit out here.” -Dave Attell 

“Welcome to Hollywood.” -Earl Skakel 

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Zack nominates Alisa to go first, and Moses gives her the mic to start the match. 

“Zack was raised by his grandmother because his dad was a politician. He couldn’t risk his career by acknowledging Zack’s existence. And you’re also fat.” 

Alisa salvages her first declarative remark by adding a panicked tag. 

“Alisa’s had so many unemployed actors and hipsters in between her legs that her vagina is the most gentrified neighborhood in Los Angeles.” 

Zack’s joke gets a huge pop, and it looks like we might have a slaughter on our hands. 

“Zack, when are you gonna kill yourself? You’re a white trash, physically deteriorating loser who failed at making shitty zombie movies. And instead you ended up with one divorce, four baby-mommas, and eight kids. And for some reason, they all look like Gollum.” 

“Not long enough.” -Earl Skakel 

“That joke kills in Denmark.” -Mike Lawrence 

“Alisa is from Russia. Her idol is Ivanka Trump, believe it or not, ’cause she hopes that someday fucking her dad is gonna pay off for her too.” 

“One of Hagrid’s kids, oh I’m sorry, I meant to say one of Zack’s kids was conceived because Zack fucked his neighbor’s wife. It’s like, isn’t your appearance shameful enough for you or do you have to be a piece of shit human being too?” 

“Are these just e-mails that you wrote to someone?” -Jeff Ross 

Right after the Roastmaster takes a shot at the strange direction Alisa’s attack has taken, Zack takes the battle to strange place himself. He decides turn the battle into a comedy duo like it was some weird McCarthyist vaudeville act. 

“She is from Russia, you were born in Moscow, right?” 

“Yeah.” 

“Say ‘Sputnik.’” 

“Spotneek.” 

“Yeah, fuckin’ commie. Her vagina’s like Chernobyl, you’d kinda like to visit, but if you hang out too long you’re gonna get sick.” 

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“Zack, you look like you only get erect during McRib season.” – Mike Lawrence 

“[Alisa], you were just like personally insulting him on the most basic level. You were just like, ‘Yeah, you’re a piece of shit loser and you’re fat.’ There was like really nothing else, which in a way even cuts deeper than a crafted joke. So I actually have to give it to Alisa because that was so fuckin’ mean.” – Sal Vulcano

 “You are insignificant and a waste of time. That is my roast joke.”                       – Mike Lawrence 

“She looks like she’s dressed for the funeral of his career.” -Dave Attell 

By judges’ decision, Zack wins the battle and goes back home to his Carl’s Jr. coupons and Grateful Dead records. Moses brings up Ken Garr and Kevin Fard for the next undercard. After the roast feast that was the last battle, the judges don’t have much to say about these unremarkable looking schmucks. 

“Much like them, I have nothing.” – Mike Lawrence 

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Kevin volunteers to take the first shot and we’re off. 

“Ken looks like the kinda guy who knows exactly how much to tip a prostitute.” 

“Fifteen percent.” – Earl Skakel 

“Kevin looks like Aladdin used his last wish to get a job at the Carmax in Burbank.” 

“Ken’s ex-wife is a special ed teacher. It didn’t work out because it made her feel like she was fucking one of her students.” 

“You look like you go to burlesque shows by yourself.” 

“Ken, you’re the opposite of a Ken doll. You’re bald, out of shape and little girls are terrified to play alone in a room with you.” 

“I would never say that Kevin would rape a girl. But he does have a face that screams, “Someone hold her arms down.” 

Ken’s jokes do well, despite a mid-battle dip. Kevin’s jokes pretty much all fall flat. However, Sal Vulcano gives Kevin his vote anyway, and that’s the only vote he gets. Ken takes the battle and goes home to his vintage playboys and Kenny Loggins CDs. 

After Jeff Ross roasts a couple in the front row, we’re ready for our next battle. Moses brings up Josh Michaels before the firing squad, and they tee off. 

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“I can’t tell which gender you’re transitioning into.” – Mike Lawrence 

Lonnie Johnson is brought up to T-Pain’s “Dan Bilzerian” and he homie hugs each member of the Wave and Brian Moses. Brian asks why he’s battling Josh: 

“This dude’s my heart, this dude’s like my life right here, this is one of my best friends right here. But you know what they say, life’s a bitch!”

His reason for battling was like a drunk best man’s speech right before he reveals that he’s been fucking the bride. 

“It looks like they’re fighting over the same scholarship.” – Mike Lawrence

Moses asks who wants to go first and Josh Michaels replies: 

“I say Lonnie. It’s the last day of Black History Month, you deserve it.” 

“That is incorrect, it’s 12:02, white people rejoice. It was a tough month, but we got through it. Let’s watch “Roots” at my house. And we’re gonna make cotton candy from the cotton gin I bought.” – Earl Skakel 

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Waves of laughter flood the Belly Room followed by waves of scoffs and sneers. Lonnie says he’ll go first, but in honor of Black History Month Moses makes Josh start and the battle officially gets underway. 

“Lonnie’s brother died when he was younger and when his parents found out they were devastated… because it wasn’t Lonnie.” 

“You know, Josh Michaels wants help with his alcoholism, but he’s such a shitty comic he can’t even get booked to a twelve step program.” 

“Lonnie’s parents became Jehovah’s Witnesses just so they wouldn’t have to celebrate any of his birthdays.” 

“Thank you, Freddie Prinze Loser. Josh Michaels loves the show Boy Meets World, but he keeps violating restraining orders because he’s such a Dawson’s Creep.” 

“You know what, Lonnie’s parents actually had him very late in life. Which makes me wonder, are you guys on time for anything?” 

“That was a good one, La La Jokes Don’t Land. Last year Josh Michaels actually busted a nut on Andy Dick. It was the first time in Hollywood anybody appreciated this nigga’s material.” 

Overall, the battle is underwhelming with a few decent crowd reactions. Josh takes the battle by unanimous Judges’ decision. The next battle is the first of three five-joke battles. Moses brings up Tim Groeschel and asks why he’s battling: 

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“Ah, you know, we’ve known each other a long time and I battled that chick earlier, thought I’ll take off the wig and do it again. Why not?” 

Moses brings up Evan Cassidy and throws it to Earl: 

“He’s dating a black girl. How do you feel about this? – Brian Moses 

“That’s his problem.” – Earl Skakel 

Brian asks Evan why he decided to take on Tim: 

“I haven’t done one in a while, and we’re all gonna have to battle people that look like Tim after the apocalypse, ya know what I mean? Let me get it over with, ya know?” 

Both battler’s pre-roast lines do well with the crowd, and it looks like it’s going to be a great fight. The judges get a few shots in before the battle begins. 

“I feel like Tim is gonna battle in riddles.” – Jeff Ross 

“I feel like me and Tim saw “Lego Batman” alone together.” – Mike Lawrence 

Evan calls first joke, and delivers. 

“Tim looks like the patron saint of shitting in a gas station bathroom.” 

“As Moses said earlier, Evan is ah, you know, a fan of the black ladies. Which actually adds up a lot because he’s only bringing them three-fifths of a dick.” 

“Tim is such is such white trash he doesn’t burn crosses, he just throws them in the microwave.” 

“Evan is in a Misfits cover band, which really doesn’t add up a lot considering his nose doesn’t misfit his face.” 

This joke gets a confused response from the audience, which spoils what was shaping up to be a punch-for-punch, air-tight fight. 

“You might recognize Tim from that time you bought a water bottle at a Metallica concert.” 

Evan fires back with this simple yet perfect observation about Tim’s looks, and the battle is right back on track. 

“Yeah Evan, I may be a fat dude, but you are skinny as shit. You look Jack Skelington walked through the door to Coachella.” 

“Tim looks like if atheism had a Santa Claus.” 

“Evan looks like the guy who sells fake weed to middle school kids… right before he tries to fuck ’em.” 

“I don’t know what’s sadder, Tim, that you’ll never close a show or that nobody will ever be able to close your casket.” 

“I swear to God, Evan, every time you smile your eyes say rapist, but your body says your gonna need a roofie to pull it off.” 

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Tim’s last joke gets a lot of love from the crowd, but it looks to be too little too late as his other jokes get mixed reviews. Evan, on the other hand, is crushing with concise, creative jokes. Like a classical piece of music, Evan’s side of the battle has a climactic crescendo. Evan’s performance is like seeing a beautiful piece of art. Whatever! 

“Tim, you had a couple good ones, but this guy fuckin’ overpowered you tonight. Much like a staircase would.” – Jeff Ross 

“[Tim], how are you not wearing overalls? I love when you did the three-fifths joke because you look like one of the people that wrote that legislation. You look like every dude that appraises items on Pawn Stars. Yes, I know about this musket.” – Mike Lawrence 

All the judges sing Evan’s praises, and he adds another win to his record. 

The next battle is a special featured undercard that involves a battle rapper. Moses calls F.L.O. to the stage, he dances around a bit and gets the crowd hoppin’. Brian then prompts F.L.O. to freestyle, and he asks for the crowd to give him a word so they know it’s legit. Coach Tea drops a beat and F.L.O. starts flowing. He starts off a little rocky, but finishes strong and the crowd goes crazy. He has a back-and-forth with Earl about it being February 28th and still celebrating Black History Month. 

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F.L.O. is having so much fun and is genuinely fun to watch. Jay comes out looking white as a Trump cabinet pick, and Jeff Ross asks him how he’s doing: 

“I feel like sickle cell right now because I’m thin and white and about to ruin a black man’s life.” 

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Brian asks who wants it and F.L.O. jumps on it: 

“I’ll go first, February 28th!” 

“You’re the only black guy who doesn’t like the 1st of the month.” – Earl Skakel

 As the crowd audience settles down after Earl’s joke, F.L.O. kicks things off: 

“Fuck you, you jew-panimation mother fucker. Fuckin’ son from American Dad looking ass nigga, hold on… You look like a Coachella Harry Potter hologram.”

“Thank you, Fatty Wap. You look like the only guy with child porn on a Boost Mobile phone.” 

“It’s a MetroPCS. Calm down Ben Stiller’s niece. You fuckin’ medicated feminist. You look like a lesbian tennis coach.” 

“You guys, take it easy on F.L.O. It’s not easy to perform while you’re transitioning into Aunt Jemima.” 

“Fuck you, you Silicon Valley extra. You motherfuckin’ overconfident dental assistant. Hey, hey, hey, that ain’t the joke though…” 

Yes, it was. That was the joke. But he continues unnecessarily: 

“They keep fucking with me. I’m going crazy. High blood pressure! You, you, you… You the real life inspiration for any character Michael Cera has ever played. Juno and Scott Pilgrim… all that shit. That’s all I got. Scott Pilgrim, Superbad…” 

That next part bombs. 

“Good one, E-40 pounds overweight. I can tell you’re from Oakland, you’re so ashy you look like you survived a warehouse fire.” 

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The people are pumped, and this is truly a great battle. Coach Tea drops a track, and Jay and F.L.O. start dancing. Two of the judges rule this a tie and Mike Lawrence picks Jay. They go to the current King of the Dot champion, Rone, and he gives a vote to F.L.O. 

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Finally, Jeff Ross decries that he will have F.L.O. freestyle and Jay can do another joke to decide the winner. Coach Tea drops a beat and F.L.O. goes: 

“Oh my God, what’s the word, another nerd, looking like this nigga Zuckerberg. Hey, how we really gonna bust it? The dude sittin’ here, he used to play a trumpet and one year at band camp he got fucked with a musket. Hey wait, hold on dude, let’s not even trust it. It really be obliverous, it’s like Dennis the Menace had a kid with fuckin’ Ellen DeGeneres.” 

“F.L.O. Your nose is so flat Kyrie Irving thinks it’s the Earth.” 

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After a unique overtime, the judges give the battle to F.L.O. However, having a comedian follow a rapper is like comparing the buzz you get from whiskey to the buzz you get from a Diet Coke. Beyond that, F.L.O. had some bombs and Jay didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, F.L.O. is extremely entertaining and he put on a great show, but when you analyze it from a competition standpoint, Jay totally won the battle. But the official ruling goes to F.L.O. 

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Now, back to the second five-joke face off, and the second to last battle of the night. Brian brings up Alex Duong and Nat Baimel to wage war. 

“This looks like the front of a social studies book.” – Mike Lawrence

Nat claims first joke and starts off: 

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“Alex looks like Channing Tatum transitioning into Ms. Pac-Man.” 

“Nat, you adorable Jew. You look like would get all your clothes from Oshkosh B’gAuschwitz.” 

“Alex was a pre-med student, now he’s an alcoholic Uber driver. His life took a hard left then kept the turn signal on for forty years.” 

“Good one, Faggoty Anne. Nat right here is in good shape. I would be too if I spent everyday wrestling with my sexuality.” 

“Alex is Vietnamese and he was once dumped by a black girl. Must’ve been really sad seeing Charlie get kicked out of the chocolate factory.” 

“Thank you, Mormon MacDonald. You look like the type of guy that giggles when he cums.” 

“Alex and his girlfriend love raw dog. In fact, that’s what they ate on their first date.” 

“Nat’s afraid of black people because his mom told him some bitch named Leukemia killed his father.” 

“Alex is dating a dental hygienist. She has a lot of experience trying to fix broken yellow messes.” 

“Why do you look like the only thing stopping you from sucking a dick is your nose and a nut allergy?” 

This battle has some interesting ups and downs, but Alex is pretty consistent throughout. Nat’s first joke flat out bombs, and his next joke doesn’t do much better. But his third joke is one of the best jokes of night. The crowd doesn’t really give it as much as it deserves, but it is his hardest hitting joke. Nat does this interesting thing at the beginning of his jokes. He puts his finger up in the air like he’s at a speech and debate tournament. As if to say “point of order.” If you’ve never seen a speech and debate tournament, that’s a thing they say. Just ask Nat. Overall, Nat has a tough time, but he doesn’t have much to be ashamed of in this battle. Having said that, Alex completely dominates and gets the win. 

We go to our last match up of the night: a preview of the East Coast/West Coast beef we will see next week. Moses brings out J.P. McDade first, and Jeff Ross prompts him to do his spot-on Anthony Jeselnik impression. He does it and endears himself to the LA audience. Connor comes up onstage and starts the match off with the first joke: 

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“J.P. has resting my-dad’s-a-lawyer face.” 

“Connor, you albino Pepe frog. You look like you’re trying to treat your AIDS with Norton Anti-Virus.” 

“J.P. looks like he brings an acoustic guitar to parties he was only kinda invited to. And he only know how to play Wonderwall so he can stall for time while the roofies kick in.” 

“Connor, I’m pale, but you look like you haven’t seen the sun in years. That’s how big Keith Carey’s shadow is.” 

“At least our fat bisexuals are funny in LA. What’s up, Zac Amico? [after a log pause] Oh my god, it’s like your jokes are also three hours behind, come on dude.” 

“Sorry, I didn’t know you were done. Thank you, child whose nannies keep disappearing. You look like the twin that died in the womb with me.” 

“Alright, that was pretty good, Breitbart lumberjack. J.P., you have zero stage presence. Did you murder your personality and throw it off your dad’s boat?”

“Look I’m not here to roast Connor’s parents, but I mean, he looks exactly like the lesbians that raised him.”

“J.P.’s so white I feel like he locks his doors when a Macklemore song comes on his Pandora station.”

“I was shocked to learn that Connor got fucked in the ass with a strap-on. I thought it would’ve been a croquet mallet.”

“J.P. is known for his Anthony Jeselnik impression. But here’s the thing, he’s kinda hot and kinda funny, but he’s achieved way too much in comedy. I feel like he does a way better Sal Vulcano.”

“Connor is a Comedy Store door guy. I don’t mean that you work the door. I mean that Andy Dick grabs you by the knob.” 

Interesting to note that they do an Andy Dick joke and a roofie joke, which are both subjects covered in earlier battles. The battle is going so well they both end up doing six jokes instead of five. Moses comes back onstage, confers with Jeff Ross and they agree they still want to hear one more joke. So we go to overtime and J.P. goes first. 

“Connor, you look like a Duke basketball player after a neck injury.” 

“J.P.’s from Connecticut, so battling here is new for him. He didn’t know they were called the Wave, he thought they were called the help. And when Coach Tea dropped a an air horn he started breaststroking out of habit.” 

Jeff Ross implies it might be a tie, and Dave Attell replies incredulously: 

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“It’s a tie?” – Dave Attell 

“You gotta weigh in, alcoholic Sith Lord.” – Connor McSpadden

“I know you’re riled up with a call back for a Nickelodeon show.” – Dave Attell 

“And I know you’re riled up from creeping outside the auditions.” -Connor McSpadden

Even after Connor burns him, Dave Attell gives him his vote. Sal Vulcano votes for J.P. to “make it interesting.” Mike Lawrence gives both battlers props, but gives his vote to Connor. That’s two for Connor and one for J.P. That means Connor wins, but Jeff Ross doesn’t let it end there. The Roastmaster General says it’ll be ruled as a tie, but they can do one more joke if they both agree to. These two battlers prepared for five jokes, and they’ve already done seven. To do another sudden death would put this battle just one joke shy of a full three round main event. For the third week in a row the main event goes into double overtime. J.P. goes first: 

“Connor’s nickname in school was essay because none of the Mexican chicks in school would do him.” 

“J.P., I can tell you work in finance because all your jokes are stock.” 

Connor’s last joke flops, and J.P. is awarded the contest. 

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I’m going to sound like I’m being biased, but the honest truth is Connor won in the first overtime. Taking nothing away from J.P., who had a great battle, but his first overtime joke bombed. In fact, the only reason Sal voted for J.P. was to “make it interesting.” Sounds like the same reason some people voted for Trump. So due to a controversial display of power, J.P. gets the win and New York has the momentum going into next week. Remember to watch live on gasdigitalnetwork.com at 7:30pm LA time. Then come down to the Belly Room to watch a classic LA night of battles. It’s going to be an historic night. Don’t miss it!

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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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