by Jay Light, photos by David Deery

After a week invading households all across America, Roast Battle returns with an affably loose vibe. The crowd is good from the get-go, and while the Wave is mostly pulling backup players and there’s no Hater to be seen, Moses and Coach Tea are bringing the heat just two days after giving their all for the cameras. It certainly helps that the firing squad contains two Roast Battle champions, the #3 battler from season 1 (and our regular House Hater), and the “grandfather of the Belly Room”, Cort McCown, to round out the murderous VIP section.

The evening’s first match is between chess prodigy Matthew Maloney and Urban Outfitters construction site supervisor Taylor Rizzo.

“This is like the battle over who wants to be Fisher King.” – Moses

“They look like they’re gonna get into an argument over the Warcraft movie.” – Mike Lawrence

“I feel like the big one’s got a dead pet mouse in his pocket.” – Frank Castillo

Rizzo comes to the stage loose and ready to roll, but Maloney throws out an oddly stilted joke for his intro line, and Taylor gains an edge and never relinquishes it.

“Taylor Rizzo recorded a podcast, called it a stand-up CD, and named it "Taylor Rizzo: Potential.” Taylor, saying you have potential is like saying I have anorexia.“

"Matt told me that his career goal is to have a house with an indoor pool so he can finally go swimming with his shirt off.”

“Taylor allegedly has a girlfriend who lives in Denver, but I believe him because I’ve met her boyfriend who lives in New York.”

"Matt’s a certified scuba diver. He doesn’t look like a scuba diver but he does look like someone who needs the help of an oxygen tank.”

The most interesting part of Maloney’s performance is his decision to continually pull increasingly larger lollipops out of his coat. 

“By the end there I thought he’d pull a fuckin’ girlfriend out of his coat.” – Cort McCown

It’s the kind of move you’d expect from someone who had more confidence or stronger jokes, but on this go-round, Rizzo outperforms Maloney every step of the way. Maloney, on the other hand, leaves us hungry for some jokes with more substance. Taylor Rizzo takes the win handily.

Our second match – Keith Reza versus Michael Amico – is lackluster from the start and pretty much stays that way.

This battle was so rough to watch, even the Periscope feed refuses to show it to me. Amico opts for the unpopular “stating facts” method of fighting, while Reza shows his experience in the ring by pounding his opponent into the ground.

“[Keith] dropped [Michael] like the box of toothpicks he’s gonna count afterwards.” – Mike Lawrence

By the end, the crowd votes for Keith Reza.

“We are building to a crescendo of some sort, I hope.” – Brian Moses

The night’s next match does indeed build, giving us a battle of foreigners: Kevin Munroe from Trinidad and Tobago versus Steve Lee from China.

“It’s good to see you, Diekembe Cosby.” – Brian Moses

“If you’re here, who’s carrying the bobsled to the finish line?” – Mike Lawrence

Munroe has never battled before, but he takes to the format incredibly well, tossing out a top-notch joke right off the bat:

“We’re both foreigners, and when we go to Chinese restaurants, neither of us get chopsticks.” – Kevin Munroe

Lee comes on stage, showing all the uninitiated in the crowd why he doesn’t get chopsticks.

“This feels like a battle Trump’s cabinet would watch after hours.” – Mike Lawrence

After a ton of jokes at both of these guys’ expense by the judges, the bell finally rings and the battle begins.

“Steve Lee looks like his dad assembled a Jackie Chan doll without the instructions.”

“I might be disabled, but at least my comedy career isn’t like yours…that’s on crutches.”

“Steve Lee’s rap name is 2 Canes.”

“Kevin is 6’ 6” and can’t play basketball. That’s why his real father drowned himself to death.“

"Steve Lee says his condition is not genetic. Which means there’s a chance his kids might be funny.”

“Kevin looks like he’s the first black slave to gentrify Oakland.”

So far, this is the night’s best battle. The crowd and judges eat it up.

“I can’t believe I waited this long to watch the Rush Hour reboot.” – Mike Lawrence

However, despite it being a rip-roaring good time, the battle is ridiculously lopsided, with all of Munroe’s jokes hitting compared to just one of Lee’s.

“The only way that would have been more one-sided is if it was an actual fistfight.” – Mike Lawrence

“I think he just gave him muscular dystrophy too.” – Cort McCown

“I really wanted Not So Fresh Off The Boat to win…” – Frank Castillo

Kevin Munroe takes the W, buoyed by his three phenomenal jokes, and the two return to the green room from whence they came.

After a brief musical interlude, we’re on with our next match: Paige Wesley versus Madison Shepard. Again, the jokes start flying instantaneously, and most of them revolve around Earl’s penchant for larger ladies.

“Earl is so erect right now.” – Cort McCown

“This is like a live Plenty of Fish for me.” – Earl Skakel

“The real winner is Lane Bryant.” – Mike Lawrence

The night’s only virgin sacrifice has the crowd salivating for blood from the start, especially when the battlers show that they’re not wearing kid gloves with their intro lines:

“We wanted to test the weight limit of the Belly Room.” – Paige Wesley

“Mission accomplished.” – Earl

“I wanted to beat her before the diabetes did.” – Madison Shepard

Moses, looking giddy at what could happen with this matchup, quells the assault of jokes coming from the VIP section just enough that the match can begin.

“Madison is half white and half black, and Sea World is really gonna miss her.”

“I’m just really impressed to see Paige perform outside of Flappers, especially since she got banned at Sea World? I dunno…”

Shepard suffers from clearly having the orca-shaped rug pulled out from under her, and fails to effectively deliver her first punchline. Take note, battlers: this is where having a good strategy comes into play. Wesley sees her opening and strikes.

“Thank you, Heavy Kravitz. Madison is body positive, so if you’ve got a body, I am positive she will fuck you.”

“Paige doesn’t like to be called a BBW because she hasn’t identified as beautiful or a woman since she transitioned into a Wal-Mart.”

“That was good, Fatso Raven.”

The room explodes. The Wave starts singing the Fatso Raven theme song.

“Statistically, black men are five times more likely to spend time in prison, and six times more likely to spend it in Madison’s snatch. But they all say the prison food tastes better.”

“Paige is so fat, she doesn’t fly coach, she flies cargo.”

“You win the bucket of chicken!” – Cort McCown

“They both look like they used to shop at Al Bundy’s shoe store.” – Mike Lawrence

Mike Lawrence digs at Shepard for writing a Sea World joke and doing one right after Wesley did. She tries to defend herself, but the former champ is merciless:

“I’m sorry that yours didn’t work, Hackfish.” – Mike Lawrence

“I just wanna give a shoutout to the hardest-working thing on that stage, and that’s the zipper on the back of your dress.” – Earl Skakel

In the end, Paige Wesley takes the fight, but far and away this matchup is the night’s best. It’s almost all downhill from here, kicking off with creep show Guam Felix versus Mark Stevens.

“This is a battle for who’s creepiest in the L.A. comedy scene.” – Brian Moses

In a weird bit of parallel thinking, both of these guys do almost the exact same intro, with the only difference being that Guam has an Asian guy to yell before he gets on stage. Yet, instead of seeming hard, the vibe these guys give is that they all went bandana shopping together.

“This looks like someone asking for a refund at a tae kwon do studio.” – Mike Lawrence

Neither of the battlers seem to land anything right off the bat, and that continues throughout the fight.

“You can see Guam in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as the only person who couldn’t crouch or hide.”

“Mark’s nickname is Creampie ‘cause he lets other guys have sex with his girlfriend while he eats pudding.”

This first joke gets a weak pop, prompting some commentary from stage right to keep the room alive.

“He called you a fat cuck!” – Jeremiah Watkins

“It’s supposed to be jokes, not facts. Let’s go.” – Cort McCown

Mark steels himself and tries to deliver his second joke.

“Guam, you look like you studied kung fu under Master P.F. Chang.”

“Mark got no pussy in high school ‘cause he kept on jizzing on himself during wrestling practice.”

These two jokes go over even worse than the first two.

“Can we bring the women back on stage, please?” – Mike Lawrence

After the judges hammer the battlers a couple more times, Mark waits for the laughter to die down before trying to get his final dig in.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Guam, your only success with women comes in the form of a judge’s acquittal.”

“Mark is so gay, he jizzes in a cup, freezes it, and turns it into a scented candle.”

It looks like we’ve got a potential double loss on our hands.

The crowd chants enthusiastically for one more joke. Moses clearly hates this idea, but decides to give them one more shot apiece before throwing Haiti into the mix as an option. The new champ offers up some advice:

“Hey, Guam, you work for the Store, so remember: no one believes in you.” – Frank Castillo

Guam goes first since Mark began the proceedings during regulation.

“Mark is so Catholic, he always says grace before he sucks a dick.” 

“Guam once spent three nights in the hospital because they couldn’t find a harpoon big enough to get a blood sample.”

Moses asks Haiti for some parting words.

“Oh my God, I’m about to win!” – Haiti

“Hey Moses, since Guam is working security, can he kick him and his opponent out?” – Tony Hinchcliffe

Haiti wins it in a landslide, giving both these other guys a loss on their record. Haiti swells with pride, growing another ab in the process.

“There you go, Haiti, there’s your payment for not being part of the TV show.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

Finally, the night’s last battle gets underway: Lindsey Jennings taking on Richie Gaines. There’s a lot of talk right off the bat about how these two had sex before – Jennings says once, Gaines claims twice – but Gaines’s performance issues take center stage. Apparently, Richie is not good in bed, and neither is his tiny dick. Right out of the gate, he tries to knock her looks, but she snipes back with fierce comebacks and a tiny dick joke that gets the room rocking and prompts Coach Tea to play women’s empowerment classic “Short Dick Man” by 20 Fingers featuring Gillette.

“Before comedy, Lindsey got her start writing…her own ads on Backpage.”

“I do get paid to get naked on Snapchat. My snaps are only ten seconds long, and they still last longer than you.”

Gaines is bombing and he knows it. He openly wonders if he should do another joke, and we all remind him he has two more to go.

“I feel bad for Lindsey in a way. I know she doesn’t actually like looking this way and acting this way. She’s still coping from that time she got raped by a clown.”

Gaines gains more silence from the crowd.

“These are not that bad!”

“Richie wishes he was black. When I found out he punched a cop, I wished he was black too.”

“Lindsey’s a rapper. She can spit, but not nearly as good as she can swallow.”

“Yeah, Richie, I’m a rapper. Drop one ‘p’ from that word and it also describes you. Richie looks like the whole time he fucks you, he whines, ‘are we there yet?’”

Although it’s obvious that Jennings simply outmatched him here, Gaines comes under fire from the judges for having sex with his opponent before they stepped into the ring.

“But he fucked, though!” – Haiti

“TWO TIMES! TWO TIMES!” – the room

“Lindsey, it was awesome watching you take back the night…Richie, I hate every person who ever told you you should be on stage.” – Mike Lawrence

Moses even gets in on the action, jokingly admonishing Gaines for his bad decision-making.

“Every girl knows you can’t fuck now.” – Moses

“Yeah. They know you can’t write a joke or fuck.” – Frank Castillo

The entire room starts chanting “YOU CAN’T FUCK!” at Richie as he sits defeated on the stool.

The judges talk more about their two-time sex, and things go from funny to bleak very quickly as Jennings goes into some more graphic details.

“THIS IS SAD! THIS IS SAD!” – the Wave

“He fucked, though! That’s what y’all don’t get! If it was that bad, why’d you do it again?!” – Haiti

“I just want Trump to build a wall between me and Richie’s comedy.” – Frank Castillo

Ultimately, Gaines comes back around, knowing what happened and showing grace in his loss.

“Look, I’ve gotta take the L. I bombed.” – Richie Gaines

“This is a pain that’ll probably never go away. Like the herpes you got when you fucked Lindsey twice.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

“Do I make a joke about your special to redeem myself? Is that all I have to do? I bombed for, like, five minutes. You bombed for an hour.” – Richie Gaines

“I made a special. Your parents made one twenty-five years ago.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

Lindsey ultimately gets the vote unanimously.

“I’ve got to give it to Lindsey. Literally. I’ve got to give it to Lindsey.” – Earl Skakel

So goes another week in the Belly Room. Glad to be back.

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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