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by Keith Carey, photos by Troy Conrad

The crowd is packed, as it has been pretty much every night
for the past couple years. Many of the audience has no idea what they’re in
for, since the TV show has brought a lot of new faces to the weekly battles.
And for a first time at the show, this is a pretty good one. Lots of ups and
downs, and a couple of legendary moments, for better or for worse.

First up, Zach Stein and his infamous dick choke out Blake
Lawless!

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Zach takes the stage, and it’s hard to think about anything
but how much he looks like that fucking kid from Jerry Maguire. Blake follows,
and the room is shocked to find he doesn’t smell as bad as he looks like he
smells. The battle commences with a jab from Blake:

“Zach likes to pay for sex, but he only goes to female
hookers because his dad still sees the credit card bills.”

“Blake is such an out-of-shape creep, he can’t get through a
rape without his inhaler.”

“Most everybody here knows that Zach has a huge dick. But I
bet everybody would be surprised to learn that most of the girth comes from
being riddled with herpes.”

“Blake’s mom is an outspoken feminist. She’d be very
disappointed with how you talk about sex workers. I can’t even fathom how
difficult it must have been to raise a man like this without being able to call
him a cunty pussy.”

“Zach’s day job is managing a hair salon, which is one of
the gayest jobs you can have. But it’s not as gay as what he does in his free
time, which is bang guys.”

“That’s a little generic. Blake has the Hollywood Paul
effect. He has the face and body of Paul Giamatti, and the ‘going to die at 40’
of Paul Walker.”

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Zach takes control immediately, with his first joke being a
quick, clean dagger to the heart. He dances circles around Blake with
off-the-cuff riffs and a casual, confident delivery. Blake does his best, but a
fumbled second joke puts an early nail in his coffin as Zach adds a win to his
record. 

Next up is a very strange battle between Darran Davis and
Scott Kidd!

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“I assume Darran learned his comedy from his dad, because
just like Darran, he brings nothing to the table.”

“You look like if you lose, you’re going to shoot up a
‘Magic: The Gathering’ tournament.”

“Darran’s a black kid from LA, which means the only thing
worse than his ashiness is his flakiness.”

“Scott, you look like you have a daughter with your niece.”

“Y’know, Darran met a girl who said, ‘I really like
choking.’ So he did his comedy for her.”

“Scott, you lost your white privilege in a Pokemon battle.”

Scott’s jokes hit relatively consistently, although there’s
rumblings and grumblings of them being a bit stock and generic. Darran’s battle
is best summed up as such:

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“What I loved about that is that we literally watched the
rise and fall and slow rise again of Darran. It was like, ‘Magic cards? Worked!
Second joke, bombed. I’m going back to Pokemon.’ We
witnessed the journey of a boy who learned to stay in his box.” – Mike Lawrence

The judges demand overtime, and both battlers proceed to
squander whatever good will they’ve built up with the crowd:

“Scott paid for his drugs working as an LA bottom bitch, but
got sober after his parents called him a cum junkie.”

“I’m supposed to roast Darran tonight, but he already looks
burnt to a crisp.”

“Really? That was easy pickins.” – Autistic Thunder

“Easy Pickins was also Darrans’ great-grandfather’s
name.” – Me, because I’m really funny

Darran’s “joke” is barely a sentence, and gets nothing, but
Scott’s joke is so lazy that Moses refuses to let Scott win on it, a first in
Roast Battle history to my knowledge. As we go to double-overtime, the chants
of Haiti’s name start, and both battlers are in danger of a double-loss:

“Women consider Darran pretty harmless. If you don’t count
the HPV.”

“Scott’s last name is Kidd, because he’s a fuckboy who
fucks boys.”

“You’re both fucking terrible.”-Moses

The judges refuse to vote for either battler. Haiti takes
the stage, and it seems like he’s going to take another technical victory.
However, Scott Kidd gets booed so loud that he technically has more noise on
his side, and Moses begrudgingly gives him the win. What a fiasco.

Attempting to scrub the taste of whatever the fuck that was
out of our mouths, Justin Matson takes on new-comer Micah Bleich! 

“Holy shit, did Scott just leave, get fatter, and then come
back?”-Steve Byrne

“Coming this fall, it’s ‘Nobody Loves Raymond.’”-Mike
Lawrence

These two affable dumps seem ready to play, but there’s
definitely some jitters. Micah in particular looks a little overwhelmed. He’s
never seen the show, and historically that has boded poorly for battlers. The
crowd is nervous on his behalf as the bell rings: 

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“Justin’s always telling people that he’s bisexual and not
regular gay. It’s admirable. Justin will have sex with anyone that he can
forcibly restrain.”

“Micah’s such a fat nerd, he looks like he wears Hot Pocket
protectors.”

“Justin’s boyfriend is a puppeteer. And yet he says Justin
is still the loosest thing he’s ever had his fist inside.”

“Micah’s a computer programmer. The only thing more backed
up than his arteries are the hard drives full of kiddy porn in his basement.”

“Justin’s always bragging about how his family came here on
the Mayflower. That’s why he’s continuing the proud tradition of giving young,
brown men diseases under his blankets.”

“Micah’s a foot taller than his wife. But that’s okay, he’ll
eventually lose a foot to diabetes.”

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“Which one’s the gay one?”-Eddie Ifft

“This looks like two guys trying to pick up chicks at a Lane
Bryant.”-Frank Castillo 

This is a solid round on both sides, but Micah’s Mayflower
joke pops the room hard. He takes the win, and proves that occasionally a
newcomer can overcome the odds and make an impression. Here’s to hoping his
second battle (if it ever comes) lives up to this one.

Up fourth, the momentum swings up as Joe McAvoy tangles with
Pat Regan!

Joe comes up first.

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“Ho-ly SHIT.”-Eddie Ifft

“He looks like he owns the gay bar the last two guys hooked
up at.”-Mike Lawrence

“I feel like this guy writes his jokes by cutting little
letters out of magazines.”-Tony Hinchcliffe

Jamar interrupts to point out that he’s seen Joe at the gym
and was impressed with the size of his penis:

“Hey, from one big-dicked nigga to another, you doin’ it,
bruh.”-Jamar Neighbors, recognizing game

Everybody’s not quite sure what to make of strange, old Joe.
Even the trademark swagger and weirdness of Pat Regan can’t seem to pull focus
off of McAvoy as the fight starts:

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“Joe works at Macy’s in the men’s department. But his dick
works in the boys.”

“Pat Regan is my illegitimate son. I can’t remember his mother’s
name. But I do remember being with a prostitute once. 20 years later, I met Pat
at an open mic doing his terrible musical comedy. He called me daddy. I called
him a loser.”

“Joe’s so gay, even his hair came out.”

“Pat loves sex. Pat is a horny guy who can’t get enough of
it. He yells out every day, “OOOOOOOOHHHHHHH!” And then he starts chasing after
some girl. The fire department has to hose Pat down to cool him off. He’s just
like a dog in heat.”

“Joe’s jokes don’t have punchlines. He just says facts and
random thoughts. He’s a loser.”

“When Pat Regan stands on the street corner and plays the
guitar and starts singing his songs, dogs start barking. Women scream. Children
cry. Men shout out, ‘Stop it, dude, I’ve heard enough.’ The police arrest Pat for
disturbing the peace. He has to spend a night in jail. That’s my boy, Pat.”

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Joe’s bizarre Droopy Dog delivery of insane paragraphs
crushes at first, but quickly loses its luster. Pat comes prepared with three
sharp, well-honed jokes. The judges pick Pat unanimously, but the crowd is in
love with Joe and his strange charm. Ultimately Moses calls it a tie. 

Next into the ring are Katrina Davis and Eric Abbenante!

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Eric’s whole energy onstage suggests that Katrina might be
the first black person he’s ever met. Katrina says she would let the Wave
smash…except for Haiti. He looks genuinely wounded. Tough night for Hollywood’s
favorite third-world degenerate. Eric draws first blood:

“Katrina has tattoos of crayons pointing to her pussy. But
we all know it’s the color purple.”

“Eric wants to be a successful stand-up director like his
hero, Judd Apatow. But he’s not Funny People, he’s just super bad.”

“If Katrina’s carpet matches her drapes, she’s got a
fuck-load of carpet.”

“Eric’s a huge gamer. Mario Kart is the only time he gets to
smash.”

“True story, Katrina actually once mistook a KFC for a
bank…because that’s where all her money goes.”

“Eric, you’re such a creepy little Jew. You look like you go
to the Holocaust museum just to sniff the shoes.” 

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“A black and a Jew? I miss Earl.”-Steve Byrne

“Eric is one of the chosen people, as long as it’s not for
kickball.”-Mike Lawrence

A couple light pops, but nothing really gets the room going.
Mike Lawrence points out that without racism, both of these battlers would have
been pretty screwed, but gives Katrina points for the cleverness of the shoe
joke, and Katrina snags her first victory. 

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Our final undercard pits Bryan Vokey against Jesse
Villacis!

Vokey catches heat for his “Sitcom Dad” shirt. Jesse is
brought up to Sublime’s “Santeria” and leads the whole room in a sing-along,
which warms the heart of this reporter and reminds him of the motherland of
Long Beach. The back-and-forth before the fight gets the crowd to a lively place,
and expectations are high as the punches start flying:

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“Bryan looks like he does drugs in his house that’s drug by
a Ford F-150.”

“Try it again, Jesse. Jesse’s such a stammering retard
because his dad used him as a speed-bag.”

“Bryan, how did you play in so many garage bands as a kid
when you grew up in a trailer park?”

“Jesse’s half Filipino, half ‘who gives a shit, he’s gonna
die of malaria.’”

“Jesse’s really into punk music, which died right before
his mom died.”

“That was right after that joke died.”

“It just did well, though. I don’t know if you were paying
attention. So let me just do it again. Bryan’s really into punk music, which
died around the same time as his mom did. Was that a coincidence? Was she into
rock? Or jazz? She definitely wasn’t into soul.”

“I hope Jesse gets deported so we can watch him jump his
motorcycle over the wall like Illegal Knievel.” 

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“You guys both look like you haven’t been happy in 10
years.”-Mike Lawrence

“Any other facts?”-Bryan Vokey

“Your hair is trying to do an impression of his.”-Mike
Lawrence

The judges are torn. Jesse gets credit for rebounding after
Vokey accidentally stomps on his jokes, and for his off-the-cuff shenanigans.
Ultimately, it’s decided that the battle will go to overtime: 

“Jesse dates a stripper, because her pussy reminds him of
his comedy. It’s cheap, easy, and always getting bumped.”

“Okay, I don’t have any more jokes, so I’m just going to
completely analyze his life and career and hopefully that’ll be enough. So,
Bryan squandered his 20’s chasing the metal and punk scene in the 2000’s. Now
in his 30’s he has a retina of health problems, sleep apnea, arthritis, so on.
That, paired with kind of a muddling over-selling of his jokes makes it very
unlikely he will succeed before he’s 45…he’s just a fucking loser. What do you
want? You want me to say he’s a white faggot? Is that what you want?”

“You’re such a whitewashed Mexican, every time you talk a
new condo pops up in Echo Park.”

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Jesse’s rant is a bold move, but doesn’t pan out (also he
straight up misuses the word ‘retina’ for some reason). Vokey pops in with a
quick hit at the end to seal his fate, and continues his undefeated streak. 

We’re into Main Event territory now as Rich Slaton and
Connor McSpadden destroy the room! 

Rich takes the stage with purpose, briskly brushing off the
chance for a pre-fight slam and getting right into fighting stance. Connor
comes up next, and it’s revealed that he didn’t know until a few days ago that
this battle had been on the books for months. The crowd is eager to see if he’s
prepped to throw down with an all-time legend as the bell rings:

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“Rich looks like the guy that 8th graders hope
they grow up into.”

“Actually, I look like the guy that made Connor suck his
dick after football practice. (On Connor’s signature speaker-leaning stance)
What are you reaching for up there, your dad’s approval?”

“Rich, don’t be ridiculous, you’re too fat for football.
Rich is a white trash Jew. He celebrates Rosh HaSHANNANANANEE! NEE!”

“Connor looks like he does gay porn for Breitbart. He’s not
gay, he’s alt-straight.”

“Rich got arrested at Occupy Wall Street, which makes sense,
because he looks like he drinks 99% milk.”

“Connor has such a baby face, after he masturbates he has to
register as a sex offender.”

“Rich told me that he masturbates to erotic stories, which
is weird, because I assumed he masturbates to the liner notes of the Sublime
box set.”

“Someone should have told Connor that if you keep making
that face while you’re getting molested, it’s going to stick that way.”

“Rich is an OG. He’s been battling since the show started,
but he took a break and he had to watch his friends all go be on TV without
him. So I just want to know, Rich, how does it feel to be the only Jew that
Moses left behind?”

“Connor told me that his dad was in a KISS tribute band,
which is a perfectly reasonable lie to tell your kid when you don’t want to see
them.”

“Good one, roadie for said KISS tribute band.” 

This one’s a scrap all the way through. Rich starts out with
fire, totally stripping Connor of his arrogance by acknowledging his cocky
stance and putting him on the defensive right out of the gate. But with each
joke, Connor gains strength, and the Moses closer devastates the Belly Room.
There are two Connor McSpadden personas: Shy, quiet, pulled-back Connor who’s
not sure if he’s in control of the room, and the swag-monster that is nigh
unstoppable. While he may have started the battle as the former, he surely
ended as the latter. The judges split, and suggest overtime. Connor repeatedly
tells them he has nothing in the chamber, but Mike Lawrence insists on overtime
as revenge for all the times Connor has given him shit while he’s judged him:

“Connor, you Hitler Youth Group treasurer. Andy Dick once
tried to rape Connor, which is sad, because Connor would have fucked him for a
nice compliment and a Zoloft.”

“Rich got a perfect score on his L-SATs and he gave up
admission to a top law school. So between that and your religion, you’ve missed
your real savior twice now, Rich. I HAD ANOTHER JOKE THE WHOLE TIME,
MOTHERFUCKER!” 

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The room explodes. Connor proceeds to throw the mic across
the stage and drink a beer off of Haiti’s abs. There’s a fireball of energy
that ripples through the room, one of those moments that reminds you of how insane
and magical this show can be. Connor takes the victory as Haiti (who has now
been renamed “Gay-ti” by the crowd) desperately tries to assure people he’s
straight.

To close out the night, Tony Bartolone shoots himself in the
foot and hands a win to Galina Ravina.

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Tony Bartolone is known for theatrical entrances. With each
battle, they get grander, more elaborate, and less well received than the last.
Tony truly hit rock bottom this week, as a mush-mouthed, four-minute sketch
involving Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Adolf Hitler not only failed to
connect, but also had the crowd booing and complaining before he finally took
the stage. The true pity of this is that Tony had some strong jokes, but had
dug himself such a staggering hole in terms of likability, there was no way for
him to win:

“Why would you do that to us?”-Moses

“…sorry.”-Tony Bartolone

“I hope you bathe in the shame you’ve created here
tonight.”-Mike Lawrence

Galina’s a in a pretty good spot as the battle kicks off:

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“Tony’s only six degrees of separation from every piece of
bacon.”

“Galina wants a husband so bad, she’s thinking of mailing
herself back to Russia.”

“Thank you, Tony Eataloney. In high school, Tony was voted
‘Most likely to have grease stains on their suicide note.”

“Galina used to fuck a frat guy, but now she has sex the
old-fashioned way; with consent.”

“Thank you, Swollen Rigatone. You look like you just came
from ruining a picnic.”

“Galina looks like she sucks in her vagina for pictures.”

“Thank you, Chef Boyar-D cups.”

“Thank YOU, Flat-amir Putin.”

“It’s not surprise Tony hasn’t amounted to much. Even his
body is shaped like a zero.”

“Galina once dressed up as JonBenet Ramsey for Halloween,
living out her ultimate fantasy; that somebody would want her body.”

“Thanks so much, Tony Die-Aloney. Tony’s always visiting his
dad’s tombstone, because he thinks there will be pizza.”

“Galina’s favorite movie is ‘The Fast and the Furious.’
Which also perfectly describes how her dad left.” 

I’m going to editorialize a bit here and say that Tony’s
jokes were considerably better than Galina’s. No disrespect intended, I’m a fan
of Galina’s work, but there’s a lot of stock filler in here, and Tony’s jokes
are more specific, more varied in terms of attack points, and I’m convinced if
he hadn’t fucked himself with that UCB abortion before the battle, he would
have won. Regardless, the judges cannot in good conscience reward him for his
nonsense, and Galina picks up the W. The night ends, the room clears, and the
guy who had to dress up like Hitler makes a quick run to the bathroom to try
and scrub that Sharpie mustache off before he’s recognized.

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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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