The stand-up is over and we are ready for some battles. The crowd is a bit lazy, and even Josh Meyrowitz’s exuberance isn’t enough to bring them out of their shells, so Moses has to light a fire under their asses.

Candice Thompson takes her seat at the Judge’s table, accompanied by the hilarious Kirk Fox.

Our first battle is Travis Beck vs Mike Chupa. Moses brings Travis on stage and the battles have begun. Moses comments on Travis hand size, straying from the usual “Why you’d you battle,” and it seems to throw Travis off a bit. He says he called Mike Chupa out because they are on the comedian’s softball team together and he “felt like committing some elderly abuse.” The crowd is unamused with Travis’s attempt to slam Mike. Moses brings Mike up, Mike starts with some self-deprecation, always a risky move in a roast battle, stating that “I’m old, I’m going to be dead soon, so I better do it before I’m dead.” The firing squad doesn’t have high hopes, aside from Kirk who says “I think this could really surprise us all,” which gets the first big laugh of the battles. Mike volunteers to go first and the night is off.

“You know, um, despite the appearance, Travis is actually pretty deep, he doesn’t care about desire or destiny, fame or fortune, if he did, those 4 strippers would still be alive today.”

Mike stumbles at the beginning, which loses any momentum he may have had. His joke is too wordy, paired with the mumbling from the beginning, the audience doesn’t respond. It was a good idea, but it ran out of steam before even he ran out of breath.

“Mike looks like he took his first date to the gas station for dinner.”

Travis delivers the line with confidence, but it isn’t enough to get a reaction from the audience, other than sighs. Coach T gets the loudest laugh of the round so far with his gun-cocking sound effect.

“Travis just got the results back from his 1-2-3 DNA test, turns out he’s only 60% German, Irish and Swedish, but 100% hipster douchebag.”

The joke falls flat, to which Mike says, “that was so good.” His self-deprecation (or possibly delusion) earns him his first laugh from the audience.

“Mike takes care of his parents, they actually live with him, which means the only pussy he sees is his moms.”

Mike finally earns a genuine laugh from the audience with this joke, perhaps out of the sheer desperation for a decent joke.

“Look at this guy, handsome, fit, women are just drawn to Travis, and cornered, and dragged, and beaten and left for dead.”

The only part that made the audience laugh was the “look at this guy,” with a smile and nod. The joke itself falls flat, and Coach seals its fate as a dud. Once again, Mike gets his biggest laugh after the joke when he says, “OK, that was my best one,” and the audience proves why roast battling is not for the faint of heart, by agreeing wholeheartedly and laughing at Mike instead of with him.

“Mike looks like a bad clone of himself, pregnant with another bad clone of himself.”

The audience is so hungry for anything resembling a good joke, they eat it up, and Travis earns the biggest laugh off of a joke.

The firing squad weighs win, joined by Roast Battle legend Leah Kayajanian and the Champ Frank Castillo. Candice says she was disappointed by the battle, and votes for Travis because of the mom’s pussy joke. Kirk also votes for Travis saying, “You won, but it’s nothing to be proud of.” After all the judges vote for Travis, the audience votes for Mike, proving again the roast battle audience is a fickle and unpredictable one. Mike wins his first match purely based on his delusions of grandeur and in-between comments. Moses calls the audience out for not laughing at any of Mike’s jokes, but for voting for him. And we’re on to the battle of the Nates.

Nate Banditelli is brought up first, Moses asks the typical “why battle” question, Banditelli attempts a joke, “Well, I just roasted a turkey, so now I would like to roast a pig.” His joke is met with a few scattered laughs, but nothing you’d call a reaction. Hedrick joins him on stage and the judges weigh in with similar excitement as the first battle. Coming off the disappointment, none of the judges seem excited, but are hopeful they are able to turn the night around.

Banditelli starts:

“Nate’s ass is like his trailer, it’s double wide and he lets like everybody in.”

The joke falls flat and Hedrick pounces.

“Nate Banditelli, you’re such a failure that when you were a cutter, you used a spoon.”

The joke doesn’t connect and B attempts a retort.

“Nice try, inbred Zeppelin.”

The audience hates it, and audibly groans. B follows up:

“Nate loves to wake and bake, his mom loves to wake and cook…meth.”

Another groaner from the audience and Kirk sees an opportunity to revive them:

“Right now it’s a tie, it could go either way…if someone completes a sentence.”

“I don’t wanna say Nate Banditelli is a creepy guy, but for lent he gave up rape.”

This garners the first real laugh from the audience from a written joke.

“Nate constantly eats In-N-Out, because it reminds him of his dad, who was constantly in and out of prison.”

The audience groans. Sometimes in Roast Battle, a groan is as good as a laugh. In this case, I don’t think it is.

“Speaking of parents, Nate’s mom tried to commit suicide with a steak knife…”

At this point, Hedrick forgets the end of the joke and has to start over again, a surefire sign of failure in the roast ring.

“Nate’s mom tried to kill herself with a steak knife, the only thing more depressing than that, is him pursuing comedy.”

Even if it had been a good joke, after the stumble, the audience is unforgiving.

Saudi Prince takes his spot in the corner, much to the excitement of the audience.

“This is the day we give tanks.” – Saudi Prince

“Thanks, thanks.” – Moses

“No no, we give tanks to our allies.” – Saudi Prince

The audience explodes. Saudi wakes the sleeping audience with a bang.

The judges reluctantly weigh in on the battle.

“I feel like Nate B. finished stronger, but I don’t like the confidence with which he delivered his first set of terrible jokes. He’s overly cocky, so I’m gonna go with supersize Nate because you were unsure of yourself the whole entire time, which is accurate.” – Candice Thompson

“I really didn’t listen to most of it.” – Kirk Fox

The audience demands no winner, and it’s a draw.

Next up to be sacrificed is Andrew Ryan Fox vs Mike Eshaq. Saudi Prince calls Mike “our culture’s Fred Durst,” and the audience explodes. This is Mike’s first battle, he was called out by Andrew, because:

“He’s an Arab. As a Jew, the only thing I like more than taking an Arab’s land is taking his dignity.”

The audience likes that joke, and they’re ready for a battle. Andrew reluctantly volunteers to go first.

“Look at this ugly Arab mother fucker, it’s a shame they don’t make burkhas for men.”

It’s a little too harsh out of the gate, and the audience doesn’t like it.

“Thank you Blink 18-Jew. This guy’s in an open marriage, which is just a nice way of saying that she prefers black cock.”

There’s a mild rumbling in the audience, which for this quiet crowd, is a win.

“Eshaq’s family went from Yemen to Indonesia to Detroit, like the reverse Jefferson’s. They’re moving on down.”

“Win or lose, I’m still fucking your wife tonight.”

“She likes black cock, not dirty cock.”

“Either way I’m still dropping bombs in that pussy.”

This exchange gets the biggest laughs of the night by battlers. The crowd is finally excited.

“Andrew is from Canada and Mexico, which means he’s not wanted here and he’s REALLY not wanted here.”

And just like that, he lost the crowd again.

“Eshaq would suicide bomb us right now, but he knows not one of those 72 virgins would fuck him.”

“If herpes had a face. You work in a soap factory, I just wanna know, how do you smell like that? You smell…you smell like you look like you have chlamydia.”

I don’t even know where he was going with this joke, and neither does the audience. The battle ends as it began, with a disappointed crowd.

Saudi Prince votes for Mike; Kirk, Frank, Leah, and Candice vote for Andrew, and the crowd agrees. Andrew is the winner.

Our last undercard is Kelsey Lane vs. Zach Stein. Kelsey is brought up first, she says she called out Zach, because:

“He’s the kind of guy that if he was the fastest swimmer I don’t want to know what the rest of his dad’s cum looks like.”

It’s a miss off the bat for Kelsey. Moses brings up Zach with his “biggest dick in the game” credit, prompting The Wave (Jeremiah) to storm the stage and attempt to twerk.

“The lesbian on the right has bigger tits, but the one on the left looks like she has better skills because she has to.”  – Saudi Prince

Kelsey volunteers to go first.

“Zach is such an insecure creep, he’d ask his rape victims ‘do I look fat in you?’”

Her delivery is confident and well-paced, but the audience isn’t amused.

“Kelsey is a bisexual, musical comedian, and if that doesn’t impress you, then nothing will – because that’s the full extent of her personality.”

Zach pauses after “nothing will,” and gets a big laugh, but loses momentum when he finishes the joke.

“Zach believes in a woman’s right to choose: cash or Venmo.”

“Everyone thinks Boston men are vile, chauvinistic pigs, but Kelsey grew up there, so some of them are just being observant.”

“Zach had a surrogate mother, so he lived the first 9 months of his life where he would the rest, in a place nobody wants him.”

“Hey, my parents paid a lot of money to have me there, they wanted me there, for sure. Kelsey thinks her ex is a murderer and she’s gonna be victim number two, talk about arrogant, Kelsey you’re a 7th victim at best.”

With actual jokes, it’s the best battle of the night, so far.

“You know in my country we roast lesbians differently.” – Saudi Prince

He votes for Kelsey.

Omid Singh has replaced Frank on the judges’ table, he, Leah, Candice, and Kirk all vote for Zach. The audience agrees with the judges and awards Zach a win.

It’s time for the main event, April Lotshaw versus Tony Bartolone. The audience is out for blood. After the mediocre night, we are all desperate for some well-written, mean jokes. April and Tony start off rocky with the pre-battle banter, both seem nervous and insecure. Undoubtedly feeling the pressure after a lackluster night. The judges weigh in, it’s split pretty evenly between predictions. Tony jumps to go first, the only time he’s ever jumped in his life.

“April you pale child, you look like the ghost of your own abortion.”

The audience erupts, they love a good abortion joke.

“Tony looks like the mall Santa whose only gift is back rubs.”

“April’s such an alcoholic, one time she got pulled over and she blew a .15, and after sucking off that hideous creature she failed a breathalyzer.”

This doesn’t get the reaction that it deserves.

“Tony wears glasses, because he reads the newspapers he sleeps on.”

The simplicity of the joke wins the audience back to April’s favor.

“April smokes constantly, even though her parents told her all the time, ‘that’s a nasty hobbit.’”

The joke is a miss, and April sees an opportunity to further her lead.

“Tony ran away from home, then stopped to catch his breath, jogged a block and vomited.”

Unless Tony has an absolute room crusher, April has clinched this victory.

“April is afraid of the ocean, a wet, cavernous, salty deep, that is only 95% explored. It sounds like she’s afraid of her own cunt.”

Normally a room favorite word, Tony’s use of the c-word causes audible, offended gasps, and the joke’s a miss.

“Tony remembers his father’s funeral emotionally, as good food, but terrible service.”

“April hasn’t had sex in so long, she started the hashtag #MeNeither.”

Tony’s back in the game!

“Tony tried to cut his wrist with a butter knife, but got distracted licking it clean.”

This is the battle we’ve needed: well-written, witty, biting jokes that cut straight to the heart.

“You know Tony, that was good, and I like a cavernous vagina joke, but I gotta give it to April, she was more consistent.” – Candice Thompson

Kirk casts his vote and offers words of wisdom to Tony:

“This was exciting. The homeless guy, you had 2 pretty good jokes, April had 4, April did win this, no matter what the outcome is, she did win. Homeless guy, you probably don’t need to be homeless, so you should probably get your shit together. I think you’re a smart guy, I think you’re really playing this homeless shit out because you think it’s romantic. Some of your jokes would have hit harder if they were coming from an apartment.”

It’s a clean sweep and April takes it, ending the night on a high note.

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 10:30 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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