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by Josh Waldron

The Belly Room is a different beast every Tuesday at 11, with lots of moving pieces. The crowd, hungry for blood, sits ready to cheer or boo at a moment’s notice. Comics in the back wait to get up while discussing who they think will win that night’s matches. Babes and VIPs plead their case to Guam Felix (5-0, #16) about why they deserve to sit in the roped-off balcony. The battlers themselves pace around the green room, going over joke order and strategy. Whichever musical act is set to intro the battles tunes their instruments.

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And, of course, there’s Boon Shok-A-Laka, the Comedy Store’s resident vagrant, milling around the back before shaking his/her stuff on stage to everyone’s favorite Tina Turner song.

It’s a community project and the community comes alive every week. I’m happy to a part of it. You know what else makes me happy? Our sponsor, Speedweed. Their pre-rolled joints are stuff of legend and, if you haven’t tried a caramel then you’re dropping the ball.

In the first undercard, Mike Schmidt (3-0, #40) blew Heather Marulli (1-1, Unranked) away!

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“This looks like the inside of a strip club at noon.” – Earl Skakel, peaking early.

Well, this was unexpected. Heather had one of the most impressive debuts in the show’s history when taking down Ernie Stone (1-1, Unranked). Going into this battle, I expected that Mike might put up a fight, but that Hurricane Heather would blow him away. Yet, she skewed a little too hacky this time around.

HEATHER ON MIKE

“Mike looks like he comes from a long line of pastors – onto the backs of altar boys.”

“Mike reminds me of Bill Gates, but mostly because his dick is Microsoft.”

“Mike is so creepy that he doesn’t eat women out – he eats them with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

Oof. Next time, battle a desperate single comic instead of a deseperate married one. That way, after you hook up and he doesn’t call you back, you have the inspiration to destroy him on stage. The Unroastable Mikey Schmidt had a an impressive looking 2-0 record when he entered the ring, although those wins were against Al Bahmani (2-3, Unranked) and Eric Carter (0-2, Unranked) – not exactly stiff competition. Yet, Mike’s “creepy dad” stage presence and impeccable writing came through in a major way.

MIKE ON HEATHER

“I still remember the first thing Heather ever said to me.  She looked me in the eye and said, ‘Eejah wahkee Chewbacca’.”

“Heather is worth more to the world dead than she is alive. That’s just how the price of beef works.”

“I guessed Heather’s iPhone passcode.  It was the last four digits of her weight.”

Those are some of the smartest fat jokes I’ve ever heard. It didn’t matter that Mike matched his pink shirt to his sunburnt skin, or that his fourth joke didn’t hit nearly as hard. Only a master performance would’ve overcome him, and Heather fell short.

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In the second undercard, Seth Woodward (3-2, Unranked) put down Keith Reza (2-2, Unranked)!

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This battle simply couldn’t follow up the excitement of first one. Keith’s record looked pretty good, and none of his victories were pity wins that some migk are provided to our handicap battlers. His writing just wasn’t there this time. In a truly baffling move, he actually wasted a joke to merely correct one of Seth’s jokes.

KEITH ON SETH

“I called Seth up, I was like ‘You wanna get coffee?” And he was like, all funny, he was like ‘I like my coffee like I like my women.”. And I was like ‘Oh, so you don’t like coffee then?’”

“Seth looks like Jared from Subway. Seth, the only question I have is how many kids have you given a footlong too.”

It was a truly sad performance. Keith put the “aww” in autistic. Seth didn’t exactly capitalize either. His delivery, stage presence and new haircut were what you want out of a winner, but his material was not at all worthy of a victory.

SETH ON KEITH

“Keith is an only child because his parents learn from their mistakes.”

“Keith is so autistic when he he jerks off he can’t make eye contact with his dick.”

In the end, Moses decides against a no contest and holds one of the quietest voting sessions we’ve ever had. Keith has maybe four people clap for him. Seth gets five, winning by a nose. Congrats, I guess?

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The third undercard saw Joe Eurell (3-3, #29) felled by Greg Roque (1-0, Unranked)!

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This is how you Roast Battle. There should be no excuses for the rest of us. These two have the will of God working against them and they still put on an amazing show. Joe put on the show we’re all used to seeing from him by now, rolling into the ring with all the heat he normally brings:

JOE ON GREG

“Greg is the only Mexican who dreams of being able to pick fruit.”

“Greg’s comedy is so bad, his reusable catheter has better material than his act.”  

“Greg is so Mexican his torso looks like a busted piñata.”  

“That last joke really hurt my feelings, but unlike Greg at least I still have feeling in my dick.”

While it was one of Joe’s weaker performances, he certainly didn’t bomb. His jokes even moved the Wave a few times! Greg had a huge task before him – to battle both Joe, a Roast Battle favorite ranked in the top thirty, and the inability to hold the microphone all night. He came through, slamming Joe with four incredibly funny jokes:

GREG ON JOE

“Joe’s stutter is so fucking bad he sounds like Stephen Hawking left his finger on the ’M’ key.” 

“So I found out that Joe has a girlfriend. That’s good. He’s moved on from pity laughs to pity sex.” 

“Joe is a lot like Dane Cook. He’s not very funny but it’s amusing when he spazzes out.”

“The only thing shittier than Joe’s comedy are the bedsheets your nurse has to change.”

It hasn’t felt this good to laugh at a cripple since junior high, when I didn’t know any better. I never thought someone could be so mean without a spine! Most of the time these undercards struggle to provide me with two jokes to post. Two guys with zero working legs between them showed up with a perfect slate of eight amazing jokes. They deserve a standing ovation. Greg won convincingly, but the real winner was all of us: partly for getting to see a great show but mostly for being able to walk down the stairs after the battle. Hopefully, there’s a Belly Room in hell for the show to keep going when we all die, and it has a stronger Wi-Fi connection for the fans on Periscope.

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In the final undercard, David Deery (0-1-2, #35) and Lindsey Jennings (1-2-1, Unranked) drew in double overtime!

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A perpetually winless David Deery may go down as the best battler we have to never taste victory. Whether or not this boots him out of the top fifty remains to be seen. Sure, a lot of his jokes were about Lindsey’s promiscuity, but you have to paint with the ink you’re provided. And everyone can see that Lindsey’s covered in ink.

DAVID ON LINDSEY

“Lindsey’s like a parking garage. She needs validation from everyone who cums inside of her.”

“Lindsey’s the exact opposite of the LAPD, she lets unarmed black men shoot her in the back.”

“There’s a dark and secret room at the Comedy Store that only paid regulars and people who work here can cum into. It’s called Lindsey’s asshole.”

“Lindsey’s stretching out her ears so her pussy doesn’t feel so alone.”

That last joke, one of David’s overtime selections, deserved way more than it got and it got so much. I’m always interested in the roasting strategy the each battler employs. I can’t believe how many jokes get told outside of regulation when they might have won the battle in regulation. I’m so proud of Lindsey! Besides being a good friend of mine, she’s also a hard-working comedian. Having a good battle meant a lot to her and her hard work paid off. It didn’t pay off in a victory but whatever. She gets roasted for getting jokes from comedians she sleeps with but I think this time she put in the work. Sure, she still slept with all those comedians, but her integrity is intact. Sort of.

LINDSEY ON DAVID

“David looks like the dude Jurassic park hired to jerk off the dinosaurs.”

“Yeah David, I’ve fucked comics and just like the comedy store wall, your name will never be on that list.”

“David’s a photographer, if you’d like to visit his studio, just go to the bushes of any elementary school.”

“David’s forty and he’s still a pizza boy, cause its the only time he’s ever been complimented on his delivery.”

After the second overtime, Moses decided to reward both battlers for the great show they put on and called it a draw. I can’t wait to see who David decides to tie with next.

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In our Main Event, Dan Nolan (6-2, #12) toppled Pat Barker (8-3, #3)!

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This Main Event was the classic I thought it would be. These guys are great friends and have a lot of terrible qualities and that always leads to a top shelf battle. It was truly a back and forth affair. The first round went to Pat. It was hard punch after hard punch. Nearly every joke moved the Wave. Dan deferred to Pat for the second round which is a great strategy. It allows you to be freshest on the minds of the judges when deciding who won the round. Pat’s joke quality trailed off a bit quality-wise, leaving Dan plenty of room to capitalize.

PAT ON DAN

“Yes, I am pretty fat. You’d be surprised how delicious food is when all your spoons aren’t covered in rust.”

“Dan’s done a lot of terrible things for money. Unfortunately, comedy is not one of them.”

“Dan’s spent a lot of time behind bars. Judging by his hygiene none of them were bars of soap.”

“Wow, another fat joke. Leave it to a heroin addict to overdose on one topic.”

“It looks like when you got to prison you made your toothbrush into a shank… and then kept brushing your teeth with it.”

DAN ON PAT

“Pat drives for Uber because he’s too heavy to Lyft.”

“Pat’s a ghostwriter which is weird because I thought more people believed in ghosts.”

“Most of Pat’s comedy success has been underground because he wanted his dead dad to see it.”

“Pat can’t use tinder because he only swipes pic-o-nic baskets.”  

“When Pat lost his child to a miscarriage last year there was nothing funny about it. Which was how Pat knew he was the father.”

Holy shit. These jokes were amazing and each was better than the one before it. That “miscarriage” joke is an early contender for Joke of the Year and next year’s Roasties. In the third round, I thought Pat was inching closer to a victory but after the “miscarriage” joke, the whole room knew. The look in Pat’s eyes suggested he knew as well – unless he uncorked an absolute banger, this battle was going to Dan. Greg Fitzsimmons, a comedy legend and one of the meanest, snarkiest comics in the business, was left impressed and speechless and could only offer kudos to Dan. 

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JOKES OF THE NIGHT

“I guessed Heather’s iPhone passcode.  It was the last four digits of her weight.” – Mike Schmidt

“Joe is a lot like Dane Cook. He’s not very funny but it’s amusing when he spazzes out.” – Greg Roque

“That last joke really hurt my feelings, but unlike Greg at least I still have feeling in my dick.” – Joe Eurell

“Lindsey’s stretching out her ears so her pussy doesn’t feel so alone.” – David Deery

“David looks like the dude Jurassic Park hired to jerk off the dinosaurs.” – Lindsey Jennings

“Yes, I am pretty fat. You’d be surprised how delicious food is when all your spoons aren’t covered in rust.” – Pat Barker

“When Pat lost his child to a miscarriage last year there was nothing funny about it. Which was how Pat knew he was the father.” – Dan Nolan

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 11:30 PST if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person.

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