Another Tuesday night in the Belly Room opens with a solid crowd size by the end of the standup pre-show and a quickly filling VIP section.
Mikey Mileos is brought up first, looking to earn his first win after a tough loss only last week. His opponent, Zack Kennedy comes up with a bit more boldness and confidence, and Mikey nominates him to take the first swing.
“Mikey looks like George Clooney fucked Sloth from The Goonies.”
It’s a complete miss from the start as the classic “You look like ___ [fucked/ raped] ___” formula has more than worn out its welcome in the Belly Room. Mikey, in his first jab, offers a similarly formulaic, “Thank you, [pun]” rebuttal.
“Thanks, The Dude a-bombs.”
The joke falls to complete silence. Nevertheless, Mikey stays in the pocket and pushes forward.
“Zach was born a Catholic, and he’s fucked eight kids… just by fathering them.”
Mikey scores the first solid pop of the round, albeit dampened by the loss in credibility from his first effort. One joke in, Zack Kennedy has some serious ground to make up.
“Mikey’s very obviously Australian. He looks like a giant rodent and he loves to shove little kids in his pants and hop around.”
He does not make up that ground. It could be the awkward phrasing, or the fact that kangaroos are marsupials and rodents are mammals, but the second joke falls entirely flat, and Mikey Mileos seems to only have to avoid a double loss by this point.
“You look like the 80’s fuckin got fat.”
Simple and concise, the solid reaction puts Mikey cleanly in the driver’s seat as Zack Kennedy offers up one final clunker.
“Mikey’s in an open relationship and apparently he likes to masturbate while he watches other guys fuck his wife. It’s weird, I didn’t think your crowd work could get any more pathetic.”
“Zack loves guns, and he’s got eight kids who wish he only shot blanks.”
It’s full redemption for Mikey Mileos from his faltered performance the previous week. Apart from the botched rebuttal at the top, it’s a clean sweep with three jokes landed in a no-hitter from Zack Kennedy. The judges, nevertheless, weigh in.
“I feel like you guys didn’t so much write jokes as you did blatantly accuse each other of pedophilia.” – Olivia Grace
“Who did I like? The answer is, of course, neither.” – Moshe Kasher
The crowd goes overwhelmingly for Mikey. Paige Wesley and Rena Hundert are brought to stage next, and Saudi Prince sums it up.
“I feel like they both remind me of when a woman gets too comfortable in a relationship.”
Rena volunteers Paige to bite the bullet.
“Rena is recently sober which proves that you can’t lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
“Paige just hates horses because she can’t sit on one without crushing them.”
Rena capitalizes quickly on the light reaction to Paige’s misworded joke with the horse rebuttal and pulls into an early lead, but Paige instantly doubles down.
“That’s true, I am fat. But it’s easy to be thin when you only eat hay and sugar cubes.”
“Thank you, Forever Size 21.”
Paige is immediately ready with the counter.
“You’re welcome, Ho-jack Horseman.”
With that there is a sizable momentum shift back to Paige.
“Paige’s sex life is so sad and boring that her pussy doesn’t even queef, it just sighs.”
“Rena is such a cheap Jew, she eats ass just to taste the pennies.”
“Hey Paige, I know you’re Christian, but how many bodies of Christ have you eaten?”
“You look like the kind of Jew that would have killed Jesus for the attention.”
It’s an interesting battle in that both players held the high ground at different points before closing in a dead heat. The judges, nevertheless, give Paige the edge. The crowd agrees pretty unanimously, handing Rena Hundert her first loss.
Jonathan Rowell and Omid Singh are up next in a matchup between Roast Battle’s all-time win leader and it’s most consistent main event loser. Olivia Grace sizes up the battle.
“Omid, I’m excited to see what you do. You look like someone left Moshe in a toaster oven.” – Olivia Grace
With that, Jonathan Rowell opens the round.
“Omid’s mom is a yoga teacher, which is why he came out smelling like a hot fart.”
“Jonathan is Mexican, but you wouldn’t know that unless he asked you not to cum in his eye-ay-ay!”
“Omid, your double chin looks like a fat Armenian girl’s elbow.”
“Jonathan has his asshole filled with cum on a regular basis. It’s the only way he can fill a room.”
“Omid doesn’t actually have a beard. It just looks like that after Maz Jobrani sits on his face.”
“Jonathan has trouble dating because no one in the gay community wants to be with a giant pussy.”
“Omid went bald because of Allah. Allah-ta bad genes.”
“Jonathan looks like Harry Potter if his parents were never murdered and literally nothing exciting ever happened to him.”
“Omid looks like he used to be the fat kid who went swimming with his bomb on.”
“No one wants to fuck Jonathan Rowell. Sorry. No Juan wants to fuck Jonathan Rowell.”
It’s a solid back and forth from both competitors, though Omid takes a very slight edge in nearly every exchange. Before the votes are cast, VIP Tony Hinchcliffe has a question for Jonathan.
“You’re Mexican and gay? You must have the cleanest apartment.” – Tony Hinchcliffe
Jonathan Rowell takes another loss in another great battle, and Omid Singh moves the all-time win record up another notch.
Next up, New York’s J.P. McDade arrives to take on Belly Room champ Pat Barker. Pat opens up the round.
“J.P., you enormous New Yorker, you’re so tall. What are you, like, 9’ 11”? J.P. is actually nothing like 9/11 because, you know, people will never forget 9/11.”
“Pat, your face looks like it was drawn by someone riding a horse.”
The abstract absurdist line is somehow deadly in accuracy and gives J.P. a solid edge over Pat in the early exchange. Pat fires right back.
“Thank you, wacky waving arm flailing inflatable tube man. J.P. works at a bank, which explains why all of his audiences have a low interest rate.”
“Thank you, Tenacious D-flated. Pat’s been doing comedy for 12 years. You should talk to him if you want to know what it’s like to get rejecte for spots over AOL Instant Messenger.”
“Thank you, final boss in a date rape video game. J.P.’s hobbies include dolf, skiing, and teaching hookers about Huey Lewis and the News.”
By this point, we’re about even in the back and forth, with J.P. still holding an advantage in scoring from his early gains. He continues.
“Listen, Metta World Peace vote against Pat when he judged Roast Battle, and it made Pat soooo mad that a black guy voted.”
“J.P. played basketball for Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2001. It’s just a shame he didn’t play in 2012, I hear they really needed a good shooting guard that year.”
“Pat I’ve really never seen anything like your act before, but that’s because I’ve never seen George Costanza witness a murder.”
With J.P. still slightly ahead on scoring, Moses calls for a last joke.
“J.P. is a lot like my size-medium t-shirts. A lot of old material, and probably never coming out of the closet.”
“A Pat Barker joke is a lot like this Louis CK scandal. Just a setup.”
Both closers fall fairly flat and an overtime is immediately requested to wash away the bad taste from an otherwise top-notch battle. Pat goes first.
“J.P.’s two best sports are golf and date rape, so either way he hits it hard and finishes a hole in less than five strokes.”
“Pat worked for a sports show and he was the only guy who got into the office sports pool with his shirt on.”
It’s another soft landing for both battlers and it’s time for a judges’ vote.
“I think it was an incredible effort from J.P., and I’m just talking about his mustache.” – Tony Hinchcliffe
The vote total, in the end, is two for a tie and two for J.P., earning J.P. his first Belly Room victory, and over the current champion no less. The committee will have to decide whether the loss from Pat means a forfeiture of his top spot, while at the same time a victory from Kim Congdon the same night in New York over Rosebud Baker may slide her back into the number one spot.
As the battle wraps up, and the crowd begins to clear out, no other than Dave Chappelle enters to take over the room. Addressing the gathering of mostly comics, Chappelle offers more of a thirty-minute motivational speech than an actual standup set, expounding on any number of issues within the comedy community of late. While reprinting anything he said would arguably be as big a breach of trust as surreptitiously recording his remarks, I will take the risk of relaying his overall message that, as entertainers, we need to be more reckless with our words. The harder and scarier it becomes to be fearlessly honest, the more important it is to do so. I don’t think it’s any mistake that he chose Roast Battle as the room to make this point. We’re a show that prides itself on being the only actual safe space left in comedy, where free speech is prized and all the cruelty and hatred in the world is fair game for merciless ridicule. The time to take risks is now more than ever. And we’ll be back to do it again next week.
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