by Jay Light, photos by Troy Conrad

It’s an oddly quiet night in the Belly Room, thanks to a threatened appearance from the fire marshal. Yet, somehow, it makes the audience members who actually get to see the night’s wackiness unfold seem almost more special than usual. And, boy, did they ever get to witness a full dose of wackiness, starting right when Moses takes to the stage backed by a chant of “FOSTER HOME PUSSY!” by the All-Negro Wave. He gives the crowd the rundown, then kicks things off for the evening.

Our first undercard sees Joseph Thorne (1-0, Unranked) dismantle Johnny Stewart (0-1, Unranked)!

“He looks like he’s from a future where they only sell 90s sunglasses.” – Randy Sklar

“He looks like he’s from right now and he’s the last man to ever work at a video store.” – Pete Lee

After Johnny and Joseph introduce themselves, Johnny gets in an early jab about Johnny having an EBT card. The Wave chants “EBT!” as Johnny pulls the aforementioned card out of his wallet with white trash fluorish. Moses, almost unable to contain his laughter, makes sure the first fighters are ready. He leaves the stage. Coach T rings the bell. We’re off to the races.

“Despite being gay, Joseph has a great relationship with a man he calls his father, while the man he calls Daddy won’t return his phone calls.”
“Johnny’s birth is kind of like the Holocaust: his father denies that they both happened.”
“The only thing lower than Joe’s IQ is his T-cell count.”
“I might be gay, but I’m impressed that Johnny can still walk after being so thoroughly fucked by life.”
“Joe’s had sex with two different guys that had HIV. Here’s hoping the third time’s the charm.”
“I’m glad Johnny has joint custody of his daughter. Somebody has to teach that kid her EBTs.”

The jokes get chuckles here and there, but nothing sticks incredibly hard until the end of the round, when both guys get a bigger chunk of recognition for their material. But the judges aren’t too impressed.

“I understand that you were born gay, but you chose to do those jokes.” – Mike Lawrence

“You’re my favorite Bono tribute comic.” – Pete Lee

In the end, Joseph takes the win, and Johnny takes a second opinion from his optometrist. Meanwhile, in the second undercard, Greg Edwards (1-0, Unranked) takes Kevin Fard (0-2-1, Unranked) to the bench!

This battle is hyped from the get-go, with newcomer Greg and veteran Kevin both coming out strong. They waste no time getting to the jokes:

“Greg grew up with Michael Vick. It’s a shame he couldn’t be here tonight to  put this bitch down when he doesn’t perform.
"Give it up for Kevin Fard, or as his mother likes to call him, Date Rape Aladdin. A whole new world…”
"That was hilarious, everyone give it up for Chuck D-Cups. Greg, you sound like Al Sharpton and look like the black guy he’s exploiting.”
“Kevin Fard looks like every dude that helped kill Jesus.
"Greg, you complain about discrimination, then why are your teeth separate but equal?”
“Kevin Fard hates mermaids, because he doesn’t know how to rape them.”
“I may look like a rapist, but Greg looks like a guy the jury is gonna pin it on.”
“Kevin Fard learned to speak in dolphin, just to get underwater rape tips.”

Kevin’s jokes all hit pretty hard, but Greg’s sharp left turn into absurdist rape jokes works out surprisingly well, too.

“Lotta rape jokes. I feel like this battle was sponsored by UCB East.” – Moses

The crowd’s vote is too close to call, so the guys are spurred into doing overtime.

“Kevin’s mom is a dietician, which makes sense, because Kevin eats so much shit on stage.”
“Greg looks like he’s in a Spike Lee movie and sounds like he’s in a Tyler Perry movie.”

This time around, the lackluster jokes don’t compare to the heights the guys achieved in the main round, leading to derision from the judges.

“I feel like we all got raped by that last joke.” – Randy Sklar

“I’m gonna go home and blog about that rape.” – Pete Lee

“You give minorities extra opportunities and they just throw them away!” – Mike Lawrence

“What the hell have I been saying for three fuckin’ years?” – Earl Skakel

Kevin, having lost the goodwill he’d built up from his regulation jokes, gets nothing from the crowd when Moses calls to them for a vote. Greg gets a smattering of applause and the win.

After another round of stand-up and the kicking out of two drunk idiots yelling racial slurs at Jeff Ross, the night’s third undercard takes to the stage: co-showrunners Robbie Goodwin (3-0, #44) and Adi Gordan (0-3, Unranked)! Unfortunately, despite a lot of confidence from Adi and bug-eyed mugging for the camera from Robbie, this battle is a dud.

“The name Adi is actually Indian for disappointed parents. I’m just kidding. His parents have given him nothing but tech support.”
“My career is tech support, your career is on financial support. So…Robbie’s comedy career is just like his Invisaligns. You can barely tell it’s there and his dad is paying for it.”
“Adi needs to curry up and quit comedy.”
“In high school, Robbie was voted most likely to shoot the place up.”
“Adi brings a lot of Indian culture to comedy, by which I mean he’s overpopulating and ruining it.”
“How can we expect Robbie to hold down a job when he can’t even hold down the children he’s molesting?”

Adi gets no response to his jokes, and Robbie gets a middling reaction even in his finest moment.

“They’re gonna watch this battle at Trump rallies and say ‘see? Told ya!’” – Mike Lawrence

The crowd, in one of the quietest votes in Roast Battle history, awards Robbie with the win, though it’s one of those battles where it seems like both fighters leave the stage with plenty of regret. Better luck next time, boys.

The night’s final undercard is a tangle between two long-haired comics: Dave Neal (2-0, Unranked) and Valerie Tosi (1-1, Unranked)! Valerie, taking the stage first, takes a now-standard question for female battlers from Moses:

“Would you let the Wave smash?”
“I’d let ’em smash so hard it’d knock Jamar’s teeth back together.”

The room erupts, setting the stage for what looks to be a proper slugfest. Dave, sporting a man bun, takes to the stage. The judges get in a few more jabs…

“She really puts the hot in Hot Topic cashier.” – Mike Lawrence

“You’d better hurry this up, he’s got a dojo to get back to.” – Randy Sklar

…and the bell rings once again. Steely-eyed, the battlers get to it.

“When Dave’s hair is down, he looks like Lord Farquaad from Shrek. At least, that’s what the 12-year-old he molested told him.”
“Val’s acting career is like her body type: full of mom roles.”
“Y’know, Dave, there’s one thing you and I have in common. It’s that we both shave our pussies.”
“Val produces an all-female standup show, because it’s a safe space…from laughter.”
“Dave’s dad is a lot like his career. No one’s seen it in a few years because it’s dead.”
“You’re always dressed like a chubby rock star. What’s your band called, Mighty Mighty Not Toned?" 

After his first two hit hard, Dave’s last joke doesn’t work, and he goes full heel on the crowd, raising his arms and declaring that it was a great joke. Moses points out that he’s not wrong, but that the room probably doesn’t care about Bostonian ska bands any more. The judges pipe in.

"Dave, I thought you were a little off, I saw you dropped your scrunchie earlier.” – Pete Lee

“How long has he been teaching you hot yoga?” – Randy Sklar

Through a little digging, we find out that these two matched on Tinder way back when, prompting more venom from Valerie:

“He’s one of the only girls on Tinder who he didn’t fuck.”
“Because I don’t produce a stand-up show, that’s why.”

The crowd, latching onto the tension, reacts like pit bulls being thrown a steak. The battle goes into an unregulated overtime:

“Dave’s built up a lot of confidence for someone who looks like they still work at a full-service gas station.”
“As a feminist, Val is anti-wage gap and zero thigh gap.”
“Dave, I’m sorry I’m not like your girlfriend, who’s a model. But you’re so broke, you’re dating her so you don’t have to feed her.”

After some more antics from the Wave and a quick shout-out to Jamar’s “cousin in the front row” Lamar Neighbors, the judges throw in their final two cents.

“This looks like every couple you’ve ever seen fight at a Dave Matthews Band concert.” – Mike Lawrence

It’s a close call from the audience, but in the end, Dave takes the victory and doesn’t dishonor his sensei.

After a screaming solo by Pat Regan, the main event fighters take to the stage: Connor McSpadden (8-2, #5) and Leah Kayajanian (6-6-1, #10).

Connor comes on to the strains of “I Want It That Way” which everyone seems to know. Leah comes on to yet another Foo Fighters song, prompting yet another discussion of her tramp stamp. With all our pre-battle bases covered, Coach Tea rings the bell for round one.

“Leah works with children with language disabilities. She teaches them Braille using her tits.”
“Connor’s dad is in a kiss cover band, which is why Connor thinks its cool to cover Daniel Tosh’s act.”
“Leah, you look like the pitcher for a velociraptor softball team.”
“You’re right, I’m not that attractive. Is that why you look like a disappointed penis?”
“Leah, I’m glad you’re not attracted to me. If I got you wet, you’d start melting.”
“Connor has five roommates. He leaves one sock on his door to let them know when he’s jerking off with the other one.”

The judges pick Connor to win the first round, and lean on Leah for a performance that wasn’t up to her usual standard.

“Leah, Jesus, you look like you sleep on a pile of leaves.” – Mike Lawrence

“She looks like that drawing where one side is a beautiful woman and the other is the witch.” – Pete Lee

“I don’t know why you guys are talking about Leah’s looks, I jacked off to her, like, four times this week. And twice to Connor.” – Earl Skakel

Yet, while the judges unanimously give Connor the round 1 victory, Jeff thinks Leah can come back for round two. She elects to defer, giving Connor another chance to swing first.

“Leah’s tits look like a married couple that aren’t talking to each other.”
“Leah won Oklahoma’s Funniest Person. In the final round, the judges said ‘there’s nothing in the rule book that says a toucan can’t do stand-up.’”
“You might have seen Leah in the movie Angry Birds. She played the ugly guy.”

“Connor’s face is the emoji for ‘nervous around black people.’”
“Connor recently had to delete a tweet that said black people are 3/5ths of a person. Which is funny because Connor is 3/5ths of a person, and the other 2/5ths leprechaun.”
“It makes sense that you would write that tweet, because you look like your last three girlfriends left you for the same black guy.”

Slinging a hot, racially charged trio of jokes, Leah takes the second round. The judges encourage both battlers to really unleash on each other in the final round and not just go through the motions, like they seemingly have been thus far. Mike wants Connor to not be surface level and Leah to have energy. Jeff Ross tells Leah to get angrier. She grins and says she will. Connor gets to start the final round, but Leah looks ready to drop him from the top rope.

“Leah’s dad died. He’s the only man in her life that’s been able to stay hard.”
“Other people have talked about how Connor let his ex-girlfriend fuck him in the ass with a strap-on, which is just wrong. She fucked him in his pussy.”
“Leah wanted to be in the new Ghostbusters movie, but they were only casting women.”
“Yeah, I guess I do look pretty manly. Then again, anyone does when they’re standing next to you.”
“Leah’s jealous because I produce more estrogen than her. But anyway…look, Leah’s had a hard life. Imagine being an Armenian that can smell herself that well.”
“You know, my nose used to be smaller, but then I told someone I thought Connor was funny.”

Mike votes for Connor, Pete votes for Leah, Randy Sklar and Jeff Ross both want to see one more joke. Overtime it is!

“Connor was molested by his cousin. To be fair, his cousin thought it was a thumb war.”
“Leah’s never been catcalled, unless you count old guys throwing breadcrumbs at her.”

While both jokes get a swell of laughter and applause from the crowd, the judges ultimately vote for Connor based on his performance throughout the whole battle. While Leah did an admirable job as per usual, Connor was simply more on the ball writing-wise. Moses thanks the absent fire marshal, and the room – still emptier than usual – files out in the most orderly fashion Roast Battle has ever seen.

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 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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