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by Keith Carey, photos by Troy Conrad

Welcome to another installment of the Roast Report, where we
bring you blow-by-blow coverage of the Roast Battle at the Comedy Store in
Hollywood.

Before this week’s recap, there is a bicoastal beef that
needs to be addressed. Roast Battle has a New York counterpart at the Stand,
which is hosted by the fantastic Luis Gomez. This week their champion, Zac
Amico, was conquered by young upstart Eli Sairs. After his victory, Eli decided
to issue a declaration to the Los Angeles battle community:

Tough words from a frail man. I thought Michael Cera’s
huffing and puffing deserved a reply, so I responded with a video of my own:

Let’s party, New York. Put me on a plane and I’ll come out there
and kill you in your own house. If there’s any justice in the world, this is
the beginning of the Roast Battle turf war we’ve all been waiting for. Hopefully
it’s like Tupac/Biggie but the only one who gets shot is Mark Stevens. Anyway,
on to this week’s action!

First up, Joseph Thorne gets put in a casket by the spooky Juan Cias!

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“[Joseph] is wearing the same outfit his dad left him
in.” – Mike Lawrence

The room is all giggles as Joseph Thorne, an effeminate gay
man in a leather jacket, takes the stage with Juan Cias, a professional
mortician who bears an uncanny resemblance to Gomez Addams, which prompts Coach
Tea to bring him up to the “Addams Family” theme song. Both of these first-time
battlers seem a bit nervous, but they’ve clearly prepared as the bell rings and
the battle begins:

“Joseph is so flaming I would only charge him half for a
cremation.”

“Juan is really bad at selling his clients on cremation
because he looks like he’s been halfway through the process and survived.”

“Joe, you post-mortem Freddie Mercury. You need to do with
your comedy career what you do to your colon and just pack that shit in,
buddy.”

“Juan’s least favorite part of the embalming process is
cleaning the bowels. But it’s better to be safe than to get shit on your dick.”

“Joe really disappointed his police officer father. Not
because of the homosexuality, but because of all of the black life matter that
pours out of his mouth.”

“Juan’s father left before he was born. But like Juan’s
client, his dad’s in a better place now.”

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Juan builds steam as the battle continues, while Joseph
sputters out about halfway through. El Undertaker takes the win, and Moses
brings up an all-black female choir. The choir, made up of black female
comedians (and also Courtney Banks, who I think is white or an alien or some
shit), who join the Wave throughout the evening. Earl makes his disdain for
this black history month addition abundantly clear.

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“That bench looks like the bus stop on Crenshaw and Normandie. They’d be a hell of a WNBA team though.” – Earl Skakel

“No, because they’re in front of an audience.” – Mike Lawrence

In the evening’s second bout, Anne Flagg gets
knocked the fuck out by Armando Torres!

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Anne takes the stage first, objecting to being labelled as a
Temecula resident and looking like every chick that ever worked at a Tilly’s.
She brings up Armando’s cancer diagnosis, which sets off the following
exchange:

“Does he really have cancer or did you just see it in your
crystal ball?”           – Annie Lederman

“I did, I looked for your career in there but I couldn’t see
it.” – Anne Flagg

“[Silent ‘fuck you’ eyes]” – Annie Lederman

Armando takes the stage, and when asked why he’s taken the
fight, responds:

“I just wanted to see what she’d do without me writing all
her fucking material.” – Armando Torres

“I find it ironic that the guy with throat cancer had to
give her a voice.” – Mike Lawrence

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The room is ready for blood. The bell rings, and we’re off:

“Anne is a member of the group Black Lives Matter. She’s
also a member of the group Black Guys Have Had Her.”

“Armando looks like Dora if the only thing she explored was
a buffet.”

“Anne has the body of a girl that used to be fat, but the
arms and neck of a girl who is currently fat.”

“Armando is Jewish and Mexican. Which means he wears a
little hat on that head and an even smaller hat on that head.”

“Anne is very unpatriotic. With all the STD’s she’s got,
that Flagg is always burning.”

“We did hook up, huh? That 30 seconds had less impact on my
memory than it did on my pussy.”

“I think that joke had cancer.” – MichaelKosta.com

There’s not a lot of ways to spin it, Armando crushes Anne
mercilessly. Despite her huge pop against Annie Lederman in the pre-fight, her
jokes fail to move the crowd, and the tumor-addled Hodor lurches his way to a
decisive win.

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We reach the halfway point as Tony Alfano and Jacob
Trimmer…well, happens, I guess.

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Tony Alfano and Jacob Trimmer are both big white OC bros who
looks like the [inset instrument] player for [insert band that opens for
Sublime with Rome]. The judges spend a long time riffing on this, which
arguably takes some of the sting out of their punches once the actual battle
begins. But unfortunately neither of these two battlers, both of whom have had
great performances in the past, connect with the audience:

“Jacob is what happens when you beat a kid to Limp Bizkit
albums.”

“Tony used to be an exterminator, but the only thing he was
able to kill was his marriage.”

“Jacob got stabbed when he worked for an escort company.
Then the knife sued him for giving it Hepatitis C.”

“Tony got his brown eyes from his dad, and black eyes from
his step-dad.”

“Jacob looks like he likes to get up, come on, get down with
the sickness.”

“Tony recently lost 100 pounds through exercise. And 40 when
the court took his daughter away.”

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“THANK GOD IT’S OVER! THANK GOD IT’S OVER!” – all-black girl
choir

“Both of y’all looks like a before-and-after picture for a
product nobody would ever buy ever.” – Chris Redd

Tough stuff. It could be argued that the judges stepped on
the jokes, but the lack of backup options belies a failure to prepare on a
certain level. Kosta praises the hepatitis joke in particular, but ultimately
the audience gives the win to Haiti, a new tradition for dud battles. Better
luck next time, fellas.

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Next up, Casey Ley tests positive for victory against Amy
Miller! 

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“It’s T-cells versus fat cells.” – Earl Skakel

These two are very funny comedians in their own right, and
their swagger as they take the stage is palpable. Casey hasn’t let an HIV
diagnosis slow him down, and Amy hasn’t let anything slow her down, except for,
like, any amount of stairs. After a protracted bit of pre-fight banter, the jokes
come out hot:

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“Amy’s family voted for Trump. Because after years of living
with Amy, they’re used to being bossed around by a fat, orange monster.”

“Shut the fuck up. Casey moved to LA to pursue comedy and
acting. In two years, nobody fuckin’ knows anything about him or his comedy.
But he did manage to contract HIV in a threesome, a.k.a the only cameo he’ll
ever have in a buddy comedy.”

“That joke took longer than it took me to get HIV. Be
careful, it’s very quick. Amy loves the environment so much, he makes his
girlfriend re-use the bag he puts over her head when he fucks her. She wants
paper, but he insists on plastic.”

“You really want this, don’t you? Sad. Casey asked me to do
this because I think he can’t get booked on other shows. People often mispronounce
Casey’s name. It’s “LIE” but people often say Casey “LAY.” So I wrote this poem
to help you guys remember. ‘Casey before Lie, he’ll eat your cream-pie. Don’t
give him too many drinks or he’ll give AIDS to twinks.’”

“She just wanted to say ‘cream-pie.’”

“I did just want to say ‘cream-pie.’”

“It is pretty ironic that I’m the one with HIV since Amy’s
the one who’s constantly getting butt-fucked by black guys. She’s had so many
blacks inside her butthole they call it the U.S. prison system.”

“Casey is the Donald Trump of his relationship. He’s got
rich parents, his partner’s way hotter than him, and he’s fucked all the
Mexicans in L.A.”

“Nobody knows what to say because nobody’s ever done a
fucking poem before.” – MichaelKosta.com

“Now we know why, because that poem died.” – Mike Lawrence 

This is a ton of fun. Casey’s jokes are all hits, with his
bag combo specifically hitting like a ton of bricks. Amy’s Trump joke gets a
huge pop, and her asides between jokes are very endearing, but unfortunately
the hot, wet dump of a poem joke drags her down, and Casey comes out ahead.

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Our final undercard sees Lonnie Johnson step up to Alfred
Konuwa!

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Moses sets the stage for this battle, citing the notorious
cold streak that black battlers have had in the Belly Room. Lonnie and Alfred
take the stage, marking the first time in the show’s history that two ranked
black battlers have faced on another. In the middle of Moses’ monologue about
the racial implications of the fight, Coach Tea drops a clip of the “I Have a
Dream” speech and damn near blows the roof off of the Belly Room. The racial
significance of this fight is further queered by Alfred making one of the
strangest material choices I’ve ever seen:

“Lonnie and his wife used to be swingers. But then they had
to stop because she couldn’t climb trees.”

“Alfred doesn’t just act like Carlton Banks, his comedy
career’s about as dead as Uncle Phil.”

“That was funny, Curious George Jefferson. You talk about me
being white-washed, but your version of being washed comes with a firehose.”

“Thank you, Irving ‘Faggot’ Johnson. Alfred’s African and a
hipster. Which explains why he had AIDS before it was cool.”

“You’re more low-energy than your Section 8 lighting bill.
Lonnie’s married to a white woman, and they do everything together. Except
drinking at water fountains.”

“Good one, Hackie Robinson. Steve Bannon making black people
pick cotton again is the closest Alfred will ever be to good material.” 

“YOU BLACK TOO, NIGGA! YOU BLACK TOO, NIGGA!” – all-black girl
choir

“You got beat by a nigga with astigmatism.” – Chris Redd

“Alfred’s so white he went to Texas and dragged himself
behind a truck.”       – Frank Castillo

“It felt like you were reading Earl’s Twitter feed.” – Mike
Lawrence

“Don’t ever apologize for being white.” – Earl Skakel

The room is positively flummoxed by Alfred’s choice to lean
into hardcore racism, especially since he is blacker than a lump of coal
defaulting on a credit card bill. In a post-fight interview, Alfred explained
he was trying to write to his knowledge of the room, which usually responds
very well to racism. However, the strange Uncle Tom scenario that unfolds is
puzzling, and Lonnie’s material hits hard, giving him an easy victory.

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After our weekly visit from Boon Shaka Laka, we move into
the main event between Omid Singh and Dan Nolan!

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“It’s a battle between two different kinds of quiet loneliness.” – Mike Lawrence

“They both look like guys who go to a Barnes & Noble just to browse.” – MichaelKosta.com

Dan and Omid bring a tremendous amount of battle experience
into their main event fight. Dan is a workhorse, consistently battling and
always turning in a good, if not great, performance. Omid is a bit of a
wildcard. When he’s off, it’s terrible, but when he clicks in there’s not a lot
in the game that can do it better.

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“Omid’s ancestors are a lot like heroin. They’re brown and
they’re being shot up by white people at an alarming rate.”

“Dan’s famous for doing heroin, yet nobody’s ever called his
comedy dope.”

“Omid only has one good joke, but it comes in 72 versions.”

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“Dan’s not racist. He’s one of the only guys who can say
‘But my best friend is black…tar heroin.’”

“You look like you only donate to ISIS to get the free tote
bag.”

“You look like Big Bird, right before they turn him into a
chicken nugget.”

“Omid is Indian, and he’s following in Gandhi’s footsteps.
Not the civil disobedience stuff, though, just the part about secretly having
gay sex with a German body-builder. Aw, look it up.”

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“Dan has gained 100 pounds since he quit doing heroin, so
you know he didn’t get rid of all his spoons.”

“Omid’s comedy shows are almost as unattended as his
luggage.”

“The only time Dan’s ever made someone feel good was when he
got his brother addicted to heroin.”

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This is easily the fight of the night. It’s fast, mean, and every
joke gets a reaction. Dan takes a gamble on the deep-cut Gandhi reference
which, while hilarious, goes a bit over the audience’s head. The judges go so
far as to demand an extra joke to make it definitive. Unfortunately, the Roast
Report was unable to recover the recording of the overtime joke. However, when
the dust clears, the judges ultimately opt for the stylings of Omid Singh. 

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After an uneven night, the main event delivers big and the crowd heads out into the night, eagerly awaiting next week’s Valentine’s Day Massacre.

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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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