After the birthday roast of our favorite Roast Battle historian, Julie Seabaugh, the char is scraped from the walls and the stage is re-set for a for more burns than a well done steak at an Outback in the Outback. Our judges include the Roastmaster himself, Jeff Ross, Adult Swim’s Jena Friedman, AGT standout and former roast battle champ Alex Hooper, and lastly, writer’s room favorite, roast battle legend, Queen of Quibi, and diehard Billy Joel fan Nicole Becannon.
Moses comes to the stage sporting the fresh side burns of an ABA all-star for the ’75 San Diego Sails. He introduces two Detroit-ers, roommates, and podcast co-hosts, Markus Olind versus Justin Essemacher. These two “Cold Mountain” extras are about to show that a podcast divided against itself cannot stand stand. Their 4 listeners will need to pick a side.
“Why did you say yes to this [battle]?” -Moses
“Because he sucks…” Justin Essemacher
Short but sweet.
“We’ve got to make this quick because these guys have Amazon packages to steal of people’s porches” – Alex Hooper
The battle begins:
“Justin looks like he goes to West Hollywood to shop for lumber.”
“No, I dont. Markus’s face looks like what I imagine Santa Claus’s balls look like, hairy, dirty, sweaty, and only used once a year.”
“Justin is so bad at comedy the only time he got booked was when he got a DUI.”
“True. Markus dates a black girl. They have to face obstacles every day, like who gets to wear the good wig.”
“Justin is pigeon toed and that’s pretty much the straightest thing about him.”
“Markus likes to compare everything to sports, for example, he refers to his childhood as “the Penn State years.”
While not totally laying down the thunder, these virgins were more than serviceable. Justin’s wig joke was clearly the joke of the battle and his easygoing acceptance of Markus’s burns win the crowd over. I have to imagine that podcast is going to be awkward this week….because I won’t be listening to it, but great job on this first run, guys.
Our next battle features two of the rising undercard stars of the belly room, Sarah Fatemi vs. Kim McVicar. Moses asks each of them their reason for battling:
“Because she’s a virgin…like an adult virgin. Like she’s never been raped…do you know how ugly you have to be to never be raped in America? I had to battle that.”
“You put me in a box here, Kim” -Moses
Sarah gives her take:
“I just love that I’m the Muslim but I’m an American citizen and this white bitch is the refugee.”
And we’re off! Kim goes first:
“Sarah identities as a Middle Eastern comedian. Which makes sense. She always leaves her audience wonder who gave this women permission to speak.”
“Thank you, Amy Poehldancer. Kim is allergic to fish, which is ironic, because she looks like the biggest lesbian in the room.”
“Sarah told me that her muslim family is in town right now, which made me think, if her muslim dad dies, does that mean she has to be one of those 72 ugly virgins he has to fuck?”
“You can tell Kim’s from Canada, because only free healthcare would let a yeast infection get that far.”
“Sarah looks like if a wad of cum got stuck in some pubes and put way too much makeup on.”
“Do you even remember what cum looks like?”
“You have never had sex how can you say this!”
“And you’re 10 years older than me! They call it menopause because men pause before sticking it in that dry pussy. Kim once did a comedy sketch where she taught a pornstar how to do comedy. The only thing funny about it was the penicillin shot she had to take after.”
Sarah might be a virgin but she pounded Kim preettttty good here. Kim’s second joke missed completely, while throughout the battle Sarah was ready with fun openers, quick rebuttals, and solid jokes. She showed the skills of a wily veteran, using all of the tools in the tool belt to cruise to a well deserved win. Both of these battlers have had strong showings, but tonight it was all Sarah.
And finally the Main Event! I don’t usually shit on main events, but I’m going to shit on this one. In this battle we have Zach Stein versus Quentin Thomas and some old black dude named Larry, from Oakland. For context, Larry had become kind of a crowd favorite for engaging with some of the earlier standup comedians. Larry was liked – very well liked – for doing what we comics mostly hate: chiming in. Fuck if I know why Larry was different, I didn’t watch the standup portion. Enter Quentin Thomas wearing sweatpants to fully accentuate his “erect penis”, a 9 inch dildo he has stuffed in there. (dildo credit: Kelsey Lane) Then enter a mildly inebriated Zach Stein and we have all the ingredients of a first class shit show. I really slobbed on these guy’s knobs in the pre-battle report…but there will be no knob-slobbing today my friends. There will just be a Stein full of beer, a giant wearing a strap on, and some fuckin’ guy named Larry… from Oakland.
Let me preface with the fact that both of these guys are usually pretty damn good battlers.
So Quentin enters first wearing the strap-on because Zach has a big dick and now Quentin has one, too, not really realizing that having a 9 inch erection on stage for the entirety of the battle might draw focus from the upcoming jokes. It was the first time I had seen a rubber dick shoot it’s wad… and so quickly! Zach comes out a little buzzed, which can be difficult to catch because he’s usually slurring like David Hasselhoff at Oktoberfest even when he’s sober, but tonight he’s doing an impression of post stroke Kirk Douglas. Let’s hear some jokes:
“Zach’s such a rich asshole he writes the hookers he fucks off on his taxes.”
“Quentin’s had five failed suicide attempts, which has to be the saddest… way to find out you’re retarded.”
“I fucked a girl before Zach which makes sense cause in bed he only lasts a few sloppy seconds.”
[Larry chimes in] Tried to kill yourself five times, you need help pal. Quentin needs a suicide hotline for how to do it.
[Larry says something, Zach tells him to shut up.]
“If I really wanted to die I’d just become a hooker that knows one to many secrets about Zach. Zach relates to the prostitutes he fucks because they’re both beaten by daddies who pay their rent “
“Ok, no more suicide jokes, I promise. This one’s a numbers joke, so pay attention. Quentin is 6’7. Speaking of which, why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9 suicide attempts and this fucking idiot still won’t be dead.”
[Larry yelling something from the audience.]
“This battle is making me want to kill myself.” – Jeff Ross
“I would rather kill myself than wear that hat.” – Zach
There is more back and forth between Zach and Larry. Larry still being a crowd favorite draws chants of “Larry! Larry! Larry!” Moses enters to make peace between Zach and Larry. The beef is squashed.
The opening bell rings to reset the energy of the room and then Zach gives the ultimate double down on a bad hand.
“You can suck my dick after, Larry.”
That is why I love Zach. Almost every other young comic would have just been happy to move on… but he went back in and it was the funniest moment of the night. Larry hits back:
“You ain’t got one, little boy.” – Larry
The crowd goes fuckin nuts. Quentin jumps in.
“Can I use that as my joke?.. Zach flunked out of college which was the first time he was on the receiving end of an unwanted D.”
“You forgot about when I was six. I was raped. Ok that last one was misdirection, but I’m really done with the suicide jokes now. You look like you don’t believe me? Seriously, I’m done. I feel like I’m beating a dead hor- I feel like I’m beating a horse that wants to die, but can’t because it’s only as smart as a horse.”
“It was shocking when Zach got arrested cause usually when he’s behind bars he’s passed out in the dumpster.”
“Wow, we made it. Five suicide jokes in a row. And unlike Quentin’s attempts, all of mine killed.”
“Did they though?”
Holy fuck! That was like Vietnam: an endless quagmire that left you wondering how we got there, who was to blame, and if there were really any winners.
Moses comes out and upbraids Zach for not being a professional by not ignoring Larry, Zach having the aid of a microphone and all. I see his point in that the show and Zach’s performance may have gone better by letting the occasional comment from Larry slide… but I disagree with the sentiment. Folk hero or not, the audience giving their two cents at any time other than the exclamatory reverberations of a banger, aren’t part of the deal. Did Zach exacerbate it? Sure. But we’re programmed to let hecklers have it. Battlers only have one chance to tell these jokes; stakes are high and it’s the only “win or lose” comedy game in town.
As the battlers await the results Zach holds onto the end of Quentin’s fake dick while the audience is left holding their own. Zach gets the win, Quentin returns the strap on… and Larry? Larry steals the hearts of the audience and fucks off back to Oakland.