In typical Roast Battle style, we have an all-star VIP section featuring Comedian CP (Detroiters, All Def Comedy), Rosebud Baker (Comedy Central), the Wave’s own Jeremiah Watkins, and SNL head writer/Weekend Update co-host Michael Che. Despite this absolutely star-studded VIP section, the audience is a little lackluster tonight, so Moses does his best to rally them.
The first undercard of the night is Frank Martinez versus Christopher Tyler. When asked why he’s battling, Frank says:
“Chris likes to tell everyone how much of a vegan he is and I just wanted to show everyone what a free-range bitch he is!”
…which he delivers with confidence that his terrible joke did not warrant. Christopher answers the same question:
“I just wanted to give him a taste of his own insulin.”
The audience goes crazy and Christopher has an early lead heading into the battle. Frank volunteers to go first.
“Chris you look like the recruiter for the vegan KKK.
“Frank only worked at Hot Topic because it sounds like Hot Pocket.”
“I’m a hungry bitch, shut up dog. Chris’s mom died of cancer. Which is way easier than watching him do comedy.”
“Frank’s mom had a hard time naming him when he was born….but then she remembered how much she loves ballpark dick.”
“Chris once shit himself while washing his cat, which is a really weird way to wash your pussy.”
“Frank has always battled having dandruff, so when he rides his motorcycle it looks like he’s wearing a snow globe.”
Well… that’s one way to start the evening. At least there’s nowhere to go but up after that. Frank’s first joke fell completely flat; it was redundant coming off his intro joke. He got his biggest pop with “I’m a hungry bitch,” but when he followed it with “Chris’s mom died of cancer,” the audience could only laugh at how awkward and terrible the transition was. Despite calls from Moses and the judges to stop after “Chris’s mom died of cancer,” because they knew he’d gotten the largest laugh he was going to, Frank unfortunately finished the joke and lost any momentum he had earned. He then ended with a weird fact that didn’t make sense. Chris came out strong with his pre-battle joke and his first joke was flawless. His next two jokes fell flat.
The judges weigh in. Rosebud Baker gives it to Chris (“the guy who hoards animals”) but emphasizes the subpar performance by both. Michael Che echoes her sentiments:
“You guys grew beards like you were working hard, but I liked the fat jokes better than the vegan jokes.”
He gives it to Chris. CP compliments Chris’s Hot Pocket joke and criticizes Frank’s “soft landing” on the cancer joke, stating he wished Frank had hit Chris with a harder punch. Jeremiah breaks from the pack and gives it to Frank based off his “I’m a hungry bitch” comeback. The audience agrees with the first three judges and gives Christopher Tyler his first win.
Before Moses can bring up the next battle, Che makes fun of Moses’s “Beetlejuice shirt” and Jeremiah leads the crowd in a “Day-O” sing-a-long, which injects some much needed energy into this sleepy crowd.
Hoping to ride the high Jeremiah created into the next battle, Moses brings Mitchell Pratt to the stage, mentioning that he’s not a comedian. Before his opponent Remy Cashman can be brought to the stage, Che announces, “I’m ready to vote,” causing the room to erupt with laughter. When asked why he’s battling Remy, Mitchell responds:
“Battling is just like being her writing partner, I take her shit and make it funny.”
This earns him a good laugh. Remy is brought to the stage and asked the same question.
“I just thought you’d all enjoy this Tumblr rendition of Napoleon Dynamite.”
This gets a few forced laughs from the audience. It’s almost word for word a Saudi Prince joke that we hear all the time. Remy reluctantly volunteers to go first.
“Mitchell, I can’t wait to see your confidence recede even faster than your hairline. You look like the rapist from ‘The Lovely Bones’ if he collected Wizard of Oz figurines.”
“That’s very kind of you. Thank you, Wednesday Addams apple.
thank you, most unlikeable Wes Anderson character. Remy is a proud Hispanic, Romani, Ashkenazi Jew, or as I call it, a white-passing turducken.”
“Thank you, most unlikable Wes Anderson character. Mitchell once hooked up with a guy and called me afterwards at 3 AM. Not to tell me about it, but to pitch a feature film based on it.”
“Remy lives with bipolar disorder… but enough about her parents. Remy has ADHD… and bipolar disorder.”
“How could you say that when you look AND act like a question mark? Mitchell is a very talented stage actor who kinda reminds me of an ambulance: he’s white, he’s flashy, and there’s probably someone dead inside.”
“Remy has a very interesting nickname here, ‘the ghost of Anne Frank,’ and I get the comparison. You were a gifted a child who grew up to be a burnt-out teenager.”
“That was about as necessary as her drum set.”
Michael Che sums this awkward, disappointing battle up perfectly:
“This was like watching a couple argue in Chinese.”
The judges have a hard time deciding on a winner as neither of the battlers had any jokes that hit hard. Jeremiah calls it a draw, CP gives it to Brian, Che gives it to Remy based on “a joke I liked but I don’t remember.” Rosebud weighs in saying “I feel like you help each other write suicide notes” and gives the edge to Mitchell based on his pre-battle joke. The audience weighs in, and with less-than-enthusiastic applause, Mitchell Pratt wins.
The energy in the room shifts as the comedians in the back begin buzzing with excitement for the next battle: Digits versus Nate Welch. Digits, everyone’s favorite wildcard, enters to “Lean Like A Cholo” with his signature swagger and a bandana tied around his face, carrying a beer with a Comedy Store koozie. Che doesn’t miss a beat:
“I’ve never seen a gangster with a koozie before.”
The audience erupts. Before the laughter even begins to subside, Digits hilariously adds:
“This is a windbreaker, fool.”
The crowd doubles over in laughter. This is a perfect example of what is so special about Digits: he’s either a comedic genius, or so delightfully clueless and unapologetically himself, you can’t help but love him. Either way, it’s undeniable that he is one of the most entertaining battlers to watch. While Digits paces around the stage, Rosebud says, “Dude, I hate this,” which pretty much sums up how everyone feels about Digits when they first see him, before they get to experience the true majesty that is Digits. Che pounces again asking, “Is he wearing turquoise under that jacket?” poking fun at the juxtaposition of a self-branded “gangster” wearing such a delicate color. Digits responds with “leave me alone fool,” which garners a joyful squeal from Jeremiah that has not been made by a human before.
After exposing Digits’ vulnerability, Nate Welch is brought to the stage, hoping to exploit that softer side. Moses asks who called who out and Digits replies:
“It was just a process of nature, fool. You know why I wanted to battle this fool, dog? Because someone told me that he likes trees back there. He likes one of the trees that I hate the most.”
The audience is visibly puzzled.
“Trees?” – Rosebud Baker
“Yeah, the bigot… the bigot-tree… bigotry.” – Digits
The entire room explodes with a mixture of groans and laughter, unable to comprehend the clever word play paired with the completely nonsensical set-up.
“I have never heard a gangster who used puns!” – Michael Che
“I use riddles on the weekends, fool.” – Digits
*more squealing* – Jeremiah Watkins
All this and the battle hasn’t even started yet! Digits eventually volunteers to go first.
“Give it up for Chin Diesel. Nate hates exercising, the only time he exercises is when he runs… black people out of his neighborhood.”
“Digits just got off of house arrest. It’s good to see ya outside of Home… Depot. This must be what it’s like inside the Mind Of Mencia, but instead of stealing jokes, he steals hubcaps & lawnmowers.”
“That fool is German. Nate’s last name is Welch and he looks like he hates his last name because it sounds like a drink that attracts black people… Welch’s grape drink.”
“Thank you Pablo Candybar.”
At this point Digits takes his signature kneeling pose. Nate pounces:
“What the fuck are you doing down there? Nobody is saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Digits looks like he’s in a gang, but he don’t cut people, he just cuts grass.”
“Nah, I cut people, haha. Now everyone give it up for Stone Cold Steve Autism. Nate’s favorite wrestler is Stone Cold, which is funny, ’cause his favorite rape victims are also out stone cold.”
“Digits is so god damn stupid – ”
“Five plus five is ten, fool.”
“– he cuts his pizza with (Spanish voice) Little Caesars.”
Nate finishes and the audience begins a deafening “Digits!” chant. Rosebud is the first to weigh in:
“I gotta say, Digits, I don’t like you.” – Rosebud Baker
“Likewise, white lady.” – Digits
Rosebud continues and gives it to Digits. All the judges compliment “Stone Cold Steve Autism” and follow Rosebud’s lead, unanimously voting for Digits. Che compliments Nate’s jokes, saying that the battle was incredibly entertaining and the audience may have missed several of Nate’s good jokes because they were “stepped on by Digits’ charisma.” Nate’s off-the-cuff Pledge of Allegiance joke was brilliant and earns him compliments from the judges. Jeremiah, despite voting for Digits, also gives credit to Nate for his performance battling “retarded Teflon, nothing sticks to [Digits].” The audience agrees and Digits takes another win.
It’s time for our main event and the audience is riled up after the insanity of the previous battle and ready to watch two of the best duke it out, Greg Roque versus Doug Fager. Greg is wheeled to the stage first lacking enthusiasm. Doug comes to the stage with energy, ready to fight.
“I think we all know how this is going to go: Greg is going to tell some pretty good jokes, you are all going to laugh like it’s the funniest thing you’ve ever fucking heard, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that, because me, as opposed to Greg, I enjoy an uphill battle.” Doug Fager
“Jeez, with shit like that it’s no wonder you’ve never been on TV.” – Greg Roque
“Yeah, because I’m not in a fucking wheelchair.” – Doug Fager
The gloves are off tonight. We are in for a brutal battle. Greg volunteers to go first.
“Doug’s mom is an alcoholic cunt. A lot of her problems are attributed to drinking Jack, but her biggest problem is that she didn’t swallow Doug.”
“Greg did recently get engaged, proving that women really do love a fixer upper. I’ve heard their sex life is amazing though, Greg doesn’t just pop a boner, he pops a wheelie.”
“Doug‘s deadbeat dad used to own a bar. It was a lot like the show Cheers, except Doug’s dad doesn’t know his name.”
“Greg is what happens when your mother is the one who steps on a crack.”
“Doug‘s abusive dad used to be a boxer and used to hit Doug‘s mom. Doug wanted to be like his dad, but the only way he can knock out women is with a roofie.”
“Greg congratulations again on the engagement, it’s the first time I’ve seen a registry at Discount Tire Center. I just hope you don’t get cold feet, ‘cuz how would you know?!”
“Doug’s brother died of food poisoning, and the odds of dying of food poisoning are one in a million. You know, the same odds as Doug becoming a successful comedian. So I have to say that your brother is the one with good timing because he knew how to end with a gag.”
“You know what’s wild, my brother’s name was Greg, so every time I say your name it reminds me of him, and every time I see your legs it reminds me he’s dead. I’m not gonna stand up here and just make a bunch of wheelchair jokes, because Greg is also ugly. Greg is so ugly that when he tried washing his face with Dove, it flew away.”
“Yes I am disabled, I have a lot of trouble getting up stairs, but Doug’s a 35-year-old comic who’s never been on TV, so at least I can climb the comedy latter.”
“No one believes it.”
“Greg is both ugly and in a wheelchair! I mean Jesus, this could only get worse if it turned out you were Mexican. Both of Greg’s parents are actually 100 percent Mexican, which is how they made a lowrider.”
Now THAT is a Roast Battle. Flawlessly executed, mean as fuck, well-written jokes by these two OGs. Doug came out hard and didn’t let up. Rosebud summed up Doug’s strategy perfectly:
“If you’re going to battle someone in a wheelchair, you have to go as mean as possible, you can’t go easy.”
And he didn’t. Almost every joke of Doug’s had at least two punches, several having three or four. Each joke was creative and mean, some with a dash of delightful silliness; all signatures of Doug’s style of writing. Greg didn’t have as well-written jokes as we’ve seen him have in the past. Greg’s first joke felt forced, both in the punchline and in the fact that it was factually inaccurate. While battlers are allowed a little leeway with facts, whenever a joke is just an outright lie, it doesn’t usually work. When you’re battling someone like Doug who has SO MUCH at which to poke fun, it’s lazy writing to make shit up. The judges unanimously give it to Doug and he earns another well-deserved win.