The past two weeks of Roast Battle have continued to prove that even when the battles don’t knock our socks off, the other parts – Moses, Coach Tea, the judges, the All Negro Wave, and the Haters – come together to make the show whole. To those who think that lately, the show has had a hole – I know that some of the shows fiercest fans, the Periscope comment section, are certainly a bit fed up – I say sit down, strap in, and shut the fuck up for what is looking like one of the most dynamic fight nights the Belly Room has seen this year. Tonight, Roast Battle bounces back with a miraculous main event battle and some undercards with serious potential.

Everybody’s favorite verbal abuser Jeff Ross returns to the judges’ dais this week, ready to burn down the house with scorching asides and some backhanded guidance. They say a rising tide lifts all ships, and the Roastmaster General is a tidal wave, ready to raise the stakes and drown anyone who can’t handle the heat. Two of our judges tonight are Roast Battle legends in their own right: Joe DeRosa and Mike Lawrence. Both were members of the original Dirty Dozen, both had to take on fierce women, and both are whip-smart with the right kind of quick wit to make new battlers squirm when they realize who’s on the dais. Our third judge, Jade Catta-Preta, joins the panel for the first time, but is as funny and mean as they come. She’s left mental scars on Brenton Biddlecombe so gnarly, every time he hosts Potluck he still worries about her coming by and calling him the Store’s favorite little lesbian. Welcome to the show, Jade!

The first undercard this week: Manny Ortiz vs. Isaac “Flaco” Martinez!

Not only are these two some of the finest Hispanic comics that the outskirts of East LA has to offer, but this battle features our first comic with Marfan Syndrome, meaning that Roast Battle is continuing to broaden our hatred horizons! Flaco rides the cutting edge of hate, and probably has enough jokes about his condition to fill dozens of roasts, making this a tougher job for his opponent. I don’t know much about Manny’s roast potential, but if his skin is thick enough to handle the insults people sling at him for that half-perm he’s sporting, then I think he’ll do just fine.

Following them in the ring: Brian Biancardi vs. Jesse Villacis!

These boys, busting their Battle cherries tonight, are both accomplished comics who have been knocked back down to Level 1 of the comedy grind with recent moves to Los Angeles. Brian brings the go-with-the-flow mindset of a Chicago improv background, and Jesse, with his suicidal Seattle energy, comes ready to make his opponent hurt deep on the inside. Having watched them both perform, it’s obvious that just because they’re stuck open micing again doesn’t mean they’re not funny. Though will they be roasty? Only time will tell.

Our final undercard: Josh Waldron vs. Valerie Tosi!

This week, Josh has stepped away from his Roast Report duties to return to the ring, where he has an iffy track record despite his enthusiasm. Even he’ll tell you that his last loss may deserve an asterisk. Now, Josh makes things harder for himself by taking on a girl. Valerie is a Roast Battle virgin, but historically there’s always an uphill climb to victory for guys who choose to battle girls. Josh has the battle chops, but Valerie has the vagina-laden fury that may carry her to the winner’s circle.

Speaking of tough opponents…the main event this week: Kim Congdon vs. Omid Singh!

Kim and Omid are, without a doubt, two of the best battlers that LA has to offer. Kim’s only loss came at the hands of Pete C. in last year’s tournament, and while Omid has more losses on his record, he has the added advantage of being one of the regular House Haters, so he gets to exercise some of the razor-sharp wit that makes him such a formidable contender with a little bit more freedom. Though do I need to remind you guys how hard it is to beat a woman around here? Besides, it’s International Women’s Day. These girls are coming empowered, ready to unleash some burns. And I’m not just talking about the pile of bras they’re planning to set on fire in the parking lot post-show. I have a feeling that the losers tonight will be ladies’ choice.

See you tonight! If you can’t make it, watch the live stream on Periscope starting around 11:30 PM PST.

guest post by Jay Light

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