The 2018 Roast Battle Royale is over, but the potential for major ranking shifts is far from finished. Tonight’s matches include some returning favorites looking to jump up the rankings along with a main event that has LA title implications.
Judging the battles is 80s heartthrob Cort McCown, who has more TV credits than he has natural hairs left. Cort is an experienced judge with a sharp wit. Our next judge is Kim Congdon, a roast battle favorite that we saw on seasons 1 & 2 of the TV show. Kim is a vicious battler and fantastic judge, her intimate knowledge of the show combined with her biting remarks and comebacks, make her a crowd favorite. Rounding out the panel will be the gentlemen of the Legion of Skanks podcast – Big Jay Oakerson, Dave Smith, and NYC’s Roastmasters host Luis J. Gomez – dropping by the Belly Room before their Comedy Store shows over the course of the next couple of days.
In our first undercard of the night, we have Raul Reyes versus Alex Farivar. Raul has only battled once before, and was defeated by King Hassan, which sounds more like a story about his Mayan ancestors, than a battle record. I don’t know Raul personally, and judging by his Facebook, neither do most people. Alex Farivar is a virgin battler, who posts annoying viral videos on his Facebook and not much else. Hopefully his jokes have more personality than he appears to have. This is anyone’s match since neither of these battlers is known. Judging solely on their profile pictures, I’d say we’re in for a lot of generic racist and date rapist jokes.
Next up, we have battle virgins Lou Misiano versus Justin Etheredge. Lou, hailing from Philly, comes recommended by Roast Battle god amongst men Pat Barker, and Justin, a multi-hyphenate comedian from Los Angeles, has performed on the stand-up preshow preceding the battles, so he likely already has an idea of what the room is on board with. While it’s hard to peg what exactly to expect from these two newbies, I’m hoping that it’s a great show. And if it isn’t, well, then that’s what our stacked firing squad is there for. Good luck, boys!
The next undercard pits Kelly McInerney against Ashley Johnson. Kelly has only stepped into the ring once, nearly two years ago, when she narrowly defeated Ethan Stanislawski. Her win against Ethan came from a combination of her likability and the audience’s distaste for Ethan’s highbrow jokes. Although she’s not to be discounted quickly. Kelly is a 7-year comedy vet with a background in improv, which can be a huge crowd pleaser in the ring. Ashley has the looming presence of a biker who now “rides for Christ,” and is definitely the more seasoned battler, having been in the ring many more times, and much more recently. He is heavily favored against the inexperienced Kelly, however perhaps over her two-year hiatus she’s studied the roast format and will send Ashley back under his bridge to collect tolls.
Next up, we pit Movses Shakarian against unranked Kelsey Lane. Both these battlers have been stepping into the ring frequently lately, both hungry to add some more Ws to their records. Movses was the least experienced battler asked to participate in the tournament, and although he was knocked out in the first round, he had an impressive match and was barely beaten by Jacob Trimmer. Movses is quickly making a name for himself in roast battle as an up-and-comer to watch. Kelsey has had a rockier go of it, having some epic disasters, and some mediocre wins. She’s most known for participating in the first and only musical battle in roast battle history. Kelsey is coming off a win against Sharon Houston, where the judges favored Sharon, based largely on their friendship with the seasoned comedian, but the audience voted Kelsey the winner. Kelsey’s last battle showed a more relaxed, confident version of her that before we hadn’t seen. While Movses is the clear favorite, having a more consistent battle record, if Kelsey brings that confident, give-no-fucks attitude again, Movses will have a run for his money.
Our last undercard of the night welcomes the return of room favorite Robin Tran versus Evan Cassidy. Robin is coming off an impressive win against Madison Sinclair last month. Robin is a skilled writer and seasoned battler with Comedy Central experience, she understands the format of the show, and is able to win the audience over right away. Evan was a top 25 battler a while ago, but was removed from the rankings due to inactivity. He seems to be back to stay now, having narrowly lost to audience favorite Joe Eurell. Evan is a fierce writer and a seasoned comic, and this is sure to be a very fun battle.
Our main event pits LA’s #1 battler Toby Muresianu against the Mean Queen herself, Jeanne Whitney. Both of the battlers are feared competitors with a trail of bodies in their wake. Jeanne is coming off wins against Roast Battle royalty Jay Light and Doug Fager, and a tough loss to Omid Singh. She looks to regain momentum against one of the Belly Room’s most fearsome competitors. Toby is a phenomenal writer, and is as interesting as white bread, making him a dominating competitor. Toby has been at #1 for a while, and his reign of terror seemingly has no end. One of these battlers will continue their reign of terror, while one will go home a defeated giant. This is going to be an explosive battle, sure to rock the foundation of The Comedy Store and leave the audience wet with excitement.
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