As more and more of your New Years resolutions are broken by the day, Roast Battle returns this week to remind you that nothing matters anyway and we’re all deeply flawed and destined to die alone and unloved. At the judges’ table, we’ve got a solid squad of comics, including some Roast Battle favorites.

First up is Adam Ray, who has made numerous past appearances in the VIP section and can be heard co-hosting the About Last Night podcast with fellow dais favorite Brad Williams. We’ve also got Mike Young, a paid regular who is an accomplished comic, writer, and director. Check out his film “A Stand Up Guy” on whatever streaming service you’ve got your parents’ password for. Finally, we’ve got the Sklar Brothers, two of the finest judges to ever grace the panel. This gruesome twosome is always equally quick with insults and praise, and their extensive judging experience is appreciated on a night like tonight featuring a bumper crop of rising roast talent.

First up in the undercards we’ll see the sophomore performances of Mia Mars and Kayla Bernadette, each returning for their second battles after some mixed-bag debuts.

Mia took a close vote in her first battle against a relatively ill-equipped opponent, and she looks to do the same tonight, while Kayla Bernadette lost her premiere match pretty definitely last fall to Victor Martinez, and will be looking to earn a little redemption this time around. Other than that, not much I can say about Kayla Bernadette as I have discovered in my attempt to get some pictures here for the blog that she appears to have blocked me on all forms of social media. Upon further investigation, it has also been brought to my attention that she and I apparently used to date and actually briefly lived together at one point until it ended horribly and we haven’t spoken in two years. Not sure what that’s all about.

For our second of only two undercards, we’ve got a Roast Battle debut from recently-minted paid regular Jessica Michelle Singleton in a transatlantic clash against the U.K.’s Eric Lampaert.

If the Roast Battle U.K. promos are any indication of how they get down across the pond, then… uhhh… hey, let’s actually not make any assumptions off of that. Eric’s a solid comic and runs a great show called Comedians’ Cinema Club at the Nerdist Theater and turned in a remarkable debut, ultimately winning a close decision against the eminently adorable Sameer Suri back in May. JMS is stepping into the ring for the first time but has appeared previously as part of the All Crimson Wave a few years ago, as well as at the judges’ table. Expect neither competitor to arrive without knowing what to expect.

Opening the first of our final two 2018 tournament play-in brackets, we’ll see the long-awaited return of Ramsey Badawi against David Lucas.

David Lucas, once considered by many to be the Mike Tyson of Roast Battle early on has more than lived up to the metaphor and maybe not in the way he might’ve hoped. A string of utterly devastating victories over some lackluster opponents may have been the impetus behind some serious over-hyping before Lucas ultimately moved on to take a number of disappointing L’s in the ring. Several scheduling issues, some cancelled fights and a failure to outwrite even the most base-level Mad Libs-style racist puns have arguably moved Lucas into the undesirable role of biggest longshot in the brackets. Ramsey Badawi, on the other hand, has been out of the Roast Battle game nearly a year, which could either mean he returns a bit rusty, or completely rested and ready for blood. It’s the final matchup before our mean-sixteen brackets are set to crown a 2018 champion, and we’re ready to see who makes the cut. Let’s roast!

Finally in our last play-in matchup of the tournament, Katrina Davis and Paige Wesley spar to see who takes on Mike Schmidt in the next bracket on February 6th.

Paige Wesley seems, as of late, to have morphed into some sort of unstoppable killing machine in the Roast Battle ring. Equally skilled as a strategist and tactician, she’s been masterful in reducing past opponents to pure rubble with the one-two punch of well-crafted rebuttals and solid standalone burns. Katrina Davis is certainly set to have her work cut out for her if you’re calculating favorites on strength of schedule in previous bouts, but her strongest and most memorable performances have been electrifying enough not to count her out in this or any heavyweight clash, and on that there’s no overwhelming favorite.

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 10:30 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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