by Tony Bartolone, photos by Troy Conrad 

A comedian is like a verbal magician. They get you to look
where they want you to look, hear what they want you to hear and see what they
want to see. Misdirection, slight-of-hand and sometimes (for seemingly no
reason at all) a fireball or two. All the artistry of comedy, the craft of
joke-writing, is the art of surprise. Well, on the 4th of July in
the Belly Room there were plenty of surprises.

It is one of the most packed nights of battles in recent memory, starting off
with a double-virgin sacrifice featuring Andy Gold versus Marty Archibald.

Andy is brought out, and Brian Moses asks him what the worst
thing is about his opponent. He tells the crowd that a house crushed Marty’s
dad and Marty is an emotional mess with no friends or sex life, as a result. As
Andy Gold is explaining why his friend and roommate is a piece of shit of a
person, judges Pat Barker and Mike Lawrence take their seats on the dais. Once
Marty gets to the stage, Moses poses the same “worst thing about your opponent”
question to him and he replies simply: 

“He’s a big bully.”

Andy kicks off the battle:

“Ok, as you can see, Marty is a very fit man. He lives a
life of strict diet and constant exercise. The only thing Marty has less of
than body fat is consensual sex.”

“That is true. Andy’s a… dumb red-faced idiot. He’s having a
lot of sex with Tig Notaro’s ex-girlfriend… because he thinks she’s gonna help
his career by giving him cancer.”

“Alright. Marty is a walking contradiction: a handsome man
who never has sex and a retarded person who people never laugh at.”

“Andy wasn’t good enough at baseball to be a professional
like his older brother, but he’s way better than his deceased brother at
surviving a heroin overdose.”

“Marty’s biological dad was squished by a house, and his
step dad was arrested for child pornography. Despite that, the thing that’s
caused Marty’s mom the most heartache is Marty’s shitty comedy.”

“Andy has successfully traded in his heroin addiction for a
sex addiction. And like his heroin addiction he has no standards for who he’ll
fuck, he used to shoot up dirty heroin like two to three times a day, now he
spends every day fucking two’s and three’s.”

With a soft end to pretty good first battle, Marty Archibald
takes the win. Both these guys show potential as future battlers, but if you’re
going to Roast Battle watch the show. Listen to the Verbal Violent podcast. And
try to reach as deep as possible for originality. Both these guys are likeable (Andy
Gold to a lesser extent) and obviously fairly experienced comics, but the jokes
are a little cliché. I’m pretty sure all of those punch lines have been done in
the Belly Room before, and Andy was reading off his fucking phone. Either
memorize three jokes or get notecards, jot down notes, place it on the stool
and sneak looks at it. So I give the battle a B overall, but an F for effort
(mostly Andy). Marty didn’t pull out his phone, so I’m glad he won.

We move on to see Kyle Gridley Vs. Ricky Macias. Moses asks
Kyle, one of the whitest people I’ve ever met, why he’s battling Ricky, and he
gives a patriotic answer:

“Ricky’s Mexican and I’m Guatemalan… so I just wanna give
America the race war it deserves.”

Ricky comes up next looking confident and Moses asks if he
heard what Kyle just said. He responds:

“Yeah, he’s trying to pretend he’s Hispanic. It’s fuckin’

Kyle claims first joke:

“Ricky has ten siblings so he grew up on welfare. Oh wait,
sorry, in well at a fair.”

“Kyle, you look like your autism comes with a side of

“Form the back Ricky looks like a girl, and from the front he looks like the
guy following her.”

“Kyle hasn’t seen his dad in twelve years. That’s twelve
years his mom wishes she would’ve done first.”

“Ricky, ya sound sad. It’s like before each sentence you
re-learn your dad died of cancer.”

“Kyle is half Guatemalan, and he’s also a full

This is a solid battle, but Ricky has a head-scratcher for
his second joke. I don’t know if he screwed it up, or it didn’t ever quite make
sense, but it definitely cost him the battle. Kyle shows experience, and Mike
Lawrence gives him a glowing endorsement.

“Yeah, I thought Ricky was gonna have home field advantage
because his house growing up was a lot like the Comedy Store: 800 people
crammed into three rooms.” – Pat Barker

Kyle Gridley takes the match with what is most likely his
finest performance to date. It’s shaping up to be an explosive night.

The stand up comedy is fantastic all the way through into
our next round of battles. The first of the two comes with some backstory.
David Lucas was set to do battle, but his opponent backed out at the last
minute. So he was running around the Belly Room looking for somebody to accept
his challenge with practically no prep time whatsoever. Finally, somebody
answered the unique challenge, and it was none other than everybody’s favorite third
world refugee, Haiti.

Now this battle between Haiti and David Lucas gets really
messy and jumps all over the place. While it is high-octane entertainment, it
is nearly impossible to translate to blog-form. Between David’s rapid-fire,
off-the-cuff Ebonics, Haiti’s accent and how often they talk and yell over each
other, it’s a nightmare to transcribe as well. It started with somebody (I’m
pretty it was David Lucas himself) yelling out “Sister Act!” at Haiti from the
back of the room. Then once David Lucas takes the stage he starts firing at
anybody who comes at him, most notably, Pat Barker.

“I love that David’s wearing a Def Leppard T-shirt. It’s
only fitting you wear a shirt for a band with a one arm drummer, since diabetes
is gonna make you a one legged battler.” – Pat Barker

“I can’t tell a joke that long, you feel me. Nigga, you need
to be home witcha kid.” – David Lucas

Music hits, and the Wave comes out dancing. I can’t remember anybody getting
the Wave out of their seats with a pre-roast burn on a judge before, but that’s
the magic touch of David Lucas. He continues on the same thread, but Pat fires

“No offense Moses, but if you think I’m taking child support advice from a
black guy, you’re out of your fuckin’ mind.” – Pat Barker

“Well nigga, you should stick around your wife, because
you’re pretty ugly. You ain’t got too many options. See, I can leave bitches-”  – David Lucas

“You look like Coach Tea with missing chromosomes…”  – Pat Barker

Haiti takes off his shirt so it’s shirts versus skins, even
though David has way more skin. Haiti volunteers to go first and we’re off:

“I raise my hand to go first because he might, ya know, tire his ass out.”

“Nigga, I need subtitles when you talk, mothafucka.”

“Man, shut your [unintelligible gibberish] ass up. David
look like a professional garbage truck.”

“This nigga Haiti ain’t really a Haitian. This m’fucka is
Whoopi Goldberg in witness protection.”

Jamar asks David Lucas to repeat himself, so he tells the
same joke again and the Wave celebrates it.

“I know this nigga with two sets a titties is not talkin’ to
me, nigga.”

“That’s yo joke?”

“Nigga, no! That nigga looks like he got his GED from EBT.”

Haiti fumbles the delivery and gets a bigger laugh by
telling David, “Nigga no!” than his actual joke. Somebody yells out (possibly
Jeremiah from The Wave): “That don’t even make sense!” David Lucas continues,
while things are starting to really go off the rails.

“It didn’t, bro. It really didn’t make sense.”

“[loud unintelligible gibberish] YOU FAT PIECE OF SHIT!”

“That’s all you can say, mothafucka. You look like the AIDS
virus with dreads.”

“This nigga look like me if I cut my hair and stop giving a

“This nigga Haiti is a professional background actor. Don’t nobody know him,
but the back of his head is famous as fuck.”

“You’re the only nigga I know with first world titties.”

This gets quite a pop, and prompts a chant of “First world
titties! First world titties!” This is where things get sloppy wild and they go
back and forth talking over each other. This is supposed to be a
three-for-three joke battle, but it’s hard to tell where they begin and where
they’re going to stop. David Lucas grabs the ball out of the chaos and shoots: 

“This nigga Haiti look like a street performer. Look like he’s suppose to be on
Hollywood Boulevard doin’ flips and shit.”

Moses is about to stop it, but Haiti waves him off. The crowd starts chanting
“Battle! Battle! Battle!” and Moses just let’s them go Wild n’ Out style. 

“Ahh! You fat piece of fuckin’ shit-”

“Yo mama like it, nigga.”

The crowd is going crazy, they keep right on roasting
through the mayhem. And out of the tornado of verbal violence David Lucas comes
through with a slave joke about Haiti being from Tennessee. It’s unclear where
the joke starts, but rest assured there was a slave joke. Haiti replies:

“Nigga, I would tell your ass to go back to Africa. But your
ass so big Africa gotta come to you.”

That was supposed to be the official last joke, but David
Lucas can’t help himself.

“Nigga, I freestyle jokes all day. You look like a teenage predator, nigga.”

More “Battle!” chants erupt. And they keep roasting for a
bit. In a foot race, Haiti would leave David in his dust, but in this battle
Haiti looked exasperated by the end. Moses finally makes it onstage to put an
end to this nigga-licious free for all.

“Hey man, hey. I gotta give it up to Haiti, man. Because for
real, the nigga I was supposed to battle backed out and this nigga said I’ll
battle you. We didn’t have no time to write. All this shit was right now, ya
feel me?” – David Lucas

Rousing applause comes from a satisfied crowd. Both judges give
them major props, and there’s another battle: Timothy McGorry versus Kyle Monaghan.

This battle has a hard job following the free-fire fun from the last battle,
and these two jerkoffs do a horrific job. The best part is The Wave yelling
shit out and Coach Tea scoring the battle (if you can even call it that) by
playing the slow, sad ballad, “Say Something (I’m Giving Up On You)” with an
emphasis on all of us giving up on these two goofs. My job is to transcribe
jokes and they didn’t tell any, so I’m gonna spare you and move onto our next
battle. They go the regulation three jokes apiece, and open mic infant Kyle
actually gets a laugh at the end by telling a hacky “your dad died of cancer”
joke. However, the crowd is already chanting for Haiti. Jeff Ross jumps onto
the dais. Let’s go to the judges:

“Watching you guys follow Haiti and David Lucas is like
watching Trump follow Obama. Can we get the black guy back please?” – Mike Lawrence

Willie Hunter comes up and does an impromptu Obama

“You [Kyle] look like the dude from American Psycho if they
only thing he butchered were set ups and punchlines.” – Pat Barker

Moses puts it to an audience vote, and Haiti gets a win he didn’t earn. We go
to one more round of stand up before the next round of battles. When I get back
from the bathroom after my annual post bbq beer dump, something has clearly
gone awry in the room. Pat Regan is onstage without his guitar and to quote
Marc Maron, “There was a silence in the room that had a suction to it.” Pat
goes into the crowd and Jeff Ross interjects and asks, “Pat what are you
doing?” Just then a man from the crowd shoves Pat, and Jeff Ross tries to calm
him down. The only reason I mention this is because it really derailed the
momentum of the show. I wouldn’t want to be the poor schmucks to follow that.

In our next bout, Boston Strong Tom Whalen goes to war with
Canadian Polite Andrew Ryan Fox. Saudi Prince dropping into his ringside seat
right before the fight lightens the mood a bit, but there’s still a dark cloud
of silence weighing down the room. Brian Moses introduces Tom and Hulk Hogan’s
classic theme “Real American” begins to play. The slow intro adds to the
tension and Tom busts out like a house on fire. Tom dancing and singing with an
American flag as a cape waving two mini red, white and blues, it might be just
the thing the crowd needs to break through the tense atmosphere. Watching this
pudgy moron struggle to rip his #swole tank top from his tanless, fat flesh
gave hope to the people. Andrew enters to “O Canada” wearing a Canadian flag,
and the pair have a hard time. These are the two best jokes from the respective
battlers starting with Tom’s:

“Andrew is an illegal in America, but then again being a pedophile
is illegal everywhere.”

“Tom’s sister’s an heroin addict. If I had to spend my life
listening to this fuckin’ guy I too would’ve sought out a way to have a good
excuse to nod off in the middle of conversation.”

This battle is mediocre at best, but in part because of the uncomfortable
that came before. Andrew eats it hard with long diatribes that sounded more like
novels than jokes, and he blew the delivery on the first two. Tom does a little
better, but not by much. He takes the battle with an audience approval rating
of about 35%.

At this point, we are praying for something to get us back on track. To answer
that challenge, Mike Schmidt has agreed to take on a mystery opponent. Out of
the back door comes bachelor number one, Josh Waldron. So Josh had two weeks to
prepare for this battle, but Mike has to go off the top of his head. Josh shoots

“Mike looks like the substitute teacher who’s not allowed
near schools.”

“Speaking of schools, you look like the Sorting Hat would put you in a gay conversion camp.”

“Mike likes to get whipped after a joke bombs. So his face says alt-right, but
his back says Kunta Kinte.”

“I want to say something about the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
But I feel like Adam’s wardrobe and hair choice have already done it for me.”

“Mike loves poetry so much he modeled his comedy career
after The Road Less Traveled.”

“Josh quit drinking recently to focus on his comedy career,
to be more successful. Oh honey, that’s not why you’re not successful.”

Mike just annihilates Josh on the spot. Except for calling
him Adam in his second joke, Mike’s side of the battle was perfect. Funny thing
about the name goof is that Josh said Mike is his friend while getting made fun
of for being unsuccessful. Josh is such a failure, not even his friends know
his name. Even after Waldron’s terrible Robert Frost poetry joke, we are back
on the right road.

Next we have a real race war on our hands when Katrina Davis
takes on Zach Stein.  Katrina
enters first looking like Black Panther Miss Frizzle, followed by Zach looking
like he was confused about what pride festival meant.

“I’ve never seen someone be awkward and confident at the
same time.” – Mike Lawrence

It’s really weird Mike says that because it’s a picture
perfect description of himself. It is revealed that Zach is a patron of African-American prostitutes. But seriously, it’s actually a great organization he works
with called No Hooker Left Behind. There’s a fun moment where a judge makes a
reparations joke and Zach gives Katrina a dollar, and it looks to be a fun
fight. Stein gets first joke to get things going:

“Katrina Davis has fucked more white men than equality.”

“I hate his voice so goddamn much. He sounds like Louie Anderson if he had to
go to speech therapy. Zach was born from a surrogate, but I think he’s actually
just the one fetus Amy Schumer forgot to abort”

“Katrina is such a white washed Beyoncé, that the only formation she’s ever created is the line
she cut into her wrist.”

“Zach buys hookers, a lot. Umm… The only thing worse than
getting paid to take his material in the face is listening to it onstage for

“I rent them, you can’t buy one. One of my favorite things
about Katrina is how she honors her heritage in the African American experience
with her hair, whether she wears it natural or in traditional African hair
dresses or washing the cum of a white man out of it.”

“Zach was raised by a Lebanese Arab woman. She escaped an
arranged marriage when she was fifteen just to raise something that harms more
women than her culture.”

And that’s the ballgame. Katrina does well, but Zach stmbles.
He fumbled the words on two of his three jokes. He won the crowd back after his
first joke bombed, but his third joke was just too many words and just like Tom
Whalen after his intro, he ran out of breath. Pat Barker has a question for

“Zach, are you from New Orleans?”

“No, Detroit.”

“I wasn’t sure because you spent the whole time battling Katrina and drowning.” – Pat Barker

“Zach, it’s nice to know that there’s a nerd section at
Trump rallies also.” – Mike Lawrence

Upon hearing this, Zach unzips his star spangled sweatshirt
to reveal a red and white All Lives Matter
shirt. Zach is white as fuck and usually wears suits, so this is exactly how we
imagined him dressing on casual Friday. It is decent effort from both parties,
but Katrina is awarded the W.

Finally, it is time for the main event: Madison Sinclair versus Nicole Becannon.

Nicole had her first main event last week and destroyed
Quentin Thomas. This week she’s back again taking on Madison Sinclair, whom
Quentin decimated in her first main event not long ago. Can she beat her
victor’s victor, and take back the night? She is undefeated against women, so
it could be hers for the taking. 

“It looks like noon at a strip club onstage right now.” – Saudi Prince

“It looks like Princess Fiona versus the ogre version of
herself.” – Mike Lawrence

This prompts the crowd to chant, “Shrek! Shrek! Shrek!”
They’re well over the mid show dip and fired up for the main event. Nicole
steps up to take her down:

“Madison’s tits are fake, and so is anyone that tells her
she’s funny.”

“If I knew I’d have to listen to such mediocre tit jokes I
would’ve kept the cancer in ’em. I would never call another woman a gross whore,
but I would say Nicole looks like the kinda girl that would give you sloppy

“Great, a hot girl calling girl calling me ugly. If this
were anymore like high school Madison would be blowing her teacher for a B-.”

“Nicole has had so many mediocre comics inside of her, her
pussy’s like Flappers, ya know, the only difference is at Flappers you have to
buy a drink to get in.”

“I’m so excited I’m finally getting slut jokes. I feel like I earned this.
Madison, I actually think you’re great. Career-wise, I really do think you’re gonna
take off… your clothes on a casting couch.”

“Nicole’s like a land slug, ya know, she’s got those eyes
that protrude in front of her face and go opposite directions, her body’s
shapeless and if you sit her on your face you’ll be covered in a mucus-y

“Madison’s mom was the original Hooter’s girl, meanwhile
Madison doesn’t even have her original Hooters.”

“Nicole wants me to make jokes about how sad and just like,
I don’t know, just how sad and tortured her life is. But the truth is she’s a
suburban princess. She was born into a family that’s very loving and
supportive. You’re persona is so fake it should be living in my fucking chest.”

“Madison wears a lot of make up, and honestly I really don’t
think you need to. You just naturally look like an unfunny cunt.”

“Nicole, how do you keep getting cheated on when you’re the
one with two wandering eyes?” 

Madison makes a valiant effort, but Nicole just kept
pummeling her. It was like watching one fighter wildly swinging their arms and
the other nailing punches right on the chin. If you’re paying attention, you
will notice what wins in Roast Battle is the economy of words. Nicole had no
words wasted. She had short, simple, mean jokes. Madison may be a beauty, but
Nicole is a beast. She’s gets the unanimous judges’ decision and she deserved
it. Two weeks in a row, blow-for-bow, she stops the mothafuckin’ show. One last
bit of business…

While an angry black man was pushing Pat Regan in the Belly
Room, Jay Light was just outside the door cutting a promo for his battle next
week with Kevin Mac. Some strong words for a weak opponent. If you missed it,
Kevin and Jay got into last week while Jay was judging his battle, and big Mac
challenged him to step into the ring. It’s in the books for this next week, and
we’re excited to see Jay Light verbally bitch slap that disgustingly
symmetrical face.

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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