Roast Battle is a movement, and the movement is spreading.
The Stand is the latest dojo to engage in the awe-inspiring art of competitive roasting, and from the outset, it already looks like some of New York City’s contenders are already primed to give the battlers at the Comedy Store a run for their money.
Host Luis J. Gomez of the Legion of Skanks podcast is coming fresh off being the roastmaster at the wildly successful Roast of Big Jay Oakerson, and his affability stood out despite his lack of experience with the format. Support from DJ Cipha Sounds and The People’s Wave – or, as judge Bonnie McFarlane would later call them, “this homeless improv troupe right here” – mirrors part of the circus-esque atmosphere that propelled the West Coast Roast Battle to such great heights. Judges Rich Vos, Aaron Berg, and the aforementioned Bonnie McFarlane were top-notch as well, slinging barbs at nearly everyone who came close to the stage that night. In short, even watching this on YouTube made me feel like I was right at home.
The first bout of the evening is between up-and-comers Subhah Agarwal and Crystian Ramirez. Crystian starts strong in round one:
“Dudes treat Subhah’s dirty pussy like a Halal cart. They only use it when they’re drunk at 3 in the morning.”
But Subhah didn’t come to fuck around:
“I don’t want to call you feminine, but my pussy has more hair than your face.”
“Crystian’s mother financially supports his career. She hasn’t been fucked this hard since his father was around.”
“Crystian, you walk around with a hump in your back. Not even your spine believes in you.”
The judges are impressed by Subhah’s dismantling of Crystian.
“I really think Subhah took that round, and I’d like to purchase her for two goats.” – Aaron Berg
“I gotta give it to the bitch with the smelly pussy!” – Bonnie
Subhah continues her impressive display in round two with a trio of jokes about Crystian’s absent father:
“Crystian’s father had a great eye for talent, which is why he abandoned him.”
“He’s been trying really hard to find his father because he needs the Twitter follower.”
“Seriously, why haven’t you been able to find your father? How many people are selling oranges on the side of the road?”
Crystian, wavering, tries his best…
“You have the body posture of a small chimp.”
…but his best can’t cut it today.
Luis calls for the judges’ votes once more, and after quick decisions from Bonnie and Aaron, winds up getting into it with Rich Vos:
“Do your knuckles hurt from hanging on to Big Jay’s coattails?”
“Who won the fucking round?”
“Which one is that?”
The crowd goes apeshit as Luis declares Subhah the unanimous winner.
Next on the fight card: Anthony Kapfer vs. Petey DeAbreu.
“Did he walk on water to get here?” – Rich Vos
Nobody seemed to know much about these two, with Luis even calling Petey the least famous person who has ever performed at the Stand. Petey attempted to make a ton of jokes about how Anthony wasn’t performing with a guitar, as he usually does, but the crowd wanted more than just instrument-shaming. Anthony provided:
“Petey, anyone can tell by looking at you that you’re influenced by Patrice O’Neal. Not by his comedy, by his eating habits. You’re gonna lose that fucking foot.”
“Petey, if they made a movie about your career it’d be called Straight Outta Open Mics.”
Anthony got a better response than Petey, but neither were stellar.
“Holy shit. That was fucking uncomfortable, man.” – Luis J. Gomez
“I hope none of these guys are in recovery because they’re gonna fucking relapse.” – Rich Vos
The judges seemed skittish, picking Anthony by a nose, except for Rich Vos, who voted for Subhah once more. Round two allowed the battlers a little more time to toss out angry words, with Petey electing to go first to try and salvage his underwhelming first round:
“You have the personality of a prosthetic leg.”
“Anthony looks like a mop that has a face with Hep C.”
But Anthony fired back with vigor:
“Petey, you look like Ice-T ate Ice Cube.”
“You’re so fat, you’re Ice Cubed.”
“You got so many woment pregnant, your next abortion’s free. But let’s be honest, they’re all free.”
This round felt much more decisive, and the judges picked up on that, all voting to give Anthony Kapfer the W.
“I would have to give it to dirty Gumby too.” – Aaron Berg
The main event: a hotly anticipated battle between best friends. Mike Vecchione vs. Geno Bisconte.
“I can’t believe Geno came all the way out of obscurity for this.” – Rich Vos
Round one was an absolute slug-fest, with both men hitting right at belt level with deeply layered jokes.
“I decided to roast Geno so he could get a spot at an actual comedy club. I have more on that. Geno often performs in shitholes, and by that, I mean Geno fucks guys.”
“Listening to Mike’s CD is like a pregnancy test. By the time you get to the second line, you know you’ve made a horrible mistake. The only difference is this time, you’ve already paid for the abortion.”
“Mike, the only time you would be on TV is if MTV came out with a show called Assistant Wrestling Coach Code.”
The crowd was laughing so much, you could almost feel people gasping to catch their breath as the comics readied their verbal ammo.
The judges gave a seemingly-manic Geno the first round by a nose, taking him by surprise. He elected to start round two, but didn’t stick the landing on his first joke.
“He’s only good if he thinks he’s losing.” – Bonnie McFarlane
After an initial stumble, though, Geno was ready to play hardball:
“People call Mike Vecchione a poor man’s Dave Attell, but after he asked you to write for him, it’s obvious that Dave Attell is a poor man’s Dave Attell.”
“Dave’s Old Porn was cancelled before Mike finished jerking off on the first paycheck.”
“Mike’s girlfriend is like The Stand comedy club. They’re both used to having mediocre comics pull out of them every night.”
Mike, seeking victory, locked eyes with Geno and proceeded to dismantle him.
“Geno hosts a show called Quizzo at a bar in Delaware, but has the goddamned talent to manage a Quiznos in Delaware.”
“Geno has a lot of edgy jokes. Watching Geno tell Holocaust jokes is less funny than the actual Holocaust.”
“Geno has jokes about Anne Frank, which is funny because Anne Frank was better at writing comedy than Geno.”
“Geno has jokes about a Jew trapped in an attic, because he can’t get passed by the Jews who run the Cellar.”
Mike decidedly wins round two, setting the stage for the only three-round match of the night. The haymaker round. And, boy, did these two make some hay.
“Geno has a staggering amount of domestic abuse jokes for someone who doesn’t have a wife and will never own a home.”
“Enjoy Mike now, because you’ll never see him on TV. He’s a terrible actor. The only person who has lost more male parts than him this year was Caitlyn Jenner.”
“Geno’s parents have passed on. He prays to them for help in his career, but they can’t hear him because they’re listening to a funnier podcast.”
“Mike has seen more small male parts in his acting career than Jerry Sandusky did in his coaching career. And just like Sandusky you sucked at all of ‘em.”
“Geno is Artie Lange’s sidekick. Artie’s previous sidekick was heroin. Both lead to Artie stabbing himself.”
Geno tries a final joke with an overly-long setup, but he can’t handle the levelling power of Mike’s roast writing. The judges deliberate…
“I love Geno because I like workin’ Delaware.” – Aaron Berg
…but eventually give the battle to Mike Vecchione.
Just like that, with the sound of the ever-present boxing bell, the bicoastal battle begins.
post by Jay Light