by Jay Light

As the weather heats up and the Belly Room air conditioning struggles to stay in operation, the Roast Battle looks set to continue its hot streak with a five-battle night. Tonight’s battlers include two returning competitors from last week, an OC face-off, the oldest virgin sacrifice in Roast Battle history, and a main event featuring one of the most fearsome top-five battlers against a strong contender returning to the ring after some time away. But before we learn more about the matchups, let’s get to know our judges.

Someone alert the feminist bloggers, it’s a panel of straight white men! Moshe Kasher, host of “Problematic” on Comedy Central, returns to the VIP section for the first time in a while, though his judging bona fides are obvious given that he has appeared as a judge on both seasons of Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and always comes ready with smart, biting commentary. Cort McCown, a Comedy Store favorite, also makes a comeback to the panel, where his gruff but cheery disposition has served him well in the past. Finally, it wouldn’t be Roast Battle without the Roastmaster General, Jeff Ross, overseeing things from his usual spot on the balcony.

Our first battle tonight is a slugfest featuring Orange County comedians Jason King and Ramon Hernandez. Jason took an L in his last trip to the ring, but put on a good enough showing that I’m not worried about his chances in this fight. Meanwhile, according to his Twitter, Ramon has been studying The Rock’s workout and diet regimens since his last tussle with Alfred Konuwa, so even if he winds up losing tonight, he’ll look great doing it.

Next up, we have Kal Hamilton taking on Timothy McGorry. Tim has an underdog vibe with the jokes of an odds-on favorite. Don’t let the fact that he looks like Charlie Brown got a bad batch of steroids fool you – Tim has big balls and his jokes show it. Kal is looking for redemption after a frankly atrocious showing last week, and as long as he actually comes to the table with jokes instead of facts this time, he might move the needle in his favor enough to get more than just polite applause when it comes time for the audience to vote.

After that, Arthur Hamilton returns to the ring to take on newcomer Movses Shakarian. Arthur wowed the crowd last week by bucking the black battler stereotype of, well, not being good at this sport. Arthur had solid jokes and strong, stoic stage presence that worked out in his favor. Movses, seen around town running shows in the Armenian circuit, steps out of the hard-to-pronounce banquet hall and onto the Belly Room stage ready to rumble. His standup is good, but can this newbie play the Battle game? Let’s find out!

Our final undercard tonight features a couple of oldies but goodies: Felicia Michaels and Bob Golub! These two go way back. We’re talking “before most of the current open mic scene was born” back. We’re talking “Betamax is more popular than VHS” back. We’re talking “only four James Bonds” back. These are some old cats. But they’re funny cats, too: Felicia is a Comedy Store paid regular and Bob was recommended to the show by the Roastmaster himself. What these two lack in youth they more than make up for in experience. Don’t sleep on these two just because it’s way past their bedtime – it has the potential to be one of the night’s most scorching fights.

Our main event tonight features Doug Fager locking horns with Jeanne Whitney. Doug was last seen whooping up on Zac Amico during the bicoastal brawl a couple weeks ago, making his case for Battler of the Year with every new fight he takes. While we haven’t seen Jeanne in a while, she made a lasting impression with her last fight against Lindsey Jennings, which stirred some controversy that fans of the Verbal Violence podcast already know about in-depth. At the end of the day, Jeanne and Doug will undeniably put on a great show. We’ve got two high-level battlers here, and each has shown their flair for sharp roast joke writing and Roast Battle showmanship well over the course of their long careers in the sport. Now it’s just a matter of who takes home the crown after this Battle of the Sexes.

Let’s roast!

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 11 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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