To all the New Yorkers who went to Yom Kippur services instead of checking out the city’s hottest new show: G’mar Hatima Tova, and don’t miss next week. If you’re not on board with competitive roasting yet, you’re a schmuck, plain and simple.
This week’s doozy of a bout was as entertaining as ever, with guest host and experienced battler Liza Treyger subbing in for the traveling Luis J. Gomez. Liza proved herself to be a formidable host, amicable and supportive with the right amount of acidity. She was slinging more heat than the spicy margaritas she encouraged everyone to drink, and even if a joke didn’t land, she didn’t let it faze her, steamrolling on with a pro’s confidence.
She introduces the first two judges, both battlers from previous weeks: Matteo Lane and Pete Lee. When she asks them if they have any advice, they both offer up the same tidbit: don’t be gay. (Don’t worry, NYC battlers. If the LA show’s track record is any indication, the LGBT community will prevail in the ring soon.) After checking in with our former losers, Liza introduces the final judge: Michelle Wolf, rising stand-up and writer on Late Night with Seth Myers.
“If you’re not familiar with which TV show she works at, talk to her for a few minutes, she’ll let you know.” – Liza Treyger
The first bout of the night: Joe Namath jersey wearer Anthony DeVito versus Chicago transplant Megan Gailey.
“Anthony looks like a lesbian on Super Bowl Sunday.” – Matteo Lane
Whereas the past few weeks have seen the first battles devolve into lackluster bouts where the judges wish death upon the competitors and themselves, this week helped prove an essential battle tactic that Sean Donnelly showcased last week: if you’re likable, you can get away with a lot more. Compared to the poised Megan, Anthony looked and acted like he’d just woken up from a nap to find himself in front of a packed crowd. Yet his infectious smile and genuine nervousness to insult Megan, a comic who he admittedly likes and respects and thinks is very pretty, keeps the crowd from turning on him. Round one begins with what would become a signature of Anthony’s: saying Megan’s name strangely.
“Megan, Megan, Megan.” – Anthony DeVito
“You say her name like she’s chained to a radiator.” – Michelle Wolf
“I didn’t know you could chime in!” – Anthony
“I don’t think I’m supposed to!” – Michelle
Anthony banters with the judges for a few more seconds before returning to the task at hand:
“Megan is very prim. Very polite. Very pretty. Megan is like a country club. The only difference is she lets black people come inside her.”
“Anthony always says he looks like a terrorist. But they actually have ambition and credits better than AXS TV’s Live at Gotham.”
“Megan is a feminist. It’s also her dream to fuck a professional athlete. When she watched that Ray Rice video, she had to leave the room…to change her underwear.”
“Anthony’s dad passed away when he was young. It’s a blessing in many ways, because his dad didn’t have to see his son grow up to be a short, unsuccessful man who looks like Jim Henson’s attempt at a Muslim puppet.”
“I’d rather watch my dad die 1000 times than watch you do 5 minutes.”
“Anthony and his dad have a lot in common. They both have fucked his mom, and they’ll both be dead before they get asked to do a set on Conan.”
“Megan treats her pussy like a car wash. After she soaks it up and hoses it down, then six Mexicans get inside and look for loose change.”
“You appear autistic right now. Try not being autistic for thirty seconds.”
By the end of the round, Megan is acting more like an embarassed big sister than an opponent, trying to keep Anthony’s boyish energy in check so he can stay focused. The judges elect Anthony the winner of round one in a clean sweep.
“Even though he’s dressed like a guy in a Flomax commercial, I’m giving it to Anthony.” – Pete Lee
Round two kicks off with Megan electing to go first:
“Your nipples look like Hershey Kisses that got dropped in a bag of Greg Stone’s pubes.”
“Anthony lives in Astoria, Queens. Every time his old Greek neighbors come out, they point at his face and say ‘that’s what our economy looks like.’”
“You look like the product of Cat Stevens raping Curly Sue.”
Anthony follows up with more name weirdness and a trio of jokes about Michelle’s penchant for athletes:
“Megan’s mom has MS and her dad’s an alcoholic. More people have fallen in her house than her panties when she watches NBA TV.”
“People say the funniest thing to come out of Megan’s mouth is Brendan Ayers’ dick, but that’s not true. I’m sure some of the Indiana Pacers have a great sense of humor.”
“Megan spent a lot of her time doing comedy in Chicago. She’s been in more black bedrooms on the south side than a Michael Jordan poster.”
Michelle votes for Anthony, while Pete and Matteo both choose Megan based on her joke creativity and willingness to attack Anthony from multiple angles. Anthony, still grinning, kicks things off for round three:
“Megan’s a great comedian. She’s really funny! She killed last night. Planned Parenthood thanked her for coming.”
“If the thought of Anthony’s hairy butthole wasn’t enough, he also has anal hemorrhoids. Anthony, your ass has more hair and blood in it than the basement at John Wayne Gacy’s house.”
This revelation seemingly breaks Anthony, who emits a shocked laugh and decides his best chance to recover is simply to stay in the pocket:
“That was inside baseball! For a lot of people! Including myself. Also, they were just fissures! They weren’t hemorrhoids. So if anyone’s judging this roast on things that are in-factual…point DeVito!”
Anthony essentially throws in the towel after that, admitting he’s out of jokes, while Megan readies the knockout blow:
“You’re poor, you’re brown, your mom’s a beautitican, and your dad’s not around. You’re basically a minority we can’t trick the cops into killing.”
The round ends as Liza wonders aloud if going to the judges is even necessary due to Anthony’s forfeit.
“I feel like what we saw is how you have sex – you just sort of mumble through the first part then give up halfway through.” – Liza Treyger
Megan wins round three in a clean sweep, and the crowd goes wild.
Next on the fight card, we have two great friends and co-podcasters: Mike Cannon versus Alexis Guerreros. The guys take their corners ready to spit fire at each other, each carrying notes and years worth of buried friendship grudges. Mike chooses to swing first:
“Alexis really cares about comedy. He’s always doing spots and staying out late, but mostly because 1 AM is when Krispy Kreme puts the fresh donuts out.”
“Mike once took a swing at his dad, he went to junior college, and he moved into a neighborhood because Biggie Smalls lived there. Mike, you’re more of a spic than me.”
“Alexis loves soccer because Alexis is soccer: boring, kinda gay, and nobody in America cares about him.”
“Mike had a web series on Cosmo, has been dating the same girl since he was ten, and his dream in high school was to be in a boy band. It’s almost like you really enjoyed being called a faggot.”
“I don’t know if you guys know this, but Alexis recently signed a print modeling contract with the Before agency.”
“Mike Cannon had a very close relationship to Mike DeStefano, who passed away a few years ago, and just like him, still hasn’t been booked at this club.”
“When we went to Six Flags together, Alexis couldn’t ride any of the roller coasters. Not just because of his size – he had to keep helping his cousins with the repairs.”
“Mike Cannon recently got engaged. They say an engagement ring should cost three months’ salary. Where did you find a ring that cost six drink tickets?”
Michelle and Matteo both vote for Mike, keeping up that M-name solidarity, while Pete votes for Alexis because Pete gives him rides home sometimes. Alexis takes the loss in stride, opening up round two with jokes that really pack a wallop:
“Mike, we’re all here because we love you – wait, sorry, that’s for your intervention next week. Not so you’ll quit drinking, so you’ll quit comedy.”
“Mike Cannon has been sponsored by two things in his career. One is the Fleshlight corporation, and the second is his fiancee’s paycheck.”
“This has been a big year for Mike Cannon’s career. He’s done comedy full time, which means long nights not seeing his fiancee. Mostly because she had to get a second job.”
“People think Mike Cannon looks like Paul Walker…now. But at least Paul Walker had a little bit of fire in his career.”
Mike does his best to fight back against the onslaught:
“Alexis and I auditioned for Montreal this year. Alexis, your Montreal audition was such a bomb you started telling people it was a clock.”
“Alexis’ wife is a very talented photographer. In fact, Alexis’ wife’s pictures have gotten him into more clubs than his comedy.”
“It’s weird. His wife is so great, you’d think he’d stop killing himself with pizza. But she lets you get away with eating all this garbage. She’s the first photographer responsible for someone’s death since Princess Diana crashed in that tunnel.”
The judging tables turn as Matteo and Michelle both vote for Alexis to win the round.
“What a hard round. Mostly I feel bad for your wife and girlfriend…I think they both lost.” – Michelle Wolf
Pete, on the other hand, votes for Mike because Alexis still has a wife. Someone messed with the wrong divorcé.
“How dare you, with your happy home!” – Pete Lee
With the judges split, Mike decides to take the first shot in round three:
“Alexis is also an accomplished actor. His breakout role was Gluttony in the movie Se7en.”
“Some people make fun of Mike’s set because it goes on and on and on. Mike, your set is like Schindler’s List: it’s long, sad, and it’ll never be on Comedy Central.”
“Alexis, it’s actually extremely hard to roast you. You have no idea what it’s like to sit down and write only fat jokes. Oh, wait, you know exactly what that’s like!”
“Mike almost punched me when I made fun of him for crying when his stupid cat died. But I wasn’t scared, because if he punches like he tells a joke, I know the punch isn’t gonna land.”
“Mike, you sweat as much as Bill Cosby when a 55-year-old white woman tells him ‘wait, don’t I remember you?’”
Mike peters out near the end of the round while Alexis surges to victory, winning the bout in a clean sweep. The stage is cleared once more to prep for the main event: Evan Williams versus Taylor Ketchum.
“People always say how easy it is for white men, then you meet these two…” – Liza Treyger
Evan is introduced as Matteo’s roommate, and Liza throws to him seeking some dirt:
“Do you have anything funny to say?” – Liza Treyger
“No, he’s just an alcoholic. That says it for itself.” – Matteo Lane
“Well, he’s gay.” – Evan Williams
“But I don’t struggle with it!” – Matteo
Taylor, too, gets slapped around a bit once he walks on stage:
“You’re dressed like you’re single-handedly keeping ska music in business.” – Liza Treyger
The contenders square up as Evan chooses to go first in round one:
“Taylor had a huge heroin problem. A lot of people tonight will achieve their dream, Taylor can just requiem for one.”
“Matteo is his roommate and he just gets to be a judge for this? Nobody else thinks that’s weird? If you lose, you’re really gonna have to swallow your pride, because he’s not gonna let you spit it out.”
“I do look like a veteran. I do look like a cop. You look like a cop who guards a gas station restroom.”
“Evan has a memorial tattoo on his arm of his dead mom and brother. He’s gonna get a new tattoo on his other arm, it’s them rising from the dead to become three minutes of mediocre material.”
“Taylor played college football. He of course, didn’t make it to the NFL. He can’t even tackle a Montreal audition.”
The toughest first round yet for the judges sees a fair amount of deliberation. Ultimately, Michelle votes for Taylor, while Pete and Matteo choose Evan as the victor, giving him the round. Taylor takes a different tack with round two, firing off the dead mom jokes we didn’t know we’d been waiting for all along:
“Evan looks like a nice Mormon boy. And he kind of is – he doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, and at age 19 left home to spread the news – that his mother had died.”
“To Evan, there are five stage of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, and capitalizing.”
“Follow him on Instagram, @EvanMyMomIsDeadIFollowBackWilliams.”
“Evan wrote a game show pilot, and he pitched it to a few people. They kind of wanted someone who has slightly more name recognition and mainstream appeal, so they decided to go with Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter. At least he could figure out how to reach nine people.”
Evan fights back with acerbic jokes of his own:
“Taylor told me he had a girl piss on him once. He’s not into piss, it was just role playing. He was himself, and she was the industry.”
“It’s true, deviant sex is huge for Taylor. He’s from California, he used to drive to Tijuana to fuck prostitutes. It’s the only road trip he’s taken where someone got paid to perform.”
“I love Taylor. I hope he makes a comedy album so there’s sadder tracks the the ones on his arms.”
It’s another nail-biter for the judges, who are split once more. Matteo sticks with Evan, while Pete and Michelle select Taylor as round two’s victor. We’re ready for the knockout round, but things go a bit off the rails with uneven jokes:
“Taylor has as many spots in the city as he does hairs on the front of his head. Two this week, none next week.”
“Taylor’s making his television debut next month. I’m really proud of him. It’s gonna be on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, which is the Taylor Ketchum of TV credits.”
“Before he went to New York, Evan worked as a babysitter for retarded children. He taught them basic life lessons like how to use your powers for good, and to look both ways before you fuck your sister.”
Then an audience member falls in the front row.
“Do you want to go to a meeting? Me and Evan are gonna go afterwards.” – Taylor Ketchum
The embarassed audience member declines while Taylor attempts to get the battle back on track:
“Evan just spent $370 on a Hulk action figure. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s gonna take you 40 years of performing stand-up comedy to make that money back.”
“You’re just jealous that they gain value with age and you’re running out of time.”
The judges acknowledge that the battlers lost steam in the round, but Evan’s jokes win over Matteo once more. Pete Lee votes for Taylor:
“You look like the guy in Law & Order SVU who’s at the newsstand.” – Pete Lee
The suspense hangs in the air for a minute before Michelle closes out the round by naming Evan the champion. Liza raises his hand high. Cameras flash, the DJ plays some fanfare, and the Roastmasters have risen to the occasion once more.
We’ll see you next week, folks. L’chaim!
post by Jay Light