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by Tony Bartolone

Roast Battle is just over a week away from being brought into the homes of the viewing public, but in Los Angeles the outrageously raucous Roast Battle is live every week on its home turf, the World Famous Comedy Store’s Belly Room. So throw your cell phone out the window, and come witness the insanity of this five-fight night for yourself…or hold on to your cell phone and catch some Pokémon on the way to show. Just get there and see this!

We’ve got a stellar line up of Verbal Violence veterans to judge the action and, of course, take some vicious shots while they’re at it.

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Everybody’s favorite twin sportscasting comedy duo, The Sklar Brothers, have judged enough battles to be considered Roast Battle royalty at this point. Known for their work on ESPN’s SportCenter and their podcast, Sklarbro Country, this split embryo grew up to be two of the funniest dudes in America. They are joined by the son of Ghostbusters (1985) director Ivan Reitman and Oscar-nominated director in his own right, Jason Reitman. He also made a short film about Roast Battle that played at Sundance and is going to Just For Laughs. It speaks to the power of the show that somebody of such established artistic vision turned his camera on this supremely wacky and immensely entertaining comedy throw-down. Iliza Shlesinger, previous Last Comic Standing winner and current TBS game show host, returns to the panel as well, bringing some always-appreciated estrogen to the firing squad. And finally, rounding out this week’s judges’ dais is The Johnny Cash of Comedy, The Trash Talk Terminator, The Sultan of Smack, The King of Zing, The Roastmaster General, Jeff Ross.

The first undercard features the talents – and I use that word liberally – of Caesar Lizardo (2-2, Unranked) and Lou Vahram (1-2, Unranked).

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This may be the fight for the least-liked battler. Or should I say, the less least-liked battler? The most least-liked? Who are we kidding? Cody Morley is the least-liked battler in the history of the show, and it’ll take a lot more than these two knuckleheads to take his title. Both these kids have had a brief taste of glory sandwiched between lackluster performances. Although you shouldn’t underestimate them because nothing makes somebody work harder than the shame of past defeats. Tonight we’ll get to see if they claim their right to be on that Belly Room stage or if they crash and burn in a humiliating blaze of non-glory. Either way, we will be entertained.

Next up, the wheeled wonder Joe Eurell (3-3, #42) will be carried upstairs to take on the undefeated, yet underwhelming, Albert Escobedo (4-0, #39).

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Albert has an impressive four battle undefeated streak made less impressive by the quality of his opponents, including one Caesar Lizardo. Joe Eurell is perhaps the most handi-capable battler we’ve seen so far. He’s able to throw proverbial punches and is fucking fearless stepping into the Thunderdome of comedy without having the ability to walk up actual steps. He will be the true test of Albert’s skills. Joe will either end the streak or Albert will establish himself as an actual force to be reckoned with. I, for one, am psyched to see these two go wheel-to-toe.

Our third undercard of the night pits Oduduwa (0-0, Unranked) against Trell Jones (0-0, Unranked).

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I honestly don’t know anything about either of these guys. After a quick Google search, I found out Trell has several Youtube stand up clips of varying quality and Oduduwa was a Nigerian Emperor. Probably not the same guy. Despite the shaky camera and questionable sound in his videos, Trell seems pretty funny. If nothing else, this battle will provide plenty of fodder for our house hater, Earl Skakel.

The final undercard features card-carrying member of The Wave and Belly Room legend, Jamar Neighbors (2-2, Unranked) versus Canadian rap battle champ Corey Charron (0-0, Unranked).

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Jamar has had a great year. He was featured in the huge Hollywood movie, Keanu, and dropped one of the dopest comedy albums of all time – Amerikkka’s Nigga, available for streaming and download right here at VerbalViolence.TV. He also has one of the most talked about Roast Battle moments in the history of the show, but not the most winning record. Corey Charron is an infamous battle rapper, but we’ll get to see if he can live up to the hype in a no holds barred comedy cage match.

And our main is sure to be a blow-for-blow barnburner when witty, mean Jeanne Whitney (4-1, #26) takes on Canadian Thunder Rena Hundert (3-0, #23).

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Say what you want about Roast Battle, but we give open opportunities to comedians of every color, creed, and sex. And some of the best battles and battlers are female. It’s going to be a pussy riot tonight as these two tear each other to shreds. Both of these ladies have had impressive past performances and will no doubt want to top their previous best.

We’re in for a great night of tight fights. Pick your picks, make your bets and head down the Sunset Strip to the World Famous Comedy Store to see the action first hand.

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 11:30 PST every Tuesday if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person. Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to our sponsor LA SpeedWeed.

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