It’s Tuesday night and as usual, Boom Shakalaka is finishing up “Proud Mary”, whipping the crowd into a frenzy of perplexity and excitement. The Chantmaster, Joshua Meyrowitz leads them in the “Battle” chant and the show begins. Coach Tea is in the DJ booth and referee Brian Moses is on stage. An artillery of comedic firepower fills the judge’s table with Cort McCown, Aristotle Athiras, John Rudnitsky, and Asif Ali.

The first battle of the night features Kelsey Lane squaring off against first time battler, Josh Gibson.

This battle is unique due to unforeseen circumstances which led to same day scheduling and little time for either participant to prepare. This is a difficult task for anyone, especially a first time battler such as Gibson. They both deserve recognition for this, so I’m recognizing them.

Kelsey is brought out to stage first. Moses demonstrates his excellent taste by mentioning that he read the roast preview and discovered Kelsey’s status as a bisexual icon. He then pulls a sample of two women and two men from the audience and asks Kelsey which ones she would do sex things to. Kelsey’s Roast Battle experience shows here, as she goes down the line with a funny and specific answer for each person, getting big laughs early. When asked why she battled Josh, Kelsey let’s everyone know that her original opponent bailed. The crowd boos, Kelsey informs them that he’s in the hospital, and they feel shame.

“Like my dating life, I took whoever was willing and I’m positive I couldn’t do better.”

Josh is brought out next and asked the same question:

“Kelsey and I play softball together… obviously.”

He gets a big pop of his own, as Joe DeRosa and The Wave join the action. Josh volunteers to go first and we’re ready to battle!

“Kelsey, you look like the varsity cheerleader for a long haul trucking school.”
“Josh’s mental state is a lot like his hairline, barely hanging on. It’s funny that you bring up me being bisexual because you look like every dude who’s begged me to peg him.”
“So, Kelsey is bisexual. What is that? Knee-high Birkenstocks and flannel pubes?”
“Why do you look like your dick is always apologizing?”
“I’m honored to share the stage with America’s Next Top Lumberjack Prostitute.”
“Josh told me he was a marine but the “non-murdering” kind. Dude. Just admit you fixed their computers.”

We go to the judges.

“This was close, I give it to the guy who’s in the hospital” – Jon Rudnitsky
“I’m going to give real notes this time.” – Joe DeRosa

The audience decidedly votes for Kelsey. After this, “real notes” becomes the catchphrase of the evening, being brought up to laughter several times. The first battle is a good one, extremely good given the circumstances, but just regular good otherwise. Josh has solid jokes, but at times you can tell he’s straining to remember and his delivery suffers slightly. Kelsey has the jokes and the confidence, and she adds another strong performance to her consistently growing resume.

Our second battle pits “The Reverend” Johnny Stewart against Victor Martinez Jr.

The Roastmaster General, Jeff Ross, joins the judges, fresh off recordings of his new Netflix show “Historical Roasts”. Johnny is brought up first and when asked why he’s battling Victor, delivers an absolutely beautiful wrestling promo.

“This dude hasn’t had a job in two years. I keep giving him rides to open mics. He’s got a pretty little white girl at home raising his bastard son. I’m going to humiliate him tonight, this I promise you. I’m Reverend Johnny Stewart”.

Now that’s some swagger! We’ll see if he can back it up. Victor joins the Reverend on stage and let’s us know why he’s battling Johnny.

“Well first of all this inbred fuck challenged me and I only did it on one condition, that the loser dresses as a woman and walks around the Comedy Store. I already look like a lesbian bitch so I want to see what it looks like on this motherfucker.”

I don’t know if this wager is true, but let me remind you that the Comedy Store is in West Hollywood, and this show opens up with Boom Shakalaka doing Proud Mary in drag. I don’t think anyone will notice. The Reverend offers to go first and the battle begins!

“Give it up for no neck. Victor Martinez Jr looks like a hipster snowman made out of mayonnaise.”

“Thank you Hack Klansman. Johnny Stewart is a schizophrenic which is really sad, none of those voices like him either.”

“Johnny Stewart will sell you weed after the show, wait hang on. Some people are impressed that Victor can run a web series and an open mic out of his garage, I’m much more impressed with the fact that his girlfriend can afford a garage on one income.”

“Thank you breaking dad bod. Johnny looks like he cuts his meth with bacon grease.”

“Victor Martinez is a lot like gluten, he makes a white girl sick to her stomach and I’m pretty sure he’s inbred.”

“Johnny Stewart’s such a racist white piece of shit he wouldn’t let Jill Scott gobble his mic if she was his underage cousin, alright guys? You know what the fuck I’m talking about?”

“No they don’t know what you’re talking about.” -Moses

“Real notes, the inbred stuff was awesome.” -Joe DeRosa

“Me and Victor both did 1,000 milligrams of edibles before this.” -Johnny Stewart.

The judges and audience unanimously pick The Reverend Johnny Stewart. He had it going on, as every joke hit and the “inbred” joke was an absolute home run. Victor struggled with his jokes, none of them matching the response that Johnny got. Hey, 1,000 milligrams of edibles effects different dirtbags in different ways. The Reverend put on an excellent performance and we hope to see him back again soon.

Our final undercard of the night has Zahra Ali going head to head with first time battler, Johnny Mitchell.

Zara is brought to the stage first, and asked why she asked Johnny Mitchell to battle.

“I’m always looking out for a white baby daddy, but Johnny’s a waste of white privilege. He went to jail for selling weed.”

“Real notes.” – Moses

The joke and callback get big pops from the audience, and Johnny joins Zahra on stage, and immediately rebuts

“I went to prison for smoking weed in Oregon. It’s legal now, I want my motherfucking reparations.”

As for why he battled Zahra, quite simply

“Brown women secretly want to fuck us [whites].”

This is great news, and I’m pretty geeked about it. Johnny volunteers to go first.

“Zahra’s tits are like her jokes, they need a couple Jewish guys working on them.
Johnny, you tall drink of flint Michigan water… Johnny’s been in my friend zone so long, he gentrified it.”

“Zahra’s Pakistani. Zahra’s got the body of an 11 year old boy, which is why every man in Pakistan wants to fuck her.”

“I know, I know, I know, I’m the same size and color as the dicks you sucked in prison. Johnny, you’re so creepy, you look like you would mansplain how to roofie a Girl Scout.”

“Zahra is dating a DJ, which makes her tits only the second most embarrassing thing she shows off in public.”

“DJ’s are real good with their hands. You know, for a guy who’s really tall, Johnny, you sure give off a lot of a lot of skinny dick energy.”

The last joke results in a “Skinny dick” chant led by chant master Meyrowitz.

Now this was an excellent battle. Every joke hit, leaving little room for criticism. Johnny gives one of the best virgin performances we’ve seen in a long time at Roast Battle, but Zahra was there every step of the way and her jokes hit harder. The judges unanimously select Zahra, and the audience upholds the decision, and we’re ready for the Main Event.

The final battle of the evening, is a five joke main event between veterans, Paige Wesley and Jacob Trimmer.

A “Battle” chant begins and the crowd is electric, they’re hungry for blood in the final bout. Paige is brought to the stage, followed shortly by Jacob, who is introduced with the shocking fact that he’s Jewish.

“Sometimes Jews look like this.” -Jacob

“I can’t believe you killed your own people in Pittsburgh” -Moses

As a non threatening Jew, I’m grateful for the threatening ones. Jacob let’s us know why he chose to battle Paige

“Pericope’s been bitching I don’t battle enough white dudes”.

The crowd is in high spirits and ready to go, Jacob volunteers to go first.

“Paige spent high school doing track and field. I said that wrong. Paige spent high school grazing in a field.”

“Jacob is Jewish but he’s never met a buffet he could Passover.”

“Paige wrote a vampire novel because her biggest fantasy is someone that can find her neck.”

“Say it again!” -Jamar

“Calm down Jamar, this isn’t a movie theater. Jacob was in AA, not to get sober but because he heard they were handing out chips.”

“Thank you, roller derby team that melted together. Paige has spent 6 years doing comedy, 14 working retail, and 30 terrorizing Japan.”

“I’m surprised Jacob is Jewish, he looks like if he was alive during the Holocaust he would have referred to the ovens as Flavortown.”

“That was great, Adele Taco. Paige was a virgin until 25, it took that long to find a man who can play the bagpipes.”

This joke hits and then gets a second pop with some bagpipe noise courtesy of Coach Tea.

“Jacob lost his virginity to a meth head, but in her defense she’s used to putting regrettable things in her mouth.”

“I think she’s dead now. Really Paige was a virgin for religious reasons, Leviticus 18:23: a man must not defile himself by lying with a beast.”

“Jacob hasn’t had sex in 4 years AND he assaulted a guy with a crowbar. For a guy whose favorite weapon opens boxes, you sure have trouble getting into one.”

“That was real mean” -Moses

Moses is right as usual, it was real mean and real funny. Both battlers had great jokes. Jeff points out that Paige’s delivery was a little off and not quite as strong as it has been in the past. This led to her getting tepid replies on a couple jokes in the middle. Jacob had nothing but dingers (home runs), with his vampire novel joke blowing the roof off the place. We go to the judges to decide.

“Paige, you did a great job, but honestly I have to give it to Ashke-Nazi over here. Ashke-Nazi!” – Aristotle Athiras

“You two look like a husband and wife that own a food truck.” -Joe DeRosa

“I have to give it to Tons of Anarchy” -Jon Rudnitsky

“I really like Jeannine Gerbuffalo, but I do think Big Jew Oakerson was undeniable.” -Jeff Ross

Paige had a solid battle, but Jacob was walking on water. He gets a unanimous decision from the judges and collects the victory to close out a fantastic evening of Roast Battle.

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