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by Keith Carey, photos by Troy Conrad

There’s an interesting energy in the Belly Room as I head up
the stairs this Tuesday night. The crowd is a bit lighter than usual, resulting
in a more intimate feel to some of the battles. However, what they lack in size
they more than make up for in enthusiasm, and it’s not long before the whole
room is chanting for blood and rolling with the ever-throbbing wave of insanity
that is Roast Battle.

In the evening’s first match, Todd Walker takes a win
against Glenn Bolton!

Full disclosure, I was a bit late to the show, as I got
stuck in traffic, so I’m not able to speak to the quality of this fight or how
it was received. However, Glenn and Todd were both gracious enough to send
their jokes over to me:

“Todd is a 6-foot Asian who fucked off in school. That makes
him the only member of his family who could’ve been replaced with a
stepladder.”

“Glenn looks up to the southern rock & roll legends.
They say to kill your heroes, but all Glenn’s heroes want to kill him.”

“Todd is from New Jersey, just like Bon Jovi. Unlike Bon
Jovi, living on a prayer won’t bring Todd success anywhere.”

“Glenn, you’re so whitewashed you could be Huckleberry
Finn’s fence.”

“According to Sigmund Freud, men are attracted to women that
remind them of their mothers. It’s difficult for Todd because the massage
parlor keeps getting raided.”

“Glenn is so racist every time he looks in the mirror he
immediately gives up his wallet.” 

There you have it. Some good ones, some clunkers, and an
incorrectly applied literary reference – that was Tom Sawyer who painted the
fence, you jackass. Congrats to Todd on taking the win.

After a hefty chunk of stand-up comedy, we resume the fights
with a very fun battle between Kyle Shire and Lean Mansfield!

“You look like if a Hobbit was also a bookie.” – Mike Lawrence

“I’m just glad they could take time from stealing people’s
picnic baskets to come battle.” – Alex Hooper

“Nigga, I’m drunk.” – Jak Knight

Jak dipped out of his judging duties pretty early, but was
replaced by Jeff Ross and Annie Lederman. After some fun pre-fight banter and a
pretty horrific chant of “CRIPPLED CUNT” at Leah’s mother’s expense, the

“Leah Mansfield is such an old dyke, she didn’t come out…ah,
fuck, wait. Leah Mansfield was so old when she came out, she didn’t come out of
the closet. She came out of the crypt.”

“Kyle looks like a construction worker that only makes cat
houses.”

“Leah Mansfield, I love that name. Tell me, why did you
choose it as your drag queen name, Steve Buscemi?”

“I found out today that Kyle is 29 years old. Holy shit. He
is aging like a lesbian softball player.”

“Leah, you’re such an ugly old lesbian, I don’t know if
you’re real or a hallucination from ‘Fear and Loathing in Lowes Hardware.’”

“Kyle is a self-professed feminine nerd who wrote
fan-fiction as a teenager. His dad died when he was 3 just so he wouldn’t have
to meet teenage Kyle.” 

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“You look like an elephant whose trunk is full of musical
theater costumes.”-Alex Hooper

This match is a roller coaster. Kyle’s first joke flub
threatens to bury him, and Leah’s cat house joke is a knock-out punch. But as
the battle continues, Kyle picks up steam and Leah stumbles a bit, and in the
end, Kyle’s hand is raised in victory.

After that, the room explodes as John-Michael Bond scores a
huge victory over Paige Wesley.

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“Don’t fuck this up, me without glasses.” – Mike Lawrence

“That’s legitimately the meanest thing you’ve ever
said.” – Annie Lederman

Paige takes the stage first, calling out John-Michael with a
strange but effective Garfield analogy. John-Michael’s got a loose, casual swag
as he takes the stage, and the crowd can sense something special is about to
happen as the bell rings:

“John-Michael Bond is so white trash, his birth stone is
crystal meth.”

“Paige, what exactly the fuck happened? You look like you
sucked a dick marked “DO NOT TOUCH” at Willy Wonka’s factory.”

“Did you eat the leftovers of that dick? You are so white,
and you’re a social worker. Or as you call it, ‘having black friends.’”

“Paige has auditioned unsuccessfully for ‘Saturday Night
Live’ four times. But I think she’s going to get it if they bring back the van
down by the river.”

“Good job, Orange is the New Hack. John was molested by a
lifeguard. He had to wait a full 30 minutes after swallowing that load.”

“What sucks is I still got way more foreplay than you’ve
ever gotten. My guy actually cared if I came. Fun fact about Paige, didn’t lose
her virginity until she was 25. She had fooled around with guys before, it just
took that long for them to figure out which fold had a hole behind it.” 

“I’m shocked you waited until 25 to give the world those
titties. Let ‘em loose, girl!” – Annie Lederman

“He beat your ass. You knew what you came into. I don’t
wanna say much else, ‘cause you’re gonna have to live with the night.” – Jak
Knight

“You sound like a special victims unit cop.” – John-Michael
Bond, not missing a beat

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Coach Tea drops the “Law & Order” theme and the room
goes fucking ballistic. Paige’s jokes are solid, and her presence is
entertaining as always, but tonight is simply John-Michael’s night. He’s quick,
natural, clever, and drops (in my opinion) two “Joke of the Year” contenders
back-to-back. After the show he informs me he’s planning to fight as often as
he can, and tonight feels like we’ve seen the birth of the next top contender
in the Roast Battle arena.

We take another stand-up break, and then it’s back to the
action as Caesar Lizardo makes the Shark weak by taking a bite out of Mark
Stevens!

“Run, ladies, run.” – Alex Hooper

“Brian, how does it feel to have all the charisma on the
stage?” – Mike Lawrence

“Honestly, I feel like this battle won’t be allowed within a
hundred feet of a sorority.” – Saudi Prince

Caesar and Mark’s presence together on stage sets off a
chain-reaction of douchebag-related slams. Mark has his signature fidgety
enthusiasm, while Caesar calmly lets every dig bounce off of him. He claims
first joke as the battle begins:

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“Mark’s family is loaded. And so are all the girls he drugs
before raping them.”

“Caesar, you share your name with a salad, a casino, and a
man that abandoned you and your family.”

“Mark is from Boston, so he hated the Yankees. And by the
Yankees, I mean all the hand-jobs he was forced to give his uncle.”

“That’s good. I can’t argue that. Last year Caesar wrecked
his car while texting, marking the only time he ever wrote anything that crushed.”

“Mark, you’re loud, obnoxious, short, chubby, hairy, big
nosed, hunchbacked, unfunny, unbookable, unlikable, creepy, rapey, Armenian.
Kill yourself, I just gave you 13 reasons why.”

“Caesar dropped out of college. His final grades were two
C’s, three F’s, and a DUI.”

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“Holy fuck, I lost this match.” – Mark Stevens

“You can do it!” – Jeff Ross

“No, I can’t.” – Mark Stevens

That exchange sums up the energy in the room after Caesar’s
epic suicide joke. Nothing makes this reporter happier than seeing battlers
take risks and try to push against the walls of the “roast joke” format, and
I’m very glad the crowd rewards it. Mark handles his drubbing with grace and
humility, two  emotions I didn’t
know people from Boston were capable of displaying, and deserves a tip of the
hat for that. But Caesar’s the clear winner as the dust clears and we move into
the next fight.

We enter the home stretch with Galina Rivina committing a
homicide against the Suicide Girl Lindsey Jennings.

“What do you think of the Wave?” – Moses

“They’re fun. Most of them have TV credits.” – Galina Rivina

“Would you let them smash?” – Moses

“Like I said, most of them have TV credits.” – Galina Rivina

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After Galina’s fun bit of riffing, Lindsey takes the stage
with her trademark evil smirk. The enthusiasm for her return to the show is
written all over her face, along with a bunch of other bullshit. Jeff
grants Lindsey first blood, and we’re off:

“Galina looks like she did child porn. Like, a week ago.”

“Lindsey sends nudes because it’s easier than spelling.”

“Yeah, I get naked on the internet and Galina looks like the
boyfriend of all the dudes that pay me to.”

“Thank you, Kat Von STD.”

“You’re welcome, Galina the Teenage Bitch.”

“You guys, Lindsey’s been a rapper for ten years, a comic for
two, and a disappointment for 28.”

“If you think Galina’s a cunt now, wait until she gets her
first period.”

“Thank you, sex doll from Spencer’s Gifts.”

“You’re welcome, mail order bride that no males will ever
order.”

“You guys, I think Lindsey should work at the parking lot
here at the Comedy Store because she’s so used to comics pulling out.”

There it is. Mike Lawrence points out that the crowd is
perhaps a bit unfairly biased against Lindsey, who doesn’t get the reaction she
deserves on a couple of her jokes. Galina, for her part, comes through with a
couple of solid pops, although her closer get a bit of criticism for
unoriginality despite being a big hit with the audience. In the end, Galina
edges out Lindsey for the win in an overall solid fight.

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Before we move into the night’s final battle, a quick
editorial aside to any Battlers reading this; please stop doing, “Thank you,
____/You’re welcome, ____” in every single fight. There’s a nasty habit within
this show of taking a joke format that has worked before and mimicking it until
it becomes cliché. I’m all for fun little names and combo-ing up your jokes,
but find a more unique way to do it. If you sound like every other battler, you
will never sound like yourself, and this show rewards those who blend crafted
jokes with unique personalities.

Anyway, enough bitching from me, because in our last match
of the night F.L.O. shoots himself in the foot against Kevin McNamara!

This battle begins with a “freestyle” rap battle that Kevin
has clearly written his verses for, but it’s still relatively impressive.
F.L.O. steps up with an actual free-style and impresses the crowd with his
swiftness on his feet. Unfortunately that good-will doesn’t carry into the
actual fight, and the once mighty F.L.O really F.L.Ounders:

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“Thanks y’all for having me back. I fought Jay Light, I
fought Omid Singh, and now I’m fighting Kevin Richardson from the Backstreet
Boys. ‘Everybodyyy, yeaaaah.’ It’s cool. Okay. Now. Let’s get on your punk ass.
Let me see. Uhhhhhh, fuck you, you ‘Brokeback Mountain’ body double. You Blue
Steel Zoolander lookin’ ass face, fuckin’ Mer-Man and, uh, yeah.”

“Was that a joke or an observation? F.L.O, I don’t know
what’s bigger, the gap between your teeth or the gap between your child support
payments.”

“Your baby momma would know. Shut up, you fuckin’ Twilight
extra-“

“Okay, Flo Rida bus to Battle.”

“You look like a secretly gay Bachelorette finalist.”

“F.L.O. looks like every dude that wears sweat socks in a
gangbang.”

“Shut up, you 24 Hour Fitness towel attendant. You went from
fuckin’ Bruce Jenner’s personal trainer to Caitlin Jenner’s fuck-buddy.”

“I want to thank F.L.O. for being here tonight. He passed on
his regular gig. He was supposed to be at the Warriors game as E-40’s shadow.”

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Christ on a bike, what a trainwreck. F.L.O’s rambling,
reference-heavy style has held charm and been effective in the past, but he’s
way off his game tonight and is desperately reaching for any response from the
crowd. Kevin’s jokes are well executed and technically strong, and while
they’re hit-and-miss, they’re more than enough to secure the night’s final
victory.

That’s it for this week’s recap. Come on out next Tuesday
for the hotly anticipated bicoastal brawl. New York’s finest are flying in to
take on some of Roast Battle’s top competitors, and to cap it off, yours truly
will be vying for the championship belt against Eli Sairs. Shit’s going to get
bloody.

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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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