It’s Tuesday night, one week before Jesus Christ’s birthday, there’s a spirited crowd belting out the “battle” chant, led by the one and only Joshua Meyrowitz (a Christ figure himself). Brian Moses introduces us to the judges.
First on the judge’s table is Drama, of Rob ‘n Big fame, and the room takes a moment to fondly remember Big Black. Cort McCown is present in a Santa hat, full of festivity. He says lots of smart things like, “the preview was even good” and then Brian Moses replies with extremely smart things like, “Shout out to Zach Stein”. Jamie Kennedy is introduced and immediately acknowledges his nostalgia factor so we all know that he also knows. Rounding out the judge’s tables is one of the best commentators Roast Battle has in Tony Hinchcliffe. The Wave is present, the N-word is chanted, we’re ready to go.
Our first battle of the night features the two oldest people in the entire building, Lee Gary Kushner and Abraham Boche. Lee is brought up first and we find out he’s 65.
“Finally someone older than me.” – Cort McCown
“I loved him in Up.” – Jamie Kennedy
Jeff Ross arrives to thunderous applause as Abraham Boche is brought up. When asked why he’s battling Lee.
“He’s my buddy and he’s a grumpy old man and he’s always in my inbox fucking with capital letters and shit. I’m not going to get mad at you, I’m going to battle you bro”
This gets a good pop as the all caps resonates hard with Lee’s appearance. Abraham volunteers to go first and the first battle of the night begins.
“Lee Gary Kushner, my friend, I’m assuming that you’re circumcised. What’d you do with the extra skin? Staple it on to your face? Your face looks like my penis uncircumcised. if you put it next to my penis, you’d look like twins.”
“I’m not saying Abe is stupid or anything, but when he first described what roast battle is to me, he said it was going to be a struggle between the two of us to see who can wrestle the other one down, forcibly baste them and shove them in the oven at 475 degrees”
“Can you just tell us about your tax plan?” – Jeff Ross
“Lee is what a real life muppet looks like” laugh “This motherfucker is so damn grumpy, he makes the grinch look like a bitch. What are you the grinch who stole hanukah?”
Coach Tea plays “You’re a Mean one Mr. Grinch” to the crowd’s delight.
“You talk about homely. When Abe looks at a clock, time not only stops, it goes fucking backwards”
“Is this actually happening?” – Moses
At this point the crowd begins to understand that this a train wreck and they can enjoy it in all its fiery splendor.
“Six million died in the Holocaust, bro, and you survived. As a matter of fact, after the show I’m going to go bake some cookies, you mind helping me put them in the oven?”
The crowd oooohhhs, apparently that made sense to them. I just know “six million died in the holocaust, bro” is the funniest thing said in this battle. He keeps going.
“You’re so fucking grumpy, but then again who wouldn’t be? Uhh walking around in his old diapers all day”
“You know, I’m not saying Abe is stupid…”
“I am.” -Cort McCown
“I’m not saying his jokes are stupid or he is, but I mean I know he thinks I’m old and all this and everything, but you know what? At least, um my IQ is a hell of a lot, eons higher than my chronological age, unlike in Abe’s case, where the two numbers are identical”
Transcribing this battle felt like writing dialogue for a Coen Brothers movie. It was so bizarre and human, what a treat.
“That was awful. No offense, but that was pretty bad. I wish there was a nicer way to say it, but that was shit.” – Cort McCown
“I wish there was a funnier way to say it.” – Jeff Ross
Tony gives it to Lee for bombing with less jokes “which is crazy because I think Lee invented the atomic bomb” so even though everything bombed, Lee technically bombed less times.
“Thoroughly enjoyed this terrible battle. Something about watching real guys make mean jokes about each other, even if it’s not clever or interesting or funny” – Jeff Ross
Somehow Abe gets asked to do one more joke,
“The last time Lee had sex, three ships pulled up on to the East Coast.”
“Boo!” – Tony Hinchcliffe
Lee handily wins the audience vote, maybe they forgot what happened.
Our next battle is a virgin suicide of bay area comedians, Josh Means and Saul Trujillo. Josh Means is brought to the stage first and asked why he chose to battle Saul.
“Literally anybody would be better than that last battle.”
The crowd eats it up, excited to see someone who shows a sense of reality. Saul is brought up next and we exit reality and enter Jose Dirt. He has one of the most beautiful mullets I’ve ever seen, a Christmas sweater with reindeer fucking, and shorts/short pants. Also, he’s very fat, he’s absolutely perfect.
“You look like you did 30 bong hits and didn’t exhale” – Jeff Ross
“How does that kid look like a migrant and a caravan at the same time?” -Tony Hinchcliffe
“Jamie, they look like people that would be at your show.” – Jeff Ross
Josh Means volunteers to go first.
“Keep it going for Dora if she only explored what was in the kitchen. Saul is a part of a comedy group called the deaf puppies. If it wasn’t for the deaf puppies, he would never get booked. And without blind bitches, he would never get fucked.”
“Some people would call Josh a redhead. I would call Josh an AIDS face.”
An “AIDS face” chant ensues.
“Thank you Ralphie Mayo. Saul has a gambling problem. It’s a roll of the dice he makes it past Christmas.”
“Josh actually works with autistic kids. They’re actually regular kids, no one has the heart to tell him the kids don’t know how to look him in the eyes because they don’t know how to deal with a soulless monster.”
“I do work with autistic kids, that’s why it’s so easy to work Saul right now. Keep it going for donkey show kong. Saul just did a show for Amazon. I’m sorry, in the Amazon, as the hungriest hippo.”
“If you get Josh’s face some K-Swisses and a Black and Mild, you’ve got the starter kit for guys who fuck chicks who look like me.”
This is a pretty solid battle that does very well. The jokes are solid and likely looked even better following the nightmare that preceded, the crowd and judges are grateful.
“I’d give it to Bill Blurry.” -Cort McCown
“Thank you that was way better than the first one. Give it to Saul, having the whole crowd chant AIDS face.” – Drama
“I’m going to have to give it to my man in the sweater, Rosanne Barrio.” – Jamie Kennedy
“I’ve got to give it to Toby Keith Carey.” – Tony Hinchcliffe
“You’re wearing Peter Dinklage’s dress pants.” – Jeff Ross
Saul takes the judges votes and the audience decision and takes his first victory. Both battlers had excellent debuts, hopefully we see them again soon.
Next up, our final undercard of the night has Roast Battle heavyweight Greg Roque taking on Roast Battle confined-to-a-wheelchair Nate Banditelli. Greg is brought up first, with plenty of excitement over his return to the Belly Room stage. Moses asks why he battled Nate.
“He wanted to battle me. You know it’s usually the kid in the wheelchair who gets the make a wish, but I’m going to grant his wish and pretend he’s a real comic.”
This gets a huge pop from the audience and it’s the first time of the night a battler has felt in control of the room. In great contrast, Nate is brought up and asked why he battled Greg
“I answered the open challenge. He first rejected me, but he couldn’t find a ranked battler, so there I was.”
Greg has the upper hand early and volunteers to go first and strikes while the iron is hot
“Nate is such an autistic Jew, he would’ve sent himself to Auschwitz just so he could ride the train.”
“I relate to that one.” – Josh Meyrowitz
“Some would say Greg has a leg up on me in this battle, but that’s physically impossible.”
It seemed like there was going to be more, the audience waited for it then laughed when they realized it was not coming
“Is your disability joke writing?” -Cort McCown
“Nate’s Jewish, but I consider him Palestinian because everyone always forgets he exists and he can’t go one night without bombing”
”You know what? it sucks because if I want to use my handicap to win, I have to play golf.”
This joke can only work if you’re doing it in a Rodney Dangerfield voice, and even then, not often.
“I’ll put you out of your misery. Nate has no future in comedy. He’s an unfunny Jew from Pennsylvania. The only way his headshot will get any attention is if a Nazi shoots up his synagogue.”
“True true true, give it up for Greg, he’s got this one in the colostomy bag.”
“I have my shit ready in case you need another joke.”
Nate ends with his first high note of the battle, but Greg rebuts it and absolutely blows his joke out of the water to complete a clean sweep joke for joke.
“Great job Greg. Nate, nice try” – Cort McCown
“Nate you were terrible. Nothing encouraging this time, don’t even like the hoodie, nothing. I think you need yoga or keto.” -Jeff Ross
“He was so bad, Jeff is giving him diet advice.” – Brian Moses
This battle is an easy decision, and Greg sweeps the judge and audience vote to take home a well deserved win. He had great jokes all the way through, and Nate played his part impeccably, having fun the whole way through. There is absolutely something to be said to losing with class. Way to go Nate, you classy loser.
Our first main event of the night pits Quentin Thomas against Kelsey Lane. Kelsey is brought to the stage first and asked if she would let the wave smash
“Hey if you want me to peg you, I’ll peg you.” – Kelsey
“What’s that?” – Jamar
“When she fucks you.” – Moses
“Whoa.” – Jamar
“Wasn’t a no.” – Kelsey
“That’s how Jamar pronounces no.” – Jeff
There’s a good feeling in the room as the banter is flowing and it feels loose and natural. Moses asks Kelsey why she battled Quentin.
“Everyone who battles him brings up his failed suicide attempts, but I want to be positive man, I want to bring up his failed life attempts.”
With that, the suicidal fox is brought to the stage. When asked why he battled Kelsey, he replies:
“I’m just upset at her because she’s kissed more girls than me.”
The pre-battle banter is over and the crowd is hungry for their first main event. Quentin volunteers to go first.
“Kelsey lives in Culver City, so her drive home tonight will be the furthest she goes in Hollywood.”
“Yeah that burned more- Honestly, I’ve been having a real hard time breaking through that glass ceiling, but Quentin can’t even hang himself from one. Alright, Quentin is what happens when you take like Screech’s pubes and an inhaler and then you bury them in pet cemetery”
“What’s it like to know I’ve killed myself more times than you’ve killed on stage? Kelsey dresses like the guys she can’t get.”
“Quentin looks like he jerks off to Tumblr quotes.”
“I haven’t not jerked off to Tumblr quotes. Kelsey hates being alone, which is funny because everyone else hates being alone with Kelsey.”
“See we’re both from Boston, but he’s the only one who took the bombing with him.”
“No I’m not.”
“Don’t ever have a sleepover with Quentin, he always wants to play fuck, marry, kill himself”
“You look like a Disney channel star that’s actually like 35. Like Suite Life of Zach and Cody, you know. Like their weird sister that comes into town and you’re like where did she come from?”
“I feel like you only know that show because you jerk off to Suite Life of Zach and Cody.”
“How many things do you think I jerk off to?
“I don’t know, you’re a dude so, like, all of them? Quentin doesn’t do drugs, but he does freebase his Claritin.”
“I want to get serious here for a second. Kelsey grew up with drug addicted parents who would abuse her. She struggled with depression and sex and love addiction. And I just want to say, it takes a truly unique individual to go through all of that and still not be funny.”
“I’ve smooched a lot of cooch and that’s how I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you’re a giant pussy. The only reason Quentin tried to overdose so many times is because he couldn’t get the blades out of his Lady Bic.”
This is a fun battle, but Quentin is clearly in charge the whole time. Kelsey does not seem present as she opens saying she won’t be doing suicide jokes then does almost exclusively suicide jokes. Then, she makes a joke about only Quentin bombing, which immediately backfires. Quentin, on the other hand, was very present and was able to react quickly to Kelsey’s jokes with rebuttals and tied them seamlessly into his own jokes.
“This was like a sexual harassment incident at an Urban Outfitters.” – Cort McCown
“I thought I was watching one of the most aggressive Proactiv commercials” – Jamie Kennedy
“Which one’s the lesbian again?” – Tony Hinchcliffe
“Avril Latrine” – Anonymous
“I didn’t want to like you Kelsey because you’re dressed like every improviser I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen you battle before. I know you’re dope, but not tonight” – Chris Redd
Quentin sweeps the judges vote and takes home a victory, adding to his very impressive battle resume.
Our final battle of the night is an all timer, featuring two of the best in Roast Battle. Sarah Keller vs. Omid Singh
Sarah comes out dressed as Santa’s elf to “Jingle Bell Rock.” The fun loving Christmas spirit is in sharp contrast to the meanness Roast Battle can provide, but she pulls it off with charm and the crowd is on board. Moses asks why she is battling Omid
“Because he’s amazing and it terrifies me, and not just because I’m getting on a plane in four hours.”
She gets a big pop from the audience and her opponent is brought out. It is quickly brought to everyone’s attention that this will be Omid’s last battle in the Belly Room because he’s moving to London for six months. I’m assuming the hiatus will be temporary, but still a huge blow to the Roast Battle scene. Omid is one of the most prolific battlers on the show, and stands alone as the most prolific winner. He never shies away from any competition and always brings the strongest competition and an excellent show. He also is constantly looking for new ways to deliver an excellent joke and repeatedly breathes new life into the form. You get it? He’s great! Moses asks Omid what prompted his move
“Just felt like it.”
Brevity, baby. Sarah decides on a different route in opening the roast battle and takes a major risk as she delivers an extended Roast Battle themed Christmas poem.
“I actually want to start by reading a Christmas poem.
Twas the week before Christmas
and all through the Store
not a creature was stirring
except for this boar
the judges were seated
in vip with their weed
in hopes that i beat him
with relative speed
The wave is snuggled
all snug in their booth
with visions of white women
and Moses is ready
and I in my place
to begin this roast
that will leave Omid in disgrace
From the audience,
will arrive such a clatter
for this my friends,
Is a laughing matter
Away to England
this boob is fleeing
After this battle
in his pants peeing.
Cort McCown is here
looking like a sexy saint nick
ready to watch me
beat this human armpit
He’ll call me white trash
and a Christmas whore
but he’ll never see his name
adorn this store
He’ll get on his carpet
and fly away in disgrace
because I’ve metaphorically
taken a shit on his face
But as he leaves,
we’ll hear him yell
Merry Christmas to ALALALALALALALA!
and to all a good night.”
“To all a good fight.” – Jeff Ross
“Man, that was a weird play.” – Jeremiah
“That was a prologue my nigga.” – Chris Redd
“Sarah and I have never had sex, but then again I’m not a horse.”
“That’s funny because I think Omid would be the only guy who could find the clit because he keeps – uh – a jar of – uh – the ones he cut off. Fuck! That would’ve been good.”
“Sarah’s mom is an air traffic controller, so it must be hard to watch her daughter’s career never take off.”
“Since we’re talking about moms, Omid’s mom is a yoga teacher and a chant leader. Her favorite chant is ‘ohmmmmygodmysonissuchadisappointment.’”
“Sarah was a Disney cast member for nine months as Ariel, now when she does stand up we all have to watch her flounder.”
“Omid speaks Farsi, is farsighted, and far from funny.”
“Sarah is Irish Catholic. She’s fucked the father, the son, and the first cousin.”
“You’ve got to learn somehow. Omid is uncircumcised, which makes sense because his people always cover the head with a hood”
“Sarah was molested and proposed to by a man when she was 14. Talk about peaking!”
“Great battle, Omid or as I call him Dave Attel-Aviv. He’s going up against Bomb-Benet Ramsey.” – Tony
“I’ve got to give it to Omid, he did that peaking joke and I know a little something about peaking.” – Jamie
Sarah’s poem was funny, it was a sweet tribute to Roast Battle, and it took a lot of courage to take a big swing like that. Unfortunately, it never landed the big home run hit a bit that long needs, and Sarah was clearly unsettled. She very uncharacteristically flubbed her second joke. Sarah is one of the best battlers and will undoubtedly bound back very strong. What a terrific send off for Omid. He could not miss, he had a relaxed natural energy and delivered his excellent jokes perfectly. He capped it off with an absolutely devastating final joke that blew the roof off. We will miss you Omid, best of luck in London, and eagerly await your return.
Roast Battle will return in 2019.
Follow @RoastBattle on Twitter for all the latest updates, subscribe to our podcast, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest pictures from our fights, and watch live on Periscope at 11:30 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.