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by Pat Barker

As the dates of the second edition of Comedy Central’s big
Roast Battle tournament approach, roast fans everywhere wait with anticipation
for the brackets to be released. As of the January 8 airing of the Denver and
Atlanta regionals, the participants have not been made public. That could very
well change by the time you read this, but for now all the focus continues to
be on the Roast Battle regionals airing on Comedy Central every Sunday. After
last week’s brutal fights in New York, the show travels west to hit Colorado
and Georgia as they split the hour-long episode.

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We start the show in Denver, with Moses, Coach Tea, and The
Wave invading The Comedy Works for some Verbal Violence. After a topical
opening monologue from Jeff Ross about the election results from the night
before (spoiler: Trump won), Moshe Kasher and Russell Peters are introduced as
the judges and Moses is brought to the stage as we’re ready to go with our
first battle of the night – Justine Marino vs. Sam Tallent in a battle of Colorado
natives.

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“Beast! Beauty! Let’s roast!” – Moses

“Sam’s last name is Tallent. It was shortened at Ellis
Island from ‘Talentless Hack Unfuckable Garbage Monster.’”

“Very good joke, Justine. Who wrote it for you? Guys,
Justine, very good friend of mine. Her most definite personality trait is
carrying around a dog. She carries a dog around with her. That’s right, she’s
as interesting as a blind person. Now, a lot of my friends have been asking me,
are you gonna do a joke about Justine fucking her dog? And I said, that’s, that’s
not believable. Justine would never fuck her dog. Her dog cannot help her
career.”

The opening salvos prove that roast jokes can be ten words
or ten thousand words if done correctly.

“Sam masturbates to the idea of being able to see his dick
when he masturbates.”

With that joke, Willie Hunter storms the stage to do his
Michael Jackson impression, and all of Twitter starts bitching about how The
Wave is ruining America.

“You know one thing I could never masturbate to – your flat
ass, Justine. Justine’s ass looks like a pair of yarmulkes. I just want to bend
her over and break up weed on it, you know what I’m saying?”

“I’m so glad I don’t have to body shame Sam, since you guys
can already see him. Sam is what happens when a Nickelback song fucks a futon.”

“Justine’s relationship history reminds me of her namesake
Dan Marino. If she keeps playing with losers she’ll never get a ring.”

“Speaking of rings, Sam is actually married. His wife
actually proposed to him, because the only time he’s ever taken a knee was to
get a better angle on the nacho cheese dispenser at 7-Eleven.”

“I think we can all agree this has been a great roast, a
fantastic roast. This has been a bit of a bloodbath, I’d say, Justine. And
Justine knows bloodbaths – she had a miscarriage in a hot tub.”

This was the perfect battle to start the night off – both comics
came with it the entire way through. Justine delivered a more Roast Battle traditional
performance with superior word economy, but Sam had a ridiculously likeable
stage persona that let him get away with a brutal closer. Russell Peters gives
the W to Justine, but Moshe and Jeff switch it up and give the battle to Sam,
giving him a 2-1 split decision.

Our first round of commercials go off without a hitch – perhaps
UNICEF and Sarah McLaughlin realized that bloodthirsty roast fans weren’t the
target demographic to save the children and dogs, because after taking up 100%
of the ad space last week they’re nowhere to be found this time around. Out of
the commercials long time Roast Battle fans are welcomed by a familiar face, as
20-battle vet Jay Light takes the stage to clash with Wild ‘n Out’s Karlous
Miller.

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Jay hits the mark with some pre-battle banter as they air a
pre-battle interview with Karlous that sets the stage for what we’re about to
see, as he points out that he has no idea who Jay Light is or what to possibly
say about him. He takes the stage and reveals a Broncos hat – a brilliant piece
of strategy that got a pop from the crowd and now results in him wearing a
blurry hat on television. “I’m really excited to beat up a black guy, I’ll
finally make the front page of Worldstar,” Jay quips. Karlous asks which member
of The Wave he’s talking about beating up, and then proceeds to chastise Jamar
Neighbors who is seated ringside preparing a bit with a wig and guitar. “You’re
setting black people back so far tonight,” Karlous laments. With the pre-match
talk out of the way, we’re off.

“Karlous is actually half-hood and half-bougie. That’s why
he only drinks cold-pressed purple drink.”

Jamar runs on stage to pay off the guitar bit, and Karlous
takes his turn.

“Jay, I hate you as much as you hate new shoes. Those
bitches you have on look like sweet potatoes.”

“You do know sweet potatoes.”

Jay’s impromptu sweet potato racism riff gets a big reaction
from the crowd, and I learn that sweet potatoes (which I love!) are apparently an African
American food. Huh. My street cred is way higher than I thought. Jamar runs on
stage for another act-out, and Karlous has some thoughts on it.

“Hey Jeff, this is really hard to do with the embarrassing
negro you have jumping up. This is probably some of the most embarrassing shit
I’ve ever been a part of. [Jay], you blew Jeff Ross for nothing. You’ve been on
this show four times and nobody knows you.”

“Karlous is actually light skinned, he just looks dark
because he’s stuck in Nick Cannon’s shadow.”

“Jay when you said that I sensed a little jealousy in your
voice because everybody knows Nick Cannon loves white boys but he don’t fuck
with you. I mean hopefully after sharing the stage with somebody of my caliber
your career will begin to go places. Other than, you know, in people’s ass.”

“Karlous spells his name weird, it goes K-A-R-L-U-O-Child
Support,”

“I usually take credit for my mistakes, but I wouldn’t be on
child support if yo momma did what she said she was gonna do and swallowed yo
ass. Jeff Ross, you are paying me double for this minstrel show shit.”

The bell rings, and the judging begins. In this case, it’s
less of a “who won?” debate and more of a “why is Karlous so mad?” open-ended
discussion. Karlous expresses displeasure with The Wave (specifically “the
nigga with no shirt on”) and explains that he didn’t know the show was going to
be like this. Moshe Kasher tells him that Googling a show he’s going to be on
would be a smart move next time, and then they get in a fight over whether or
not Moshe looks like a lesbian (my verdict: kinda, yeah). Karlous concludes by
saying that he’s glad he lost, he only wants the money, and that he wanted to
be on Comedy Central, “but not like this”. Moses tries his best to draw a fair
comparison between Wild ‘n Out and The Wave’s antics, but Karlous isn’t having
it. Amidst all this, Jay Light is still there, and he wins the battle in what
unfortunately comes across like a little bit of a footnote. Karlous leaves
immediately and Jay is left to handle the post-battle interview alone. The
story on Twitter is Karlous Miller’s behavior, but make no mistake about it:
Jay delivered a flawless performance and took home a well-deserved win.

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We forgo the normal format of going right to a commercial
after a battle and jump back in the ring, as CJ Sullivan takes on Nate Craig
with minimal set-up.

“You look like a weatherman tried to do comedy, and the
forecast is limited likability with a sixty percent chance of rape.”

“CJ’s actually married… he married a woman that does the
same thing his mom did, pay his rent and walk in on him jerking off.”

Nate gives himself the airhorns before Coach Tea has a
chance to, and we go to the judges for their thoughts on a battle we missed the
majority of due to time constraints. After a Moshe Kasher quip, we jump right
into a clip from another battle, as Bri Pruett goes against Erin Ingle.

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“Erin is sort of the high-waisted jeans of the Seattle
comedy scene. Not so much for a fashion thing, but just to manage that insane
bush.”

“Bri, you look just like a Russian nesting doll. Especially
when you see how many dudes can fit inside of you.”

The two battle clips serve as a way to showcase four comics
in a limited time, and we skip judges decisions as Moses raises the hands of
Nate and Bri in victory.

After another commercial break thankfully devoid of dying
kids and puppies, we return to Denver to see Last Comic Standing winner Clayton
English take on Noah Gardenswartz.

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“Clayton’s last name is English, which is appropriate
because his teeth are fucked up and his comedy’s overrated.”

“Oh, you big faced bastard. When I first met Noah, he had
gold teeth, he had a pitbull, he was drinking a double cup of Manischewitz, I
thought he was Paul Wall at first, but he done turned into the dude that
directed ‘Annie Hall’. What the fuck happened man? You are not the same dude I
used to know. Now you look like gentrification personified. Get your ass out of
here. With the wave of a hand, that abandoned building is a Starbucks.”

“That’s true, I did have gold teeth. I was the Paul Wall to
your Mike Jones, because I had gold teeth and when we said your name people
said ‘who?’”

The odds of there being a Paul Wall joke in 2017 are
insanely low, but a Paul Wall rebuttal? One that incorporates Mike Jones? I
wait with bated breath for Clayton to counter that with a Slim Thug reference.
I do not get my wish.

“Noah, you dressed like Garfield’s owner right now. You look
like a create-a-character on a video game, before you pick any settings. You
are the default player on a video game. You look like they got a 30 For 30
about you as an eastern European basketball player.”

“Every black man in America should just tell the cops they’re
a Clayton English comedy special to make sure they’ll never get shot.”

“Noah used to perform at black clubs a lot, but then he had
a different name. Because a lot of people don’t know, he majored in African
American studies in school. His name was Shucky Shabazz. He even had a
catchphrase. It was ‘Shucky Shucky! Quack quack!’”

Moshe Kasher is practically giddy over Clayton’s decision to
close with a relatively obscure Shucky Ducky reference that the live audience
almost entirely missed. Jeff Ross chimes in with a classic burn – “Clayton, you’re
wearing a Cosby sweater but the irony is it’s your jokes that put me to sleep”.
Clayton fires back at all the judges with brilliant off-the-top roasting,
showcasing just how quick his wit is. In the process he gets laughs even bigger
than the ones he garnered in the battle. Moshe declares the battle a tie,
saying that Noah’s superior writing was canceled out by Clayton’s lively stage
presence. Russell Peters gives the fight to Noah, but Jeff thinks another joke
is in order and we have our first overtime of Season Two. “One more joke for
Noah, half a joke for Clayton,” the Roastmaster instructs. The order is
reversed, and Clayton has to go first.

“Okay, aw man, what did I, even, ahhhhhhhh”

Clayton either blanks or he literally prepared the minimum
required number of jokes, but his impromptu roasting abilities from moments
before have vanished. He makes one last ditch effort as the crowd audibly
groans.

“It’s really a wrap man, I don’t know what else to say about
you. You’ve got a Velcro beard… you’ve got a very fast face. Your face looks
like you should be very swift. But you’re not. You’ve got the haircut of a
14-year-old boy.”

Thanks to the magic of editing, whatever was left of that
monologue is cut and Noah is left to deliver the fatality.

“You’re making fun of my beard, your beard looks like what
happens when ISIS recruits at the unemployment office.”

An ISIS-inspired Wave routine is also symbolic of the
beheading we just saw on stage, as Noah Gardenswartz walks away with the W.

Another round of commercials without any sad shit (hope I’m
not jinxing a perfect game here) leads us into a battle between two comics with
Belly Room experience as Nicole Aimee Schreiber takes on Andy Haynes.

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“Nicole used to be a competitive skier. That’s why she’s so
good at taking double blacks.”

“Andy was molested as a young school boy. He graduated top
of his class and bottom of his teacher.”

“It was my babysitter, and at least I got something out of a
hookup. Nicole fucked the booker at the Comedy Store and the only thing she got
on the wall was her face pressed against it.”

“Andy looks like a slave owner who would be really bummed if
his slaves didn’t want to hang out with him.”

“That’s not how slaves work. They don’t have a choice. You
guys, Nicole’s actually pretty excited about the Trump win, because when he
starts deporting illegal immigrants she’ll get more shifts at the Costco she
passes samples out at.”

“Andy just hates Costco because his ex-wife was fucking guys
in bulk. Andy and his ex-wife had an open marriage. That’s a hipster term for ‘I
can’t make my wife cum.’”

The battle is probably our most competitive since the
opener, and it’s nice to see a Comedy Store Wall joke work a thousand miles
away. Still, the judges agree that while Andy was solid, Nicole Aimee was on
another level. The Costco rebuttal draws particular praise, and she takes the
win via unanimous decision as we wrap up a beautiful night of roasting in
Denver.

Commercial break play-by-play: Chevy, Flex Seal, Brett Favre
selling some crap, a new sitcom called The Mick, Taco Bell’s innovative tacos
(they’re double tacos), a charter school, and an ambulance chasing lawyer. In
the home stretch without a single malnourished dog or cleft palette.

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Atlanta kicks off with Jeff Ross introducing us to the
judges – Lil Rel Howery from the Carmichael Show, Josh McDermitt and his mullet
from The Walking Dead, and comedienne extraordinaire Fortune Feimster. Moses is
reintroduced and we throw to our first fight as Los Angeles battle vet Kim
Congdon faces off with Texas’ own Kath Barbadoro.

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“You know, Kim is a really fitting name for my opponent. She
has the body of Kardashian and the face of Jong Un.”

“Kath is a big girl. She doesn’t have diabetes, but she
could lose a foot… around her waist.”

“Kim is very ethnically ambiguous. I can’t totally tell
which race she is, but I do know it’s one of the ones I hate. If I had to guess
I’d pick wetback, because God knows with that mug dudes can only fuck her from
behind.”

“Okay Rebel Flag Wilson. Kath looks like she farts when she
cums.”

“Not only is Kim a whore, she’s also from Florida. So she
was actually very well acquainted with the taste of old Jewish dick before she
met Jeff Ross.”

“Kath is shaped like Adele… computer.”

The first Atlanta battle is a hot one, as both comics get a
lot of props from the crowd. Fortune praises the fart/cum 1-2 combo before
calling it a tie. Josh gives Kath some helpful advice on why her first joke
didn’t work so well, saying “this is Atlanta, people don’t give a shit about
Korea.” Interesting takeaway but maybe he’s on to something. He gives the round
to Kim, and Lil Rel agrees. Jeff concurs, and Kim takes a 3-0 decision.

Time for another commercial break. After a spot for Credit
Karma, fucking Sully shows up and ruins the night by introducing us to the
children of St. Jude. Fuck man. Forty-nine minutes in. We were so close. In all
seriousness, donate to St. Jude’s. It’s only $19 a month, you poor pieces of
shit. Now that we’ve been reminded about the mortality of adorable children,
let’s roast!

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We return to Atlanta with LA natives Candice Thompson and
Jasmin Leigh duking it out. Candice enters with little fanfare, but Jasmin is
physically carried out by The Wave and presented with a tiara. Jeff says the
battle looks like “Beyonce vs. the chick who drives her tour bus”, but Jasmin’s
sparkly number reminds me more of Mariah Carey’s gear on New Year’s Eve.
Hopefully she’ll deliver a better performance!

“Candice is still single because she hasn’t found a dude to
fuck her as good as her dad did.”

“Jasmin, what happened? You look like someone buried Left
Eye in Pet Semetary.”

“Candice doesn’t spend a lot of time in writer’s rooms,
because they always call it an Uber that night.”

A beat. What? She tries again.

“Candice doesn’t spend a lot of time in writer’s rooms,
because they always call her an Uber home that same night.”

“Saying it twice doesn’t make it a joke. Jasmin, you have
some serious bags under your eyes. I’m assuming you must be really tired from
looking for your father.”

“Candice is part Cherokee. Her pussy tribal name is ‘Con
Dicks. She Who Is Dry And Alone.’” [ed. note: I don’t know what the first word
of that pussy tribal name is supposed to be. It’s not something that makes the
joke work any better.]

“Jasmin’s bio says she’s taking the comedy world by storm,
which is ironic because she looks like a crackhead that drowned in Hurricane
Katrina.”

At the end of the day Jasmin’s performance was about as
disastrous as Mariah’s, except it generated a lot less laughter. Candice takes
a clean sweep from the judges thanks to her great writing and flawless
delivery.

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We immediately follow that battle up with a brief clip of
the Erik Bergstrom vs. Jacob Williams fight.

“Erik survived cancer, and not all of his family was
supportive during that. I’m not sure who abandoned you quicker, your white
trash father or your white blood cells.”

“Jacob. You look like Bill Gates fucked C3PO. You look like
Garrison Keillor fucked C3PO. You look like Edward Snowden got a job at Target…
and then fucked C3PO.”

Erik’s joke, while terrible, shatters the record for most
references to C3PO in a single joke, so there’s that. After a singular barb
from each, we go to the judges.

“That was awful. It was like a contest of who could be least
awful. And that in itself I found very entertaining.” – Jeff Ross.

The judges can’t pick a winner and the American Pie reunion
between Finch and the Sherminator appears to end in a tie and an awkward hug.

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With that, we head to our final battle of the evening, as
Megan Gailey goes against Season 1 alumni Sean White. “I’m gonna beat the fuck
out of her,” Sean declares in the pre-battle interview. Let’s find out.

“Megan likes to make fun of white men a lot which is weird
because she wouldn’t even be here without daddy’s money, Conan’s TV show, and
George Carlin’s jokes.”

“Sean has a face for radio, and a voice for drying pussy.
That voice is so fucking terrible, I’ll bet it wakes up the women you roofie.”

“I’d rather have that than to be so boring that I have to
live vicariously through my dad’s alcoholism.”

“Yeah, I mean my family is full of drunks but at least I don’t
have to use a Ouija board to communicate with them.”

“Megan’s a dumb rich white sorority girl. She couldn’t get
more basic unless she didn’t come with HBO.”

“Sean claims that women have paid him for sex. Ransoms don’t
count, Sean.”

Megan hits the mark at the beginning and end, with only the
Oujia board rebuttal failing to get a big reaction out of the crowd. Oddly
enough, that was my favorite joke of hers. No accounting for taste, I guess.
Sean has difficulty connecting with the crowd and goes 0-for-3, and Megan takes
a unanimous decision from the judges. We close the episode with the best
post-battle interview moment to date, as Megan accuses Sean of being wasted and
he responds with venom.

“Am I wasted? What was the highest sophistication of any of
your jokes? Realistically, do you actually have any thought into any of them?
You made [something] show me a piece of paper making fun of my mom for being
fat. You’ve never met her, never seen her, and she’s dead, and she’s not fat. You
made up facts that made no sense. You went low, and I’m the one that went high.
You had everything handed to you by your father. You cannot say anything
because you are full of shit!”

After several beats, Megan gives a big smile and delivers
her retort.

“Great.”

The fiery rant is a departure from the usual joviality of
the post-fight interview, and I love it. It ends the show on a high note as we
head to The Comedy Store next week to check out some of the LA prelims. Can’t.
Fucking. Wait.

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