by Dan Nolan

Less than three years in, and Roast Battle has its own
culture within the comedy community. The show takes place in the upstairs of
the most mainstream, legendary comedy club in the history of the world, but it
often still has all the DIY energy and unpolished goofiness of any good alt
room. Battlers are all at different stages of their careers, but that’s because
credits don’t matter on stage in the Belly Room every Tuesday night. It all
comes down to the jokes. The jokes are mean, but the show is among the few situations
as a performer where you really do have to be able to take it just as good as
you can dish it out. There’s a power that comes from embracing all the worst
characteristics of yourself and decisively owning them in the name of our
stated group purpose, which – at the end of the day – is just to make
motherfuckers laugh.

This week’s six-battle fight night had everything: judges
spitting hot fire, some surprise losses and shocking wins, a burning KKK hood,
and a severely inebriated Ron White.

First up, Dana Snow (0-1, Unranked) got sent into early retirement by
mullet-rocking hockey enthusiast Raab (2-3, Unranked)!

I had a lot of hopes for this battle, that didn’t quite pan
out the way I wished it would’ve, but it was nevertheless entertaining as fuck,
and a great way to begin the evening. Raab proved at the start of the show that
a losing record doesn’t mean anything. Wins don’t mean you’re good, and losses
don’t mean you’re bad. Above everything, this is a comedy show, and the goal is
to be entertaining for the audience. This battle had that in spades. Dana snow
didn’t quite pull it off the same way, but he was a great sport the whole way
through. His jokes didn’t have the same punch as Raab’s, and about halfway
through he sort of fell back on material from his act, and roasted himself. He
remained lovable throughout, though, and the room never quite turned on him
despite his jokes not landing.

“’Dana Snow’ sounds like you could be a porn star, but
actually you look like Bernie Sanders with Down’s syndrome.”

“Raab doesn’t care if you laugh. He figures that’s the
audience’s problem.”

“Dana Snow looks like a substitute teacher that was
fired for ‘napping’ with the kids.”

“You should’ve seen those kids, it was very tempting!
You would’ve been tempted, too!”

“Dana is known as a one-liner comic, and soon to be a flatliner comic.”

“This isn’t the first time he’s roasted me. He once
yelled ‘you suck!’ and I said ‘I don’t take requests!’”

“Dana’s been doing open mics since 1979. His first
special’s gonna be called ‘Open Mic to Open Casket.’”

Congrats to Raab, and I really hope Dana comes back again,
too.

Next up was a surprise victory from Dave Nieker (1-1, Unranked)
against Scott Boxenbaum (1-2, Unranked)!

Dave Nieker, like Dana Snow in the preceding undercard, showed that you can tank a couple jokes early and still keep the audience on your side. Scott’s jokes were solid the whole
way through until he had a dip in overtime.

“Scott seems like he’s into MMA: men, mopeds, and
ass-sex.”

“David, you look like the contents of a vacuum cleaner
bag.”

“Scott likes dating younger women, ‘cause after they turn
11, they’re taller than him.”

“David’s from Chicago. He’s a Midwest ‘2,’ and an L.A. ‘stay 100 feet away.’”

“Scott looks like he couldn’t hurt a flea. And if
you’ve ever stayed in one of the apartments he owns, you know he never has.”

“David, you have what the funeral industry calls closed casket face.”

“Scott looks like he might follow you into the bathroom
to check out your dick. But he also might just be daydreaming about the day he
can reach the adult urinal.”

“David’s into the Grateful Dead, which explains why 2
minutes of his comedy sounds like 4 hours.”

“Scott is so short, he appears in other guys’ dick pics
for scale.”

Dave’s “flea” and “urinal” jokes both pretty much
ate it, but his dick pic joke killed so hard, it almost certainly won him the bout. Scott had good jokes, and they all landed, but Dave closed on a joke
stronger than anything else in the round, and kept himself looking strong in
the audience’s mind when it came to voting. It was close, so the audience
pushed for overtime, but both jokes bombed and Dave took the decision.

Kicking off our second round of undercards, Izzy Salhani
(1-2, Unranked) took a second consecutive loss against Alex Davenport (2-0, Unranked)!

This was another surprise. In Izzy’s past battles, she was an audience darling. Alex’s previous win was against
Jared Levin, who mostly just did an impression of an Asian woman and acted out
shooting pingpong balls from his vagina in lieu of telling jokes, and the
audience vote was still pretty close. This time Alex came out swinging from the
start, and was loose and relaxed on stage, dancing with the Wave and bowing
after a good joke landed. He had this won the whole way through. 

“Izzy has big tits. Which is such a waste on a 13 year
old boy.”

“Alex almost got laid after his last Roast Battle. But
he couldn’t meet the two inch minimum.”

"Izzy is a rape victim. Now she knows what her audience
feels like.”

“Alex is an Asian from Idaho. Which is why he looks
like a potato with slanted eyes.”

“Izzy says she’s bisexual which means she likes girls
and women.”

“Alex is so broke he got his herpes from a hooker for 3
easy payments of $9.95.″ 

Hopefully Izzy makes an attempt at Roast Battle redemption
soon, but in the meantime, big ups to Alex Davenport!

Next up, Brent Duncan (4-2, Unranked) went Boston bomber on
Philadelphia’s Ray Garrett (0-1, Unranked)!

Yes, Brent Duncan! Hopefully Brent is back to stay after a
few months of dipping his toes back into the roast waters. His killer
performance should have him ready to keep swinging up. Main event? Just find a
good opponent. As for Pat Barker’s friend, Ray Garrett, the Roast Battle is a
tough room to be able to just walk into and hit it out of the park. 

“Ray’s tits are so big he has to blur his nipples on Instagram.”

“Brent has a lot of tattoos. Most people keep getting
tattoos for ink-addiction. He figured ‘what’s one more strain of Hep-C?’”

“Ray actually has two battles tonight. One against me,
and one at home later against his sleep apnea machine.”

“Brent actually looks like Ted Danson if he wold’ve kept
fucking Whoopi.”

“Ray’s only visiting Los Angeles for a few weeks and
he’s got a lot on his plate. But as we can all see, none of it is vegetables.”

“Brent used to be a talent scout for MTV, which makes
sense. A TV channel with no music has a talent scout with no talent.

“Ray used to be in the Army, and I don’t know if he’s
Army strong, but the button on those pants are.”

“I’m not saying Brent looks like a heroin addict, I’m
saying if he ever does release a comedy album, those won’t be the saddest
tracks he’ll produce.” 

Diagnostically, all I can say for Ray’s performance is that memorization is crucial,
especially if you’re going to be doing longer jokes. I learned that the hard
way after having my ass handed to me at the end of last year by Connor
McSpadden (6-2, #5). Every break or pause kills your momentum, and a lot of
Ray’s jokes were overflowing with exposition about Brent, where conciseness
would’ve prevented the fumbles that broke his stride. But fuck yeah, Brent
Duncan. Welcome back!

In the last, and most explosive undercard of the night,
Madison Sinclair (2-1, Unranked) put in a historic undercard performance to edge out
Sarah Keller (1-1-1, Unranked). 

This may be remembered as one of the best undercards of the
year. I don’t even want to diminish it by making sexist “catfight” jokes, or
undermine the work these two put in with misogynistic references to myself
having a boner. Shang Forbes did plenty of that from the judges’ table already
anyway. It’s hard not to. But this was everything you could ever ask for in any
undercard, PLUS hot chicks.

“Madison is so basic she picked her face out of a
catalog.”

“Sarah, I think it’s ridiculous you have a unicorn
tattooed on your ass. If guys wanna feel like they’re fucking a horse, they’d
flip you over.”

“Madison blew so many people at the E! network, her
nickname was Ryan Seacrest.”

“Sarah’s fucked more farmers than civil rights.”

“Madison wears all black because she’s constantly
mourning the death of her original face.”

“Sarah got ‘Free Bird’ tattooed on her ribs in honor
of her dad. He’s not dead or anything, he just needed a target.”

“Madison’s comedy is so bad, even cancer can’t get her
a special.”

“Sarah’s like a minivan in a parking lot. Hot and
soccer mom-ish, but you can’t keep a baby alive inside of her.”

I hope we get to see more of both of these two working their
way up the ranks. Huge congrats to Madison and Sarah both. But especially
Madison.

And in the main event, Quentin Moscaritolo (3-1, #22) put up an
incredible fight before ultimately taking his first loss to my man Tony
Bartolone (4-0, #23)!

Just a slug-fest from the start. Tony took an early lead,
but Quentin built the drama with a solid rally in round 2 evening things out
with a unanimous decision there. By the third round, the show seemed ready to
go off the rails. Between jokes, the wave decided to light a Klan hood on fire
and stomp it out, but the momentum just kept going.

TONY ON QUENTIN:

“[Quentin] drives for Uber. They’ve got a new promotion. If
you get a friend to drive, you get to cum inside of Quentin’s girlfiriend.”

“You’re like a Make-A-Wish kid whose wish is to die.”

“It must suck being that tall and that sad. Because you
can’t find a good place to hang yourself.”

“[Quentin]’s house burned down. Even his house is trying to
kill itself.”

“[Quentin] has his dead friend’s name tattooed on his back.
And his girlfriend has his friend’s dead sperm in her stomach.”

“[Quentin] tried to kill himself by unplugging the pump that
kept his arms flailing behind Cerritos Auto Square.”

“[Quentin] attempted to commit suicide by taking a bunch of
pills. You should’ve asked your best friend for help. He taught your girlfriend
to swallow.”

QUENTIN ON TONY

“Comedians are a lot like family to Tony, ‘cause none of us
like him.”

“I have tried to kill myself 3 times. Because I’ve seen Tony
do standup 3 times.”

“Tony, you look like a garden gnome that flunked out of art
school.”

“Tony’s so poor and boring he has a food stamp collection.”

“I would call Tony a douchebag, but there’s no way he’s ever
been that welcomed into a vagina.”

“If you put your ear up to Tony’s stomach, you can hear the
sound of a Big Mac being made.”

“Tony’s comedy contains more garbage than the dumpster he
finds his food in.”

“Tony has been struggling in comedy for years, and
struggling to breathe always.”

Tony did a lot of things in this battle that I would never
have recommended beforehand, and they all worked, so what the fuck do I know?
He had a running gag where he continually mispronounced Quentin’s name (Quentin Macchiato; Quentin Mascara-Cholo; Melting Quesarito;
Quentin Mask of Zorro; Quentin Sad Tarantino; Queer-mo Del Toro; Kristen Motel
No-Homo; Quincy Mesotheliomo; Chicken Taquito Loco; Q-Tip Marco Polo), he
painted “Giant Killer” on his back and revealed it when a joke landed hard, and
what could’ve come off as obnoxious mugging ended up reading as bold swagger. The audience ate it up. If there’s anything that lost the battle for Quentin, it
certainly wasn’t his jokes or even his delivery – both were solid all night. It’s simply
that Tony was willing to risk trying new and different things, and it paid off.

This was really a memorable Main Event, and I hope we see
both battlers back soon. There are no real losers when the battles are as good
as this weeks. Or maybe we’re all a bunch of losers, and that’s why it’s fun to
watch us insult each other. Whatever. Until next time!

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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