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Week Two of the Roastmasters saw the show come together a little more harmoniously, fueled by the addition of the White Power Corner headed up by local legend Mike Recine and another killer panel of judges: Joe List, Christian Finnegan, and Aparna Nancherla. Host Luis J. Gomez still came off as affably as ever, even though he still seemed a bit scattered. Though, admittedly, it’s hard to keep a level head when you’re leading a three-ring comedy circus on the level of The Roastmasters.

The first bout of the night is between up-and-comers Kaytlin Bailey and Nick Mullen! Nick isn’t sure about how ready he is for his opponent:

“I dunno, this is a little awkward, I’m actually pretty good friends with all the guys who wrote her jokes for her.”

Nick spends the whole match fending off mustache-related accusations of misogyny, rape-joke-making, and “looking like a faggot,” a term Nick shouts in low and high moments in the first round.

“Nick Mullen manages to look like both dudes who raped Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry.”
“Kaytlin runs a naked comedy show, because as the saying goes, dress for the job you used to have, not the one you can’t get.”
“Nick, if your apartment catches on fire again, you should let me know. I can replace everything with the change I keep in a jar.”

The judges and peanut gallery had plenty to say:

“Kaytlin’s dressed like Louis C.K., more like Louis C-Cup! Is that funny?” – Joe List
“You guys really need more sound effects – thank you Funkmaster Sucks.” – Christian Finnegan
“I think maybe Kaytlin will think next time before she attempts a man’s profession.” – The White Power Corner

Nick takes round one, but starts out round two with what he admits is basically joke B-roll:

“Kaytlin’s nose is so big it needs its own Holocaust museum.”
“Kaytlin needs glasses because she damaged her eyesight when she used a mirror to look at her pussy one time.”
“Watching Kaytlin do comedy is like watching paint dry. Except the paint is cum and it’s on Kaytlin’s face, because that’s what she thinks comedy is.”

Kaytlin is ready to fire back in spades:

“Nick has the face of a rat, and the facial hair of someone who would own a rat.”
“Bloggers hate Nick Mullen. It’s not because of the hateful shit he writes about women on the Internet, but because the way he lives proves white male privilege doesn’t exist.”
“Nick, how did you get bedbugs without having a bed?”

It’s a landslide, as every single one of Kaytlin’s jokes got the crowd rolling.

“This round wasn’t even close. You called that B-roll? Dude, that was J-roll.” – Christian Finnegan

Kaytlin wins round two, and the stage is set for the knockout round:

“I really do feel sorry for Nick Mullen’s atrocious living situation. If he lived in any other country, he’d qualify for U.S. aid.”
“Kaytlin was a prostitute before she was a comedian, so it took her a while to realize the punchline is the end of a joke, not when a mark owes you $20 because he left a bruise.”
“Nick is so poor, his bedbugs are anemic.”
“Kaytlin worked in politics before she was a failed prostitute and a failed comedian, so her resume reads like the world’s only rational suicide note.”
“I used to be an escort, but you being a respected comic is still the hardest thing I’ve ever had to swallow.”

The judges engage in some hot debate over the victor. Christian Finnegan gives it to nick on the rational suicide note joke. Aparna gives it to Kaytlin “despite one of [her] jokes feeling like an episode of Intervention”. Joe List summed up the problem with the round:

“Kaytlin got the biggest laugh, but that’s based on a false premise. Nick’s not respected as a comedian!”

Yet, in the end, he selects Kaytlin, who continues to prove how much harder it is for male roasters to overcome fierce female energy.

Next up: Matteo Lane vs. Drew Michael! This battle was helped by the undercurrent of Chicago-based friendship running through its veins. These two comics are close friends, started in the same city, and wound up in the ring together tonight, ready to entertain. And entertain they did:

“Matteo, you look like the mascot for the It Gets Worse campaign.”
“Drew Michael told me before the bell I couldn’t make fun of his past relationships or his family. So this is the closest time you’ll ever see me get this close to a pussy.”
“Matteo, I think of you whenever I play Mario Kart, because you look like Luigi got hit by an AIDS shell then started dressing like Toad.”
“I didn’t choose to be gay, Drew, but when did you choose to be Bill Burr?”
“Matteo, you never get a second date because going out with you leads to more gay suicides than bullying.”
“Matteo, your big hero is Whitney Houston, which makes sense because you’re as good at standup as she is at taking baths.”
“Drew, isn’t it ironic that your name is something you’ve never been able to do with a crowd?”

Joe List, again, is the Nervous Nellie of the judges’ panel:

“I can’t tell you how little I’m enjoying being a judge of this." 

He votes for Drew. Aparna votes for Matteo. Christian casts the deciding vote for Drew.

"Drew takes round 1 by a pubic hair.” – Luis J. Gomez

Matteo opts to go first in round two, ready with lava-hot burns:

“Drew Michael respects women as much as I like having sex with them.”
“Fun fact, drew is deaf, so in his defense he can’t hear when the women are saying no.”
“Getting fucked in the ass leaves me less sore than talking to you.”
“Drew set Jews back so many years, if Anne Frank would have met you her diary would have been called ‘I Understand The Holocaust Now.’”

Though Drew was ready to fire back with gay jokes aplenty:

“Must be hard to give head when you have to stop every 4 seconds to sing.”
“You can always tell when Matteo is on the other end of a glory hole because he won’t stop shouting his TV credits through the hole.”

Drew closes with a long, long joke about opera where the punchline was “Fagliacci” but despite its strong finish, the extended setup causes some friction amongst the judges and audience.

“Drew’s actually releasing another album this year, it’s called Mild Payoff.” – The White Power Corner

“Matteo had, like, solid jokes, and Drew did this weird rope-a-dope shit where he sucked for like two-thirds of his thirty seconds.” – Christian Finnegan

Christian, a huge fan of the Fagliacci joke, votes for Drew. Aparna and Joe vote for Matteo. Round three is nigh. Matteo starts the proceedings:

“Usually you have to be successful to be hated, but tonight’s not the case.”

But Drew fires back with quick, cutting quips:

“You’re gonna be the first person killed off a talking heads show.”
“Matteo, you suck dick like you think cum is made out of your father’s approval.”
“I can take my hearing aids out, but the regular AIDS are in you forever.”

Christian gives it to Matteo, but Aparna and Joe team up once more to signal Drew Michael as the second victor of tonight’s fight card.

The crowd braces itself for the main event: Liza Treyger vs. Saurin Choksi! Liza, a battle veteran from the SXSW edition, lives with this Fuse talk show host, so the crowd was already anticipating some not-so-friendly fire. Liza was rolling from her first moments on stage:

“Did you lose your voice?” – Luis
“I just live an unhealthy lifestyle.” – Liza

Introductions are made and the first round begins:

“Everyone always pronounces your name wrong. It must be so frustrating to always correct people, ‘It’s Sore-Een, not Aziz!’”
“I don’t have a choice when it comes to loving Liza, because Hindus have to worship cows.”
“I understand. I can lose weight, you can never not look like a burnt eagle.”
“Liza, you talk about having sex all the time but you never get any. In fact, you’re the only white woman I know who can travel through India safely.”
“Choksi, you’re so brown and hairy, you look like Mr. Hankey rolled around a barbershop floor.”
“Liza, you’re a filthy human being. Your room is so dirty even the spiders under your bed relocated to the cobwebs in your pussy.”
“I wish you were a girl. Not because I want a gal pal, but because then you’d be a bloody pile of stem cells on the floor of an abortion clinic in Calcutta. Which would still be more watchable than your Fuse talk show.”
“Liza, you are a horrible, horrible dresser. From a distance you look like a mannequin they pulled from a fire at Lane Bryant.”

Once again, the judges are spit. Christian votes for Saurin despite Liza’s burnt eagle joke, but Joe and Aparna select Liza as the round’s victor. Saurin opts to start round two, and he goes hard in the paint:

“Liza, you know all your friends hate you. I don’t like talking behind someone’s back, but at your size, where isn’t behind your back?”
“You are so lazy and unlikable, all you do is lay around on the couch. You burn more bridges than calories.”
“Every night Liza comes home with her mascara running, it’s like even your makeup is trying to get away from you.”
“What is going on with your makeup? You’re a good comedian, you don’t have to apply surprise and misdirection to your face.”
“Liza thinks a woman’s right to choose involves the size of her rotissere chicken at Boston Market.”

Liza has some fire ready, but not quite as much as Saurin:

“Don’t be too sad your TV show got cancelled, I heard Aladdin on Broadway is looking for a new Abu.”
“How does it feel that your people’s food has more heat than your career?”
“You got two DUIs, so you gave up driving and drinking, but we all just wish you gave up comedy.”

“I want to see them do a movie together, you can call it Cumdog Millionaire.” – White Power Corner

The judges weren’t happy with the depleted power of Round Two:

“It’s really hard because they were both so mediocre…” – Christian
“I don’t like Round Two, period. It feels like people reading tweet drafts.” – Aparna

Christian votes for Liza. Aparna votes for Saurin. And Joe?

“I wanna go with Liza because I’m more confident in how to say her name.”

But he winds up voting for Saurin and the stage is set once more for a haymaker round. The battlers square up one last time:

“To give credit to Choksi, he does get his dick touched by a lot of women. Granted, they work for the TSA.”
“The only thing closer together than your eyebrows are women’s legs when you hit on them.”
“Good news: if California ever needs more water, they can always tap into the reservoirs of sweat under Liza’s tits.”
“Your body looks like it grows a new hair every time someone asks you where the nearest White Castle is.”
“You have worked many, many years as a babysitter, which is a crime. I’d rather leave my child with Jared Fogle and a camcorder.”
“Liza has the distinction of being the only comedian to steal from the Fat Jew. What’d she take? His body.”

This round is easily the best of the whole night, with every single joke crushing the crowd under its mighty comedic weight. The judges have their work cut out for them. Aparna picks Liza based on the joke about Saurin’s eyebrows. Joe has kind words to say about both battlers:

“I thought Saurin was the second-best roaster of the whole night, unfortunately I think Liza was the best.”

And Christian Finnegan? Well, he’s still here:

“My opinion is moot.” – Christian
“I feel like the industry when they’re looking at your scripts.” – Luis
“As if I’ve written any scripts.” – Christian

Luis raises Liza’s hand in victory. The crowd roars as the lights come up. The room breathes again. The Roastmasters survives another week.

post by Jay Light

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