When I first heard that Jay Light (Head of Digital at Roast Battle) needed my help with making a compilation video of the meanest jokes ever, I only had one thought. “Fuck”. As someone who has been on the receiving end of a LOT of those jokes, it’s always awkward to celebrate them. I’m not talking about giving them their props, that’s easy. I’m talking about going back to the guy and saying “here are the ten best jokes about my dead child!” and then highlighting them in a video that will rack up hundreds of thousands of views. Still, I’m nothing if not a team player, so I got to work. I first tried to outsource the project to the Roast Battle community, but that road turned out to be a dead end. When I said, “give me the most brutal jokes anyone has ever used”, they heard “post any mildly funny joke you’ve ever told”. I wanted that 9/11, Holocaust, dead relatives shit. I got “there was the time I called that guy Shaquille O’Queef!” or whatever. The community had failed me.
So, I did what I initially didn’t want to do – consulted the archives. Nearly every battle for the last five years is recapped on this very website, so I started digging through the files and actually reading old jokes. Let me tell you one thing – it sucked. Sucked bad. But once I got in a groove, I realized that I had forgotten SO MANY insane jokes. I mean, my god. We’ve done the live show for about seven years now, which means roughly 350 shows. Say five battles per show (a generous estimate considering we used to run 8-10 battle nights routinely). That’s 1750 battles. Say roughly ten jokes per battle, and you’re talking about almost TWENTY THOUSAND JOKES. I combed through most of them in an effort to narrow it down to one video, and the assignment was impossible. Some of the battles aren’t even in the video archives, including my favorite mean joke ever (“Olivia was raped by a black man. On the plus side, now all we owe him are the 40 acres.”). Others ended up not making the cut just due to time constraints. Believe me, enough material exists to do another eight parts to the video.
The craziest thing about these jokes is the era that they were told in. If you listen to anybody, comedy is dying. You can’t say anything anymore. Cancel culture is ruining stand-up, blah blah blah. And it’s true, to a degree. While I don’t share the same fatalistic viewpoint on the future of our industry, there’s no question that it’s harder to get away with edgier material in 2020. But that’s what makes this so special – Roast Battle exists in its own bubble, one that seemingly falls out of the jurisdiction of the PC Police. It’s a safe space for everyone to come together and say all the most fucked up shit they can think of, like The Purge, except entertaining. Anyway, enough waxing poetic about a bunch of miscarriage jokes. Just check out the video and enjoy people trying to verbally murder each other.