Our judges file in – Jerron Horton, Nicole Becannon, and Jeff Ross – and the music cuts out. Sound issues won’t stop the show from going on, though, so Moses whips the crowd into a frenzy and kicks off a short night of battles.
First up it’s Sam Brilhart versus Roy Ellison. Roy, proudly proclaiming himself a born-again Christian, takes a very different tack from what your usual Roast Battler might do by complimenting Sam in his intro. He immediately draws the crowd’s ire, but Moses implores them to give Roy a chance. Sam comes out looking a little shell-shocked, but if you’ve watched Sam battle, you know weirdness is the brand. Those not in the know get a peek behind the curtain as the battle begins.
“Roy, you look like you dress at the Boot Barn for the employee discount.”
“Sam wears a unicorn suit because he thinks it makes him unique. It does. He’s a sweetheart.”
“I’m just really soft on the inside. Soft and bloody.”
The battle feels a little wobbly and silly, but the crowd is enjoying it, laughing at the affable awkwardness these two are throwing out.
“You guys, don’t worry about it, Roy is not losing his hair. He does know the kid who pulled it out.”
“It’s me.” *cries like a baby* “I’m born again!”
The crowd thought they understood what was happening, but Roy’s unsettlingly accurate baby impression leaves them even more confused.
“We’ve all got our insecurities, but none of us are such a sweetheart as Sam.”
“Roy reminds me of Joel Osteen, just not in God’s favor.”
“Sam’s heart is so sweet… a werewolf wouldn’t even eat it if he got… cavities… he’s a sweetheart!”
Roy, who was clearly attempting something conceptual here, flubs his delivery and becomes one of the rare roasters who gets actively booed for his performance. The crowd ironically chants for one more joke, which leaves Moses and Jeff bewildered.
“I just wanna know how it ends.” – Jerron Horton
“I thought it was a good change in strategy… it was good until it wasn’t.” – Moses
“This looks like two off-duty mall cops.” – Jeff Ross
“This looks like Ted Bundy versus the Son of Sam.” – Moses
“I wanna know why [Roy’s] nice jokes were more disturbing than the meanest joke you could ever tell… I feel like incels describe both who you are and where you’ll end up.” – Nicole Becannon
Sam wins the audience vote handily, and we move on quickly.
We close out the undercards with Zahra Ali taking on Tim McGorry. Zahra comes out first with spritely energy.
“You are battling another large, loud, white male. Why are you doin’ this?” – Moses
“I really just want them all to shower.” – Zahra
Tim ambles to the stage next and Moses asks why he’s battling Zahra.
“I so rarely get to be xenophobic in public… she’s a sweetheart, y’know? She’s a real sweetheart.”
The audience digs Tim’s sly callback, and spirits seem high as the second battle begins.
“Zahra’s fucked so many Jews they should call her pussy a Palestinian ceasefire.”
“Thank you, Jonah Hillbilly.”
“No problem, Lady Gaza.”
“Speaking of actors, Tim was a theater major in college. But the only roles he gets in Hollywood are the rolls on his neck.”
“Cheese and jalapeño. Zahra’s from Pakistan. I Googled ‘Pakistani travel tips’, it just said DON’T.”
“Yeah, yeah, we know, Muslims are terrorists, yeah yeah. I think Tim would be a perfect terrorist. Yeah. ‘Cuz in his fifteen years in comedy, no one has crashed more than Tim.”
Tim looks like he’s about to start his final joke, but Zahra stops him.
“Hold on, that was a retort. Speaking of racism coming from Tim, Tim’s a fat-earther. Speaking of hateful things, Tim looks like he got rejected from the KKK because they couldn’t find a joke big enough.”
“YEAH, YOU FAT PIECE OF SHIT!” – Autistic Thunder
“Zahra used to work at Goldman Sachs, which must have been really difficult, working down the street from where seventeen of your cousins died.”
“Funny coming from an unemployed guy. Thank you, Connor McRegular.”
“No problem, Disease Ansari.”
“Actually, y’know, Tim is a very nice, regular dude. He and his girlfriend spend time together building Legos, because sex would be too much cardio.”
Zahra is poised and pointed, but Tim is relentless, leaving a tough decision for the judges and the audience.
“You guys fuckin’ killed that shit. Fat Bastard, you did your thing. Zahra, you look the girl that has to give him a massage after this.” – Jerron Horton
“This looks like what you see behind the screens at TSA.” – Jeff Ross
“Cute girl versus fat guy is always my favorite battle.” – Nicole Becannon
Zahra edges it with the judges, and the audience follows their lead. Zahra adds another win to her record.
It’s time for our title fight: Brett Erickson versus Bryan Vokey, meeting up for a three-round slugfest. Both seem cool and laid back, their usual style.
“I guess you couldn’t find a black comic to headline the first Roast Battle of February, so you got the closest thing: two comics on food stamps.” – Bryan Vokey
“I would like to say that Bryan Vokey’s joke comparing us to black comedians was very good, because I also ran out on my children.” – Brett Erickson
“Does anyone else want to make a fuckin’ 90’s black joke in here?” – Moses
“I’ve got a 60’s one coming later.” – Vokey
With the pleasantries and race-baiting out of the way, it’s time for the first round. Vokey opts to take the first swing.
“Brett told me he loves working at the Comedy Store because he drinks for free. What a cool thing for a 50-year-old guy to say.”
“Yeah. It is. Bryan is the reason we still wanna call people faggots.”
“Alright, let’s double down on that subject. Brett’s a vegan and atheist who loves soccer. This joke would be so much quicker if we could still say faggot. Just had to get it out of the way, y’know what I mean?”
“Bryan, you look like you walk your cat.”
“You look like you chicken finger your girlfriend.”
“What?” – the crowd
“He looks like he shoves chicken fingers in his girlfriend’s pussy. That’s not funny? The fuck’s wrong with you?”
*laughter and applause* – the crowd
“That’s hilarious.” – Bryan Vokey
“That’s delicious!” – Autistic Thunder
“Think about it, dummies.”
“It’s up her ass, but, y’know, details. Bryan lost his virginity in high school. During wrestling practice.”
Round one is done, and even though it’s tight, Brett seems to have the advantage. The judges, who are finally able to actually vote, weigh in.
“Who do you like between Tim Allen and Wilson over here?” – Moses
“Y’all look like the same dude suffering from the coronavirus at different stages… the chicken finger girlfriend joke, is that another black history joke, Bryan?” – Jerron Horton
“That’s your internalized racism.” – Bryan Vokey
“You ain’t supposed to talk to me like that during February!” – Jerron Horton
“This looks like some kind of, like, reverse Maury Povich thing. [Moses] is going to read my results and we’ll see who’s my father at the end of this.” – Nicole Becannon
The voting gets derailed for a second when The Wave’s own Jamar Neighbors shows up to sit in his usual spot.
“Jamar’s definitely fucked everyone’s mom in here.” – Nicole Becannon
“But I’m the only one that fucked Jamar’s mom.” – Jeff Ross
“You and Delonte West.” – Moses
“GROSS!” – Jamar Neighbors
“Winner gets to fuck Jamar’s mom.” – Nicole Becannon
“Damn, nobody will fuck your dad, Jamar. Except society. Message! Black History!” – Moses
Frank Castillo, Tony Hinchcliffe, and Alex Hooper, who are also sitting in the VIP section, get asked if they want to weigh in. Frank’s notepad gets read out loud by Tony.
“This just says faggots, wrestling, some joke about Bryan…” – Tony Hinchcliffe
“No, that’s his to-do list.” – Jeff Ross
Brett, after getting the edge from the judges, is forced to take the first swings in round two. With some Roastmaster-provided “dings”, we’re off into round two.
“Bryan pretended to be gay to get out of the Army. It worked so well, now he’s pretending to be straight. It did work, Bryan got out of the army the same way he left his daddy’s balls: dishonorably discharged.”
“Then he was born in Maine, he grew up in Atlanta, but everybody thinks he’s from Cleveland. Because he looks like… Cleveland. That’s Cleveland in shoes! There’s an overall dimness to it, sort of a meth-y area… Cleveland.”
“One more.” – Moses
“Oh, you’re not counting the first one? I guess if it gets absolutely no laughs, its a set-up. Bryan looks like a black comedian’s impression of a white comedian.”
“You doddering old man, shut up. Jesus Christ, that took forever. I don’t know where to start with you, man. Brett, you’re twenty years older than me and you actually do look better than I do. I guess having no stress of having to raise your children keeps you looking great.”
“Shut up, I didn’t rebuttal for you. Brett’s a big-time socialist, ‘cuz everything he’s ever gotten in life was a handout from Doug Stanhope.”
“Brett’s ex-wife claims she left him for God, but I thought people stayed together for God… I think she left you for cock, dude.”
The lack of music and sound effects really starts to weigh on the fight at this point, and the energy seems to be dying despite good joke-writing. After a strange round, the judges offer their opinions.
“Technically, good cock does help you find God.” – Nicole Becannon
“Brett, you were good, but it was like you were rehearsing the jokes in front of a mirror.” – Jerron Horton
“He doesn’t look like he ever looks in front of a mirror.” – Jeff Ross
“I’m gonna give it to Mr. Potato Head without the eyes, Bryan Vokey.” – Tony Hinchcliffe
We’re all tied up, so it’s time to dive into round three. Bryan opts to go first yet again.
“It’s fitting Brett is here during Black History Month, because he looks like every cop who would drop the dog’s leash at a civil rights march.”
The crowd isn’t quite smart enough to get the reference. Bryan turns on them almost immediately.
“I’d like to see any of you do better. Don’t fuckin’ stone-face me.”
“After the Army, Bryan taught preschool. But only until he came.”
“Brett is a vegan cokehead. Can you imagine that? There is nothing a vegan needs less than something that makes him talk more.”
“Bryan, you look like all of Jeff Dunham’s puppets.”
“Shocked they all knew who Jeff Dunham was, honestly.”
“A lot of people accuse Brett of abandoning his children. It’s not true, he was actually there. He was an alcoholic addicted to pills, but he was there… it would honestly have been better if he had left.”
The crowd reacts like they’ve been punched in the gut. It’s like they don’t know how dark these jokes are allowed to be. Bryan is unfazed.
“Just give it to Brett, let’s get this overwith. Just fuckin’ shoot me.”
“Bryan, you look like you just shit your pants.”
The crowd hesitates here, too, and Bryan pounces.
“Maybe don’t give it to him, actually.”
It’s a close call. The judges weigh in for the last time.
“Brett, I think you took it with the Jeff Dunham puppet [joke], and it has nothing to do with you running my podcast.” – Jerron Horton
“You’re two of my favorite actors from the movie 1917.” – Tony Hinchcliffe
“I know Bryan well enough to know he probably woke up this morning and thought ‘shit, I have a three-round battle tonight!'” – Nicole Becannon
“This was months of work, Nicole. I went to Russia and chopped lumber for a month.” – Bryan Vokey
“Does your hat say Boston Strong?” – Nicole Becannon
“It’s my favorite terrorist attack.” – Bryan Vokey
“It’s a shame you couldn’t finish the marathon tonight.” – Tony Hinchcliffe
After a fun back-and-forth with Bryan and Digits, Jeff finalizes the vote and congratulates the winner. Brett maintains his grip on the belt in his first successful title defense with his lucky 13th win.