May 2019 served as a little period of calm between two big Roast Battle months. Fresh off of the five-city tour that dominated April, Roast Battle returned home to the Belly Room for a relaxing month of LA fights before hitting the road again for three big dates – June 6 at the Ontario Improv, June 21 at Clusterfest in San Francisco, and this July at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. That’s not to say that May was without excitement, as we had some rankings shakeups on both coasts. Let’s check it out.

Los Angeles Top Ten

1. Alex Duong 17-8
2. Nicole Becannon 15-8
3. Keith Carey 20-22
4. Pat Barker 22-10-2
5. Toby Muresianu 14-5-1
6. Omid Singh 20-9
7. Frank Castillo 13-12
8. Leah Kayajanian 14-10-1
9. Bryan Vokey 10-3
10. Isaac Hirsch 10-3

Remember all that rankings shakeup I promised? It’s not here. The Top Ten remains unchanged, as none of these fighters stepped in the ring. On a side note, I have no idea who Alex Duong’s first title defense will be against, but it should be soon. He’s had a few months to sit back and enjoy the belt, now it’s time to put it on the line.

New York Top Ten

1. Mark Benjamin
2. Jessica Fleischer
3. Robbie Goodwin
4. Dave Sirus
5. Isabel Hagen
6. Dan Wickes
7. Jerry Martinez
8. Drew Drevyanko
9. Chloe McGovern
10. Paul Hooper

(Ed. Note – these rankings and the subsequent comments were prepared before last night’s Comedy Fight Club show, in which Robbie Goodwin defeated Jessica Fleischer to win the CFC XX tournament)

Big shakeup in the rankings as we make our way through our biggest tournament ever, CFC XX! Jessica Fleischer and Robbie Goodwin have made it to the finals and will compete for a chance to face Mark Benjamin at Skankfest for the CFC Championship. Jessica advanced past killers Isabel Hagen and Mikey Mayes to earn her the spot at number 2. Robbie Goodwin started doing Roast Battle in LA (Ed. Note – and left with a record-tying 8-0 record!) and since moving to NY has climbed up the ranks and is now at number 3. CFC’s Angry Little Sister, Isabel Hagen, had a great run in the cournament, continuing her streak of using classical music references in Roast Battles and landing in our top 5. Chloe McGovern lost in CFC XX to Isabel Hagen in a battle that could have easily been the final. She lands in our top 10 and remains one of the most vicious roasters there is.

Los Angeles 11-20

11. Doug Fager 12-9-1
12. Alex Hooper 16-9
13. Sarah Keller 15-5-2
14. Jeanne Whitney 8-5
15. Greg Roque 9-4
16. Brett Erickson 8-0
17. Quentin Thomas 10-5
18. Dan Nolan 13-13
19. Jacob Trimmer 8-4-1
20. Tony Bartolone 9-8

Doug Fager and Sarah Keller are two of the best battlers of all-time. In April, both went on the road with the show and delivered some monster performances. In May, both returned to the Belly Room and scored main event wins, with Fager defeating Paige Wesley and Keller beating New York’s James Pontillo. Both jump up six spots in the rankings; Fager from 17 to 11 and Keller from 19 to 13. The rest of the bracket remains unchanged.

New York 11-20

11. Catherine Zini
12. Dan Abraham
13. George Fernandez
14. Erica Spera
15. Jay Welch
16. Anya Volz
17. Mikey Mayes
18. Jake Vevera
19. Stu Melton
20. Leo Volf

Jay Welch comes in at number 15. He lost in the semifinals of CFC XX, but barely even made it there after beating Anya Volz in a Fight of the Night performance. Anya comes in right behind Jay this month at 16. Mikey Mayes lost to Jessica Fleischer in another great tournament battle. I don’t think there have ever been more “horse face” jokes used in a single battle. Mikey pulled it off, but still came up just short.

Los Angeles 21-30

21. Joe Eurell 12-13-2
22. John-Michael Bond 9-5
23. Rena Hundert 7-3
24. Jono Zalay 7-2
25. Jay Light 15-18-1
26. Billy Anderson 6-3
27. Ashley Johnson 7-2
28. Joel Walkowski 14-8
29. Lou Misiano 5-2
30. Tom Whalen 7-3

John-Michael Bond moves from 28 to 22 after beating Caesar Lizardo. Bond has a history of some uneven performances, but when he’s on he’s as good as anyone in the league. Billy Anderson also jumps six spots after defeating Tom Whalen in a nice bounceback battle. Whalen falls to 30 after taking the L in his first main event.

New York 21-30

21. Sally Ann Hall
22. Anthony Passaretti
23. Alison Klemp
24. Ben Miller
25. Rob Ryan
26. Jill Weiner
27. KP Burke
28. Pauline Murphy
29. Boris Khaykin
30. Bobby Sheehan

Ben Miller continues to move up after a huge upset of former champion Jake Vevera. Ben now sits at number 24 and is a fighter to watch… mainly because he always looks like he just died 6 hours ago and we’re worried about him. Pauline Murphy and Boris Khaykin both picked up wins against unranked opponents to maintain their spots in the rankings. Pauline defeated an Egyptian on Passover, because that’s the way it should be. Bobby Elfie took the battle to Double Overtime, but Pauline pulled it out in the end. Boris Khaykin defeated professional wrestler Cory Kastle from Capitol Wrestling in Kastle’s first roast battle. Lastly, the lovable CFC favorite Bobby Sheehan lost to Robbie Goodwin in the first round of CFC XX and he remains at what is gradually becoming his home… the bottom of the rankings.

Los Angeles 31-50

31. Kelsey Lane 9-7
32. Armando Torres 5-6-1
33. Tim McGorry 7-4
34. Dylan Sullivan 5-4
35. Russell Ells 5-0
36. Caesar Lizardo 10-9
37. Movses Shakarian 6-5
38. Zahra Ali 5-3
39. Julian Fernandez 6-3
40. Zach Stein 10-10

Kelsey Lane started her battle career with 14 unremarkable fights. Not being a dick, just saying. Some were pretty good, some were pretty bad. She was 7-7. A perfectly fine battler. In her last two battles, however, Lane completely flipped a switch and just started beating the shit out of people. Her dominant win over Selene Whittington pushes her to 9-7 and a #31 ranking. Given the frequency with which she battles (she’s probably had three more fights since I started typing this paragraph), she could be ascending even higher up the rankings soon. Dylan Sullivan falls to 34 after a loss to Jarred Goldstein, while Russell Ells moves to 35 after defeating Victor Martinez Jr. Ells becomes the latest “yeah he’s 5-0, but he hasn’t beaten anyone good!” guy, and it’s always fascinating to see which way those people go from there. Albert Escobedo ran his record to 8-0 before running into battle heavyweights Omid Singh and Pat Barker and losing his undefeated mark. Brett Erickson stepped up and beat Zach Stein in one of the battles of the year and will be looking to break the record at 9-0 tomorrow night. Robbie Goodwin moved to New York and started killing everyone there. Hell, Guam Felix was once 6-0 and that, uh, didn’t turn out so well. What path will Russell Ells take? Time will tell! Caesar Lizardo falls to 36 with his loss to John-Michael Bond, while Zahra Ali jumps back into the top 40 with a win over Anish Shah.

41. Robin Tran 4-9-1
42. April Lotshaw 5-3
43. Heather Marulli 7-7
44. Deirdre Devlin 3-1
45. Rebecca Rush 4-1
46. Digits 3-2
47. Brian McDaniel 5-4
48. Ryan Nesen 3-0
49. Micah Bleich 3-1
50. Paige Wesley 7-12

The long-awaited return of April Lotshaw went as well as anyone could have hoped, as she delivered a thorough beatdown to Andrew Pupa. She returns to the rankings at 42. Deirdre Devlin makes her rankings debut at 44 after defeating Josh Waldron, while battle rapper Digits jumps in at 46. I’ll say this about Digits – a lot of battle rappers have dipped their toe in the Roast Battle waters, but this dude has dove in headfirst and pulled off a 3-2 record against some tough opponents. His latest win over Lee Hudson was remarkably entertaining, and he’s earned his spot in the top 50. Ryan Nesen also makes his rankings debut after running out to a 3-0 record, and Paige Wesley falls to the brink after losing a main event to Doug Fager.

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