by Pat Barker
For the month of October, I will be making a new Top Ten Roast
Battle list every week. This week’s subject: ten battles that would be on my
three-year history, Roast Battle has welcomed hundreds of comics into the ring
to engage in verbal combat. The operation started small, as your average
Tuesday night in 2013-14 would consist of a main event and an undercard. Three
battles made for a stacked night, and four was unheard of. Fast forward to last
Tuesday, as the show ran eight battles out there for the second time this
month. As the show soars to new heights, more and more comics are taking
interest and stepping their game up, and the quality of the Belly Room show has
never been higher. In honor of these recent epically loaded eight battle
showcases, I wanted to put together my own dream card with ten fights.
a rule – I wanted to avoid the urge to stack this with ten battles featuring
nothing but top tier competitors. Many of them have already faced each other,
for one, and on top of that I’m seeing more and more cases of the best battles
coming from people a little bit further down in the rankings. So I decided to
make a little game out of it, and used the following criteria.
three battlers from each bracket in the latest Power Rankings (released earlier
today!) – so three people in the Top Ten, three more from 11-20, and so on.
That gave me the first 15. For the last five spots, I took three unranked
regular battlers and saved the final two spots for realistic big name comics. I
limited it to folks who have either been in the Roast Battle ring before or
judged multiple times, and also used some common sense. Dave Chappelle and
Kevin Hart probably isn’t doable, but Tony Hinchcliffe vs. Mike Lawrence would
be. With those rules in place I set out to make the best card possible. Here’s
what I came up with.
Nicole Becannon (Unranked) vs. Nicole
Aimee Schreiber (#38)
absolute banger to start the show off. Both Nicoles made incredible impacts on
the show last month, as Becannon took down Roast Battle Rookie of the Year and
Top Ten stalwart Dan Nolan and Schreiber delivered one of the most thorough
performances I’ve seen in a long time. Both of these fighters are incredible
joke writers, but their stage personas set them apart from many others.
Becannon embraces the spirit of the battle starting with her entrances and
pre-fight banter, and Schreiber has a quiet confidence that manifests itself in
her joke delivery. This one would be a total bloodbath.
Frank Castillo (#31) vs. Lindsey
two have a lot in common. They’re both above average battlers who also sport
losing records, mainly because they take fights with people who have more
angles to use than they do. Roast Battle is a highly visual sport – if you can
shave three seconds of set-up off of a joke by making the topic something the
crowd can clearly see, your jokes will be sharper and more well received. As a
result, these two go in there and fall victim to Mexican jokes and Suicide Girl
jokes from the most average looking white dudes on Earth (looking at you, Doug
Fager and Mark Stevens). Give these poor guys a break and let them battle each
April Lotshaw (#37) vs. Ali Macofsky
the most promising battlers to step in the ring, both Ali and April have
delivered nothing but killer performances. Ali debuted about a year ago with a
toe-tagging of John Mitchell and then had to step back once the age restriction
crackdowns started. She returned recently to destroy Jake Adams and run her
record to 2-0. On the flipside, April debuted with a loss to Anna Valenzuela in
an Undercard of the Year Roastie nominee but has since rebounded with two big
wins, one of them over Battle star Robin Tran. These are two battlers who could
easily go out and deliver a Battle of the Night on any Tuesday, including the
hypothetical one I’m laying out right now.
Joe Eurell (Unranked) vs. Robin Tran
of Robin, she’s a steal for this game given her low ranking. Her 2-3 record is
in no way indicative of her talent, and the same goes for Joe Eurell’s 3-4
mark. Both Robin and Joe are among the best writers the show has to offer and
have had some of the best battles in undercard history. Both have gained
absolute fan favorite status as a result, and seeing them go head-to-head would
be a big hit in the Belly Room. I’m a fan of both for many reasons, most
notably their creativity. This one would give them a chance to add a new twist
to the classic angles we’ve seen taken against them in the past.
Jamar Neighbors (#25) vs. Greg Roque
wheelchair battles in a row! In the first one, I’d be excited to see how Robin
would think outside of the box – what level of creativity and nuance she’d add
to a played topic. In this one, I’d just want to see Mr. Does Not Give A Fuck
himself, Jamar Neighbors, and how far he’d be willing to go. A lot of battlers
put effort into toeing the line between funny and mean, being overly cautious
about the way they’ll come out of it looking. Something tells me Jamar wouldn’t
care, and he’s so naturally funny he could pull off some vicious material. On
the other side, Greg Roque has poise and joke-writing ability at a level
typically beyond someone with only two battles. Both of his fights were great
and he came out victorious on both. I think he’d be the perfect counter to
Jamar’s frantic energy and balls-to-the-wall style.
Albert Escobedo (#26) vs. Mike
is 6-0. Mike is 4-0. Know how many times we’ve had a battle with two
participants who are a combined 10-0? Zero. We came close once with 6-0 Ashley
Barnhill against 3-0 Olivia Grace, but that’s it. There’s something about
raising the stakes with two undefeated records that makes a battle feel more
special. While Albert has totaled more wins, Mike’s victories have largely been
more memorable. But make no mistake about it – both of these guys are great and
this would be a toss-up.
Jeff Sewing (#19) vs. Omid Singh (#5)
a couple of lackluster battles, Omid Singh is back with a vengeance. His latest
win over Corey Charron was flawlessly executed and featured the bizarre jokewriting
styles that we’ve come to know and love. When Omid is on point, he’s virtually
impossible to beat. The same can be said for the undefeated Jeff Sewing. Jeff
has been far more selective with his battles, going 3-0-1 to Omid’s 11-4, but
he’s fought nothing but heavyweights. Omid would be his toughest task, but
there’s no doubt in my mind he’d be up for it and the result would be a classic
Keith Carey (#12) vs. Anna Valenzuela
much the same way that Robin Tran was a steal at 42, Keith Carey is a bargain
at 12. He’s arguably the most talented battler on the circuit, and he’s been in
about seven of the ten best battles in the show’s history. He’s a must on this
card. Who better to put him against than Annd Valenzuela? Since stepping into
the ring for the first time last year, Anna has run out to a 5-1 victory with
several dominant wins in the process. That record doesn’t include any Top 25
victims, so this opportunity is overdue. On top of all that, these two are good
friends and we’ve seen how that almost always leads to classic battles. Any way
you slice it, this matchup would be an all-timer.
Three-Round Main Event: Olivia Grace
(#7) vs. Toby Muresianu (#4)
Olivia. You’re 21 now. Get back in the damn ring.
like Olivia’s been away for a while now, but that’s not entirely true. She’s
been hanging out at the Store since turning 21. She judged a battle. She
battled twice on TV last year. She faced off against Alex Hooper at a museum
this month. So it’s not exactly fair to say she’s been inactive. That being
said, I think most Roast Battle fans want to see her back competing on regular
Tuesday night cards. Once she does, there’s no better opponent than Toby
Muresianu. Toby’s been on absolute fire for over a year now, and has earned a
shot at the best. At the time of her banishment last year, “the best” referred
to Olivia Grace. This battle would be an absolute slugfest, and that’s why it’s
my three-round main event on my dream card.
Bonus One-Rounder: Jason Sklar vs.
decided to use the final two “celebrity” spots on two of the best Roast Battle
judges in the show’s history. The fact that they’re brilliantly funny roasters makes
this fight intriguing. The fact that they’re brothers makes it a no-brainer. As
covered earlier, battles between best friends are usually the best. Why not
take it a step further with the first ever battle between brothers?
there it is. That’s my dream card. There are literally thousands of ways you
could go with this, even given the criteria I imposed upon myself, but I’d be
willing to put this card up against anybody’s. While we’re probably never going
to see half of the battles listed above, the days of the eight fight supercards
seem to be alive and well every Tuesday night. Roast Battle is better than ever
right now, so make sure you’re tuning in to Periscope or coming live.