After two weeks of play-in matches and a bevy of entertaining battles of all stripes, the Belly Room is ready to keep rumbling. In addition to three interesting undercards, tonight features two more tournament matches as the Roast Battle Royale contenders continue to be whittled down on the march towards $500 in cash and a whole mess of ringside respect. Who’s going to be judging them, you ask? Let’s get to know our panel.
Our judges tonight are all Roast Battle favorites with multiple appearances on the panel – and comedy accomplishments galore – to each of their names. Ian Abramson is an absurdist mastermind, best known for his isolation tank show Seven Minutes in Purgatory and his well-reviewed appearance on Conan last year. Byron Bowers has performed on Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and most of the TV channels in between, and is a comedy festival favorite worldwide. Megan Gailey’s sharp tongue has been featured on the panel more times than any other judge here, and she has experience in both the LA and NYC Roast Battles under her belt, along with an appearance in the Atlanta regionals of Comedy Central’s second season. Rounding out the panel is Yassir Lester, an accomplished writer and standup most recently seen on underrated Fox sitcom Making History and HBO’s Girls. Old-school Roast Battle fans will also recognize Yassir from putting on one of the best main events in the early days of the show against Benji Aflalo, in a controversial battle that still gets whispered about by the Belly Room ghosts.
Our first undercard is a Seattle slaughterfest featuring Billy Anderson taking on Mike Masliotti.
Billy and Mike came up in the Pacific Northwest together and have cultivated different styles up there in the rain. Billy, proprietor of The Gateway Show – a show where comics tell jokes, get high, and tell more jokes – seems a good bit more cheerful than Mike, but Mike has also gotten a bevy of experience under his belt on the Seattle branch of Roast Battle. Will Billy’s red-eyed whimsy win or will Mike’s victory be as big as his ear gauges?
Up next, the out-of-town rivalries continue as Zach Stein takes on fellow Michigander Diego Attanasio.
Zach has made a splash in the Belly Room ring, though his somewhat spotty record wouldn’t lead you to believe it. Meanwhile, Diego, a Detroit-based comic who is just passing through, will be battling for the first time in the ring. However, he has battle experience of his own from his participation in the Motor City Comedy Festival’s 2017 invitational tournament of America’s favorite comedy sporting event. These two are friends and know how to write a solid, sharp roast joke, so this undercard is one to look forward to.
Rounding out the undercards, we have two of Roast Battle’s favorite basic bitches: Madison Sinclair versus Josh Waldron!
Josh and Madison have battled a bunch in the Belly Room, providing entertaining shows every time they enter the ring. They’re both good joke writers who are prone to occasional strategic flaws, but maybe their first match of 2018 will find this duo turning over a new leaf. At the very least, we can expect this to be the most attractive battle of the night. Win it for the ‘gram!
In our first tournament match of the night, Galina Rivina and Guam Felix are set to throw down for five jokes.
Galina is a feisty Russian who everyone thinks is a Latina; a battler who has made a name for herself taking down folks like Stuart Thompson and Joe Eurell in thrilling bouts. She’s a small fighter who throws big punches, highlighted with crafty joke writing. Guam is practically her polar opposite: a big, beefy, islander with jokes that play like battering rams. Guam’s approach to Roast Battle is pure brute force, which has paid off well for him against contenders like Haiti and Becky Robinson. Which style will prevail? Only time will tell!
Our final battle of the evening features Nicole Becannon versus Tony Bartolone in another tournament match.
Nicole has cemented herself as the bonafide tournament favorite after a three-round victory over Keith Carey last month. Her confidence and joke writing skills have grown immensely over the past year of Roast Battle, and she enters the ring tonight with a well-deserved target on her back. Tony is a wildcard in the ring. He battles with creativity and vigor every time he competes and has been a part of some fine main events over the past few years, including wins against Quentin Thomas and Joe Eurell. However, while Tony does swing for the fences, sometimes he whiffs completely, as evidenced in his total misfires against Albert Escobedo and (insert here!). However, no matter how you slice it, Tony is the underdog here. Can he overcome the odds or will Nicole continue her winning streak?
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