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by Tony Bartolone

Next week three of our bravest, boldest, baddest battlers will venture cross country to fight on behalf of the City of Angels in a no holds barred barnburner of a battle for city superiority. You can watch it all live on the Gas Digital Network at 7:30 LA time next week. Today is Tuesday and that means it’s time for another stacked night of fights in the Belly Room. Let’s meet our judgmental arbiters of justice.
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Interestingly enough, it’s an all New York panel. Well, at least they originate from New York. All of them spend a lot of time in LA, and I know for a fact, one just moved here. He’s one of the fiercest and funniest judges in the game, the bearded bruiser, Mike Lawrence. This comic book nerd has written for Comedy Central Roasts, Inside Amy Schumer, has been on @Midnight, Conan, and is the first ever undisputed Roast Battle Champion. Battlers beware his rapid-fire wit aka his berserker attack. Next, we’ve got Impractical Joker Sal Vulcano. From the much beloved TruTV show, it doesn’t get much more New York than this Staten Island prankster. He’s got a background in improv, and being able to sling insults off the cuff makes for a great Roast Battle judge. Rounding things off, there is the man, the myth, the legend, friend of police and prisoner alike, the Roastmaster General Jeff Ross. Jeff Ross has done every Comedy Central Roast, and was the youngest member of the original Friar’s Club in New York City. He’s always a welcome tie-breaking voice of reason, and a man who truly believes this show is all about love. Whatever! Let’s Roast!
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First off, is a promising bout between the host of the Just Joshin’ podcast, Josh Michaels, taking on the co-host of the Alt Blk Podcast, Lonnie Johnson. It looks like Lonnie is going to protest Josh for being too white. Josh Michaels is the adult version of Kevin from Home Alone if instead of planting booby traps for burglars, he turned his parents’ house into an elaborate sex dungeon. Both these dudes are battle tested and looking to prove themselves worthy of bigger and better bouts. Both have had good performances in past battles and they’re also friends, so this has all the makings of a solid match up.
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Next up, host of the Lab Work open mic at the Hollywood Improv, Ken Garr, takes on the host of nothing, Kevin Fard. Fard looks like he just buried the man that the Ken obviously recently murdered with a baseball bat. The brash battles the bald in this lowly-anticipated match up. I’ve always liked Kevin despite so many people telling me I’m wrong. I wouldn’t say a majority, because a majority of people are unaware of his existence in general. Maybe just everybody who’s seen him do stand up doesn’t like him. Except me. I like him. Ken is a legit comic and Kevin is a legit lawyer, so we’ll see who fares better when the crowd is the judge.
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In the third contest, Alisa Kasimova takes shots at Zack Kennedy. Zack, seen here writing his material, has a couple battles under his belt and is always fun to watch. The first time I met Zack he revealed that his friends had been talking shit about me right before I walked in the room. Some people don’t like getting roasted in the report, but yet they think they can hang in the Belly Room. Zack, on the other hand, outed his friends for being babies for the benefit of a complete stranger. Zack is cool. Be like Zack. I’ve never seen Alisa do comedy, but I just finished watching her acting reel, in which she sets a car on fire. So that was pretty cool. We’ll see how much fire she’s able to spit tonight.
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In the last undercard, Roast Battle regular Jay Light employs his joke skills against battle rapper, F.L.O. The last King Of The Dot battle rapper to step onto a Roast Battle stage had one of the most explosive debuts in Roast Battle history, knocking off Belly Room favorite Jamar Neighbors. If this guy is bringing that kind of KOTD heat, this might be the undercard of the night. I’m going to give the advantage to Jay and predict that he will body bag the battle rapper from the bay. F.L.O. has a unique style. He is energy is low key, so his hits pack more punch because they’re unexpected. However, with all Jay’s experience, he will be difficult to surprise.
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In our first of three one-round main events, Nat Baimel goes to war with Alex Duong. It’s Jew versus jiu-jitsu, and these two wimpy warriors will be pulling no punches. It’s matzoh versus Mitsubishi as Alex seeks to reclaim his former glory after a period of voluntary noninvolvement.  It’s Chanukkah versus whatever the fuck Alex celebrates. Nat is no slouch in terms joke writing, and he will come prepared for an all-out oral assault from the hungry Hun. Nat looks like he was in a movie musical that took place in LA’s Fairfax district called Challah Land. Tonight you can call him Nat Damon as he seeks to upset an Asian actor. Will the red dragon drain defeat the red sea or will Alex bring shame to his family?
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In part two of our three-part main event, Tim Groeschel goes five jokes with the Anchor Bar’s own Evan Cassidy. Tim looks like he prefers cream-filled doughnuts, which is what he calls devouring a person after he has sex with them several times. Tim enjoys serial killing as much as he enjoys killing boxes of cereal. This unkempt hog looks like a member of the Westboro Baptist church if their slogan was “GOD HATES RAGS”. He looks like he overeats at KKKFC. Evan Cassidy co-hosts a podcast with Kevin Tienken called Rip’n & Skip’n with Evan & Kevin where he plays multiple characters. He’s also in a Misfits cover band called Hybrid Broments. So between Tim’s looks and Evan’s silly behavior there’s plenty of roast material onstage, or as the police refer to it “evidence in a multiple murder cases”.
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Finally, in the third part of our three-part main event, Connor McSpadden battles the East Coast version of himself, J.P. McDade. It’s good thing this isn’t a contest to see who can grow a beard first because we’d have to wait for this ill-equipped infants to go through puberty. This battle between pre-pubescent pipsqueaks is a sneak preview of what we have to look forward to next week when three of our best battlers take on three of New York’s best roasters on their home turf. Connor is one of the most feared competitors in LA, JP made it to the final round of the NYC Roastmasters Tournament, and both have battled on Comedy Central. These towering toddlers have the capacity to put on one hell of a show. It’s going to be an exciting night of top notch battles tonight, and on to New York next week. Remember to watch on gasdigitalnetwork.com at 7:30 and then come down and celebrate our victory in the Belly Room. We’ll be back for full night of LA-bred battles next week, as well.

Follow @RoastBattle on Twitter for all the latest updates, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest pictures from the impeccable Troy Conrad, and watch live on Periscope at 11 PM PST every Tuesday if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person. Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to our sponsor SpeedWeed.

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