The crowd is hot, both in temperature and energy; they are foaming at the mouth ready for the battles to begin. The judges take their seats. From the newly picked up by E! “Stand up to the Streets” we have Justine Marino and Justin Martindale; from Netflix, Elon Gold; and rounded out as always by the Roastmaster General himself, Jeff Ross.
First up we have Robyn Blake versus Zachary White. These two look like if they switched faces they’d both be hot versions of the opposite sex. Zach starts us off with a quip about wanting to battle both a man and a woman at once, and the audience devours the first burn. Robyn joins the stage, with her notes in hand, always a bad sign. If you can’t remember three jokes, you probably shouldn’t do Roast Battle, or comedy for that matter. After the judges weigh in with mixed reviews…
“This looks like hard body versus ‘tard body.” – Justin Martindale
Robyn volunteers Zach to go first, always a bold move.
“Robyn’s real name is Francina Danissi, which is Italian for genetically modified monster.”
“Give it up for Zach White Guilt. Zach has a condition called alopecia which causes chronic hair loss, which makes Zach my favorite kind of pussy: hairless.”
“Robyn is bisexual and bipolar which means she’ll soon be found by a ditch.”
“Give it up for Zach White privilege. I didn’t know I would be roasting Marylin Manson without his makeup. Zach and I have a lot in common. When I came out to my mom she called me disgusting which is what Zach’s Mom said to him when he came out of her.”
“Robyn’s had sex with over 30 people, I guess it’s true: Hulk Smash.”
“Hey Zach, when did Jesus come into your life and how long was it before you let him cum on your face?”
Zach is invited to tell one more joke by Jeff:
“Robyn’s a catfish. Not the internet thing, just a bottom feeder with a mustache.”
Robyn started strong with the playful nicknames, but they became redundant after the first one. Zach’s first joke didn’t hit, but he did a great job of playing into Robyn’s jokes, and endearing himself to the audience. After the “white guilt” quip, he even jokingly did a “Heil Hitler” move, and the audience ate it up. Robyn’s commentary in between rounds didn’t help her, while we applaud her taking chances and trying to get in extra jokes, they weren’t funny and may have cost her the battle. Zach’s final joke was the best of the round, and while his other jokes didn’t really hit, the beautiful simplicity of the “Hulk Smash” joke was enough to win him the match and earn himself a coveted Jamar Neighbors selfie. Zachary White wins his first Roast Battle. The battle was decent, but the audience still got a treat when the Roastmaster switched positions with Jamar and joined the wave. His joyful antics were a welcome distraction from the mediocre battle.
Next up is our main event between Pat Barker and Jeff Sewing. Both men are loose and ready to destroy, showing a comfort only earned by seasoned battlers who’ve proven themselves in the ring. After several mentions about their podcast “Pat and Jeff Like Sports,” Pat volunteers to go first.
“Jeff works for a non-profit. It’s called his comedy career.”
“Pat’s father was in Vietnam, which must have been hard to forget considering all Pat said growing up was ‘nom nom nom…’
“On the topic of food, Jeff looks like the guy who organizes the bake sales at the Westboro Baptist Church.”
“Still on the topic of food, Pat went to high school in Philly where his classmates voted him “Most likely to die from eating a sandwich with the toothpick still in it.”
“I should have never shown up here looking this fat, that’s on me. That’s a pretty good joke coming from a guy who looks like every police composite sketch for a pedophile. Speaking of which, Jeff’s mom works at a casino and he treats his sexual partners like blackjack – he won’t even hit unless they’re under 17.”
“Pat named his son Grafton, as in, in 5 years, Pat’s skin will begin grafftin’ to his couch.”
Despite some technical difficulties with Pat’s mic going out, these pros don’t miss a beat and deliver a killer first round. Pat’s first joke is a banger, but doesn’t receive the response from the audience it deserves. Jeff’s first joke brings the room to its knees, the delightful silliness and originality of the joke make it a hit, and the best joke of the round. The judges are split and the round is a tie.
“Pat’s biggest fear in life is disappointing everyone in his life, but I don’t understand why. I mean, you’re a freelance writer with a business degree who has to drive Lyft to make ends meet AND you host a podcast with me… Oh, now I get it.”
“Pat and I host a podcast together called Pat and Jeff Like Sports. Here’s how it works is I write the rundown, produce the audio, edit the audio, and promote on social media accounts I set up. And Pat… hey, does anyone wanna host a sports podcast with me?
“Our podcast is struggling along and maybe it would help if you had a little more sex appeal. For Christ’s sake you’re shaped like a pear… of pregnant women standing back to back.”
“Before I start my second round off, I have to ask you a question, Jeff you are straight correct? (Jeff answers yes). Justin, maybe you can help me out with this: Jeff – who is allegedly straight – spent years studying and perfecting boy band dances. Maybe that’s not totally gay, but it’s at least a little ‘bi, bi, bi’.”
“Jeff – who, again, is allegedly straight – quit high school football to focus on musical theater. The coaches knew something was up when his touchdown dances had costume changes.”
“Jeff had piercings in his ears, eyebrows, and dick. Your body has been full of more holes than your statement about being straight.”
Both battlers took the risk of doing rounds with the same themed joke, and it paid off handsomely. Pat played to the judges well, but Jeff had the slightly better jokes and the judges vote for Jeff in this round. Although, it should be mentioned that Justine only voted for Jeff because Pat’s N*SYNC joke made her like Jeff as a person.
“Pat and I play slow-pitch softball together, and Pat is actually a great pitcher, but I’m actually more excited about what he does at the plate. I’m so proud of you that you eat off plates now.”
“Jeff used to be a terrible blackout drunk. You’re like Kanye West, you’re from Chicago and people can tell you’re an asshole after, like, four bars.”
“Pat is a three time finalist for the Philly’s Phunniest competition. Wow. Funniest person in Philly. Who beat you out? A guy screaming at his wife for overcooking pot roast?”
“Jeff has a cross tattoo. He’s not religious, he just hasn’t gotten it finished yet with the flames and the black guy’s front lawn.”
“Pat, in all seriousness, I actually think you’re gonna make it to the top. The only thing that I really see that can keep you from getting to the top of anything is… a flight of stairs?”
“Jeff is the personal assistant to Helen Hunt’s stepmom. Jeff, when you’re fetching her coffee do you ever stop and think, “what if this is as good as it gets”?
Jeff’s first joke is a dud, and Pat’s first one doesn’t get the audience response it deserves. But they both come back with their second jokes. Jeff’s last joke is another dud, probably because of the predictability of it. Pat’s last joke makes the room erupt, and Pat takes the final round, bringing the match to an epic tie. We head into overtime:
“Jeff, your dad abandoned you and you were raised as a Catholic schoolboy. Exactly how many times DID you get fucked by a man you call ‘father’.”
“Pat’s the one that ranks the top Roast Battlers and he put himself at 7. But there’s no chance you’re not at least 3… hundred and 20 pounds.”
Jeff’s last joke was cute, but like his previous round joke, predictable; and the audience doesn’t respond. While Pat wins in OT tonight, like many nights in the Belly Room, the audience is the real winner.
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