by Dan Nolan

With rumors circulating about the future of the show’s second televised season, Roast Battle is sticking to its Comedy Store roots tonight with eight hot fights full of both newcomers and the Belly Room elite.

Guiding us through the impending chaos is our fearless leader Jeffrey Ross, fresh off his official coronation as Roastmaster General of these United States. The Brothers Sklar return as well bringing twice the heat. Annie Lederman, a veteran of both the judges’ panel and the ring – tussling her way to a tie against current world champion Mike Lawrence – is always welcome around these parts, especially since we won’t see as much of her any more due to her return to New York City. Finally, rounding things out is Jay Larson with a recent appearance on Ari Shaffir’s storytelling show This Is Not Happening and has a new album, “Human Math,” available now!

First up in the undercards we’ve got Kelsey Cook versus Dave Williamson in a debut fight for both competitors that looks like it could just as easily take place on a CW teen drama about some made up high school for highly fuckable people. Outside of that, there’s never much that can be said beforehand of a double virgin sacrifice in the undercards. The hope is that at least one of them is either really good, or really bad. It’s entertaining either way.

Our second set of undercards features a battle of the sexies between Roast Battle virgin Justine Marino and one-win wonder Nicole Aimee Schreiber, both seen above auditioning for the role of “quirky friend.” Girl-on-girl battles seem to have become commonplace for debuts, and while Nicole has the upper hand granted by prior experience in the ring, we’ll see tonight which of these broads comes out on top.

Darran Davis shocked the world last time he took the Belly Room stage, overcoming the show’s long-standing precedent for black battlers coming in at a disadvantage. Tonight he hopes to continue the trend against newcomer Kevin Mac. Kevin models and rides a motorcycle, and he’s only been at The Comedy Store for a few months, but he’s already fucked all of your girlfriends. Will solid dick-game translate to dominance on fight night, or will Darran be able to Philando Cas-steal the show once again?

Making her triumphant return after a fire debut trouncing Matt LeGrande, Rachel Mac steps back in the ring against Improv lady doorman Logan Guntzelman. Both are darlings of the Eastside comedy scene making their move to the club circuit, and knowing both these battlers for their comedy, we could be in for an all-timer of all-female undercards.

Following that, first-timer Nia De-Bose is set to take on old-timer Steven Alan Green. There are a rare few in the history of Roast Battle with losses as entertaining as those of Steven Alan Green. From an audience’s perspective, it’s just as entertaining to watch to top battlers going blow-for-blow as it is to watch one completely self-destruct. Steven is a legend at The Comedy Store, with stories going back to the club’s heyday and has his name on the wall to prove it, but those bona fides have been no help in past fights as he’s been torn to pieces by judges and competitors alike in true Roast Battle fashion, and seems content to play the role of lovable heel. Nia De-Bose is an insanely talented standup who’s been making a big splash since she arrived in LA last year, and it’s not unlikely that she’ll be ready to bring it tonight.

Next we’ve a clash between these two jewels of the West Indies with Anish Shah vs. Sameer Suri. It’s an exciting matchup as Anish is a nationally touring comic with an impressive resume but only a little Roast Battle experience, while Sameer is a newer comic but already a darling of the Belly Room. Both battlers are ready to roast with the sort of spice that’s worth discovering a new world for. Who will come out on top? Probably the empire of Great Britain.

Our final undercard for the evening marks the return of Canadian battle-rapper Corey Charron versus our own Omid Singh. Corey Charron’s undercard debut against Jamar Neighbor showed promise as a game-changer, but the musical style being retrofitted to serve this show’s format was not quite fully flushed out. If there’s anyone who can take on a unique style with a signature touch of his own, it’s Omid Singh. In past battles Omid has showed himself to be among the show’s elite writers in terms of creativity and his jokes are so hilariously offbeat. Where Corey’s style lends to heavy preperation, there’s almost never any predicting where Omid’s jokes might come from and the matchup should lend itself to some serious excitement in the ring. It’s King of the Dot vs. King of the Dotheads, as two of the show’s truest originals go head-to-head.

Closing out the evening is a dream matchup between our beloved Keith Carey, ant the original Queen of Roast Battle, Kim Congdon. Kim doesn’t step into the ring as often as she used to, but her reputation dating back to the earlier days of the show still holds strong. Keith Carey is more or less our de facto quarterback and among the show’s most prolific brawlers, second only to yours truly. Given the quality and longevity of both battlers’ Belly Room careers, it’s honestly hard to believe this fight hasn’t happened already. Kim is coming off a few losses she’s suffered since her undefeated 6-0 streak, which remains the show’s current record (recently pried from the hands of Connor McSpadden at the Hammer Museum’s special event last week), while Keith has been steadily slugging his way to the top for months, fresh off his tenth win in front of the Hammer Museum crowd against Frank Castillo. We’re set for an all-time fight card in the Belly Room tonight, so y’all best be ready for bloodshed. Let’s roast!

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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