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by Tony Bartolone, photos by Troy Conrad

“Comedy’s all we have…you have to go extra hard.” – Jeff Ross

Trump’s America, Day 17. On the heels of the online release of a video that makes alt-right Americans synonymous with Nazis, Roast Battle comes up hitting hard. When there is cinematographic proof of white nationalists giving a “Heil Hitler” salute to their leader and our president, Roast Battle doubles down on it’s hate. The thing about this show, though: there is no actual hate. It is all pure joy. We cannot start blaming comedy for hatred, as they are polar opposites. Comedians are people who have felt hated, and decide to take all the painful rejection inside them and reach out to make people smile and laugh and purge their worst impulses in an urgent way. Those men raising their hands in the name of ethnic cleansing did so without irony, without self-awareness, without joy.  The sobering video that dropped Monday night was completely devoid of love. Roast Battle serves as the antithesis to these so-called leaders and aptly called racists. Roast Battle is the voice that says these problems exist, and let’s expose them for the absurd joke that they are. Let’s cram ourselves into a room late Tuesday night and laugh because otherwise those racist, classist, ignorant, cunts will win. Whatever, let’s roast!

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“They’re just unhappy that a white guy in this country finally rose to power.”       – Earl Skakel

Earl gets laughs and cheers with some groans peppered in.

“Get used to it. He’s here for another eight years, guys.” – Earl Skakel

Our first battle is a double virgin sacrifice. Chicago’s own Jeremy Basset takes on Milhouse’s dad himself, Joe McAvoy. The night kicks off with one of the most peculiar yet popular debuts in Battle history. Joe McAvoy enters to the “Odd Couple” theme, but Joe is odd all on his own. There is an eerie tension in the room as Jeff Ross polls the audience on whether the match up will be good or the worst of the night, and the crowd is split. Basset takes control and demands to go first.

“Joe is the first person to have to register as a sex offender based on looks alone.”

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Basset lands a light jab, but it doesn’t do much damage.

“Jeremy is bisexual and in the closet. When he’s in between girlfriends, he goes to bathhouses to have sex with guys. And none of the guys want to sleep with him.”

There is a strong wave of laughter coupled with some confusion, scattered claps and long prolonged cackles.

“Joe has been doing stand up for eight years, or is that just how long it takes you to tell a joke?”

Some big “Oohh’s” from the onlookers on that one makes this look like a proper slug fest.

“Jeremy voted for Donald Trump. He thought was doing America a favor. After the election, he sent his resume to Donald Trump so he can be in the administration. Donald Trump twittered, “I got enough losers. I don’t need you, Jeremy.”

The room fully embraces Joe erupting into thunderous, lingering laughter.

“Guys, I don’t if Joe actually is a sex offender, but he is required to stay at least three hundred yards away from anything that even resembles a punchline.”

“Jeremy wants to be a writer.”

Everybody laughs before he even gets close to anything resembling a joke. Which, if nothing else, proves Jeremy’s last line accurate. But laughs are all that matter in Roast Battle. Joe continues:

“…For television and motion pictures. But producers do not want to hire Jeremy because he’s a copycat. He has no talent and no creativity. He’s a loser.”

Once again, the fans go fuckin’ crazy with noise. It’s as if Joe is the most pedestrian Batman villain ever and has released a laugh toxin into the Belly Room. On paper his jokes are not good. Live and in person, his jokes still aren’t good. But he is such an endearing character, everybody loves him anyway. I feel bad for Basset because there was really nothing he could do. It’s as if Jeremy showed up for a game of hoops, but Joe brought a baseball bat and began beating him over the head repeatedly. The people, overwhelmingly, elevate Joe McAvoy as their working class hero.

Newlyweds, and hilarious comedians in their own rights, Moshe Kasher and Natasha Leggero join the Roastmaster on the judge’s dais. Jeff asks Joe if he knows Moshe, and Moshe breaks in:

“Yeah, you were tapping my foot under the bathroom stall earlier.” – Moshe Kasher

“I like him ’cause he tells it how it is.” – Natasha Leggero

“I was like, did this motherfucker just call him a copycat? We got limits at the Roast Battle, dude.” – Moshe Kasher

These judges came to play. Ron White drunkenly wanders onto the dais. A second battle begins. 

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Will Holland, who looks like Richard Spencer’s alt-right hand man, has the white privilege of battling redheaded MILF Candiss Veree.  Both of them blow the opportunity to sneak in a decent pre-bout blow. However, Candiss gets an unexpected by laugh by mentioning she knows Will from the “Temecula Circuit.”

“It’s gonna be cute. I’m excited about Ed Norton’s nephew…” – Jeff Ross

And with that burn, Candiss takes first shot between the competitors.

“Will recently quit his job at an elementary school, which really puzzled me ’cause he has so much in common with that demographic. He plays Pokémon, he listens to shitty music and he still lives at home with his parents.”

Those idiotic elementary school kids with their shitty taste in music. If I hear one more nine year old call the last Arcade Fire album derivative and uninspired, I’m going to completely lose faith in young children’s ability to discern good music from bad.  This attempt doesn’t fall completely flat, but among the vocal reactions a laugh cannot be found. Will picks things up:

“More like Can’t-diss.”

This quick comeback gets a great reaction from the fans. But the joke he follows with is all groans.

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“Candiss actually sleeps around a lot. Look at her she’s a real catch …er of  STDs.”

“Is that a fuckin’ flower tattooed on your foot? I have one question for you, Will, which sister gets the ‘Traveling Pants’ next?”

This joke fails, but the house hater picks up the pieces and keeps the ball rolling with a perfectly timed Earlism.

“Good movie.” – Earl Skakel

“Candiss is actually unemployed, but only because we don’t count hand and blow as actual jobs.”

“Will likes his women like he likes his scotch, smooth, light and twelve years old.”

Coach Tea comes in right on cue with a death horn sound drop to proclaim Candiss dead in the water while Earl makes a quick phone call.

“Temecula, how fast can they get an Uber here?” – Earl Skakel

“Candiss actually dyes her hair red. The only naturally red thing on her are her knees.”

This actually brings out actual The Wave for the first time in the actual battle, and actually clinches the win for Will, actually.

“I’d like to get some numbers for that, uh, Temecula circuit. I’d like to do some one-nighters…” – Ron White

“I’m gonna be honest, I missed Joe McAvoy that entire time.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

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This comment sparks chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!” until Joe comes back onstage and calls them losers, blowing the roof off the place. It seems as though nobody will be able to top the response Joe keeps getting from the crowd. Finally, Will gets his hand raised to make it official. Will did have some good punches in there, after all.

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The next battle of the night features a big, goofy black dude named Alfred Konuwa versus a big, goofy Mexican dude named Wade Wammer. Coach Tea plays Alfred up to Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” and Alfred complies with a Carlton Banks dance. 

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Brian Moses asks why he called out Wade.  

“He’s my friend, he’s Mexican… We actually weren’t supposed to battle until next year, but after the election we had to move that right up.”

Wade comes up to UB40’s “Red, Red Wine” and at the sight of the three minorities standing onstage, Earl poses a question.

“What prison movie is this?” – Earl Skakel

“[Wade] looks like the friendly guy in the gang.” – Moshe Kasher

“Natasha, if you weren’t a married woman, which one of these guys would you have sex with?” – Jeff Ross

“Umm… Probably nice guy in the gang.” – Natasha Leggero

“You better win this roast, dude. There’s a big prize at the end. You get to fuck me first.” – Moshe Kasher

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Alfred claims first joke like the white man claimed his people.

“Wade’s been motivated to be a comedian ever since his third grade teacher once told him “Wah wah wah wah Wah wah wah wah Wah.”

“They say you are what you eat. If that’s the case, Alfred’s mom was lactating Milk Duds when she breastfed him.”

“I’ll never be as whitewashed as the bed sheets your people clean, but that’s another story, listen… There’s been talk of an X-Men reboot, ok, and I think Wade should play Professor X because he’s a bald alien who can’t do stand-up.”

“Alfred’s like a gated community: white on the inside and black on the outside.”

“True story, when Wade was underage he got a hand job from an adult. Typical Mexican, begging for a hand out and then coming in this country illegally.”

“I didn’t even know Alfred could speak until he said, “Caesar is home.” in Planet of the Apes.”

Alfred’s first two jokes hit harder than Wade’s, but he just misses with the last one.

“This is like a battle between two bouncers at a gay bar.” – Jeff Ross

“Natasha, after seeing this battle, now who would you smash?” – Brian Moses

“I think Joe from two rounds ago.” – Natasha Leggero

Again, loud chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!” fill the Belly Room as the man himself returns to the stage.

“Gimme that hot line you do.” – Brian Moses

“Loser.” – Joe McAvoy

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Moses calls for a vote and the crowd is split. After two more attempts, Alfred is decided as the winner. Alfred had some legit burns, and he may have a bright future. Jeff asks if they’re going to get a chance to judge some battles, and it is decried the remaining battles will be decided by judge’s panel.

The next battle is a first time for Roast Battle. The Wave steps off the sidelines to battle the Virzi Triplets in a three-on-three, winner-take-all brawl. The Virzis boogie out to the DuckTales theme song. The vertically challenged yet physically fit threesome appears wearing tank tops, trunks and sports sandals. They carry one brother over their shoulders on a boogie board, as he mimes swimming. They then present Brian Moses a Thanksgiving turkey. They mention that they’re on Kill Tony regularly and Tony Hinchliffe denies it.

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“No. No, that’s not a thing. They were on the show one time.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

“Three times.” – Lead Virzi

“I’m sorry, that’s how memorable you guys are.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

“To be fair, every time they do something once, they’ve done it three times.” – Moshe Kasher

“I have a question for the triplets, would you consider Tony a mentor of yours?” – Ari Shaffir

“He’s a mentor, an idol and a father figure.” – Lead Virzi

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Tech N9ne’s “Erbody But Me” booms from the speakers as The All Negro Wave comes out of everywhere. Jamar Neighbors struts out of back door wearing a jheri curl wig, no shirt and drinking a cocktail he then flippantly tosses to the ground. The legend Willie Hunter crowd surfs from the back of the room to the stage. I’m not even sure where Jeremiah Watkins came from, but he appeares onstage drinking gasoline and spits it into a mist over the kinetic spectacle. Jeremiah and Willie peel off their shirts while Jamar spins in circles on a stool. The room is pumped, and The Wave starts with Willie.

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“The last time the Virzi triplets crushed in front of an audience is when they came out of their mom’s pussy.” – Willie Hunter

“Thank you, dehydrated Donald Glover.” – Lead Virzi

The Wave grabs some props and do their thing for their opponents’ triumph.

“The Wave should be called the hurricane. The bigger they get, the more they fuck over Haiti.” – Lead Virzi

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The room absolutely combusts, and the Virzi Triplets and the All Negro Wave do an act out together. This is probably the most entertained anybody has been in their life. Jeremiah steps up and takes over:

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“You stretched out toddler looking-ass bitches. The Virzi Triplets look like a guy who teleports, and every time he comes back he gets uglier.” – Jeremiah Watkins

“Thank you, inbred David Spade.” – Middle Virzi

The Wave does more crazy Wave antics. It is truly a one-of-a-kind, chaotic wonderland of entertainment onstage.

“The Wave comes in three shades: albino, mulatto and Kunta Kinte.” – Middle Virzi

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This joke hits big, and The Triplets present paint swatches against the shirtless Wave members to demonstrate. Haiti runs over and is carried by two of The Triplets. Jamar yells at him to get off the stage.

“Shit! How’s that last joke go? Oh, alright, here it is: The Virzi Triplets look like they… bench-pressed their quadruplet in the womb and then ate him for a source of protein. Got it.” – Jamar Neighbors

Jamar gets more laughs for forgetting the joke than for the joke itself.

“Thank you, crackhead Little Bill. You guys, The Wave is so animated, if they were drawn by Warner Brothers they’d be the Looney Coons.”  – Other Virzi

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The other two Virzis take center stage munching carrots. Even though that should’ve been the last joke, Jeremiah refuses to stop.

“Moses, ironically The Virzi Triplets are being racists because combined they make three-fifths of a comedian.” – Jeremiah Watkins

Jeremiah drops the mic, and The Wave starts dancing.

“It’s about time you had three-fifths of a joke.” – Middle Virzi

“They are hard to tell apart. They are all equally not funny.” – Jeremiah Watkins

The crowd responds with an “Ohh…” punctuated by the middle Virzi victoriously yelling out “Not tonight!” The crowd chuckles and cheers in approval.

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“I just want to say, I’m proud of you guys. I always knew that you had it in you…I think I’m gonna give you guys like a three-month regular, uh, internship.” – Tony Hinchcliffe

“Somebody recording this? Hold Tony to that.” – Jeremiah Watkins

It is recorded. Tony Hinchcliffe promised the Virzi Triplets a three-month regular internship. What that means remains to be seen.

“What are your names?” – Jeff Ross to the triplets

“Sean.” – Middle Virzi

“Alex and Mitchell Virzi.” – Lead Virzi

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The Virzi Triplets take the win in what was one of the most insanely thrilling battles ever witnessed. Next up, hot off shooting her TV battle debut on Road to Roast Battle: Atlanta, Jasmin Leigh seeks to verbally bloody Lonnie Johnson. Jasmin comes out shaking her booty in front of Haiti before grabbing the mic and tempting Haiti.

“Haiti’s not ready. He’s not ready.” – Jasmin Leigh

Haiti stands up to answer her challenge.

“No, no, no, I’m not ready.” – Jasmin Leigh

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Haiti starts freaking with Jasmin and then tries to pick her up. It looks like he’s giving her the Heimlich Maneuver, but she’ll never be choking on Haiti.

“What are we, in an Inglewood strip club? I didn’t know Bill Cosby had dreadlocks.” – Earl Skakel

Lonnie Johnson flies onto the stage, drops his coat and starts twerking like a pro ho. Haiti comes up behind him and he barely escapes.

“I’ve never been that scared in my fucking life.” – Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie decides he’ll be going first.

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“You know Jasmin actually loves Thanksgiving, it’s the only time anybody actually offers her a roll.”

“Lonnie married a white bitch. She’s so used to small dick, I didn’t have to use a strap when I fucked her. My pinky was way too much.”

Two weak jokes to start it off. These two are going to have a hard time following three-on-three mayhem we just witnessed.

“Jasmin, are you really a lesbian? Or are you just such a starving actress you had to start eating pussy?”

Lonnie kicks things up a notch earning the biggest laugh since the Virzi Triplets left the stage.

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“Whether or not I was a lesbian, I still wouldn’t fuck you. Lonnie works at Target where the slogan is “Expect more. Pay less.” When it comes to his stand up: Expect less. Pay nothing.”

“Jasmin has a lot of big credits. I think her biggest one is that she has the largest black-owned property on her forehead.”

“Lonnie’s beard is so patchy it looks like he’s going through chemo. So I donated some of my pubes to help him out.”

Overall, the battle is a little disappointing, but Lonnie lands some solid shots.

“Lonnie, I was thinking you kinda look like the dude that’s gonna be explaining why a Trump presidency is not bad for the next four years.”          – Moshe Kasher

Kasher suggests a joke-off to a mixed reaction. But when The Roastmaster demands it, the audience supports it.

“Oh Lonnie, you bug-eyed bastard. Lonnie’s pretty famous. You can catch him all over the internet posing as Kermit in the sipping tea memes.”

“Jasmin did Road to Roast Battle, which isn’t to be confused with the road her dad used to walk out on her family.”

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Lonnie clearly has more to the say, but the crowd is relentless. With a clean sweep from the judges, Lonnie gets the W. Next brawl features hip-jutting hipster Matt LeGrande going toe-to-toeless with Danielle Perez. Coach Tea brings up the wheels to James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” and I have to say, her hair and make up are on point.

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“Danielle was run over by a bus, and now she’s transitioning into one.”

“Yeah, I am fat, but you’re still the biggest cunt here. Matt has the receding hairline of the pastor who molested him and the dead eyes of the parents who ignored it.”

“Even if you lost weight, you wouldn’t be able to see your toes. Danielle, you look like Queen Latifah tripped over a segue.”

“Matt, your boy-pussy smells like Cool Ranch Doritos™.”

“When Danielle gets too drunk the bartender says, “I’m cutting what’s left of you off.”

“Matt’s favorite position is tied to fence, brutally assaulted and left for dead.”

This is a vicious fight. All of Matt’s jokes hit pretty hard. While Danielle is an absolute savage, some of her jokes get less than the desired response.

“Danielle, I love the way your tits bounce up and down when you laugh.” – Jeff Ross

“Sorry Jeff, I’m saving myself for Joe MacAvoy.” – Danielle Perez

Once again the “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!” chants reverberate in the Belly Room, and Joe comes back onstage. Joe sits on Danielle’s lap and a chant of “Suck her nubs!” rings out. It is a Hail Mary pass that comes up short.

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“So that rebuttal joke was the harshest one I’ve ever heard here at Roast Battle. Even if you lost weight, you still wouldn’t see your feet.” – Ari Shaffir

“Thanks for making her relive that joke.” – Jeff Ross

“Yeah Ari, that’s the worst thing she’ll ever have to relive, dude.” – Moshe Kasher

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Matt’s hand is raised, and it’s on to our five joke main event. After a long period of inactivity, Tre’ Stewart returns to try to put a road block in the way of the Battle-bot Jay Light. On top of being a Roast Report writer, Jay has done three battles in three weeks, and he’s main eventing next week against lily white Jeff Sewing. His consistent performances in so many matches are only rivaled by star-making turns at JFL tournaments. Perhaps Jay is preparing himself for the grand stage of “Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle II” on Comedy Central. Only time will tell if that’s in the cards for this talented ten-year-old.

“Why are you wearing that fleece?” – Moshe Kasher

“Oh, after this I’ve gotta go get beat up at a ski lodge in the 80’s.” – Jay Light

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Tre’ volunteers to go first, and it’s on!

“Jay Light is what Bruce Jenner was going for.”

“Tre’, you look like the bellhop at the Hotel Rwanda.”

“Jay light is so white… just listening to his material will give you smallpox.”

“Tre’ was raised really privileged, he’s so whitewashed he thinks the projects are what you do to earn extra credit.”

The Wave fly onstage with a syringe, suck the juice out of The Virzi Triplet’s turkey and squirt a sickening amount of liquid all over the ceiling.

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“Jay Light suffers from resting bitch personality.”

“Tre’ loves sci-fi and fantasy. He’s J.R.R. Tolkien black.”

“Jay, your lips are so big you’re the black sheep of your family.”

“The difference between Tre’ and I is that I have TV credits. Tre’ doesn’t have enough credit to buy a TV.”

“Jay, you couldn’t kill even if you had a badge and a gun.”

“Tre’ eats the booty like groceries ’cause he fucks girls that cost less than groceries.”

After much discussion about if Jay’s last joke makes sense or not, Coach Tea plays the Omarion song. Jamar brings Jasmin Leigh back onstage for an impromptu Wave dance party. Haiti puts a paper bag over Jasmin’s crotch and chows down.

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“I do think we know what our closing song of the night’s gonna be.” – Jeff Ross

“I was gonna suggest DuckTales.”  – Natasha Leggero

“To close the show, can Joe McAvoy blow The Virzi Triplets?” – Tony Hinchcliffe

“Joe, if you could, just one final thought for the night?” – Jeff Ross

Chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe! Joe!” dominate the room once again. Joe returns to the stage and accepts the mic.

“Thank you. None of you are losers. You’re all winners.” – Joe McAvoy

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Jay’s hand is raised, the DuckTales theme hits and so goes another wild Tuesday night in Belly Room.

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And we are all winners. The Roast Battle continues to be a beacon for freedom of speech in an increasingly horrifying world. As the tryptophan wears off and you come out of your post-feast slumber, be thankful for Roast Battle.

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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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