Dina Hashem Set To Be First Female To Compete For The RoastMasters Title

Photo by Lisa Gansky

The RoastMasters series kicked into full gear this summer with a 16 battler tournament to determine a new #1 contender. This past Tuesday night, the tournament concluded and Dina Hashem stood alone at the end of the bracket to earn a hard-fought title match.

Dina, known for her trademark soft-spoken, deadpan delivery, made quick work of fellow battlers Dave Kinney, Mike Recine, heavily favored Mike Feeney, and the fierce Rosebud Baker in the finals.

Dina’s prize is a shot at the unified LA & NYC RoastMasters title belt held by current champion, Eli Sairs. Dina becomes the first ever female battler to earn a shot at the title, with a championship match set to take place this November at the 2017 New York Comedy Festival (NYCF).


Eli has been on a tear since defeating inaugural NYC RoastMasters Champion Zac Amico this past February. Eli followed up by defeating LA Roast Battle Champion Alex Hooper, while unifying both belts in the process.

Eli then challenged LA Roast Battle’s #1 contender, Keith Carey, at the World Famous Comedy Store where he overcame the partisan crowd to bring the strap back home with him to New York. After recent successful title defenses against J.P. McDade and the only battler to ever beat him in competition, Patrick Schroeder, Eli has unprecedented momentum heading into the festival.

His next challenge however is unique to him, as Sairs looks forward to facing a female competitor for the first time.

“The more different types of people who do Roast Battle, the better the show will be.” Eli continues, “It’s good for the show that she’s the challenger. She’s a killer, and it’ll be fun to write about someone different.”

Hashem fully recognizes the challenge she has lying ahead of her.

“For the NYCF battle I expect Eli will be the best he’s ever been because he needs this so desperately. You can see it in his eyes. But really he’s profoundly good and I don’t want to go against him at all.”

“He’s also battled so many great people that it feels like all the best jokes have already been made, so it might be rough. As long as I get a few good jokes in, I’ll be happy. I’m really in it for the joke writing challenge; the cruelty is tangential.”

Dina’s cruelty recently went viral on YouTube, with footage of her opening round tournament match against Dave Kinney landing on the front page of r/videos. Dina finished Dave off with one of the darkest, most brutal, yet utterly hilarious jokes in the history of competition.

“Dave’s mom actually died from not wearing a helmet in a motorcycle crash. She took a nasty spill…She actually died the same way Dave lives, an unrecognizable road feature.”

The date for the NYCF title match will be announced soon, as the RoastMasters is set for an unprecedented three nights of events at the festival.

The RoastMasters is produced and hosted weekly by the Legion of Skanks’ own, Luis J. Gomez. Fans can follow along with the latest battles, rankings, podcasts, and clips on the official RoastMasters NYC website. They can also tune in to listen and watch full broadcasts of the show on Luis’ GaS Digital Network.

Photo by Becky Rodriguez.

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