Get to Know The Wave: Roast Battle’s Controversial Threesome

roast battle wave

For a show where comedians compete to say the worst possible things about each other, it’s a little surprising that the most controversial part so far has been The Wave, the trio of goofballs who leap up from the sidelines to offer ridiculous mimed reactions to the highs and lows of the Battle. Twitter is bitterly divided as to whether The Wave is the best part of the show, or ruining it completely.

The Wave is literally RUINING an amazing show of brilliant comedy. #RoastBattle

#RoastBattle another incredible night and we love the #Wave !theyre unlike anything else on tv right now! @ComedyCentral

Seriously, words cannot express how much I hate The Wave on #RoastBattle. (Joke, 15 SECONDS OF STUPID DANCING, Joke, MORE RUINED FLOW!)

#RoastBattle 😅😅 I’ve never seen a funnier roast show in my life I can’t stop laughing and these wave guys are killing it hha love them

Full search results for The Wave debate.

Who are The Wave? Why are they there? What is the point??? We sat down with Jeremiah, Willie and Jamar to get the screaming mob answers to their burning questions.

Who Are The Wave?

(The White Guy) has a background in both improv and stand-up and is a part of some of the most creative comedy shows in Los Angeles, including Battle, The Goddamn Comedy Jam and Stand Up On The Spot. He once hosted a weekly open mic in his front yard and is now one of the regular hosts of The Comedy Store’s Potluck night. He’s also an actor, appearing regularly on TV and film, including the new release The Bet.

(The Often Shirtless Guy) is one of the weirdest, most fearless and most respected young comedians in LA. He was just seen in a large role in Key and Peele’s Keanu, but luckily that hasn’t muzzled his on-stage or online persona in the least. For a taste of Jamar’s edgy and compelling stand-up, check out his comedy mixtape, produced in collaboration with Roast Battle’s house DJ Coach Tea.

(The “Normal” One) has been working at The Comedy Store for years, from answering phones, to performing nightly as a paid regular, to creating a unique live late night talk show. Known as “The white ” among comedians, The Wave gives Willie a chance to showcase his silly side. He is also currently writing on the upcoming season three of The Carmichael Show, which he co-created with star Jerrod Carmichael.

Why All The Hate?

Willie Hunter: I think it’s funny. We were talking about how people can get so angry over something so silly. “Why are these guys eating cookies on stage?!?” We’re just eating cookies, man!

Jamar Neighbors: It’s just not what nobody expected, they thought they were going to see head to head, that’s it. You see these…

Willie Hunter: … idiots doing bits up there. I personally like it because if it was just two people battling, it’d be something you’ve seen already. It would be nothing different.

Jeremiah Watkins: I’d rather us be polarizing than..

Jamar Neighbors:… than not be on TV! I’m living my dream.

Jeremiah Watkins: At least people are talking [laughs]!

Willie Hunter: I was telling the guys earlier, I feel like Leslie Jones, but without the racism.

Jamar Neighbors: Which is actually surprising. I think Jeremiah saves it. Just a couple of black guys up there, and… who the fuck is this???

Jeremiah Watkins: I’m a big disappointment to white people.

Jamar Neighbors: Coon and buffoon.

Where Did The Wave Come From?

Jamar Neighbors: During the first Battle (in The Belly Room three years ago), somebody had a really good joke and I would just naturally jump up and be stupid. Then Willie’s on the other side, doing something crazy, then Jeremiah comes in like the second or third week and sees us goofing off and jumps in. So then we just started sitting together.

Jeremiah Watkins: It just evolved into us getting props, and more props, and making more complicated scenes. But it started off with just us going crazy and dancing.

Jamar neighbors: It’s really about the fun.

Jeremiah Watkins: The three of us started open miking together around the same time, years ago, so we’ve all been friends for a long time, so it’s just an opportunity to mess around with friends.

How Do They Do It?

While the at home audience is only catching small glimpses of The Wave, the studio audience and the weekly crowds at The Comedy Store see what appears to be a highly orchestrated performance that is somehow always in sync.

Jeremiah Watkins: Most of it is in the moment and we have a quick language to communicate what bit is next.

Willie Hunter: We get lucky a lot of times, like “Okay, just do this next,” and then someone happens to tell a joke that fits with it. As far as coming up with them, every time we go to the store, the clerks end up hating us because we’re just goofing off with stuff, “And I can do this, and you can do that!” We go to the 99c Store and buy like a hundred dollars worth of shit. You look at the cashier’s face and she’s just pissed.

Jeremiah Watkins: “Really? You need baby oil and potting soil?”

Jamar Neighbors: “And a rubber duckie, what is this?”

Willie Hunter: “What are these panties for?”

Jeremiah Watkins: “Why are you buying little girls panties?”

Willie Hunter: That was you, Jeremiah, you did that.

Catch The Wave in action again tonight during the live finale of Roast Battle from JFL Montreal on Comedy Central.

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Amy E Hawthorne is a New York by way of LA comedy journalist and founder of ComedyGroupie.com. She's also a produced numerous stand-up shows, got a paycheck and a drinking problem from The Comedy Store and is convinced that the Big Avocado lobby are the ones who really pull the strings in this country.
Amy Hawthorne
Amy Hawthorne
Amy E Hawthorne is a New York by way of LA comedy journalist and founder of ComedyGroupie.com. She's also a produced numerous stand-up shows, got a paycheck and a drinking problem from The Comedy Store and is convinced that the Big Avocado lobby are the ones who really pull the strings in this country.