What once was a Friars club event reserved for guests of honor is now a sport that is killing all over the country. The Roast has come a long way since 1949 when the Friar’s Club formalized their long tradition of skewering their friends. What was once exclusive and reserved only for the elite is everywhere now. Back in November we jealously reported that Los Angeles had what seemed to be the hottest comedy show in the country, the ultimate “you had to be there” experience. Roast Battle was and remains LA’s hottest show, held in The Comedy Store’s Belly Room and imitators have sprung up across the country putting on their own versions of roast fights.
Tonight, The Stand Comedy Club in New York City debuts their own comedy roast show officially titled Brian Moses and Jeffrey Ross Presents The Roastmasters. This is no imitator show. Brian Moses is one of the creators of the original Roast Battle in Los Angeles and still runs the weekly show at the Belly Room. Patrick Milligan, one of the owners of The Stand loved what was happening in Los Angeles, reached out to Brian about bringing the show to New York, and starting tonight, Milligan will bring an authentic roast competition to his club every Tuesday night. “It’s pretty accurate to the LA Show,” Patrick told us, “with DJ’s and the wave and celebrity judges. It’s going to be Brian Moses’ vision of what he wanted to bring to New York.”
While Moses is in Los Angeles, Milligan will produce which is a good fit for him, because he’s a huge fan of the roast format. “The first event I ever covered on my website, CringeHumor, was Patrice O’Neal’s roast in 2003 which was one of the most legendary nights in comedy history,” he said. “After that I helped produce Jim Norton’s roast and I’ve produced three or four roasts since the. So it’s always been a favorite of mine. I love comedians going at it so to be able bring that element to The Stand and have some of the young comedians and established comedians involved, it’s going to be a great event.”
Roast Battle favorite Mike Lawrence will also be producing and Ed Larson, who is one of Jeffrey Ross’s writing partners will be running the “People’s Wave” which you’ll need to experience to understand but he describes his “team” as being like the Whammys in the old game show Press Your Luck. “We go nuts” he said, reacting to the performances with spit-takes, walking on their hands and overall “reacting to the nth degree” to get the crowd on their feet, screaming.
Tonight will be the official debut of Roastmasters at The Stand, but the show had its real first official series of shows at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival last month, billed as Roastmasters International. It was a celebrity studded event with Carey Elwes, Dave Chappelle, T.J. Miller, Mike Judge, Jeff Ross, and Natasha Leggero as just some of the judges, and celebs like Michael Fassbender, Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn in the audience.
The line up for the first official “Brian Moses & Jeffrey Ross Presents The Roastmasters!” at The Stand is impressive. Luis J. Gomez hosting, Rich Vos, Bonnie McFarlane, Aaron Burg, Mike Recine, Mike Vecchione, Geno Bisconte, Subhah Agarwal, Crystian Ramirez, Petey Deabreu, Anthony Kapfer and more will hit the stage in various capacities. This is going to be an event not to be missed. Go to TheStandNYC.com for ticket and show information.
Roastmasters isn’t the only roast battle to come to New York, roast fever is definitely running through the city. A few weeks ago we wrote about Rell Battle’s Roast Battle, which had a giant debut earlier this summer at New York Comedy Club. Rell Battle is the other co-creator of the original Roast Battles in Los Angeles. So last Summer the score was Los Angeles 1, New York 0. As of tonight, New York is up 2 to 1 on Los Angeles for original roast shows. It’s on!