When Roast Battle goes big, it goes International. From its humble beginnings as an impromptu dis battle between two comedians at a late night open mic in The Comedy Store’s Belly Room, Roast Battle has exploded. It’s now a nationwide phenomenon, having traveled to several comedy festivals and spawned several permanent franchises and imitators in cities across North America. And what better way to capture everything that is Roast Battle for Comedy Central, than by taking it cross country to find the best roasters on the continent?
If you somehow aren’t already familiar with Roast Battle, here’s the scoop. Two comedians enter, one leaves hilariously humiliated. Okay, sometimes both leave humiliated, with the panel of veteran comedian judges declaring “I think we all lost today.” The contestants get three rounds to sling barbs at each other in front of a crowd that very audibly expresses its approval or disapproval. But ultimately, it’s the judges, helmed by RoastMaster General Jeff Ross, who give these verbal gladiators the thumbs up or thumbs down. And the thumbs down usually comes with a jab ten times funnier and harsher than anything your opponent could dream up. Oh yeah, and there’s basically a circus going on at the same time. A group called The Wave runs onstage periodically, enacting crazy vignettes praising or pooping on the performance and a table full of Haters gets a chance to throw their two cents in as well.
Now this circus is traveling across the country, including stops in Austin, Chicago and New York, all leading up to the championship battle, which will be aired LIVE from the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs festival.
The touring show already held tapings in Austin, Los Angeles, and Chicago this week with one more set to go down this Sunday at New York’s Gramercy Theatre. It’s unclear when or if the preliminary rounds, including home base in Los Angeles, will air. One source claims they will air beginning July 24th at midnight on Comedy Central in a series of specials called “Road to Roast Battle.” Or they may air as a single special. we will publish details when they are available.
What we know for sure is that the main event will be the July 31st championship finale broadcasting live from Montreal on Comedy Central.
Here are the lineups for the touring road show.
Mac Blake vs. Jake Flores
Ashley Barnhill vs. Jay Light
Chris Cubas vs. Kath Barbadoro
Martin Urbano vs. Pat Dean
Guy Branum vs. Alex Hooper
Earl Skakel vs. Jesse Joyce
Sarah Tiana vs. George Perez
Keith Carey vs. Joe Dosch
Leah Kayajanian vs. Olivia Grace
Sean White vs. Xavier Lamont
Ms. Pat vs. CJ Sullivan
Jeff Arcuri vs. Meredith Kachel
Sean Flannery vs. Kolin Bohannen
NEW YORK CITY – June 19 @ Gramercy Theatre – 8 p.m.
Mike Recine vs. Yamaneika Saunders
Sam Morril vs. Christi Chiello
Liza Treyger vs. Joe List
Mike Lawrence vs. Scott Chaplain
Mark Normand vs. Leonard Ouzts