It was a Cinderella story in all the best ways. Frank Castillo, a comic who works as a doorman at the world-famous Comedy Store beat out 16 semi-finalists to win this year’s trophy on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle II. Judging last night’s battle was an all star panel that included T.J. Miller, Jason Sudeikis, Natasha Leggero, Patton Oswalt, and of course the Roastmaster General himself, Jeffrey Ross.
Castillo’s first job was checking IDs at the Comedy Store, but calls it his “comedy college” and an opportunity to study the greats. If you believe his Battle opponents, Frank is a college drop out and is addicted to video games, but after this week, he will be known as a force in insult comedy. Is this the birth of a legend? Plenty of greats got their start working the door at the Store, so we may be witnessing the start of a big career.
Frank had to beat four opponents in four one-on-one insult battles to get the top slot. First, he took on comedian Jay Light and won in the early rounds that aired Thursday night. On Saturday, he crushed Anna Valenzuela in a battle that was set up as Mexican vs Mexican, getting lots of judge love for his best joke,“ Anna could pass for a Trump. She’s got the body of Melania, the brains of Ivanka, and her womb is Barron.” Then in last night’s live finale, Frank beat Joe Dosch
Then in last night’s live finale, Frank beat a dazzling Joe Dosch in a battle dubbed the “Mariachi vs Liberachi” by referee Brian Moses. Dosch was decked out in a sequined dinner jacket, and ready to fight. It was a tight match, with the judges seeming like they could go either way. But it was Frank who came out on top and this was just one of the lines that got him there:”Joe’s forehead looks like it added a second story so there would be more room to think about dicks.” Judge Natasha Leggero admitted she was torn for political reasons– “I want to vote for the Mexican because of Trump, but I also want to vote for the gay guy because of Trump”– but ultimately gave her vote to Frank along with a majority of the judges.
Meanwhile in another battle, Matthew Broussard, who has been the fan favorite throughout the entire competition, beat the legend Todd Barry, in what might have been the most hotly contested battle of the entire match. That left Broussard as the one Castillo would have to beat to take the championship.
In the final battle, it looked like Broussard had it locked up after his first joke, but then Frank came back with a real smash about One Tree Hill. Broussard’s comeback could have been strong, but he fumbled it, leaving himself open to Castillo’s big smash, “Thank you Matthew McKinda-Gay,” leading immediately into “Matt doesn’t do drugs, his unsuspecting victims do.” By the time Castillo used this line, “Matt’s a lot like the food at my work. He’s about to get served by a Mexican,” it was all over, but the shouting. The audience was 100% behind him, and although the judges put on a little bit of suspense, there was no question that Broussard had indeed been served.
Other highlights included Ross declaring comedy “The New Resistance” and commenting on Trump’s craziness (read more about that here), and a hit and run appearance from Brad Williams dressed as a leprechaun during one of The Wave’s finer moments.
Roast Battle II was a big success and the series will undoubtably be back for another round at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival this summer. Although Roast Battle was born in LA, and has a second home in New York City, it was in Montreal where the tournament became a national sensation.
Congratulations to Frank Castillo and his Snoop-Dog loving mom! And a great job to everyone in the finale, Joe Dosch and Matthew Broussard and Todd Barry were all killers.