This weekend, Montreal’s JFL is the site of the world championships of Roast Battle, the competition where comedians face off in an attempt to burn their competitors to the ground using only their carefully chosen words. On Roast Battle, nothing is off limits, and as expected last night’s battle ventured into some dark territory. There were jokes that made even seasoned comedy professionals like guest judges Kevin Hart and David Spade cringe. Of course, that’s what makes it a Roast. Here’s our recap of how the first round of comedians fared:
Match one: Chris Cubas vs. Sarah Tiana

A Southern Belle takes on a tough New Yorker in a roast that features a lot of over-the-line jokes about slavery, race, and oral sex—but this is Roast Battle, so what did you expect?

Sarah’s best burn: On overhearing Chris getting it on with his girlfriend the night before, Tiana quipped, “There was a LOT of heavy breathing… and then Chris finally got his pants off.”

Chris’ best burn: “I don’t like that I’m getting laughed at by Michelle Obama’s clit.” Uh, Chris? You’re supposed to be burning your opponent, not celebrity guest judge Kevin Hart.

Who won: Sarah Tiana

Who should have won: The judges got it right. While the battle was pretty evenly matched, Sarah came out ahead.

What the judges had to say: “Bet you didn’t know Montreal was so close to where the Wild Things are.”—host Jeff Ross. WIll Cubas go home and shave that beard or nah?

Match Two: Earl Skakel vs. Tom Ballard

What do you get when you put a shirtless, greased up, leather-panted American in the Roast ring with a gay Australian? So. Many. Butt jokes.

Earl’s best burn: “I’ve opened up for Rob Schneider. You’ve opened up for guys that just look like Rob Schneider.” We’re not sure who should be more insulted here, but either way, ouch!

Tom’s best burn: “Earl, if you fucked my ass, it’d be the biggest room you’ve ever played.” Uh, just, wow.

Who won: Earl Skakel

Who should have won: Skakel. It was an undeniable TKO.

What the judges had to say: “Earl, you look like Richard Simmons, mid-transition.”—Jeff Ross. Yeah, those leather pants topped with knee pads were indeed a bold wardrobe choice.

Match Three: Sam Morril vs. Steve Rannazzisi

Is it brave to compete in Roast Battle when you’re that guy who lied about being in the World Trade Centre on 9/11 or is it just dumb? Going into this, we thought Morril would destroy Rannazzisi.

Sam’s best burn: How much easier could you make this fight? And yet the best Morril could do was, “One day Steve’s kids will be 9 and 11 and he’ll only claim to be there for them.”

Steve’s best burn: Calling Morril “Mr. Bean with AIDS.”

Who won: Sam Morril

Who should have one: This was like watching two pieces of overripe fruit try to bruise each other, but Sam was the winner. We’re already preparing to say goodbye to him in the next round.

What the judges had to say: “Rule 1 of roasting: You don’t show weakness.”—Kevin Hart with some sage advice. If only he’d dropped that bit of wisdom before the battle. 

Match Four: Christi Chiello vs. Jimmy Carr

At first glance, this match didn’t seem like a very fair fight, but the underdog came out swinging/roasting.

Christi’s best burn: Calling Carr the “spawn of Pee Wee Herman and the movie seat he jerked off on,” Chiello told him, “You’re just mad because my voice reminds you of the little girl who escaped your basement.” ZING.

Jimmy’s best burn: Carr took aim at his opponents lack of notoriety, saying, “There are ISIS sleeper cells with higher profiles than Christi. I looked her up on the internet and Google said ‘Me neither.’”

Who won: Jimmy Carr

Who should have won: This battle was basically the opposite of the one that came before it. A more seasoned comedian faced a genuine challenge from an upstart.

What the judges had to say: “Why does the magician have a clipboard?”—David Spade. These two competitors, Carr with his polished look, posh accent, and “demonic” laugh, and Chiello with her Renee Zellweger-esque baby voice, really knocked the judges off balance. It got them laughing early and a lot, which made choosing a winner more difficult. 
Tune in to Comedy tonight as a second contingent of comedians compete to see who can be the meanest, funniest competitor in the Roast Battle ring.