Boast Rattle Mainline Theatre, Montreal QC, July 26

Sasheer Zamata, Ron Funches, Emily Heller and more face off in a competition of compliments.
Boast Rattle Mainline Theatre, Montreal QC, July 26
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 When Roast Battle began in 2013 in Los Angeles, it felt like the renaissance of comedic roasting. Once the roast had cast off the fantastic but admittedly rigid tradition of its dais, Roastmaster, and guest of honour in favour of a competition format, it was able to transform in so many ways. It allowed for more banter between comedians instead of strictly planned speeches, the crowds got wilder as they took sides and cheered for their favourite comics, and sound effects naturally evolved to be part of the show to emphasize the sports-like nature of the entertainment.
 
The best and worst part of the Roast Battle is that it can get savage. The debaters never part ways without hugging each other, but sometimes the jokes can get more intensely personal than they were supposed to.
 
Boast Rattle is far from animalistic: it's literally just a competition of compliments. Whoever can "boast" about their opponent the best is crowned the winner, but even then it feels like everyone wins because all the guests feel so loved and cared for by the end. This adorable contest makes you giggle and feel warm and fuzzy inside just as much as a roast battle shocks you and makes you laugh.
 
Host Kyle Ayers got the show off to a good start with some surprisingly killer jokes about his shirt and some technical difficulties, then he introduced his cohost Chris Laker and the matches began.
 
Sasheer Zamata faced Martin Urbano and came out on top with her incredible pun "Martin is so generous, people look at him and ask, is that Martin or Bono?" but both advanced to the finals because Ayers and Laker loved them both and Boast Rattle is the opposite of cutthroat.
 
Ramy Youssef then battled his friend Danny Jolles in a battle of praise that got delightfully awkward in its intimacy, but also delivered some solid laughs, especially when Jolles somehow managed to compare Youssef to Osama Bin Laden in a wholesome way that omitted the crimes of the founder of Al-Qaeda.
 
Lastly, Ron Funches battled Emily Heller. Funches' compliments explored weird territory like Heller's enjoyment of ASMR and her avoidance of hooking up with scummy comedians and they didn't always land hard, but Heller was fantastic. Her sum-up of Funches as "the only cute divorced guy ever" was dead-on and hysterical, then she proceeded to win the competition.
 
In the final round of Boast Rattle, all of the comics were challenged to compliment Dulcé Sloan, a great comic in her own right who loves her curves and has a huge crush on Billy Crystal. While the battlers thought of jokes, Sloan entertained the audience with some rivetingly funny stories about her mom threatening to shoot people on her behalf, then Heller ended the night with a bang by declaring Sloan should star in the porn versions of all Billy Crystal movies, including When Horny Met Sally and Anal-ize This.