Roast Battle Comedy Bar, Toronto ON, December 5

Roast BattleComedy Bar, Toronto ON, December 5
7
Though not every joke hit as hard as the roasters had hoped, the finale of the Roast Battle series was thoroughly entertaining. Host Rell Battle kept the energy high but not too unruly, and the roasters all proved that they were worthy of their places in the final round.
 
Ryan Long opened the show with a remark about his long curly hair, as well as some material about adding a bunch of other people called Ryan Long as his friends on Facebook. Following him, Rell Battle performed a joke about going to the Toronto strip club Zanzibar, and brought out the three judges for the battle: Rob Mailloux, Gina Yashere and Kurt Metzger, all of whom performed headlining sets as part of the Dark Comedy Festival this week.
 
After Battle's short set, Meg MacKay faced off against Alex Wood. MacKay threw the first punch by calling Wood a "Seth Rogen impersonator impersonator," then Wood jabbed back by saying that MacKay looked like a combination of Sigourney Weaver and the aliens she fought. MacKay and Wood each won one round. Wood had some great material, but his half-baked line about how MacKay was so fat that she took the bite out of the Apple logo got such an anti-climactic reaction that it lost him the competition.
 
The next two opponents were Dean Young and K. Trevor Wilson. Wilson delivered a barrage of jokes about Young's bad forearm tattoo, and found humour the fact that Young's fiancée left him. In turn, Young made light of Wilson's weight and appearance, but his quips were nothing in the face of Wilson's comparison of Young's build to Tig Notaro in the "sad half of the Tig documentary," in which she famously fights cancer. Overall, this battle had some really good one-liners scattered throughout it, but Metzger and Yashere rightfully complained that there were too many inside jokes. Several of the roasters' zingers were lost on the crowd due to the obscurity of their references.
 
Lastly, finalists Shirley Whalen and Steph Tolev (pictured) went head to head in the best battle of the night. In the first round, Tolev roasted herself to faze her opponent, but Whalen didn't let it get to her and she killed with a joke about how Tolev would prefer a bucket of fish heads to the Roast Battle's prize of $500. In the following round, Tolev fought back with some daringly hilarious jokes about Whalen's absentee father, and compared fornicating with Whalen to having sex with a pool noodle. Though Whalen was a formidable roaster, Tolev's jokes were hilarious while Whalen's material ran thin in the final round, so Tolev ultimately won the competition.