Roast Battle Vancouver review
By Michele Provenzano, Staff Writer
Do you subject your friends to the occasional roast in the group chat? Perhaps you often find yourself the butt of the joke; the victim of playful mockery and insults. You and your close friends have a mutual agreement to make fun of each other at any given moment—and you wouldn’t change a thing.
If so, it’s safe to assume you’d enjoy the antics that occur at Roast Battle Vancouver, a monthly comedy event hosted by the Little Mountain Comedy Department.
The gist of the night is as follows: eight pairs of local comedians go head-to-head to see who can insult the other with the most wit and power—as determined by the night’s judges. Each comic gets the chance to tell five prepared jokes at the other’s expense. If the judges deem around a tie, the comics participate in a “joke-off” tie breaker.
The show takes place at Little Mountain Gallery, a small, colourfully painted building tucked around the corner of 26th Avenue and Main Street in East Vancouver. The building is rather unassuming; walking by the self-proclaimed “hole in the wall,” one may not expect to find a lively comedy event inside.
The theatre space was cozy with its wood-paneled walls and its relatively small size. Compared to other comedy venues, the space felt intimate and laidback—sort of like you’re hanging out in a friend’s cramped basement. DJ Hatecrime played popular tracks as the audience filed in, though the DJ could barely be heard above the conversations of the excited crowd.
The evening began with energetic host Kody Audette, dressed in what resembled a referee’s uniform, introducing the opening act: stand-up comedian Matty Vu. Matty got the crowd warmed up with material that covered movie franchises, living in Vancouver, and his family— “Last year, [my adult brother] wanted to fight me over a game of Cranium. You know, the game where you play with clay.”
Then the battles began.
Some pairs of comedians were best friends, while some were merely acquainted by the Vancouver comedy scene. Some comics kept the jokes tame, such as Anna Cran: “Devin looks like his main personality traits include… hockey.” Most, however, delved into edgier territory. The comics insulted each other based on appearance, ethnicity, age, sexuality, failed comedy careers—you name it. Nothing was off-limits.
The show’s main event was the first ever “Revenge Battle” in which two comedians who have faced off in the past, Andrew Packer and Kyle Bottom, came together once again to settle the score.
A few of my favourite jokes include Kyle’s, “Andrew looks like a racist. He looks like he didn’t like Trudeau until the blackface.” Or Toben Spencer-Lang’s, “I wouldn’t call Bobby dumb. What I would say, is that he’s like a legally blind visual learner.” The energy of the crowd was palpable. Audience members in the rows ahead of me doubled over in their seats. At multiple instances, people banged on the walls, as if laughter just wasn’t enough to express how entertained they were.
The judges, Christine Bortolin and Charlie Demers, provided funny remarks of their own as they decided on each round’s victor. “This show is a psychologist’s dream,” Christine quipped.
I don’t think a minute went by when I wasn’t laughing. My cheeks began to hurt at around the halfway point of the show.
The next Roast Battle Vancouver show is on Wednesday, October 30th. On eventbrite, tickets are $8 online and $12 at the door. If you’re looking for an affordable, hilarious show to attend, you can’t go wrong with a Roast Battle.