Family members attending the roast battle at Donovan’s Pub hosted by Colgate’s stand-up club Friday, October 28 did nothing to deter the comedians from delivering harsh, slightly inappropriate yet funny insults.
The six comedians faced off in groups of two, with judges senior Cat Cronin, senior Kathryn Deaton and sophomore Oliver Moe putting forth their opinions to determine who would win the battle. Senior and founder of the club, J.T. Anderson made sure to set some ground rules for the rules of the roast before beginning.
“This is a roast, so things may be said that are a little personal and mean. As long as it’s funny, it’s okay,” Anderson said.
Each comedian was given three jokes, taking turns after each zinger. Seniors Nick Bessey and Bryan Acevedo faced-off first. Bessey commented on Acevedo’s appearance, making fun of the fact that he must get caught doing bicep curls under his desk during class. After telling children in the audience to cover their ears, Acevedo responded with a jab towards Bessey.
“It’s hard to diss someone who looks like a coked out version of everyone else on campus,” Acevedo said.
Continuing with the format of the roast, Bessey returned the insult.
“Brian was in the class of 2016, but uh, still here. Kind of weird, it’s like the guy at the party who’s like ‘I’m just going to have one more beer if that’s alright,’” Bessey said.
Finally, the judges weighed in. Two of the three judges decided Bessey had the better jokes, enabling him to move onto a semi-final round later in the night. The next duo took the stage.
Senior Julia Cooper and first-year Patrick Toohey had prepared for this roast battle earlier in the night, as they had spent time getting ready together. Toohey mentioned some of their preparations for the event.
“Julia helped me get my highlight on fleek and I helped stretch her Chelsea Clinton mask over her face,” Toohey said.
Cooper then acknowledged that she actually gets compared to Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, a lot. Continuing with the presidential theme, Trump’s name arose amongst the crowd. Toohey admitted that the two shared some similarities.
“Me with my orangeness and my utter confusion in regards to the female body, and my hands are even kind of small, but there’s no problem there. Just ask Nick,” Toohey said.
Cooper’s roast of Toohey consisted of an inappropriate quip about the holes in his jeans, but Toohey insisted that they were there because he spends so much time on his knees praying to Jesus. The judges voted two-to-one in favor of Toohey.
The final round featured sophomore Zack Ceme and Anderson. Right away, Ceme released a string of insults aimed at Anderson’s appearance, calling his teeth yellow and mentioning that he must have stolen his sweater from Bill Cosby. Anderson laughed along with the crowd before responding using a different approach.
“Anyone who knows Zack knows that his catchphrase is bless. Hey Zack, why don’t you bless us by not telling jokes,” Anderson said.
Ceme returned to Anderson’s appearance for his next joke.
“You look like every black dude that wants to fit in with white people,” Ceme said.
Junior Alex Russell, who attended the roast with her family, found the battle between Ceme and Anderson particularly enjoyable.
“To much of my family’s surprise the best roasting became somewhat of a chirping of Anderson and his rather basic wardrobe comparable only to that of Bill Cosby. It was for sure the best material of the night,” Russell said.
The judges decided to award Ceme with the win, and then two semi-final rounds began to determine the ultimate winner. Facing off first were Bessey and Toohey. One of Toohey’s comments about Nick’s unusually tall height stood out, and he won the round. Finally, Toohey and Ceme battled. Ultimately, Toohey came out as the victor.
The roast was a fun event, but comments did veer towards the personal. The comedians were aware of the potential for jokes to not be well-received.
“One thing that’s tough about roasts in general is that they are designed to showcase the most offensive and politically incorrect jokes – that doesn’t always jive well with a liberal arts college environment,” Cooper said. “However, I thought everyone had fun with it and it was a cool way to experiment with a different format of comedy with such a supportive group and audience.”