The Hateful 8
Roast battle report and video
I got to the final 8 of the Roast Battle UK Knockout Tournament. I won my first battle in the final against Steph Aritone, going on to the next round where I got my ass handed to me by child prodigy Ellie-Grace Cashin.
The whole tournament was a great experience, although I did wake up the next day with a generalised feeling of guilt.
Here is the video of me vs Steph:
Due to circumstances beyond my control, video of Round 2 - me losing to Ellie-Grace - is not available. You should have come out to see it when you had the chance. Support live comedy - don’t assume it’s always going to be up on YouTube the next week.
I am pleased that I went up against a bunch of more experienced comics and got into the final 8. I’m not hiding the video because I’m angry over being knocked out by a mere slip of a girl - I had some OK lines, but EGC was definitely better overall, and went on to be crowned joint winner.
At least I lost to the best.
Meanwhile, here’s how I’m doing at normal stand-up:
Back to the drawing board with that.
Are men funny?
Here’s an interesting statistic: across the roast tournament heats, semi-finals and the final, there were 12 battles between a mixed gender (male vs female) pair.
In 10 of those 12, the woman won. I’m pretty sure I was the only male comic who beat a woman, uh, defeated a woman in the entire tournament, and I did it twice.
As I was waiting in the Bill Murray bar making awkward small talk with my opponents (asking Ellie-Grace if she had turned 20 yet for research reasons, that kind of thing), Steph said “Ben can’t look me in the eye because he’s thinking about the terrible things he’s going to say about me”. The thing is, she wasn’t entirely wrong. Is this my brand now?
But forget about me: the statistics show clearly that women are objectively funnier than men.
Female open mic comics, here’s some unsolicited advice from a mansplaining man: consider doing roast battles! When I was looking for acts to pair with me for the regular non-tournament ‘friendly’ battles, I asked lots of good female comics, and none of them would battle me.
One of them said that she thought women didn’t like to do roasts because they have different styles of conflict resolution (by which I assume she meant shit-talking me behind my back).
But for a beginner act (like me), roasts are a great opportunity to do a gig in front of an actual comedy audience, without any bringer shit. You get to meet celeb pro judges like Katharyn Henson, and you even get paid a bit.
Upcoming gig dates
I don’t have that much coming up. Any comics reading this, please suggest gigs I should apply for that aren’t bringers and ideally attract a crowd that would not be horrified at a Princess Diana joke. Or if you have a night, please put me on for 10 minutes. I promise I won’t do a Princess Diana joke.
Friday May 27th 10:45pm - Roast Battle UK
The Bill Murray, 39 Queen's Head St, London N1 8NQ
Monday May 30th 7:30pm - Nice N Spiky, Islington
Comfy downstairs space at a nice pub that serves good food. Free.
The Regent, 201 Liverpool Rd Islington, London N1 1LX
Friday June 3rd 8pm - Comedy @ The Temperance
A night that is under new management. I’m going to be doing 7 minutes I think, including my controversial owl bit. Good lineup, 6 comics so you won’t be there too late if you don’t want to be.
The Temperance, 90 Fulham High Street, London SW6 3LF
Monday June 6th - Only Fools Comedy, Edmonton
CANCELLED DUE TO TUBE STRIKE
NEW: Sunday June 12th 6pm - Comedy Lock-In, FAVERSHAM, KENT
The Alexander Centre, 17 Preston St, Faversham ME13 8NZ
Monday June 13th 7pm - Lewis Schaffer’s Comedy Open Mic, Borough
More of a workshop than a show, but still highly entertaining to watch. Upstairs above the pub. I persuaded the last person who came to this with me to get up and do 5 minutes. Now he is Michael McIntyre.
The King's Arms, 65 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT
Wednesday June 15th 7:30pm - G&B Abandoning The Comfort Zone
I’m going to dress up as a dog, with ears and an animatronic moving tail, and I’m going to do stand-up from the point of view of a dog. Bringer - please tell me if you want to see this. It may well be your last chance to see it since I think I need to focus more on doing stand-up from the point of view of a human.
Unit 1, West Ham Arches, Cranberry Ln, London E16 4BJ
Tuesday June 21st 7:30pm - G&B Dark Delights
This reprehensible night is just encouraging me to be an edgelord who triggers people and harms the neurodiverse. Last time I did this, I gave the whole crowd Vietnam flashbacks. One of my jokes broke an autistic woman’s arm.
I need a bringer for this, so if you want to see me do dark shit then you need to commit to coming, or I will simply cancel the gig.
Fuck it, here’s the video of last time for email subscribers only - if you’re reading the web archive more than about twelve seconds after I post this, you’re shit out of luck:
Too late! Suck me
240 Great Portland St, London W1W 5QU
Tuesday June 28th 7:30pm (doors 7pm) - We Are Funny Project
Headliner is apparently going to be Dan Antopolski?! And there’s going to be 10 minutes from Rob Moriarty, who is very funny in my opinion. You should come to this even if you hate me.
Farrs, 17-19 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
Wednesday June 29th 7:30pm - G&B Arch 1
No idea what I will do here.
Unit 1, West Ham Arches, Cranberry Ln, London E16 4BJ
I now plan to be in Edinburgh from the 16th-28th of August, conveniently at the same time as a popular arts and comedy festival I am informed that they hold up there.
I’m not doing my own show or anything, but I hope to appear in some compilation shows or even open for better acts. Valued Scotland dwelling readers, I will publish more details nearer the time.
Comedians, please put me in your comp shows and tell me what shows I should apply to up there.
Comments on the web version of this newsletter are now open to everyone, by the way, so why not post that you watched something I recommended and you thought it was shit.
Here’s some things that you wouldn’t expect to be good but actually are:
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) (Disney+) - Roger Rabbit for the CGI generation
TGI Fridays’ Surf Rack N Turf - get the wedge salad with mustard dressing
Love on the Spectrum U.S. (Netflix) - like all reality shows it’s cruel and exploitative and a hundred times worse than any joke Jimmy Carr or Dave Chapelle ever said; but mildly-to-mediumly autistic people trying to smash is extremely funny
I’d also recommend rewatching the Tom Clancy thriller movie The Sum of All Fears (2002) for a relaxing tale of US/Russian nuclear tension and catastrophe. They talk about Novichok and it was made in 2002.
This goes hard (click here to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster etc):