My colleague on the West Coast, freelance comedy journalist Julie Seabaugh, has turned many late Tuesday nights at The Comedy Store into a brand-new book documenting the rise of Roast Battle from open mic experiment in the Belly Room to Comedy Central TV series and countless official and unofficial versions in comedy clubs around the world.

With dozens of pages of exclusive photographs from Troy Conrad, “Ringside at Roast Battle” makes you feel as if you’ve been there all along, too.

From the book’s introduction:

Five years since its inception, Roast Battle remains the most adventurous, influential comedy show in the world. Imitators exist in every city with a local comedy scene. In addition to three stateside seasons on Comedy Central, television versions film in South Africa, Mexico, and the U.K…the latter of which became Comedy Central U.K.’s most-watched series of all time. Yet despite the growing pains, the L.A. original stubbornly retains its gritty, underground spirit, reaching capacity weekly without a lick of advertising. 

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