From door guy at The Comedy Store to winner of Roast Battle II, congrats to Frank Castillo.
Castillo prevailed over Matthew Broussard in the live finale broadcast Sunday night on Comedy Central from the old House of Blues venue — reconfigured into a battle arena for Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle — in a 3-1 decision from celebrity judges T.J. Miller, Jason Sudeikis, Patton Oswalt and Natasha Leggero.
Much was made of Castillo’s Mexican heritage (thanks Trump), although it certainly helped that Broussard botched one of his jokes. Castillo (who credits himself as a co-producer of the weekly Roast Battles at The Comedy Store) also was one of several of the battlers who earned their first TV credit via this past week’s competition.
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3 thoughts on “Frank Castillo wins Roast Battle II on Comedy Central”
The more interesting battle was earlier in the night when Matthew took on Todd. Todd, as you might suspect, was one of the strongest battlers in the competition but Matthew CLEARLY beat him by a significant margin. When the judge’s tried to simply give the battle to Todd out out of loyalty/respect/whatever the audience started booing. Jeff Ross was visibly shaken, this is going out on live TV after all. Patton gives his vote to Matthew and the huge cheer from the audience says it all.
In the final, Frank – who it has to be said, and it was said the day previously by Jeff, was the weakest comedian in the semis – did his best but wasn’t actually funny. Matthew stumbled and was visibly nervous, however at least some of his insults were JOKES rather than just insults. Frank’s “jokes” we’re simply references to Matthew being racist and white. The trouble is that we don’t know, and we assume that he isn’t, racist in real life; whereas Frank is Mexican and works the door, Joe is gay, Yamaneika is black and fat, etc. The jokes about Matthew being a WASP don’t quite bit home either because of the many references to his Jewishness made throughout the show. Frank should have honed in on that. Having said all that, Frank was better in that battle than Mathew but it was a disappointing final.
The final point is that although Frank was better he had an enormous amount of help; not least because in this political climate a small Mexican with a poor man back story battling against a tall white man from a privileged background, on a comedy night open news opened with a speech by the host on how comedy is the new resistance against Trump, is going to get something of a headstart.
The Wave acted solely as Frank’s hype men, bigging up his jokes and throwing off Matthew’s timing. Which is why I don’t like the Wave. It’s hard to deliver a snappy comeback when you’ve got to wait a minute or two for the Wave to distract the audience, then possibility have the judge’s start commenting on the Wave. Also, if the Wave have a place it should be reacting to the audience not the comedians. If they start booing or cheering then the Wave should react to that. The traditional role for acts like this is to drag comedians off stage when they’re dying. Another assistance Frank got was from the DJ who acted as an additional hype man for Frank and even played a bombing sound effect over one of Matthew’s jokes that was getting a laugh.
Ultimately, Frank did beat Matthew but I don’t think he deserved to win the series simply because he wasn’t funny enough. Alex’s line that Matthew looked like the mind of man that stabs his horse after losing at polo was the best of series.
TJ Miller’s tirade against Matthew Broussard was not even trying to be funny. Miller, who was arrested for physically attacking an Uber driver simply because the guy said he supported Trump, shouted Broussard down for being an elitist wasp when Broussard, like Miller, is a jew. Something else they share is coming from wealthy backgrounds. Miller’s parents are a psychologist and an attorney.
The irony is that these Roast Battles could be non-political, focused purely on comedic skill but instead they seem to want to make a political statement against Trump through the medium of racist and homophobic insults. I’m not someone who says racism, sexism and homophobia can not be funny but the jokes should reveal the absurdity of these ideas. Most of the jokes were just insults with minor wordplay. Besides, we know the show is not non-political when it opens with a speech against Trump and mission statement and one of the judges fires a tirade against one of the competitors not for being unfunny but for being white.
The best line came from Jason Sudeikis who called out Jeff Ross for co-opting black culture.
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