Julie Seabaugh’s “Ringside at Roast Battle” Captures the History of the International Comedy Phenomenon


Roast Battle is, at this point in time, one of the most exciting series on Comedy Central’s schedule, a partial lifeblood of The Comedy Store, officially franchised to several countries around the world, and proof positive that any taboo subject can be made into comedy. 

It wasn’t too long ago that two open mic’ers were stopped short of a full brown brawl at the parking lot of The Comedy Store and subsequently told to write and deliver roast jokes about each other.

Ringside at Roast Battle: The First Five Years of LA’s Fight Club for Comedians by Julie Seabaugh (one of the most veteran comedy journalists around) captures all of that history from inception to its current status as an international sensation in this book. it should only come as a little surprising that the rise of a trash talking contest is fraught with drama and Julie, one of Roast Battle’s most frequent attendants, tackles it all in wondrous detail. The accompanying photos in the book are taken by Roast Battle’s photographer, Troy Conrad.

Ringside at Roast Battle, just released today, is a marvelous edition of comedy history that’s still happening and you can and very much should go get it here.