The brutal series continues as another group of talented comedians step onto the stages to compete for the title at Matty B’s Roast Battle IV at Spotlight. The last preliminary round to determine the overall roast-battle champion is taking place on Jan. 12 and includes comedians from Utica, Scranton, Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton.
They’re vying to knock off defending champion Bryan Walsh and earn one of the last two berths for Matty B’s Roast Battle V, where they can take the top crown. The audience decides the winner of each three rounds of this bracket-style tournament that’s hosted by Mike Carroll and includes feature sets from CJ Youmans, Abdul Hadi and Phil Canarelli.
The admission is $5 at the door and and there will be a 50/50 raffle, so you can win, too. Spotlight is definitely where you want to be on Jan.12.
About the comedians
Mike Carroll has worked at the Syracuse Funny Bone and is a regular host with the Binghamton Comedy Binge. Carroll hosted a leg of the Comedy Crawl in April and was runner-up in Binghamton’s Make Me Laugh contest in 2015. He’s headlined the Night of Debauchery and opened at Virgil’s BBQ at Tioga Downs in Nichols.
CJ Youmans, a co-founder of P.S.Y.C.H. 607, takes a special delight in seeing just how far he can go until an audience turns on him. He’s a regular performer in the Scranton, Pa., and Binghamton areas and hasn’t met a boundary he can’t cross.
Poor Decisions Live! co-founder Phil Canarelli is no stranger to Binghamton. One of the bright spots in Utica, Canarelli combines a love story-telling, comic-book culture and not having children to present the audience with an enjoyable display of what a young comic should be.
The funniest Ethiopian you’ve ever met, Abdul Hadi is a favorite in Syracuse. He won the Comedy and Chill competition in Syracuse and brings a pleasant mix of self-deprecating humor and a love of the finer things in life — like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
About the roasters
Armed with a quick wit, a sharp tongue and no remorse, defending champion Bryan Walsh, from Scranton, wins over a crowd by taking shots at its collective self-esteem. He’s performed at Wisecrackers in Scranton, the Helium and Trocodero comedy clubs in Philadelphia and the New York Comedy Club. Walsh blew away the field in Matty B’s Roast Battle III and he’s looking for a repeat.
From just south of Scranton, Russell Austin has a high-energy and angry act that’s earned him the reputation of a “chaos comic.” Russell has performed all over Pennsylvania and has opened for Comedy Central personalities Ben Kronberg, Chris Lamberth and Louis Ramey.
Ted Hebert is a Scranton favorite and NEPA Scene’s 2016 winner of NEPA’s Got Talent. Using his boyish charm to disarm the crowd, Hebert discusses anything on his mind from politics to teddy bears. He got his start at Wisecrackers in Scranton and is a regular at the V-Spot in Scranton.
A roast-battle champion and headliner of the first Night of Debauchery, Ithaca comedian Steve Burke is a founding member of Itha-ha comedy group. A member of the ComedyFLOPS improv group and an actor, Burke produces shows all over Ithaca, including a weekly spot at The Dock every Thursday. Burke’s performed at the Funny Bone and is a consistent crowd favorite.
A punk rock fan with no music talent, Elliott Elliott is a Scranton comedian with a deep knowledge of music, pop culture and pro wrestling. He’s a go-to host in the Scranton scene and works with the Box of Broken Toys. An accomplished character, Elliott produces an online show, Creep City USA.
A regular host at The Funny Bone in Syracuse, RJ McCarthy is one of the hardest-working comedians in the area. A Syracuse native, McCarthy works all around New York and was in the Asheville Comedy Festival in North Carolina. He’s bright, quick and always funny.
Debbie Joan Miller, a Binghamton favorite, is the architect of the Night of Debauchery series and the Comedy Nights at the Grapevine Cafe in Johnson City and opened for Brian Barganier and Zack Hammond. Miller isn’t afraid to get dirty, so long as she can find a pair of clean socks. Always auditioning to be Bill Nye’s No. 2, Miller’s not afraid to display her inner-dork or her outer-nerd.
Deidre Mollura is one of Ithaca’s strongest comedians. A co-founder of the Itha-ha comedy group, Mollura is a collector of oddities and a lover of the weird things in life — much to the audience’s amusement. She opened for Kevin Salisbury and Brian Barganier on their New York tour in the spring, including a stop at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton.