As the RoastMaster General, comedian Jeff Ross is pretty much always on duty. Just last week, I was at the Comedy Cellar in New York and, as the audience was paying their bills, Ross appeared out of nowhere, teleporting to the stage for a surprise roast of the audience. (He was joined by Dave Attell, who also took some memorable shots at The RoastMaster.) Nearly everything Ross does eventually transforms into a variation on a roast. On last night's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, he subjected the show’s staff to the kind of abuse he normally reserves for reality show stars and other second-rate celebrities. Bouncing from office to office, he breathed abusive new life into all kinds of tired pop culture references, including Tupac, Trump, Amy Winehouse, The Wizard of Oz, Steven Seagal, and Pokémon.  

Ross’s latest preoccupation is Roast Battle, a new series that turns roasting into an insult-laden competitive sport—an unlikely marriage of 8 Mile and March Madness. While Ross claims this activity brings comedians closer together, most of the benefits are reserved for the viewers at home, who get to see 16 comedians from four countries compete in a bracketed knock-out tournament. Here’s how Ross explained it to Kimmel (who will appear on the show as a celebrity judge):

Described as “four epic nights of verbal violence,” Roast Battle comes to Comedy on Thursday, July 28 at 10ep. For a taste of what the RoastMaster’s got cooking, click here and check out Road To The Roast July 25 at 11:30ep.