Friday, September 21, 2007

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 12

"Comedy's biggest title is on the line!" announced Bill Bellamy at the start of this week's episode. More like the biggest lie of the year. Is he fucking kidding me? Biggest embarrassment of the 21st century is what this idiotic show is. After doing his own horrific set, he introduced Harland Williams: "comic and international favorite." ugh...where do I even begin with that? "He was in Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary." Yep, and apparently hasn't done a damn thing since then.
Harland Williams' act hasn't changed in years. He's still just as...weird as I remember him. His non-sequiturs just don't make any sense to me. He talked about how you could yawn so long that a hotdog flies in your mouth? Now that's just lazy writing. Or perhaps he just put a bunch of words on pieces of paper and randomly selected words: "yawn," "mouth," "hotdog," and go! And his joke about filling a woman's breasts with beer so he has more interest in her...I'm sure I've heard that before.
The next "special guest" really gives meaning to the term, special. Last season's winner, Josh Blue, stopped by. The only joke I appreciated was when he had this bit about him being unaware of what his right arm was doing, and found out it was Republican. "Now you're Republican, too?" he said to his arm. "You know we need the stem cells!"

Now it was time to find out who made it through to next week. To my surprise, the first one chosen was Gerry Dee. After each winner was announced, they showed a video made of them going back to their old jobs. Gerry Dee, following in the grand tradition of performers, was a waiter. "My waitering days are over," he said. "I better stick to stand up." Um...*cough* do that. His performance was after that and it made me especially mad. He recycled his joke about women taking longer to get ready except disguised under an observation about gathering designated drivers. Women do it ahead of time, men do it at the last minute. Sounds very familiar. I thought it was funny that at the end of his set, the camera panned to this couple: a man in a flannel shirt mouthed the words, "wonderful," to his wife who was next to him in a polo shirt. It reminded me of those people you see in the infomercial audience and overreact at how fast the blender can grind up a tomato.

The second comic announced was Lavell Crawford. If you're curious, he used to be a crossing guard. His performance was as it always is...using the same joke for all it's worth. I get this image of wet rag and someone wringing it for as much water as he can get out of it. Call me crazy but there's only so much I want to hear of his trip to the doctor's for an anal cavity search. He then mentioned he had a dream where he ate a giant rice krispie treat and (say it with me)...his mattress was gone. I'm VERY sure this has been done everywhere else! Ugh, his light came on 8 minutes too late.

The third and final comic to be announced was...Jon Reep? That means that Amy Schumer is out. Before she left, she said, "If a girl takes the stage, give her a chance, she might surprise you." I can't even joke about that...I just agree with her. Right on girl! I guess that article that Shecky Magazine found was wrong.
Jon Reep's old job was at the Good Year Auto Center. Yeah, pointless, I know. The start of his performance wasn't bad. He continued to do what I appreciate about him which was to show the audience his own point of view of the world. He talked about how people in Los Angeles don't think much of him because of his accent and they expect him to say any minute, "Shoes?! What are shoes for?!" That made me giggle.

And that's it for this week! Two more weeks to go! Hang in there'll be over soon...that is, until Summer 2008. Sigh, oh much therapy...

[Original post date: September 5th, 2007]

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 11

I just want to say congratulations to anyone who has stuck around and watched this show long enough to make it to the 11th episode. That's right...about 3 months of this. You all must have a strong will.
The night began as usual with Bill Bellamy. I was shocked to see that he must've turned on the news and actually sat down to write modern relevant material! He talked about Michael Vick, and I started to believe that maybe he's moved on from his usual prehistoric race jokes...but alas, my dreams were crushed. I think I counted about ten times that he used the phrase, "white people." It reminded me of Bill Burr's joke about being on the train when a black person as saying "cracker" over and over again. "Shouldn't I be getting offended at this point?" Well Bill Burr, I wondered the same thing.
To jump start the show, they brought out Doug Benson. Well, I suppose that's better than past contestants on the show [I spoke too soon...tune in next week and you'll see what I mean]. Doug Benson was his usual alternative self. I liked where he was trying to go with his joke about using phrases from movies because his date never watches movies. He heightened it pretty well when he ended it with, "That'll do pig."

The first comic that made it through to next week was Gerry Dee. Before each comedian went onstage, they showed some footage of them with their family. Gerry Dee with his wife and child looked liked they came straight from Pleasantville; the Brady Bunch's distant relatives. Just blond, squeaky-clean silhouettes of surburbia. It all makes sense though as to where his comedy comes from. He continued to tell stories surrounding his experience as a school teacher.

Lavell Crawford was next. If you saw Meet The Clumps...then you've met his family. I really hated his first joke because the punchline was something Gerry Dee had said. He told how his mom got a job to get his family out of the ghetto and into the suburbs so he could do stuff those white kids did like tape their penises together (which was one of Gerry Dee's lines). I hated how he got laughs completely based on another comedian's material. It was basically stealing because the only reason the audience laughed is that they knew it was Gerry Dee's line but placed in a different context. Whatever...still stealing to me. His other material just annoyed me; how he went to camp and was given the advice to play dead if he encountered a bear. So when Lavell Crawford did run into a bear, he asked him if that was true. Apparently, the bear responded, "If you saw a box of Popeyes chicken with red beans and rice, and strawberry soda, would you eat it?" Yeah...don't change that stereotype. Ugh.

Amy Schumer did her worst this time, in my opinion. She seemed to have used her A-material early on in the competition. And I noticed how her delivery has become very formulaic: her girly voice with short pauses before her punchline delivered with a laugh because...she's just a girl after all. If I was complaining about her girlish persona before...then this time her act was saturated in it. She talked about her deaf boyfriend then talked about her sister's colorblind boyfriend. A woman discussing dating? I had so much faith that she could've done better than this...

The fourth comic was Jon Reep! This meant that Ralph Harris was going home! Again, I'm not a huge fan of either, but based on Ralph Harris's arrogance...well, karma can get you and I'm happy he went home. Despite my opinions on this show, it's great for comedians and no matter how long you're on the show, you should be happy with national exposure because it's basically guaranteed work. The fact that Ralph Harris acted liked he deserved it more than the other comedians just because he's older and has been in the business longer was just disrespectful (I'm sure older comics would feel the same way...but you don't make it obvious! At least pretend to be humble...)

Jon Reep actually impressed me this time. It was such an odd experience for me. He started off by saying how in the country, the people are creative because they create such odd songs, i.e. "Jimmy crack corn and I don't care, (saying crack corn sounds like a hillbilly drug problem)" or "She'll be comin' round the mountain." I do think pointing out the sexual innuendo was a bit of stretch, but I did like the bit nonetheless. Expanding from that, he said how some lullabys are odd-sounding too: "Rock-a-bye baby in the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock...and down will come baby, cradle and all...goodnight son." I liked the dark element to it, it was unexpected coming from him. "Is daddy on the crack corn" was a good callback.

And as I mentioned earlier, next week we will have the "pleasure" of seeing Josh Blue and...Harland Williams? Oh boy...well at least I'll have fun trying to decide who's more disabled.

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 10

We've come a long way everybody; from the Mel Silverbacks from our neighbor to the north to the Captain Australias of…Australia. We've been through the good and the bad [let's face it, the bad and the worse is a better assessment]. And now, as our good ol' host, Bill Bellamy puts it, "out of the thousands, we're down to the final five" (I'm sure he meant to say out of those that had representation, we're down to the final five).
Here's where I'd normally recall the horror story that happens every Wednesday night and keep a chart of the amount of blood I lost from slitting my own wrists…but instead, I think this time, I'll actually reflect on Bill Bellamy's set.

You know why? Because it was so nostalgic and in this fast paced world of wireless internet, IPhones, and Nintendo Wiis, we need to take some time and reflect on the jokes of the past. Perhaps this is what Bill Bellamy was doing because he couldn't have brought back Bill Clinton jokes and meant them, could he? No, no, he MUST have been doing us a favor and bringing us back old memories of 1998 when Bill Clinton fucked a fat girl…hey, you know what? Leave me alone! I HAVE to be this optimistic and think this way…I just can't lose any more blood.

Lavell Crawford: He was the first comic who waddled onto the stage. Before he went on though, he kept saying how he's been in the business for years and that now, it's his time. Time for gastric bypass surgery maybe…but to be a comic? I don't believe there was ever such a time.
He started off by recalling his days of working at a fast food place called Happy Burger. Now if there was ever a comic who went to the well WAY too often, it's this mess. He talked too much on this same subject and kept dancing around the ever so obvious punchline: how when people would go through the drive-through and ask for a happy burger, he'd say they were out. Or if people came through the drive-through asking for a double happy burger, again, he'd say they were out. Yeah! We get it! Because you ate them already! Quit beating around the fucking bush, just say you're fat for 5 minutes straight, and save us all a lot of time! He went on to say how if he had slaves who were ancestors, then they were lazy. Thankfully, Lavell Crawford doesn't have to worry about his inherited laziness giving him trouble…I doubt there's a tree branch strong enough to hold him. (I will say that this last line was given to me by Harry Terjanian...gotta give credit where credit is due)

Jon Reep: Before he went on stage, just like the other comics, he said a few words into the camera; mostly about why he wants to win Last Comic Standing; "I wanna get the money, I wanna get the notoriety, I wanna get the respect…" And I wanna get a fucking rifle and shove it though my spinning brain…we can't always get what we want, Jon.
I had to admit that the direction Jon Reep went in this time wasn't that bad. He took this point of view of being an unadulterated country boy and used it to his advantage. Instead of slightly alienating the audience by being "too Southern," he showed the audience some of the absurdity that he sees from his down to earth view. He began by complaining about people who talk on their cell phones out in public and says that a fun trick to play on them is to listen in on their conversation and act like you're part of it. If they ask for privacy, tell them no because there are in public and that their privacy is invading the public. It was a clear, concise and he got across exactly what he was trying to say and made the audience understand him. A perfect way to get people on a comic's side. I do hope however that his pun at the end wasn't on purpose. Adding on to his cell phone material, he just said, "You want a bluetooth? Eat a blackberry."

Ralph Harris: This man once again gave us a preview of his family reunion. The relative of choice this time? His aunt. I wouldn't have minded that he mocked his family, as long as he had a solid point of view and it was clear what he was trying to get across. Ralph Harris went all over the place with his aunt! And there was no point! There was no setup, mockery, punchlines, nothing! He just began telling us about his aunt like he was putting her profile on or something. She had a blond wig on with her black hair sticking out the front and looked like a ram; she tries different diets and blends everything; she had fat arms and he could swing on the fat underneath them; PICK AN AVENUE AND STICK WITH IT! It was frustrating trying to understand what point he was trying to make by telling us about his aunt. I've never met his family, but I already hate them because this self-proclaimed "comic" is in their family tree.

Amy Schumer: Before she went on, she said one of the most accurate statements made about comedy: "Women have to be twice as funny to get half the credit." So true my dear, so true. Amy once again played her innocent girl character while saying things that are completely the opposite. While she's still young with not much experience, I think if she works at it, she could be one of the good ones.
She starts out with saying she lost weight thanks to Dr.Phil; not because of his advice but because he makes her sick. I thought it was cute. Not amazing, not hilarious, but cute. That seemed to be the theme with her jokes. They are very clever, but in the way your significant other would think up something very funny: "Oh, honey! It's because he makes you sick? That's so funny!" Case in point, she continues on by saying that her mother would make her family change their religion based on what man she was married to; she started out as a Protestant from Ohio and now she's a Jew from Long Island.
I'm a bit irritated that she ran out of time at the end with her last joke. She said how her friends went to Europe and she couldn't go with them because of the show, and that her friends "had all these pictures and memories and chlamydia." But right as she said that, she had to leave the stage. I think it would've gotten a bigger reaction had she had just 10 more seconds.

Gerry Dee: I normally sum up each comic's jokes in order to prove my point in my assessment of their performance, delivery, etc. But I'm stumped with this one. I cannot think of what to say, for the most part. However, as my boyfriend put it, "His comedy is bland, just like his name."
And I couldn't have put it better myself. There's nothing great or memorable to write about Gerry Dee. I did notice that throughout his set, he seemed to wobble while standing (Weebles wobble but they don't fall down! Sorry, I couldn't resist). He talked a lot about when he got married and discussed in great length about the types of gifts some people gave them. I did think it was pretty funny when he didn't know why a couple would give him a 2-liter gravy boat. He said sarcastically that he's had trouble in the past where he can't figure out how to get the massive amounts of gravy from the pot to the plate.

Unfortunately, we all have to wait another week to see who's going to get voted off, based on "America's vote." My assumption? Well…who I think will stay and who I WANT to stay will be two very different things. Remember: this is the same America that's kept Mind of Mencia and Two and a Half Men on the air for more than five minutes….I don't trust that NOW they'll know what comedy is. If they did, for one, this show wouldn't be on the air or Jay Oakerson, Joe DeRosa, and Costaki Economopoulos (in other words, GOOD comics) would've made it through.

BUT, for shits and giggles, I think that the final two comics will be Amy Schumer and Lavell Crawford. They will be the final two. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

God, what a shitty story.

[Original post date: August 26th, 2007]

Friday, August 31, 2007

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 9

Welcome avid comedy reader; you've come at a wonderful time in comedy: Last Comic Standing, season 5 is almost over! This episode was to determine who was going to be in the top 5…a huge step in ending this horrific experience. I wasn't the only who was excited, as Doug Benson put it: "I can't tell you how excited I am, but I could show you if I stood up."

This week's episode was based on speed dating. Except this time, and watch how clever the producers were, it was called "speed-laughing" and as Bill Bellamy put it, you would have to make a "laugh connection" instead of a "love connection." Get it?! Because the comics will rotate just like you would with your dates, but you have to make them laugh! Oh, man, it always boggles my mind how this show was almost cancelled. Now who are their "dates" you might be wondering…why none other than 6 models from the game show, Deal or No Deal. Man, first Tom Arnold and now these women…I mean, if anything, you should watch this show for the celebrity cameos.

Now each comic will go from person to person and have one minute with each of them. HOWEVER, being the tricksters that they are, LCS has decided to replace 4 of the models with "special guests." Ooh! It's getting so exciting now! I hope they haven't jumped the shark with this stunt. Before the comics go on their "laughs" (get it, instead of "dates"…I'm just trying to go with the flow, "when in Rome," you know?), we see Mel Silverback banging a gong to initiate the challenge. Why can't he slowly place his head on that gold circle and have someone bang his fucking brains out? Next week's episode should have a Mexican wrestler fight him and in the grand tradition of Mexican wrestling, after Mel Silverback loses (and he will!), they need to unmask him…and then stab him in the fucking head! Okay, so maybe that last part isn't in the grand tradition of Mexican wrestling…but what a fun addition, huh?!
("But it is in the grand tradition of Mexicans," as my lovely boyfriend put it.)

The first guest is one of the models named Levla. The first comic to walk in was Ralph Harris, who didn't say much, just mumbled and stumbled his way through. He said it was because she was pretty. Oh, Jesus, save me…
When Doug Benson saw Levla, he proceeded to charm her by telling his bit of how he leaves his socks on during sex. Class act all the way.
Lavell Crawford, always the one to have any fat joke for any occasion, compared the model's breasts to his own and said that at least he doesn't have implants.
Jon Reep, ever so confusing, said how he got a paper cut the first time he kissed a girl. I might be misquoting but I'm going to ask a general consensus…should I start researching before writing this? Is there perhaps some unknown knowledge that everyone else knows besides me and in having this knowledge, I'd better understand the jokes? Would they be funnier? Any answers at all, please message me. I'd love some understanding.
Amy Schumer, who again impressed me with how well she executed the challenge, said to Levla if she ever gets tired of guys constantly using her for her brains. Simply awesome.
I should mention now that they didn't show EVERY comic with EVERY guest. I suppose we're better off. However, it also confused me because I only counted 5 guests and they said there were 6. My theory is the 6th one was Mel Silverback. Again, I'm sure we're better off.

The second guest was another model named Haley. When Matt Kirshen came in, he stuck with his "little boy" persona and said that this looked like a movie in which he's the dorky student who's helping her with her science project in exchange for her teaching him how to dance.
After that, they only showed Amy Schumer with Haley. Amy began asking her about celebrity gossip; about Paris Hilton, "and that chihuahua she always hangs out with…Nicole Richie." I think Kathy Griffin would've been proud.

The third guest (the first of the surprises) was…a drag queen! What?! In Los Angeles!? Wow, the producers have spared no expense looking for this rare gem on location. When Lavell Crawford walked in, he said the funniest thing he's said this entire season (yes, it happened). He walked in, saw the drag queen, and without missing a beat, he says, "Hey KISS, I have all your albums." I was impressed. I was also so impressed by how he said a whole seven words and DIDN'T mention his weight.
Matt Kirshen saw the drag queen and said that it was a court case waiting to happen. Good line.
Amy Schumer asked if the drag queen would've been her friend in high school…the answer was no.

The fourth guest was a nun, Sister Rose. Ralph Harris walked in wearing his huge character glasses and kept asking if she was really a nun. I don't know…you figure it out.
Doug Benson went in the direction that I really appreciated…to be the most inappropriate you can possibly be. He did his sex material for the nun, telling her how he acts during sex. What I thought was even funnier was that he delivered the material as if he was conversing with her about the subject, "You know how I act during sex, Sister?" He said later that he was going to lose anyway, so why not do something inappropriate?
Amy Schumer, in my opinion, did the best job with this guest. She says, "Oh, you're a nun?" then launches into this story about this old woman on the subway asking her about religion and says that maybe she hasn't heard the good news that Amy can be saved. She says to the woman that she's Jewish, and the subway woman says, "That's okay, your people just haven't found Jesus." Amy responds to this woman, "Oh, we found him…maybe you haven't heard the bad news." The nun looks confused for a moment then immediately gets it and actually smiles.
Jon Reep and Sister Rose talk about Hickory, NC. Sigh…

The fifth guest was a clown named Twinkie. Doug Benson walked in and started hitting on the clown, as she was a woman, and asked if he had any chance with her.
Gerry Dee, before this guest, said how he would do the same material for every person he saw. For every other guest, he said how women plan things in advance and that guys don't do that. Hmm, with a winner like that, I'm surprised it didn't work for everybody. However, with Twinkie, he actually used a good association by saying that Twinkie is a clown and must work with kids; he goes on to say how he used to teach kids and he had this one student who irritated him.
Lavell Crawford said that the clown shouldn't say her name, "because if you say Twinkie, I just might bite you…you look like a birthday cake." You know something? Call me crazy, but I THINK he made these food jokes because he's fat.
"Oh, is he fat? I hadn't heard." – Harry Terjanian [Sorry, I had to quote this, it was too funny when it was told to me.]

The six guests that the comics encountered determined the winner of this challenge, and finally, after weeks and weeks, someone who deserved to win really did win: Amy Schumer! First time I cheered during this damn season…good, they made the right decision. She commented how Lavell Crawford and Ralph Harris looked pissed that she won. "I thought they were my friends." Ah, fuck them, sweetheart! Ralph is mad because he's old and Lavell…well…he's probably just hungry, don't worry about them.

After this, for some reason, to "de-stress," they went to see this two women therapists and do some exercises. Doug Benson had a better way of "dumping your stress" : "Tell a dirty joke to a nun." Since I live next to three churches, I may try that this week. After the therapy session, the comics went to the Santa Monica Pier; we saw a Ferris wheel in the background on these fairgrounds, a beach, and a huge bonfire that the comics sat by. I must say that the tourist office for California must love NBC; the Santa Monica Pier, the LA Stadium…all they need is to show more drag queens and California is all set!

The voting went as follows:
Amy Schumer voted for Ralph Harris
Ralph Harris voted for Doug Benson
Doug Benson voted for Ralph Harris
Matt Kirshen voted for Gerry Dee
Lavell Crawford voted for Jon Reep
Gerry Dee voted for Lavell Crawford
Jon Reep voted for Matt Kirshen

Therefore, since Amy Schumer had immunity, Doug Benson and Ralph Harris had to go and vote who they want to challenge together…which was Matt Kirshen. Big bullies picking on the young kid. So, now, going to the Last Comic Theater would be Doug Benson, Ralph Harris, and Matt Kirshen. Only one of them was going to stay.
And once again, before the challenge began, Bill Bellamy decided to enhance our evening even further with some "comedy." Remember the good old days when Bill Bellamy was nothing more than the voice of a puppet on Nickelodeon? I remember a time when I had no idea who the hell Bill Bellamy was, but I did watch Cousin Skeeter every week. Oh, how I miss my childhood.

Matt Kirshen: Even though he kept saying how nervous he was, I was impressed that he hid it well. He was already stressing about going against 2 men who have had 40+ years experience put together…but all things considering, he did well. He started to say how he can't do the local California accent and apparently, can't even do an English accent because everyone thinks of a British accent differently; like that of a "friendly chimney sweep." He went on to say that if he breaks a traffic law, he likes to be naked because when they capture a photo of you on the road, no oneiso going to want to look at a picture of a naked child. He ended his set with how he likes to listen to live albums during sex because you get the applause. It wasn't the strongest I've seen him, but I really hoped it had been enough.

Ralph Harris: This arrogant ass kept saying how he wasn't nervous. Yeah, we get it, you have been in the business for hundreds of years compared to Matt's eight years. That doesn't mean you're going to be funny every single time and it doesn't mean the audience will like you! I was really hoping he was going to bomb after his behavior. I can understand when comics aren't nervous sometimes because they are confident…but there is a thin line between confidence and cockiness. However, despite my prayers, he did fantastic. But then again, he's been doing the same A-material for about ten years, so no wonder it worked. He went to talk about how his wife shares his clothing and ties his shirt around her waist, "Hey, I don't wear your tube tops!…I don't wear them when you're in the house…" Granted, it was good material…but it was also good ten years ago when I first saw him.

Doug Benson: The alternative comic of the bunch, Doug Benson came out saying that religion is fine as long as you don't push it on other people. If someone said to him, "Are you going to Hell?", he'd respond, "No, but if you need a lift I'm going through Bakersfield." He then started joyfully screaming about his local reference. I really have never been a fan of Doug Benson. I liked him in the show, but not on stage (which doesn't say much for the comic). He also adjusted the only joke I like from him, that he only has had sex in months that end in "-bruary." It used to be "-arch."

Not to my surprised, the winner of the challenge who will continue into the final five, was Ralph Harris. Even though it was a close vote, he still won. Just on principal alone, that pissed me off. Arrogant jerk. As we saw Matt Kirshen and Doug Benson walking away, Doug said into the camera: "I don't need to be the last comic standing. I'm gonna have a seat. I'm going to relax." Amen, Doug Benson, amen.

Therefore, the final five comics in Last Comic Standing, season 5 are:
Amy Schumer, Ralph Harris, Gerry Dee, Jon Reep, and Lavell Crawford.

[Original post date: August 19th, 2007]

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 8

Gather ye round ye televisions sets and prepare to set forth on a night of horrendous comedy. Alright, well...I can't speak "ye Old English," but that was the chosen theme of tonight's episode. The comics were brought to Medieval Times [sans Mel Silverback the bus driver, thank God!]. I'll spare you my brief memory flashbacks of The Cable Guy and let's just get right to it.

"Who will move closer to the opportunity of a lifetime?" announced Bill one that deserves it, that's for sure.

The comics go to the "jousting arena" and briefly watch the knights fight each other. They are then lead to this dining area with a huge Old English type table with a FEAST on it. Huge turkeys, breads, a myriad of fruits; and at first I thought it was unfair of them to just feed Debra DiGiovani, but then they all sat down to eat, so my concerns dissipated. Their upcoming challenge was to write jokes in this medieval style (all the while, dressed in loud, colorful jester outfits). If you didn't think this show was like a fucking circus, THIS confirms that. They brought the comics out in pairs and each had an assigned colored flag; the audience raised their flags for who they thought won.

1) Lavell Crawford & Doug Benson: Lavell has this uncanny ability to be tired and hack in any situation and it's nice to know that he would've been just as unfunny hundreds of years ago. He walked out in this horrifying red and blue jester outfit and said he got it at the "Medieval Big and Tall." If you can tell me why this is funny or original, please message me because maybe I'm missing something.
Doug Benson came out and shouted, "Where are my wenches at!?" I appreciate how much he was executing the challenge. His whole set was said with this affected British accent and he used "medieval lingo." He then said he has good news and bad news: the bad news is that if he doesn't win, the king will have him flogged within an inch of his life. The good news is that he likes it. I thought this was a great use of writing jokes within the confines of a challenge and in terms of these types of reality shows, that's your job: do what you do best within the terms of the challenge and I commend Doug Benson for doing just that. However, this is a CRAPPY reality show, so Lavell won against Doug.

2) Ralph Harris & Jon Reep: Jon Reep was out first and he just didn't even try; "You ever been to a Renaissance Fair? You see weird things...the animals watch the people walk around." Again, message me if I'm missing something.
Ralph Harris did even worse, if that was possible. He said how his wife is riding his ass all the time. This reminds me of being in grammar school when we were taught the parts of a sentence, the subject and the predicate. This time, I feel like dissecting to point out the setup and the punchline. And I can't. Just like in school, if there wasn't a subject or a predicate, there was no sentence...if there's no punchline, there is no joke.
Jon Reep won. "Jon Reep" is the subject, "won" is the predicate.

3) Gerry Dee & Amy Schumer: Gerry Dee attempted political humor by saying that "you guys" (meaning these Medieval folk) had a division of rich and poor like we have with the Bush family. [Insert laughter here?]
Amy Schumer throughout all the challenges, I noticed, liked to talk to the audience. Even though it was a huge arena, she liked directing questions to the people: "You ladies ever been married?...I had a little problem with the ale....any of you wenches like the ale?"
Maybe this kind of connection is why she won this round.

4) Matt Kirshen & Debra DiGiovani: If it were up to me, Matt Kirshen would've taken this entire challenge home. While Doug may have sounded like a Medieval jester and did a pretty good job, Matt wrote some very clever jokes that Medieval folks could relate to. He talked about how a security guard for a castle must feel bad because he knows he's cheaper than a moat. It was very clever and the fact that he wrote this on the fly before the challenge makes me want to go fetch him a turkey leg.
Debra DiGiovani...she once again brought her eye-gouging enthusiasm hundreds of years back. She said how she might be a jester on the outside, but on the inside she's all wench and she wants to get lanced a lot.
I don't know how, but Debra DiGiovani won by about 5 flags. I know I'm from Florida, but I WANT A RECOUNT! [Yes, I just made a 7 year old reference, sue me.]

1) Jon Reep & Lavell Crawford: Jon said he bought a sausage from a one armed man and Lavell said that affirmative action hasn't been invented yet. They were both still painful to watch, but Lavell won this round.
2) Amy Schumer & Debra DiGiovani: Amy made a sex joke about how Bill Bellamy takes a few minutes, but he's like a knight and Debra said she's covered in goat hair. Now put those two images together! Amy won this round.

Now it was between the winners of Round 2, Jon Reep & Amy Schumer.

Jon Reep: Just like Doug Benson and Matt Kirshen, it was now Jon Reep's turn to actually do the assigned challenge. Even though it was hack material, at least it was Medieval hack material. He started out by saying that he just flew in from middle earth, and boy is his dragon tired. Oh boy. He then launched into this long story about his dragon and how he got pulled over for an F.U.I.: Flying Under the Influence.
Amy Schumer: Amy followed with her style of connecting with the crowd: "Who's getting pillaged tonight!" She stuck with her unique style of slightly disturbing material said in that inncoent girly way: "This is really exciting since I just lost my chasity my cousin." It was a nice surprise and again, she remained within the limits of the challenge.
Jon Reep won the last round and immunity, so he can't be eliminated.

And once again, they went into the little booth and voted:
Jon Reep voted for Debra DiGiovani
Gerry Dee voted for Lavell Crawford
Amy Schumer voted for Gerry Dee
Ralph Harris voted for Amy Schumer
Matt Kirshen voted for Debra DiGiovani
Debra DiGiovani voted for Matt Kirshen
Doug Benson voted for Ralph Harris
Lavell Crawford voted for Doug Benson

Therefore Matt Kirshen & Debra DiGiovani were up against each other. At the challenge stage or what they called the "Last Comic Stage," Bill Bellamy performed again. Yep, not making that up. And once again, I'm going to spare you and myself of recalling the horror that is the decades-old comparison of white people to black people.

Debra DiGiovani: I love how she talks about subjects that we really have no interest in picturing: her going lingerie shopping, her huge bra that other people have to help her put on, a body fat test that apparently she didn't study for (yes, that was one of her punchlines...she had a body fat test done and she had "no chance to study"). I only laughed at the end when she said that if she's 50% body fat, "I think that technically makes me cream." It was one of the few jokes I heard her say at a normal pace and not at a hundred miles per hour. However, she went back to her old ways with "I may die alone, but I go great with coffee!...I just need my Coffee-mate!" UGH! If she was cream, I'd fucking blend her career up with a mixer.
Matt Kirshen: While I don't think he's the funniest person I've ever seen, during this show, I've grown to like him. At first I couldn't relate to his "little boy" tone at first, but it fit during his act; sharing things with the audience as if he's discovered them for the first time as well (much like a little boy on Christmas day...or in his case, Passover). He talked about how he's Jewish, but he's not that religious, "because's bacon's nice...that's like driving the speed limit when there's no cops." He went on to say that some of his friends are health nuts and scold him for taking aspirin, and why doesn't he use something more natural in his body. his response: "Heroin is natural...nicotine is natural...a pack of wolves..."

And here's where I got back a little bit more faith in stand up comedy reality Last Comic Standing...

Debra DiGiovani was NOT chosen as the audience's favorite and sent home! Oh there is a God and this week, he chose me as one of his favorite children and released me from this curse that we have called the Jessica Kirson wananbe: Debra DiGiovani. Let's hope next week is just as promising...

[Original post date: August 9th, 2007]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 7

Welcome comedy fans to another WONDERFUL episode of Last Comic Standing! This time, we're going to see some first-class heckling in...where else, but California! The heckler challenge tonight was taken place at The Ice House comedy club in Pasedena, California.
Just like all the seasons before it, a small school bus arrived to chauffuer the comics, except this time, a person wasn't driving it. Nope. This time, they brought back one of the comics, Mel Silverback to drive them around. Where's the fucking Environmental Protection Agency when you need it? Isn't there some rule about animals on crappy television shows? There must be...
What I do like about this challenge (same thing I liked last season), is that I don't need to say a word. They mock themselves and no matter how shitty their acts are, the heckling is always funny. Doug Benson started it off, right there on the bus when he said, "It's always been my dream to get on a bus with 9 other comics, one of whom can't fit through the door." He was, of course, speaking about the sweet potato himself, Lavell Crawford. See what I mean? They do all the work for me.

The heckler/performer teams were chosen:
1. Lavell Crawford & Debra DiGiovani
2. Gina Yashere & Ralph Harris

3. Dante & Doug Benson

4. Amy Schumer & Matt Kirshen

5. Jon Reep & Gerry Dee

1st Round
1) During the first round, Debra Di Giovani sat in the audience and "heckled" Lavell. I couldn't help but think to myself: couldn't they just sumo wrestle to declare a winner? It might eat a lot less air time and be TONS more funnier. (Yeah, I know, for the pun alone, I should have one of them sit on me.)
Lavell begins his set by saying that he's so lazy [How lazy is he?] that if someone is on the television that he doesn't like, and the remote is not near him, then he'll stay on the couch and just watch something he doesn't like. Do I even NEED to point out the incredible lack of creativity here? Debra's response was, "I thought Biggie Smalls was dead!" Lavell shot back later with, "I got one just like you in my trunk." Really? [Say it with me folks], it must be one large trunk then...

2) Next was Jon Reep performing with Gerry Dee heckling. Jon mocked how the sports team, the Panthers, would always play a panther noise when they accomplished something. He kept making these animal noises; I thought Mel Silverback would feel right at home. Gerry yelled at him how he's like "Remy...half a mouth and half an act" [I'm paraphrasing of course]. What I did notice was that Jon was able to use the heckling to jump right back into his act. I'm not a fan of his, but that was a good technique.

3) Now it was Amy Schumer's turn to perform and be heckled by Matt Kirshen. As Matt tried poorly to shout that she was a whore, Amy quickly responded, "Why is there a fetus in the audience?....didn't I take care of you in college?" Hands down, the best line of the night. She executed what could be regarded as a "girly joke," but not in the "Valley girl" way that she normally does. This was quite a welcome change of pace. Even though the heckling isn't part of her act, I wish she'd be this way more often; it showed much more confidence in what you're saying than stupidly laughing at the end of your jokes.

4) Next Gina Yashere performed while Ralph Harris heckled her. Ralph began by shouting, "What's that on your neck?" My guess is to suggest she had an Adam's apple. Gina's repsonse was that she can't believe she's being heckled by a broke Bill Cosby. They both did fairly well.

5) Dante, shockingly enough, did no impressions. I was sort of disappointed. But I wasn't disappointed in the last bit with Doug Benson's heckling. Dante's first joke was how he likes to go to battered women's shelters, bang on the door, and shout, "Where is she?!" Doug shouted that Dante's last name is "Is Not Funny." It was so simple and childish, but I think because he's mocking Dante, that made it hilarious. Dante shouted back, "Is one of your eyes lazy because it doesn't want to work?" Doug, very quickly, responded, "One of my eyes want to leave the room because of your act." Second best line of the night.

2nd Round
1) Now it was Doug Benson's turn to perform. I must mention that a news report came on about the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, so the only thing I caught was Doug saying to Dante that if you looked up funny in the dictionary, they'd be a picture of Dante watching someone be funny. I'm very glad I caught that part at least.

2) Matt Kirshen's act wasn't anything memorable; he didn't get much out before Amy Schumer began attacking him: "How's the studying at Hogwarts?" and "Did you learn a lot looking for the ring?" Both great lines and I have to hand it to Matt Kirshen who said to her, "Do you read books for adults?"

3) Ralph Harris began to talk about how foreign people smell when Gina Yahsere asked him if he forgot his collars today. Um...okay? Culture barrier, I suppose. Ralph Harris picked it up perfectly and responded that in America, we aren't told what to wear and that the queen doesn't call us up to make sure we're in dress code. Third line of the night.

4) I have to say that during Gerry Dee's performance, he destroyed Jon Reep when he tried to heckle him. All he did was mock Jon Reep's set. Just like Doug Benson, it seemed so simple, but it was executed very well and was very funny.

5) I hated this pair the most out of anyone. During Debra DiGiovani's set, Lavell Crawford's heckling turned into a routine with her! And a terribly unfunny one at best. They helped each other instead of taking each other down! DiGiovani started out with her weight (surprise?) and she said that doesn't have any "back." Lavell actually had a great line with, "You got back, I saw it come in before you did." Ah, fat jokes. They solve everything. Then it launches into them discussing how they'd have sex with each other. Boy am I glad I wasn't eating during the show.

The winner of the heckler challenge was....Lavell Crawford?! Just like Roz from last season, the worst of the bunch won. It was voted on by the audience and I'm starting to think they misunderstood the rules. Or maybe they love fat jokes more than most people. The prize for Lavell being the audience's favorite was that he got to go to Montreal to perform for the Just For Laughs festival. Damn lucky sweet potato.

Now it was time for the voting. They are taken to the Los Angeles Colliseum and Bill Bellamy appears on the jumbo screen. I still can't believe they rented out this huge venue for this train wreck. They put a couch and the voting booth at the 50 yard line and each comic went in to vote. Since Lavell had immunity, he couldn't be challenged and voted for who he thinks he's funnier than :
Lavell Crawford voted for Dante
Dante voted for Amy
Gerry Dee voted for Jon Reep

Debra DiGiovani voted for Matt Kirshen

Ralph Harris voted for Dante

Doug Benson voted for Ralph Harris

Amy Schumer voted for Gina Yashere

Jon Reep voted for Ralph Harris

Gina Yashere voted for Dante

Matt Krishen voted for Gerry

So that's 3 votes for Dante. Since Gina and Ralph voted for Dante, they would go against him at the challenge. They showed Doug Benson saying afterwards: "Who do I want to lose? I really cante tell you that." And if you couldn't guess, he said cante[or can't] as if it rhymed with Dante. I may not like his act, but I love Doug Benson on this show. At the challenge round, Bill Bellamy performed[ FUCK!]. He began by saying that the best women to date are in their 40's and....sigh, you know what? It's not worth it.

Gina Yashere: I loved that there were no jokes about her Nigerian mom in this set. She mentioned how the next accessory to hit America will be a face transplant. She told a story how a woman had to get one because while she was drunk and passed out, her dog ate her face off. And the only reason she noticed is that her "now gone mouth" couldn't hold a cigarette. Yashere had a great transition into "Wouldn't that be a fantastic advert for a beer?" I loved her enthusiasm and the creative way she expanded on the story. She then brought it back to something I love: self-deprecation. Yashere said if she could get a face transplant, she'd get Halle Berry's face, but people would see her on the street and think, "Wow...Halle Berry got fat."

Dante: This hack came out screaming, "I'M ON LAST COMIC STANDING!" Oh, if only it were literal and you dropped dead right now. He started out with discussing his daughter (second surprise?) and how she talks incessantly. And according to Dante, she talks like a very gay man. His act just annoyed me and he had no ending; he just dropped the mic [a la Chris Rock] and ran off stage.

Ralph Harris: I've noticed that as the show's progressed (though the word really doesn't apply here), I've disliked Ralph Harris more and more. He's like a walking Eddie Murphy movie, just playing a million different characters from his family. But that isnt't funny. It's funny to him because they're his family and he knows them, but it doesn't translate to the audience. If you're Uncle Earl talks funny or you were hyper as a kid, that's great, but it takes a lot more than funny voices to make someone laugh. [Note: this excludes Dante's fans]

And the outcome was that 62% of the audience chose...Ralph Harris as their favorite and the winner. This means that Dante [YAY!] and Gina Yashere [BOO!] were going home. See? I knew it...if Dante stuck with his impressions, he would've won this audience over. Same with Gina Yashere I guess...if she stuck to her Nigerian mother routine, it would've been a no-contest. Since Ralph Harris did both these types of jokes, maybe that's why he stayed. I guess we'll never know. Afterwards, Dante said, "I just had a different plan." Oh please tell me that includes slitting your wrists and quitting that order!

[Original post date: August 2nd, 2007]

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 6

Does anyone else get extremely ill when the beginning credits roll and you see Jay Mohr's name as a consultant? No? Well maybe I have a weak stomach...or a fucking ulcer from this show.

Let's start, shall we? This week's episode was the second semi-final round with the remaining 16 contestants and only 5 were chosen. As always, Bill Bellamy starts us off with his set and I don't know what happened, but I suddently felt like I was in a time machine. Someone had set the dial to 1983, because what I saw on screen was a black comic talking about how white people are different. WHAT?! When did that happen?! White people will find any reason to wear flip flops?! Jesus, have I been asleep?! Oh, but the best part was that this was his segue into airport security. He demonstrated how simple a white guy can take off his flip flops when the big, dumb security guard asks him to do so. Can I please use that time machine to go back to the Salem Witch trials so I can be burned alive and saved from this misery?

Jon Reep: Well, if John Caparulo was the hick of last's the hick from this week. You know how I know? He said he's from a town in North Carolina called Hickory: "You know you're destined to be a redneck when you're from a town with the word 'hick' in about Hillbill-ory or Trailpark-ery."
I SWEAR on my life that was word for word. I did NOT, in any way, shape, or form, change those words. And I loved how he just subtly changed Jeff Foxworthy's line into "you know you're destined to be a redneck." Sort of puts this philosophical and religious spin on it, don't you think? It's his destiny to be a redneck. And apparently it's my destiny to put a bullet in my head watching him. Before he went onstage, he said that if he loses, he will quit comedy. I'm praying to God he keeps that promise.

Fiona O'Loughlin: Now this was the woman that surprised me last time during the showcase. After seeing Jane Condon, I got worried about this older motherly figure...but she puts a different spin on it; portraying herself as this uncaring, lackluster mother who wants nothing more than a drink and some quiet. And she pulls it off very well. Although her set wasn't that strong, I liked her joke about her family being so big they have to have a family reunion every two years just to prevent incest.

Ryan Hamilton: Even though I disliked this guy, I think we have similar tastes in television shows. I'll explain. A little while ago, I was watching an episode of The King of Queens in which Doug wanted to get Carrie laser eye surgery for her birthday. But he was being a cheapskate and used discount surgery...which didn't turn out well. NOW, I see good old Ryan Hamilton discussing how $295 per eye for laser eye surgery isn't that much and ponders how it might not be a good idea to get discount surgery. Now, I'm not pointing any fingers, but it's not a new idea. He then launches into wondering if someone out there only needs the one eye done. His voice is just grating and it's not really anything new.

Gerry Dee: Even though I didn't laugh, I did like that this comic explored a variety of subjects (though again, every comic on this show is in the hands of the editors so you never know). At least it shows he's thinking. He talked about how in bars, he doesn't drink beer, he drinks coolers and that he's made fun of for that. Eh. He continues to say that he doesn't go to church, he gave it up for Lent a couple of years ago. Again, it was ok, but...nothing really impressive or memorable. He also seemed very nervous onstage and couldn't stand still. It almost made me dizzy watching him.

Thea Vidale: Another black woman comic who's "large and in charge" (see Roz, Mo'nique, and Adele Givens). I was expecting the same type of loud, screaming, leading-nowhere jokes...but this woman surprised me. She mentioned how she met Condoleeza Rice at this event and wanted to say to her, "What does Uncle Tom's cabin look like from the inside?" That was so absolutely clever. I think just on that joke alone, she could change my mind. The rest of her set wasn't anything to write home about, however, you could tell she has been in the business for a very long time. She looked confident on stage and had a definite voice and point of view...and didn't SCREAM the whole time. It was a nice change of pace.

Dwayne Perkins: Following the trend of the other Dwayne on this show, I remember seeing Perkins years and years ago on Comedy Central. And I felt like I stepped right back into that time machine because he performed the very same jokes I saw years back. He talked about how girls have that "guy friend," who they don't like that way and compare it to going into a job interview. They say they like you and you have all the qualifications, but they aren't going to hire you..."but could we call you occasionally and complain about the guy we do hire?" Again, great joke and he has great timing, but I wish I saw something different from him.

Matt Kirshen: This kid just confused me. He was really playing up the "I look and sound like a kid" aspect and his whole set stemmed from that. He talked about how he smiled too much and that he only has two faces: happy and stuck in a fence....??????? And "stuck in a fence" is just happy with a bit of frustration, "I'm stuck in a fence...but I'm going to see a fire truck." Yeah, okay, you're a kid, I get it. But that last joke was just bad. It didn't make any sense. It was alternative comedy gone bad with a Union Jack flag smothering it.

Amy Schumer: To me, this girl is the underdog in the competition and kind of my guilty pleasure of the show. If you just look at the structure and writing of her jokes, they show a lot of creativity and work. However...the way she presents herself onstage looks like she's a teen who got lost on her way to the mall. I wish she wouldn't do that. I think she'd be taken a lot more seriously if she didn't cock her head and laugh like a vapid schoolgirl. She spoke about how she always turns the lights off when her and her boyfriend are in the bedroom, and he said to her that she's beautiful and doesn't need to turn off the lights. " think I don't want YOU to see ME..." I thought it was pretty funny.

Sean Rouse: This Todd Barry wannabe really irritates me. It's always said that if you're going to be that deadpan with slow delivery then you absolutely NEED to have good material to back it up. And I don't think guy does. He starts by saying he has restless leg syndrome...and that alone gets a laugh! How? He then continues this long tirade beginning with his father had it and that's what killed him...not did...he drank it straight out of the bottle...while driving...with him in the passenger seat...trying to beat a train...on Christmas- OKAY! It was way too much; he just kept adding and adding. Just one knife in my chest after another.

Lavell Crawford: NO MORE FAT JOKES!!!!!!!

Greg Warren: Another comic on the show that seemed to have everything together, but it wasn't anything memorable.And this is also why I despise this show because I'm sure there are some great comics who are terrible victims of the editing. If you wanted to present a show about comedy (which they don't, they want a reality show), then show their set in it's entirety. It will be a longer episode but at least the viewing public has a better idea. And it also stops the editors from putting IN laughs. ANYWAY, with my rant being done...Warren was shown doing one joke about his Uncle Earl not liking the baseball game announcer on the radio. He said his uncle just wanted to hear the score and proceeded to demonstrate what a show like that would sound like. It was good, but just like Sean Rouse before him, it was way too much added in and the bit went off for too long.

Andi Smith:
I think Mitch Hedberg has been reincarnated as a girl from Texas. Her timing was very slow and she looked like she was under the influence of...everything. I expected her to fall asleep at any moment. She said how her old boss's name was Lou and spelled backwards was [insert gagging sound here]. Um...alright. It's not funny because it wasn't relatable. I have no idea who your old boss was and while I'm sure you found him grotesque, but don't expect me to have the same reaction. Make the audience relate to you first, understand where you're coming from, then we can go along for the ride with you.

Arj Barker: I actually used to be a fan of Barker's. His CCP special is solid and he's very enjoyable to watch. Just like Dwayne Perkins, he did jokes from years back. He said how nobody mentions the good things about smoking, like how it can seriously reduce the risk of jogging. Very funny. He segued nicely from there into the camel from the cigarette pack is a horse with a tumor. Here's where he loses me though; with an Indian accent, he starts saying "Put that beast into the're using the wrong accent for this joke. I am Indian. This is Egypt, my friend, I don't belong here." He just used a technique that I, personally, can't stand: when comics bring attention to the fact that they're telling jokes. When the comic is bombing, sure it's expected...but using that technique here when it clearly wasn't needed just annoyed me.

Chuck Roy: Honestly, I just like looking at this guy because he looks like Zack Galifinakis and that makes me giggle. He began by saying that he has a day job as a Navy Seal...not really, he just plays a video game where he's a Navy Seal. He then talks about how the controls on the video game are difficult because one joystick is to look and the other joystick is to run. Then Chuck Roy just runs into a corner onstage to portray his confusion of the controls. Just a little too much, I think.

Jane Condon: Wow, my time machine is going to run out of juice soon with all the use I'm getting out of it. This time, I went so far back, I had to buy war bonds. She is the epitome of the hacky woman comic from years ago (and hell, maybe from today even). She says how she tells men that sex isn't a job, then holds the mic away from her and screams "It's a job!" Oh! I get's a secret...ha...ha. She then says how some women fake orgasms, she fakes sleep. Sigh...I'd rather sit through prohibition then watch this woman and her fossilized bits.

Mel Silverback: After watching this show, I called my boyfriend and the first words out of his mouth, "I hope he's the first monkey to die of AIDS." Let's, for a moment, look past the fact that he's awful, he's predictable, and that he has a MONKEY MASK ON HIS HEAD! Just logically....this guy cannot sustain a career. All his jokes are about...monkeys. Eventually, you'd run out of material. Now, let's look at the other stuff. HE'S FUCKING TERRIBLE!!! For his last bit, he said, "Sure, this guy is funny but can he do impressions...?" And he does Curious George which is just him scratching his head. Oh, God, to taste the sweet barrel of a gun in my mouth.

The 5 finalists who were chosen from this round were: Jon Reep, Gerry Dee, Matt Kirshen, Amy Schumer, and Lavell Crawford.

Oh, and I have to mention that I totally called that Lavell would be the audience's favorite. Stupid audiences are just that predictable. Goodnight everybody!

[Original post date: July 26th, 2007]

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 5

Aren't you all excited?! It's the Last Comic Standing semi-final round where 16 contestants out of the 32 performed in Hollywood, California. They only chose 5 out of the 16. Such a tough call. This time, however, they had a special guest judge: Tom Arnold! Even though he didn't say or do much of anything (like his career of the past 8 years), it was still an interesting change of pace.
And here was Bill Bellamy's chance to shine. As the host, he was allotted some time to perform. He starts by saying that when he was a kid, there was no childproofing the house; if the kid touched a hot oven, "It's childproofed now...he learned his lesson." I'm conflicted whether or not to tell Elvira Kurt that I saw her material on national television. He ended his set with, "Are you ready for some comedy?!"

Yeah...I've been ready for the past month that this SHIT SHOW has been on!

John Caparulo:
This guy really does look like a Cabbage Patch doll. If you don't believe me, go look at his cheeks. Either he's storing food for the winter or he's got a serious facial defect. His jokes come from such a simple, and uninteresting, point of view. The comics that normally leave an impression on me talk about life and have depth to their stories: relationships of different kinds, pain, everyday occurrences, etc. Not about why fat guys put everything on a sandwich! Not to mention his stage presence is awkward at best; scratching his head the entire time during his act was very distracting (not that I HAD to be distracted from anything funny he was saying). His "clueless idiot" persona reminded me somewhat of Mitch Fatel and while I'm not a huge Fatel fan, it worked better on him.

Deborah DiGiovani: If Rachael Ray ate Emeril Lagasse, you'd get this woman. Her enthusiasm is sickening, her energy is overwhelming, and...well...she's just not funny. "Winter is the season of sleeves"?? I'll admit it's sort of clever...but it didn't help her setup or punchline: the fact that the skinny girls get the attention in the summer because they get to show off their body. If any of you saw Grease, you remember that girl from the high school who Rizzo hated and she was so happy and excited about EVERYTHING? Keep her in mind when you watch Deborah DiGiovani...oh...and bring scraps of food to toss at her so she doesn't attack.

Tommy Johnagin: Now he was a change of pace. Although (in my opinion) if this guy had more energy, he'd be more interesting to watch... he was still one of the better ones. His jokes were varied and cover different subjects, and all the while showed us who he was through them and made us relate to him: some slightly wimpy guy with glasses who's a bit self-deprecating. This came through also in his timing as he was methodical and took his time. No rushing, no screaming, no over-emphasizing the punchline. My favorite joke of his was that someone he knew owned a gun (for self-defense) but it could shoot something 300 yards away. Johnagin commented that it's not self-defense if the victim is three football fields away: "Is that guy coming at me with a knife...or carving a turkey in his own kitchen?" Very refreshing.

Dante: You know, I haven't seen The Wizard of Oz in maybe 15 years, and now that movie is probably ruined for me thanks to this impressionist. He had no jokes at all...his setup was that his daughter loved this movie and wondered what it would be like if Jack Nicholson was Dorothy, Gilbert Godfrey was the Tin Man, Christopher Lloyd was the Scarecrow, and Robert DeNiro was the Wizard. Now once in a while, I enjoy impressions (especially if they're dead on), but the comedian has to do it right. He has to have jokes intertwined with the impressions; the impressions have to be a necessity to make the joke work, not be an add-on to the joke OR be the joke itself. Frank Caliendo does this perfectly...Dante did not.

Joe DeVito: Hmm, maybe this show has taken a turn for the better. I liked this one too. He had this nerdy quality about him, but his sharp intelligence kept me interested. I liked that he had a variety of jokes…it wasn't just all about dating, or being a guy, or…having glasses (which he did). He spoke about his looks (commented that he gets mistaken for the Verizon Wireless guy), his Italian heritage, and people who act like everyday is the last day of their life. He said he would spend it on a respirator if that was the case.

Gina Yashere: What I've noticed about this British woman is that she must be very proud of her Nigerian background…every joke I've seen from her deals with her Nigerian mother. Apparently, Nigerian mothers are very strict, tough, and SO different from any mothers on the planet. Now, I think Yashere had pretty good timing, but I wish she'd show us more of herself and her life besides her mom.

Lawrence Mooney: Another contestant from Australia. This guy didn't have a real strong set; he bordered on hack material, discussing the differences between men and women in terms of body esteem issues. When a woman looks in the mirror, she hates what she sees…when a man looks in the mirror, he loves what he sees. Wow…what an eye opener. He also discussed how pantyhose are scary when the woman takes the skirt off. I think his delivery was strong, but the topics just didn't hold up for me.

Sarah Colonna: I'm going to admit something: I'm very sexist against women comics. It's terrible, but the awful truth is that the ratio of women to men comics is very wide and good women comics are far and few between. Whenever a woman comes onstage, I'll admit, she has to try a lot harder to impress me (very weird considering I'M A WOMAN!). But again…the terrible truth is that most of the time…they're bad! This woman wasn't the worst I've seen…but she wasn't that impressive either. Her jokes weren't that clear; she said that there would be only 2 places her vibrator could be if she couldn't find it. Maybe I'm just dumb, but I didn't get it.

Dwayne Kennedy: I remember a time when it was a rule that you couldn't be on LCS if you'd been on David Letterman, Jay Leno or basically have been on television at all. That certainly changed…especially considering this guy is on here. I remember seeing him years ago on Premium Blend and Comedy Central Presents; he definitely has an established career. I can see why, too. On stage, he's very comfortable and solid, has a direct point of view, his voice is clear; all the makings of a comic that's been doing this for years…and he has! He's probably one of the more experienced comics on the show and while his joke topics weren't that innovative, his skills made him tolerable.

Spencer Brown: I have never had the luck to know or see how the stand-up comedy scene is in England…but if Spencer Brown is a peek into it…I don't ever want to step foot into a British club. He first came out with a banana peel, placed in on the stage, and pretended to almost slip on. Now I could see that this was a parody in itself of "comedy," and that this really wasn't his act. He obviously wasn't that goofy or stupid…I spoke too soon. His movements were way too big and I don't know how they do it in England, but as an American, I was not used to so much energy. I feel like if he didn't speak a word through his entire act, it was so close to pantomime, that I still would have understood it.

Tracey Ashley: I thought this woman had a strong voice and good presence, but she wasn't really anything to remember. She talked about how she had a white boyfriend who, because of his job, comes home and tells her odd facts. He told her how most of the deaths in Africa are due to hippos. This woman reenacted how she would die that way. Just one day, standing at the ATM and seeing a hippo. See how I said it wasn't that great?

Ralph Harris: Just like Dwayne Kennedy, this man has been in the business for so long. Years ago, he was on Comedy Central Presents and Premium Blend. No doubt he's been on all the late night talks shows. He's normally not all that bad, but this time, his whole act was him imitating his grandfather. It works somewhat with John Leguizamo…not with this guy. I know he's got better material than that.

Sabrina Matthews: And this theme seems to continue. Sabrina was another comic I saw years ago on television and I was actually quite happy to see her have such national exposure. Unfortunately, and I'm not sure if this was the editing or her fault, but all I saw were lesbian jokes. Sabrina Matthews is such an intelligent comic; that's the one trait, among many, that comes off solid and strong: her intelligence and sarcasm is what makes her act wonderful. As I said, I was very disappointed when all they showed was her talking about her being a lesbian.

Adam Vincent: This guy…just…kept…SCREAMING! It really wouldn't stop. He came out and started screaming about how he's excited to be in America; then started screaming about how he's shooting all his love to the audience; then CONTINUED screaming all his jokes. I was so upset when I looked in my nightstand to find that I had no earplugs...and no bleach to drink.

Lori Chase: This woman has clearly made an act out of being the poor man's April Macie. She was so overly cheery, while trying to be edgy and shocking. Case in point, she said how she had her first mugging a little while ago and "boy, was that tourist surprised." That kind of outcome wasn't believable for her persona. She should be talking about short shorts and small penises…not stealthy stealing from an innocent bystander. She did mention that she had a husband who she thinks turned gay…already, I can assume she'll get a CCP special just based on that alone.

Doug Benson: I have no qualms expressing my hatred for this guy as a comic. I'm sure in real-life, he's very nice and polite. But the alternative style on this guy annoys the hell out of me! I have never liked him and every time I see him, I find him awkward and unfunny. His act for this episode was no different. He spoke about when he was on a rollercoaster at Disneyworld, he gave the camera (that snaps a picture of you on the ride) the finger. Sure, sounds like a funny idea…but it just wasn't.

Wow, was that an ordeal. The five finalists they chose were:
Deborah DiGiovanni, Dante, Gina Yashere, Ralph Harris, and Doug Benson.

I think it's safe to say that I wouldn't have been happy with whoever they chose (I just hate this show so much). I am upset that the actual good ones like Sabrina Matthews or Tommy Johnagin didn't make it through, but it IS Last Comic Standing. I've said it then, and I'll say it now: if you have talent, you won't make it on this show.

Original post date: July 21st, 2007]

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 4

Welcome back. If you saw the Last Comic Standing, episode 4 last night, I salute you. You're a real trooper. This time, they went to their last city: Tempe, Arizona.I think I can assume that your overall reaction is one of: "What the fuck?!"
This episode began with an attempt of comedy...imagine that. Bill Bellamy was talking to the camera in the desert. He then begins to say that
Last Comic Standing spared no expense on this trip and only had the best for him. Simultaneously, the camera panned to a broken down car with smoke arising from it. Bravo.

Ryan Hamilton: This is the moron you kept seeing from the commercials who said he was the child of Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld. Well, I don't like Seinfeld and I DON'T like this guy. I did find it quite ironic that Ant said he was funny looking....that's right...ANT said HE was funny looking. This moron did a horrible impression of Chris Rock, had an extremely annoying delivery/voice, and of course, because of this, he made it through.

Suli McCoullogh: For some reason, this guy reminded me of a salamander. He had big eyes, was very skinny...and just sort of looked slimy. He did one joke about how he can't get a tattoo due to lack of surface area (he's skinny, get it?). He made it through.

Ken & Brady: Another attempt at alternative comedy, in the vain of Slovin and Allen. At first, only one guy was shown: Ken, who then introduced his partner, Brady. Brady was Bobby Lee if he gained weight and had a stroke; this moron had huge glasses and a pink and purple headset on his head attached to this girls toy tape recorder. He said that his last girlfriend was cross eyed and he had to break it off with her because she saw someone on the side. You know, sometimes the judges surprise me and make good NOT letting these hacks go through.

Now because of Ken & Brady, that sparked the montage of the night...oddly enough though, it wasn't announced like normal. They just showed many many clips of weird comedians.

Andrew Ovredaul: This skinny guy with big black hoop earrings told a joke about people hitting each other with their cars. He wasn't that memorable, but he made it through.

Robin Reiser: This woman is definitely very new to the scene. She had one joke about sleeping; dreaming a nice dream about unicorns and then being woken up to horrible world news on her alarm clock: something about women in Somalia being beaten. After hearing all this, being woken up, she thinks "Damn! I have to move my car!" She was trying to convey her apathy toward the tortured women. It was way too long of a setup and nowhere near worth it in the end. She made it through.

Chris Bennett: This guy was actually enhancing my suicide desires. He began (and ended really) by saying how he does word associations when calling out Bingo numbers at an old people's retirement homes "B4...remember what it was like BEFORE you're children abandoned you?....B9...your tumor was BENIGN..." Yeah, and so was his act. He didn't make it through.

Lavell Crawford: I hated him from the moment I saw him. For one, he looks like a disfigured hourglass...all his fat seems to fall up inside of down to his stomach. His vocal chords sound like he put them through a paper shredder, and he looks like the father from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I couldn't understand a WORD he said...all I gathered was that if he died and was in Heaven with the other angels, he couldn't fly because he'd be too fat. Oh, these Arizonians are so quick. Maybe Ant was afraid this guy would eat him because they put him through.

Rusta Rhymes: Now they didn't show this guy audition, but they showed him on the street. And just as his name suggests...he rapped. He was white, he rapped, and he's in a "comedy competition???" His one lyric I remember is that he's "hardcore like Josh Blue." If only this parasite really did have cerebral palsy...

Greg Warren: Now this guy surprised me. His jokes weren't LOL-tastic, but his persona, voice, tempo, everything definitely showed he's been doing this a while. His voice was extremely clear; that's what stood out to me: this somewhat depressed, slightly self-deprecating personality, slow but always with energy. He told a joke about buying cookies at two in the morning and getting comments from the checkout lady. He made it through.

Hippieman: This rejected superhero said how two Muslim women would look like beekeepers wrestling. Thankfully he didn't continue.

AJ Fowler, Kevin Davidson, Matt Peterson: All three comics were shown performing bad puns. I guess they were inspired by Hippieman.

Chuck Roy: This Zack Galifinakis look-alike said how in New Hampshire, their motto was "Live Free or Die" and he chose to move. He then said that at a hair dresser's salon, he told them he wanted to look like a singer from Alabama going to the Grammys in 1982. I wasn't that impressed...he moved on.

John Caparulo: Someone tell Larry the Cable Guy that he has a new opening act. I'm surprised this guy didn't spout a "git er done" or a "I'll tell you what" throughout his audition. All I remember about this dumb hick wannabe is that he liked big dogs and didn't understand people who owned little dogs. This Ivy League graduate continued on.

Time for the showcase at the Tempe, Arizona Improv:
Andrew Ovredaul
Kivi Rogers
Greg Warren (ok, at the showcase, he fucking sucked and annoyed me)
Ryan Hamilton (here's where he did the Seinfeld joke)
Chris Voth
Suli McCoullough (who did a joke that he's been doing for more than 6 years)
Lavell Crawford (during his act, he says he's a sweet potato....I don't know...)
Cristela Alonzo
Robin Reiser
Rocky LaPorte (a cross between Dom Irrera and Andrew Dice Clay...not good)
Dave Landau
Jay Larson (a chubby Dane Cook wannabe)
John Caparulo
Chuck Roy
Brandon Vestal

I guess when you have an hour to fill, and only one city to explore, only then do you show the entire showcase. Afterwards, they announced the 32 semi-finalists, and they're showing their performances next week:

From New York: Dwayne Kennedy, Lori Chase, Jane Condon, Arj Barker, Joe Devito, Amy Schumer
From Canada: Gerry Dee, Deborah DiGiovanni, Mel Silverback
From Texas: Ralph Harris, Andi Smith, Sabrina Matthews
From California: Dwayne Perkins, Thea Vidale, Jon Reep, Dante, Sean Rouse, Sarah Colonna
From Austrailia: Gina Yashere, Adam Vincent, Fiona O'Loughlin, Lawrence Mooney
From England: Spencer Brown, Matt Kiersan
From Minnesota: Tommy Johnagin, Doug Benson, Tracey Ashley
From Arizona: Greg Warren, Ryan Hamilton, Lavell Crawford, John Caparulo, Chuck Roy

Notice anyone missing? Try looking at the list from England...I seem to remember a woman in that list: Ava Vidal wasn't announced as one of the 32 semi-finalists and a result, they picked five from Arizona instead of four. I would like to know what happened to her. I mean, she was horrendous...but I think there's controversy afoot.

[Original post date: July 12th, 2007]

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 3

Cheerio Chaps! If you fancy some horrible comedy, well then park your bums right there; you're in the right place! 'Ere we are in London, England!

Spencer Brown: I think this guy had a good opener, mostly because he somewhat tricked the judges. They clapped after something and he said, "Thank you! Or as my dyslexic friends would say...thank you!" The judges stare at him as if he just bombed, but he surprises them with, "It doesn't affect your speech," as if they were the idiots (which they are), but it was a very clever surprise. He made it through.

They did their montage early on in the show, this time in honor of being in England, they showed a bunch of British comedians who were so polite even after they were rejected.

Josh Howie: I really just hated this guy. He went to a slightly alternative route, saying how he would want to form a Jewish rap group (since he's Jewish) and call it "Circumsized." I realize now that I bet the joke was "circumsized" would be spelled wrong...but who knows? "Convert, bitch, convert." Ugh...of course he made it through.

Tiffany Stevenson: Now I always hate comedians who talk about mainstream- type stuff: new popular reality tv shows, celebrities, gossip, stupid shit like that. This woman's only joke was how the concept of "Desperate Housewives" wouldn't work in England. She made it through.

Andres Caballero: "Dolphins are gay sharks." NO!

Ava Vidal: This woman had a very irritating slow delivery and looked like she just woke out of a drug-induced coma. Miraculously, she moved on.

Buddy: I did not understand a word this guy said. I know he mentioned fruit and that was it. Ant made a big deal how he was awful and shouldn't make it through, but Kathleen and Alonzo convinced him otherwise.

I'm still very insulted they had their showcase at The Comedy Store in England. How dare they bring those awful hacks into a place where wonderful comics like Tony Slattery, Stephen Fry, and John Sessions performed!? It's sacreligious:
Josh Howie
Ava Vidal
Spencer Brown
Benny Boot
Tiffany Stevenson
Keith Kiesewetter (Dat Phan in 15 years...and no funnier)
Matt Kiersan

Now, here's where LCS did something unprecendented. Something that was never done before. They showed someone bombing. The comic Buddy came on, and they showed the audience not laughing at anything. At one point, they cut to Ant who made an explosion noise to the other judges. This really pissed me off. About 90% of those fucking hacks from ALL 4 SEASONS probably did just as bad...but to show America that Ant knew what he was talking about, NOW they show the audience's dead reaction? Fuck your mother, Jay Mohr, for creating this atrocity.
What did make me feel better was Matt Kiersan's great joke. He pondered about what they would call New Orleans after they rebuilt it, so he said they would call it "New Improved Orleans whiter than ever." So great!

Now we move on to...Minneapolis, Minnesota??? Oh know why? Dave Mordal, Bill Dwyer, AND Josh Blue came from there. Well, then by all means, that must mean there are legends in the making up here in Minnesota!

James Francis: Once again, we seem to find the alternative comics in the oddest places. This guy came out in a suit and a derby and began talking like an old-timey salesman from the vaudeville ages. He didn't make it...guess they don't have a taste for the classics.

Bob Zany: This man also came out in a suit, but he had a cigar in his hand; reminded me of a used car salesman. He also had the style of an older generation comic. He talked about how he was in a hotel and wanted internet access. They said they were gonna give him a view of the topless area of the pool. "Well, if I have that, then I won't need the internet access!" Oh! Funny man! Ugh...someone get that giant cane...

These comics are so silly that this week, that they dedicated their montage to all the silly, goofy comics they found. Something tells me they're running out of ideas.

Lil Rel: I did not understand a word this guy said. But he had a shirt with his name on it...maybe that's why he made it through.

John Evans: More mother jokes. He said how his mother wanted to email the president about the problem of immigration. He then said how the president is basically too dumb to understand that. Oh how I'm going to miss these earth-shattering creative jokes about how our president is dumb when the next election rolls around. He moved on.

Hiawatha Rutherland: I don't think this guy got even four words out when Kathleen said she wanted to shove a fork in her eye. And the first time in 3 weeks, I agreed with her on something.

Tracey Ashley: This woman said she takes the morning after pill like it's a daily vitamin. Thank you for moving the women's movement back about four decades and moving comedy back even further. This terror made it through.

Doug Benson: I HATE THIS GUY!!!! I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HIM!!!!!! *Ahem* Sorry. You probably have seen him on VH1, Comedy Central Presents, Premium Blend, and EVERY SINGLE late night show. I have no clue why he's here and I wish he'd kill himself. I guess because since both him and Ant work for VH1, he had to put this retard through.

Time for the showcase at the Acme Comedy Co. Unfortunately, no anvils dropped on any of these terrible hacks.
Tommy Johnagin
Lil Rel
Doug Benson
Dan Cummins
Tracey Ashley
John Evans
Bob Zany

They announced at the end that the next episode will be in two weeks when they visit...Arizona? I'm really starting to think they just put a map on a board and threw darts. London and Minneapolis, Texas and Austrailia. Next season, I can just see it: "Now, we're heading off to Paraguay and Junaeu, Alaska! Then next week, it's off to Augusta, Maine and Turkey!" At least I'll have two weeks to recover from this nightmare.

Save me.

[Original [post date: June 28th, 2007]