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 week...here'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 it....how 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. "Aww...you 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 really...vodka 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.
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 it...it'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]