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]