Greetings, fans of laughter. Your regularly scheduled recapper Steve Heisler is busy completing his community service, so I’ll be filling in for him this week. Rest assured, I will bring all my extensive Last Comic Standing expertise to bear on this pivotal episode. Disclaimer: I have no Last Comic Standing expertise. I haven’t watched this show since the first season, and the only thing I remember about it is that the fat guy either won or did not win. However, I have read all of Steve’s recaps on the current season, so I clearly could not be more prepared for the task at han…holy shit, this thing is two hours long? Damn. I’m not sure there’s enough beer in the house, but let’s give it a shot anyway.
Luckily, it doesn’t seem as though I’ve missed out on a great deal of complicated back-story. After a wacky opening segment in which host Craig Robinson’s spotlight keeps going out because - wait for it - a cigar-smoking chimp is operating the controls, we’re ready to get the comedy assembly line cranked up so that the judges can select the final five finalists. First up is Roy Wood, Jr., who delivers a solid set of material on dating, not much of which I would describe as “original,” although that’s the word Natasha Leggero chooses. But I guess that’s why she’s a judge and I’m a fill-in recapper. Wood is followed by Fortune Feimster, who seems like a shoo-in even though she doesn’t really have any jokes. Maybe something got lost in translation, or maybe they just figure her unusual redneck lesbian persona will make for good reality television, but the panel seems to love her.
The most uncomfortable moment of the night comes courtesy of Guy Torry, a recognizable face whose set revolves around dated political material. The judges all agree that Monica Lewinski jokes aren’t really where it’s at these days, and Torry turns cocky and confrontational, responding to Leggero’s suggestion that “Google it!” does not constitute an effect punchline by saying, “That’s okay, you’ve never bought a t-shirt at one of my shows.” Not an effective method of winning hearts and minds, it turns out.
Other notable contestants: Taylor Williamson, a skinny hoodie guy with an off-kilter delivery somewhere between Steven Wright and Emo Phillips; Kurt Metzger, who mostly joked about celebrities like Tiger Woods and Lady Gaga, but got his biggest laughs when telling the judges he looks “like Mr. Bean, if he was a rapist”; and James Adomian, who did a killer Gary Busey impression (“I believe in RAPE! Reaction Against Predatory Enemies!”) that had the judges requesting encore performances as George W. Bush and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
Finally, after nearly two hours and way too many comedians, Robinson announced the five survivors who will join the five selected last week as finalists: the aforementioned Roy Wood, Jr. and James Adomian, along with Laurie Kilmartin, whose set concerned having a baby at age 41, Tommy Johnagin, who described the face of a woman he was about to kiss as looking like “I’m trying to feed her vegetables against her will,” and Moronzio Vance, whose act didn’t seem like anything special to me. Surprisingly, Fortune Feimster did not make the cut, which means I’m now free to pitch my new reality show Redneck Lesbians to the networks. Now that the top ten comedians have been selected, I assume they all move into a house together and compete in a series of Jello-based challenges.
- Roy Wood, Jr. on making out his will: “All I own is a George Foreman Grill and a Shrek DVD!” I feel his pain.
- NBC is promoting the shit out of The Event, which raises the question once again: When was it decided that Zeljko Ivanek has to be in every single TV show? I didn’t get any say in this.