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October 21, 2014

Last Comic Standing: The first five finalists are chosen

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 7th 2006 11:05AM
Meadows, Griffin, Marshall: LCS judges(S04E02) Ever since Season Two, I've taken a bit of a cynical view of the first rounds of Last Comic Standing. During that year, Drew Carey and Brett Butler went to the press complaining that Ant was chosen by the producers to go to the house over their objections. It seems that it doesn't matter what the celebrity judges say, the producers are going to pick who they want to pick to go to the house, whether it's because they have a good story, they'll cause trouble, or that they just owe the comic's agent a favor.

This first "semi-final", in which five comics were chosen to go to the house, didn't make me any less cynical. The choices really did smack of compelling story over comedic ability, at least in a couple of cases.

First, let's start with my standard complaint: You're only giving the comics three minutes to begin with; why shave that down to a minute or a minute-and-a-half, just so you can squeeze in judge's questions and dramatic pauses as the finalists are announced? Yes, I know, there's not enough time to fit everyone's three minutes in a 45-minute show. But the "two jokes and out" editing didn't really give me a feel for anyone's routines. In fact, I couldn't even tell many of the comics apart, especially the parade of skinny and pale guys that seem to be clones of one another.

If they needed more time, they should have just cut the judges' questions, since they really didn't show all that many to begin with. I mean, we're seeing Tim Meadows and his ski cap on Game Show Marathon and Kathy Griffin on whatever show will pay her; we don't need to hear from either of them on yet another show. The producers only showed Garry Marshall asking maybe one question; you'd think they'd want to hear more insights from an experienced comedy writer and director over anything said by Meadows or Griffin.

By the way, did it seem to you that one or two of the comics that performed in this episode were never seen on last week's audition episode? Wonder if they were added at the last minute and the producers just didn't bother to tell us where they came from. Or they may have been cut out of the auditon show, like Mark Saldana, but got to go to L.A. anyway, unlike Saldana. Either way, it's a poor editing choice on the part of the producers.

As for the host: Anthony Clark was a little sitff in his first chance to host from the stage, but I'm sure he'll loosen up as time goes on. Jay Mohr is a more edgy comic than Clark, but in the capacity of show emcee, edge is not really necessary. So Clark should be fine eventually, especially as he gets comfortable with the finalists in the house as he pops in and out on them during the season.

OK, now on to the finalists. You knew Josh Blue was making it, right? Even if he was just somewhat funny, he would have made it because of his backstory (and, yes, I'm talking about his CP). Luckily for the audience and viewers, Josh had the best act of the night and deserved the "Audience Choice" award. It was interesting, though, that he was the only one shown being given a standing ovation. I doubt it happened that way, but I really don't go by audience reaction shots on shows like these, because laughter and reaction shots are usually pulled from other parts of the show and edited in. But it made for a nice moment, right?

Despite the fact that Chris Porter didn't get to finish his routine, he deserved to go, as did Joey Gay. April Macie? Uh... I didn't think she was that good. But when they showed her bonding with Griffin (it's almost like they were twins, weren't they?), I knew she was in. Guess they need a pretty woman or two in the house, right? Though if they were going to do that, they should have just taken Nikki Glaser, who had edgy set-ups but predictable punchlines. Roz deserved to go, too, only to see what other kind of "improvised" stuff she comes up with in her subsequent performances.

Next week: The other semi-final, where I'm pretty sure one of the five people to go into the house will be Bill Dwyer (my pretty safe prediction, not a spoiler).

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kate

I love Josh Blue.
Thats the end.
No explanations.
He's just hilarious!

June 13 2006 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Thank God there will be five more semifinalists, because the first five sucked. Big time.

June 07 2006 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daniel Solis

My favs are Roz and Willy.

June 07 2006 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joani

I didn't think Josh Blue was "somewhat funny", I thought he was VERY funny! Forget the CP, this guy is a riot!

June 07 2006 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
forzaq8

they also have gabriel iglesias which i'm amazed he is apearing , i mean the guy already had a Comedy Central Presents show

June 07 2006 at 5:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
r.r.r.

i am SO happy nikki didn't get picked. she's funny. but i feel like she needs a few more years under her belt to go there. anthony clark sucks. it seems like he's a bit awkward on stage and all. boo! i also was glad of who they picked to be in the top 5. all those folks seem like they've done their time and i raise my glass to them. i agree with the editing of this show. it totally sucks. but what do you expect from the guy who produced Saved By The Bell? Seriously.

June 07 2006 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg

I was thoroughly disappointed with these picks.

They should've gone with these guys:

- Kira Soltanovich (whom I have a wicked crush on). And where was she last week? It was a pleasant surprise.
- Josh Blue. This guy's hilarious.
- Nikki Glaser. Ditto. And hot to boot.
- The guy whose bit was about his white wife. I can't remember his name, but he made me laugh, which was sparse last night.
- Tig Notaro. I've seen her Comedy Central Presents and it's great.

For the next group, Doug Benson (who's probably going to win it all), Bil Dwyer are shoe-ins.

And Anthony Clark doing stand-up is great. Anthony Clark attempting to read a prompter is not not so great. He'll be better when he has to warm up the crowds before the contestants do their bits.

June 07 2006 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lacey

I love this show, I don't care if it's fixed, I don't care if some of these people are already doing semi-big time comedy, It makes me laugh and I love it.

I also say that I had my reservations about Josh Blue, the second I saw him the first thing I thought was with a little work, he could be a teriffic Dustin Dimond look a-like (not that we need one). And the second thing I thought was well, of course he's going to make it everyone's gonna feel sorry for him because of his CP. But I was pleasently suprised that he is in fact VERY funny.


However, I too am rooting for Gabriel Iglesias, I love him. And I don't care that he's already had a comedy central presents show. He's hysterical and I want him to win.

June 07 2006 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john

Anthony Clark seems pretty replacable so far. Jay Mohr would at least make a snarky, but funny, comment between each comics' set. Unless he does something more, he's just another comedian's name they needed for a reality comedy show about comics.

I cracked up at Josh Blue's joke when he was on stage. Well, it wasn't a joke, but it was what he said. While he was getting applause from a previous joke, he told the crowd to "shut up, I only have three minutes."

I did not think April deserved to be in the house. Her jokes were the tired I-used-to-be-fat jokes.

Nikki has potential. She still needs to get her stage legs.

I want Chris Porter to win. But if Roz is as improv as she said she was in the first episode, then I think she should win.

June 07 2006 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pill

I agree that the producers must be fairly young, otherwise, that guy from the Real World, Theo, wouldn't have been picked to go. He just wasn't funny.
I'm rooting for Gabriel Iglesias, he just makes me laugh, and, his stand-up is quick, appeals to a varied audience, and, he's just funny!

Hope he makes it through to the next round

June 07 2006 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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