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September 1, 2015

Last Comic Standing: Audience Vote Round #4

by Jay Black, posted Sep 13th 2007 12:38AM
One more week and I'm freeeeeeeeee!(S05E14) Here's an amazing story: I arrived home this evening to find that my TiVo only recorded the last 25 minutes of LCS. With a review to write, I scrambled, calling everyone I knew within driving distance, trying to find the episode.

None of my friends had it (10 million viewers a week? None in South Jersey, apparently). I was bummed because I didn't want to have to write an incomplete review. It wasn't until after all this that I actually watched the final 25 minutes my TiVo grabbed.

Wouldn't you know that NBC had so padded the hour that the only two performances that really mattered didn't come till the last 15 minutes anyway? God bless the terrible, slow roast editing techniques of this show. God. Bless. Them. On to the (almost complete) review...

The biggest tragedy of the evening for me was that I missed Gilbert Gottfried. When it comes to comedy, Gilbert is like the old line about pizza (or sex, but who wants to think about sex and Gilbert at the same time?): even when he's bad, he's good.

The second biggest tragedy was that Gerry Dee was voted off the show tonight. I would normally write-off my prediction that Dee was our frontrunner due to my being a comic whose sensibility doesn't necessarily mesh with a general audience's, but the poll we ran last week indicated that the vast majority of you agreed with me. I was shocked that Dee was sent packing.

It makes me wonder who is doing the actual voting on this show. Part of me suspects that LaVell got a lot of votes this week from confused grandmothers who thought that he was Reuben Studdard.

Since I haven't seen the rest of the show, let's get right to the performance breakdowns:

Jon Reep -- decided to spend his four minutes on a long story about his father snoring. Storytelling is hard to do in the first place because, by its nature, it tends to produce less laughs per minute than flat out joke telling (for an example of this, watch some Bill Cosby, probably our most preeminent storyteller comic. He's outstanding at it, but his laughs per minute are decidedly lower than other more conventional -- albeit less talented -- comedians). In a competition where you only have four minutes to make your case to the audience, Jon's choice was a bold one.

Did he pull it off? Meh. His performance was great, but the laughs were of the mild chuckle variety. I also didn't think the payoff was big enough to justify spending four minutes telling the story. This is a piece that I could very easily see showing up midway through a headlining set -- perfectly pleasant, well executed -- but I wouldn't use it as a closer.

LaVell Crawford -- still seems to have trouble with saying things he shouldn't. Last week it was curses, this week brand names. He did all right in the beginning (dropping Kentucky Fried Chicken for "one of those chicken places"), but in the second half of his act, he used a brand name that had to be bleeped (my guess was AT&T, does anyone know for sure?) This isn't a big deal; it just seems to speak to the theory that LaVell has been nervous the last few episodes.

While I thought the second half of his act produced a few funny moments (for some reason, I thought his poor imitation of the computerized phone voice was hilarious), the first half covered some very familiar themes. There are a lot of weight-centered comics (that's my PC term for "fat comics") that have a variation on the joke of ordering a huge meal for all of his friends and family and having the person at the counter mistake that meal for only his.

It's hard to pick a winner because It appeared like both comics were out of gas tonight. Maybe I'm just tired from a long flight and a scramble to find 35 minutes of a show that probably had about 1.5 minutes of enjoyable content in it, but I thought we ended very much on a whimper. The big guns, it seemed, were not saved till the end.

If I was forced to make a choice, I'd say LaVell, simply on audience reaction.

I'm anxious to hear what you think about it. Am I being overly critical? Did both Jon and LaVell rock the house tonight but I was too tired to appreciate it? Let me know.

Check back here later in the week for an update with the rest of the review. In the meantime, you can check out another perspective at Shecky Magazine here.

Who do you think should be the Last Comic Standing?
LaVell85 (39.4%)
Jon131 (60.6%)

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I did think that Gerry Dee would win it. I thought his Material was the cleanest the episode before he got voted off. However with him gone I would have Picked Lavell over Reep although they both had there moments.

September 20 2007 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Right on. I am glad I checked out this site. Now all of you can check out the NBC messsage board for further comments about the LCS fiasco, gives great perspective from some Canadians and raises an issue of the LCS voting system and what happened to mucho Canadian votes.

Ironically we lost comics much greater than Lavelle in the first rounds. Jon is ok (but disappointing last week) - Gerry should have won over Lavelle and at least the final episode with him presenting true stand up comedy would have given the audience real entertainment.

And while I am at it...what happened to "comic etiquette" - a few weeks ago Ralph and Lavelle deliberately and obviously snubbed Amy by not shaking her hand in congratulations. Shame shame

September 19 2007 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a perfect example about how the LCS audience basically has done the 'pity vote' for the last two years. Josh Blue has about 3 minutes of comedy in him and if he didn't have a gimpy arm he would've been out in an early round.

Lavell may be funny in clubs, but he certainly isn't on this show, but he's fat and black and mentions both of them in his act, so I guess he has the housewife vote sewn up.

This show has become a joke, and thats the funniest thing about it.

September 15 2007 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alright, I know folks have been hating on Lavell. I've consistently enjoyed him all season. I found some of his performances on YouTube this week and though they are far more peppered, the material is roughly the same. So if you've seen him before, I suppose it's just same old same old. But usually there's at least one line a week from Lavell that makes me bust out laughing.

On the other hand, Reep should have been voted off with his terrible performance last week. Dee did a great job last week, and I would have been pleased to see a Lavell-Dee showdown. Reep did better this week, but he shouldn't be here now in the competition.

As far as Tivo...yep, I just went straight to the two performances. Frankly, I'm not interested in the random comic of the week performances.

September 14 2007 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am glad we all agree that GD should have one, I love the reasons why everyone likes Lavell keeitreal, you just made me laugh more than Lavell. Ha, ha. I too also thought the funniest part of the show was definitly the trophy hand out, wrong black guy ladies, Dumba$@s.

September 13 2007 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the funniest moments were the non-acts. like handing the trophy to the host, and asking lavell, if you lose will you make it a black-white thing?

September 13 2007 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gerry Dee was ripped off. Plain and simple.
Interesting couple Gotfried chose since Harrison and Felicity are an item in real life.
Levalle was a disappointment and Reep should of been the one to be gone.
Oh well.

September 13 2007 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the reason why i think people like lavell (even though i was hoping he was getting voted off the past few weeks):

-a lot of the voters dont have much exposure to other stand up comedy so his bits seems fresh and funny to them.
-he is quick on his feet. whether its "cheating" in the one-liner game, winning the heckler challenger, or talking about having al sharpton on speedial, it is a strength of his.
-america is fat and therefore loves fat people?

the list is short, but i think we forget the majority of voters are random americans who may not even have comedy central (read:cable).

i do think it would have been hilarious if they DQ'd him in the mini challenge because he deserved to be. or if a fight had broken out on stage...but this show is so weak its no shock they would have a stupid mini challenge and the winner would have cheated and had the worst lines.

September 13 2007 at 11:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Regarding Lavell's "bleeps," sheckymagazine.com stated that he was saying "Sprint." The site also mentions how Gilbert needs to update his act: The movie "Witness" came out in 1985--that's 22 years ago! And how there are other "skinny girl" celebrities out there without resorting to a Calista Flockhart reference. But his voice alone makes some people laugh.

They showed Rich Vos in the audience. I wish they had HIM onstage! He always rocks! Next week he will be on the "roast" show, though. That will make it worth watching.

September 13 2007 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sasha Faynor

Last night was far from the best either LaVell or John Reep have done. I think Reep made a mistake doing one long act-out bit with almost no climax. I would pick LaVell if I were just choosing on last night's performance, although I prefer Reep.


September 13 2007 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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