The folks who brought us the genius idea of Jay Leno at 10PM has decided to resurrect 'Last Comic,' which they canned in 2008, for a summer run, according to Joe Adalian at The Wrap. Craig Robinson of 'The Office' and the forthcoming comedy flick 'Hot Tub Time Machine' has been tabbed to host.
At least the new host gives me hope for this new version. Robinson has a great comic presence, whether he's intimidating Michael Scott as warehouse foreman Darryl Philbin, or just doing his stand-up at a local club. He'll be funnier than Bill Bellamy and more confident than Anthony Clark, two of the show's previous hosts (Jay Mohr was the original host... and quite good).
"When people say to me on the street, 'I Love the 90's!', I go, 'I do too!' I don't give them a lecture about how no, I'm on Best Week Ever," he told me a few weeks ago., "because it does all blend together. And as long as they're remembering me, and they have a positive attitude about it, you know, there's no reason for me to be a dick."
Benson's not just the "VH1 guy," though. The veteran stand-up reached the finals of season six of Last Comic Standing, after some notoriously unsuccessful attempts. He also made a documentary, Super High Me, which makes its TV debut today (4/20... get it?) on G4 at 10 PM ET. In the movie, Benson makes like Morgan Spurlock, but he substitutes pot for Quarter Pounders.
We talked about the movie, if the whole 420 thing is over, and his run-in with Ant on season five of Last Comic Standing.
Of course, this generation has to add their own little spin on the character so he's going to be a little younger (more like a teenager) and hilarity will ensue. Classic characters such as Ant and Aardvark will appear. Perhaps this time they could get the actual Jackie Mason to do the voice of Aardvark rather than having John Byner do an impression of him. He needs the work.
I am trying to withhold judgment on this new cartoon. Having seen this before, I am automatically cynical of any attempts to revive a fond franchise of my youth. It's likely my opinion is not impartial. However, simply hearing that they have to make the main character a teenager in this new version automatically fills me with dread. Will he be talking as well? Even though I'm not the target demographic, I may just skip this one.
The bad news tonight was that none of the comedians had the 80's comic uniform on: jeans, skinny-tie, and sports coat with the sleeves rolled up. I would have liked to see that.
The good news? Well, tonight's episode was actually kind of enjoyable...
The most frustrating thing about watching Last Comic Standing has got to be the misrepresentation of stand up comedy as a form of entertainment and a way to make a living. However a close second is the way the producers edit the show to leave out certain things.
In a recent episode of the show, comedian Doug Benson auditioned in Minnesota and the audience learned that he had previously auditioned in Los Angeles but wasn't asked back. According to the episode that aired, the reason that Doug didn't make the cut was because Ant thought Doug wasn't exciting enough onstage, but that is only half the story.
There are aspects I like about it (namely the maybe 45 seconds of unedited comedy that we get to see each week), but for the most part, I think the show takes something I love very dearly and turns it into something horrible. Watching it each week is like hanging out with an ex-girlfriend that you loved and thought you were going to marry, but then she developed a coke-addiction. You enjoy talking to her and reminiscing about the old times, but you can't help but notice how much she's gritting her teeth and begging you for money. It's sad. Just... sad.
Phew. Okay, let's get to the review...
"Rogan Vs. Ant" sounds like a Japanese monster movie.
In this instance, though, I'm not talking about mutated monsters battling over Tokoyo, I'm talking about comedian Joe Rogan's recent accusation that comedian Ant, the openly gay judge on Last Comic Standing, steals jokes.
If that sounds familiar, it's because Rogan made the same accusations against Carlos Mencia not too long ago (and others have accused Mencia of stealing, as well).
I'm not going to comment on whether Rogan's allegations against either of these men are true, but I will say that no idea exists in a vacuum. If you're a comedian and you've come up with a funny joke or concept, it's likely someone else has thought of it, too. I'm not a comedian, but even I've had funny ideas that I later see pop up on The Onion, or Comedy Central, or any number of places. It's probably a comfortable delusion to think everything your brain concocts was pulled from some realm no one else's mind can touch, but that's just not how it works.
(S05E03) My reviews of Last Comic Standing are going to be a bit different from Jay's so be forewarned. First of all, the entire premise of LCS is flawed both as a television production and as a talent contest. The main problem is that the show (like all reality shows) is so heavily edited that you only see what the producers want you to see. Now, that's fine for Big Brother or Survivor, but for a show that is supposed to be looking for talent it defeats the purpose. It would make more sense if the show were more like American Idol with performances from all the comics in every show, but to ask any comedian to come up with a new ten minutes every week is unfair, therefore it is what it is.
Those of us who grew up in small towns know they don't always embrace alternative lifestyles. The idea has possibilities, and it will be interesting to see what the show does with its subject matter.
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