And so, we get to hear the best of the best of the best tonight. Jokes about Obama, women voting, racism, gynecology, the South, shooting deaths -- it's all in there. Listen to the comics, and judge for yourself. Who do you guys think should win? There's not much time left, and they're all pretty funny.*
(*Well, except for the one person who obviously isn't funny. But we don't want to ruin this by prejudicing you in any way. But you know who we're talking about ... right?)
And so, we bid farewell to contestants James, Laurie, and Maronzio. They were funny ... but not quite funny enough. The world of comedy can be harsh. (And on a personal note: your humble TV Squad scribe has tried his hand at stand-up comedy. It's really hard! Kind of the hardest thing ever, in fact. You try just talking for ten minutes in front of a random crowd while getting paid for it, and you'll see. It's kind of difficult.)
Host Craig Robinson seems genuinely sorry to let the departing players go. But hey -- that's comedy. You either get laughs or you don't. It's a tough racket, in case we haven't made that clear already.
On the newest episode, one of the comics performing was Maronzio Vance, who did a routine where he discussed superheroes. Specifically, he mentioned how as a kid, he wanted to be Batman -- but couldn't figure out a way to afford the cape, the costume, and all the rest of the gadgets.
You should listen to the clip of his performance -- since Maronzio is best heard as he performs live. But since he brings up the issue of Batman, we'd like to say that we've always had a few questions of our own about the Caped Crusader.
For example: why can no one figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman?
" ... Oh, gosh, who could the masked crime fighter be?"
"Um, maybe the creepy billionaire who lives in a deserted mansion on a hill? The guy with unlimited resources? The man whose parents were murdered by criminals and who thus has a rationale for carrying out a one-man vigilante campaign?"
" ... Naw. That's just crazy talk. It can't be him."
I also catch up with TV legend Henry Winkler about his new stint on Web-to-series comedy 'Childrens Hospital,' which is as inappropriate as it is hysterical. Then I check in with 'Last Comic Standing' host Craig Robinson to find out if he's playing favorites with the comedic contestants or remaining impartial.
Want more? E-mail me TV questions at TheTVShowGirl@aol.com and I'll try to get you answers on the show. -- By Maggie Furlong
But for Jamie Lee's sake, let's hope that the USA is the land of opportunity. Because contestant Jamie Lee has quit her high-paying job ... in order to chase her dream of becoming a professional stand-up comedian. And on 'Last Comic Standing' (Mon., 9PM ET on NBC), we get to see how this all plays out for her.
Many people have come to the show to audition. (Including some truly awful comics who dress up as clowns or who use ventriloquist dummies -- which is never a good idea). But only Jamie Lee has given up a whole career in order to try out as a comedian.
In order to host the awards, Craig needs a slight makeover -- which he receives from rapper Lil Jon. He gets some "bling" around his neck, and some other stuff as well. Let's all hope that Craig can pull through.
This year's 'Hip Hop Honors' awards focuses on the musical acts of the South. All joking aside, it's a very impressive group of artists that are assembled for the show, and we're excited to see who the winners will be.
With the season coming to a close, the networks are starting to look toward next season. In the case of 'Criminal Minds,' that includes exploring the possibility of a spin-off series. They ran an embedded pilot for it earlier this season, introducing the new cast, and they've already had tremendous success with both 'NCIS' and 'CSI' spin-offs. But whatever happened to the old-school way of creating spin-offs?
'Frasier' was a long-time cast member on 'Cheers' before he headed off to Seattle and sitcom super-stardom. 'The Jeffersons' spent time living next to the Bunkers ('All in the Family') before moving on up. Even as recently as 'Friends,' they spun series co-star 'Joey' off into his own series -- maybe that's when it all went so wrong.
Robinson (star of 'Hot Tub Time Machine') began an impromptu duet with Hunt. "The first time I saw you," he sang, "in the parking lot. I thought to myself; she's going to her car, what did she forgot?" Then Hunt took over the song. "Take it, baby," Robinson said to her. The whole thing goes downhill after that.
Watch the video after the jump.
(S06E20) If you took this episode and dropped it in the middle of season two or three, it probably would have fit in nicely. Well, except for the fact that you might be asking why Pam was on maternity leave (and why Jim is the dad), why Andy is working in Scranton, and just who the hell Erin is.
But you know what I'm getting at. The tone, pacing, and comedy of this episode continues the recent trend of 'The Office' getting back to what made people love it to begin with. And, yes, part of that means that Michael is going to make an ass of himself. But at least the season six version of Michael somehow gets a little bit of hope mixed in with his desperation stew.
It all seems even more plausible when Kaling points out that Philbin's son-in-law, Michael Schur, works as a writer on her show.
Watch the video after the jump.
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).
NBC alternative programming chief Paul Telegdy confirmed the news today, saying, "He's a brilliant stand-up ... and someone we believe in as an NBC talent. We also think he's just funny as all get-out."
'Last Comic Standing' last aired in 2008 and was hosted by Bill Bellamy. Jay Mohr, the show's original host, ran the show for its first three seasons until it was canceled by NBC. The network later renewed the show under a new host, Anthony Clark.
As always, The Office manages to weave slapstick humor brilliantly with moments of raw emotion and pathos. Particularly, again, with a wonderful performance by Steve Carell. With most of the action centering on the major storylines, we didn't get much work out of the supporting cast, so it was at least good to see them having some costume fun in the cold open. Don't forget the rest of the cast, writers, we love them all!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with Mindy Kaling and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) as they discussed the webisodes, Office Games, friendly competition and the status of a few MIA Dunder Mifflin employees.
The series, called Mr. Robinson's Driving School, is heavily financed by Volvo, and unfortunately, there's not much information about what the actual series will be about, other than Robinson trying "to prove he's the best driving instructor in town." Oh, and he drives the new C30 four-seat hatchback from Volvo, natch. Volvo, however, reassures Web audiences that the company did not interfere with the plot or the story, whatever the hell that might be.
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