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October 10, 2015

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Previously on TV Squad

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 13th 2006 5:58PM
In case you've missed it -- perhaps you were busy putting your shampoo in checked luggage -- here are some highlights from the last week at TV Squad:

Joel's Stephen Colbert On Notice List

Breaking News
The Five
Retro Squad
Episode Reviews

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Last Comic Standing: Season Finale

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 9th 2006 10:10PM
Last Comic Standing logo(S04E11) Let's get the details of the first 88 minutes of the finale out of the way right now: Dat Phan stunk. Alonzo Bodden and John Heffron both showed why Season Two is considered to be the best LCS season. Jay Mohr is a funny guy, even though he is, as his boss Peter Engel said, "a big pain in the ass." Anthony Clark must have needed a lot of help during the six years of Yes, Dear, because the man can't even read off a cue card properly. Oh, and for some reason, the producers showed us a seance that wasn't good enough to make the initial cut during the Queen Mary phase.

Then we had sets by the two finalists, Josh Blue and Ty Barnett. Here's my question to Ty: where the hell was that material yesterday? The question becomes more relevant after jump, so keep reading.

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Last Comic Standing: The final two perform

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 8th 2006 10:41PM
Last Comic Standing logo(S04E10) So today marks the "start" of the LCS season finale. Why is it just the start? Because, since the final two had to perform tonight, we have to see the results somehow, right? So, tomorrow, we'll get to watch -- get this -- a 90 minute selection show. Lovely. Sixty-six minutes of show for something that takes about 30 seconds to announce. Nothing says "unnecessary crap" like the phrase "reality selection show."

But more on that later. For the half-hour before we learned who was going home, we got to hear a stand-up set by Paul Rodriguez, the sets from the final two comics in the online competition and... some real, live comedy from Anthony Clark! Not that it was all that good, but at least he didn't look like he wanted to throw up, like he has for the entire series.

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Last Comic Standing: The final three perform

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 1st 2006 11:20PM
Last Comic Standing Logo(S04E09) We are now in super-filler territory here, folks. A 44-minute broadcast with only 15 minutes of real material (the three five minute sets from the remaining comics) dictates that we see things like: the last four comics introduced one-at-a-time... twice; longer bios of the remaining three comics; a commercial-interrupted elimination "ceremony"; a set by LCS alum Jay London; and a really unfunny set by Caroline Rhea, a synergistic move that NBC used to promote the upcoming season of The Biggest Loser.

Oh, and there were two Mel Gibson jokes. One good, one not so good.

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Last Comic Standing: One leaves, four compete

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 25th 2006 10:45PM
Last Comic Standing logo(S04E08) It's funny how shows like Last Comic Standing look more thrown together as the contest goes along. It's a matter of material; as the number of comics gets winnowed down, the producers have to figure out a way to fill the time that's been freed up. Hence some of the time-killing methods used on tonight's show: immensely long introductions of the five finalists, an excruciating elimination segment, and, most frustrating of all, a set by LCS alum Gary Gulman.

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Last Comic Standing: And then there were five

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 18th 2006 11:46PM
LCS logo(S04E07) Here's where it comes down to nothing more than laughs. No bullshit like house behavior or immunity or challenges. From here on out, the comedians will give their sets, the viewers will vote by phone and web, and one by one, the comics will be elimintated. It's just a comedic mano-a-mano for all the marbles.

And, for now, it seems like it's going to be the Josh and Chris show.

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Last Comic Standing: A roast and an ejection

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 11th 2006 11:31PM
Last Comic Standing(S04E06) One thing you can say about Season Four of Last Comic Standing is that it's full of surprises. The comics may not be all that funny, the editing may be choppy, the preliminary selections of comics may have been suspicious, and Anthony Clark may look like he's embalmed. But you can't deny that the comics being eliminated aren't the ones anyone expected to go so early. Unfortunately, the by-product of these surprises is a set of finalists (the set of comics that will perform live and have the viewing audience vote by phone, text, and web) that is a pretty uncompelling set of personalities and, for the most part, not very funny.

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Last Comic Standing: The finalists move in

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 21st 2006 9:17AM
Last Comic Standing(S04E04) The twelve finalists move into the "house", which this year is the dry-docked luxury liner the Queen Mary, and the sniping begins. Actually, they didn't show all that much "house" stuff in this episode, which is probably a good idea. I mean, to be honest, I watch this show to see comedy, not to see people form alliances and yell at each other. But I guess this phase is necessary, else the competition phase would only be three weeks long.

The comedians are thrown together on the ship in combinations that maximize explosiveness and hilarity; big ol' Gabriel Iglesias and tiny Josh Blue are put on twin beds two inches apart. Explosive Roz and hormonal pregnant "broad" Stella are put in the same room. Stand back and let the wacky sparks fly.

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Last Comic Standing: Season 4 Premiere

by Joel Keller, posted May 30th 2006 11:26PM
Anthony Clark of Last Comic Standing(S04E01) A couple of things about Last Comic Standing has always bugged me a little bit: 1) Even in the later rounds of the show, they don't show nearly enough of a comedian's routine for the audience to get a good feel for what he or she can do, and 2) Half the people who get picked to move on are selected not as much for their comedic talents but for their backstories. That feeling hasn't changed in Season 4, the first time LCS has aired since it's ill-conceived "Season 1 vs. Season 2" year ended with a whimper in December 2004.

This time around, we're back to the usual format, opening with a two-hour show where talent scouts Ross Mark and Bob Read comb the country for candidates to take to the semi-finals in L.A. They went to L.A., Tempe, Austin, New York, Chicago and Miami, auditioning what was considered the city's "best" -- and worst -- stand-ups. What struck me about the audition phase this year is how they decided to not show as many bad comedians as they had in the past, instead concentrating on maybe a half-dozen good comedians who happened to have nice back stories to tell.

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