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September 30, 2014

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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: 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.

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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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