stand up comedy
'The Baltimore Sun' called the first round of this season of 'Last Comic Standing' "open-mike night." 'A.V. Club' said the show "failed to load properly." And there is talk around the TV Squad offices that this is the weakest group of 'LCS' finalists yet.
While I agree the first round of the finals fell flat for the most part, I know it's not a problem with the comedians' level of talent. I've performed on shows with almost all of the finalists (and most of the semi-finalists). This group is as strong as any other in American stand-up comedy at this level (well, the strongest NBC prime time will allow due to network standards and practices and focus groups).
(S07E01) For stand-up comedians, NBC's 'Last Comic Standing' has the same "easy road" stigma that singers feel 'American Idol' has. The show even took a year long break before coming back for its seventh season. Former winners have been as hit-or-miss as those on 'Idol.' Revamped once again (the show is on its fifth host and an all-new judging panel), 'Last Comic' is back.
The two-hour premiere focused entirely on auditions at The Improv in Los Angeles. The judging panel -- with established comics Greg Giraldo, Natasha Leggero and Andy Kindler -- weed through comedians, all aiming for a spot on that night's showcase.
I'm smiling already. Kathy is hilarious, by far the funniest woman on Bravo... and unlike the females on the Real Housewives, she is intentionally funny. Her stand up concerts are especially well-done because she gets to really dish about pop culture, skewering the likes of Oprah, Rosie, Cher, Paris, et al.
I was lucky enough to be in attendance when Oswalt taped his special, and I was not disappointed. Since I returned home that evening so many months ago, I have been thinking about the DVD, quietly praying and hoping that the cameras did not catch me wiping tears from my eyes or awkwardly leaning too close to the person sitting next to me as I laughed. Excuse me, I have a surly image to maintain.
Why bring all this up? Because he also does stand-up comedy and has a clip on YouTube that practically made me pee myself and potentially ruin a good office chair.
The initial line up is impressive, starting with the Gabriel Byrne drama In Treatment. You can also catch up with Entourage episodes, which are always fun. There are more laughs with Flight of the Conchords, Extras, Stand Up Comedy, Def Comedy Jam, and Real Time With Bill Maher. On the dramatic front, there's The Wire. In addition, you can watch episodes of the award-winning magazine show Real Sports, as well as the Latino documentary series Habla y Habla.
Watching Last Comic Standing tonight made me wish that Jim Morrison was still alive. And a stand-up comic. And on this show. I'd bet he'd have had something to say about jester costumes....
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...
Here's an epilogue to my post about the tiff between Joe Rogan and Carlos Mencia that took place on stage at The Comedy Store a few days ago.
In a nutshell: Rogan and other comedians have been accusing Mencia of stealing material for some time, and the two men had a battle of words on stage with Rogan (and a couple other comedians) accusing Mencia of stealing material, and Mencia denying it.
On his Web site, Rogan wrote that he received a call from Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore (mother of Pauly Shore), asking him to explain what had happened. Later, he received a call from the club's manager telling him he might want to take a break from the club because of the tension between him and Mencia. He also told Rogan they weren't happy about him putting the video of the fight on the internet. Bottom line: Rogan has been banned from The Comedy Store, and Mencia will continue to perform there.
Carlos Mencia is not the first comedian to be accused of stealing material from other comedians --Denis Leary was accused of stealing from the late Bill Hicks, Dane Cook has been accused of swiping material from Louis C.K.-- but if all allegations are true, Mencia may be the one with the most evidence stacked against him.
I often wonder if "stealing" isn't sometimes confused with comics sharing a similar worldview. I'm not a stand-up comedian, but even I've seen funny ideas that have popped into my head appear on television shows, or in The Onion, or any other number of places. It seems that if you've thought of something, there's a good chance someone else has also thought of it.
I'm not part of the zany world of stand up comedy, but Joe Rogan is, and he's vehemently convinced that the majority of Mencia's material is stolen, and if the video below is any indication, comedians George Lopez and Bobby Lee also agree. Check out the clip to see Rogan and Mencia engage in a battle of words on stage at the Comedy Store. VIDEO CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE.
UPDATE: The YouTube video has been removed, so check it out here instead.
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