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Last Comic Standing 2, Episode 3: Vegas Finals, Part 1by Dale Sherman, with Mike DeGeorge -- 06/15/04
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Before we begin, let us first take a look at the ratings for Episode Two of Last Comic Standing, which ran last week on June 9. Even with the delay caused by the memorial service for former President Reagan, LCS did phenomenally, with 10.6 million viewers overall, and helped NBC win the ratings war for the night across all demographics. Best of all, the show gave NBC a ratings jump for the 18-49 age-range of 41% over last summer's programming in the same time period.
As you can guess, NBC is not just happy about these kind of numbers, they're ecstatic. This readily explains why we're getting two episodes this week, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. Even with so much to cover, Mike and I are right here to bring you up to date on the show and examine what we liked and disliked of the ten finalists seen tonight on the program.
Why only ten when there are twenty left? As was done in the two-hour New York episode last week, the comics have been split up into two groups. In this case, two groups of ten, who each get an hour-long episode to themselves. In this way, the comics are allowed some interview time before the cameras off-stage, and given a better chance to demonstrate their material to home viewers with longer snippets of their sets being shown. Both Mike and I agree that this is a vast improvement over last year's Vegas show, which crammed in as many comics as they could into the time they had, and didn't allow for viewers to develop any type of reaction to many of the comics they saw.
With all of the above in mind, tonight's episode focuses on the first set of ten comics and their performances in front of four "talent scouts" selected for the show. Before we get to that portion of the program, we first get to see the crew of comics (after a brief recap of last week's episode) arrive at the Paris Hotel in a van. Everyone jumps out in excitement with the exception of Todd Glass. He is sedate because he had been told that he was "on too much." Although we will see that he cannot keep up the persona of "Calm Todd" for long, whoever told him to stop trying to crack jokes so much on-camera may have given him good advice. Last year saw both Ant and Geoff mugging for the cameras during the Vegas finals, and it backfired with Ant, and made some of the other comics a bit antagonistic towards Geoff. With the editing of the show already at a fast pace, hogging the cameras come across as… well… hogging the cameras and not being funny. It's a turn-off to viewers at home if done too much, so the advice was very well in being made.
Checking into the hotel, the contestants are in for a shock - they will each be rooming with another contestant. Sue Costello is the first to find this out when she is told that she will be sharing a room with Marina Franklin. She is surprised, but calm and quickly locates Marina to tell her the news. As Sue tells Marina the news, Kerri Louise overhears and pouts, "I'm not sharing a room!"
Kerri pouts for a good reason it seems. She is told that she will be sharing her room with Bonnie McFarland and Kerri is upset with the selection. In a voice-over, Kerri states that Bonnie doesn't like her for some reason. Kerri isn't off the mark at all, as we next see Bonnie stating, "I don't think Kerri is a good comic, and I think Kerri knows she is not a good comic… when you move women forward that aren't funny it doesn't help the cause at all." Bonnie's analysis is that when an unfunny woman comic is seen then people assume that all women comics are not funny.
While Bonnie may have a point to make about bad female comedians, it is a low blow to go after one of the other contestants on-camera as she does here. That comes across on television as just like sour grapes on Bonnie's part, especially as viewers have not seen enough of either of them to truly decide if one is better than the other. So fifteen-yard penalty for Bonnie there for unnecessary roughness - it is the type of attitude that viewers will remember later on; if she makes the house, it may come back to haunt her.
Moving onward to the other roommates, Dan Ahdoot finds himself rooming with Ant. They joke about it a bit as they get to the room, with Ant actually getting a good gag in there by telling Dan what side of the bed he can sleep on. Meanwhile, DC Benny goes into a mental slump when he finds out that he will be rooming with Todd Glass. Their arrival at the room goes well at first, however, with Todd calmly going through his suitcase. DC tells Todd that he is impressed by Todd's behavior, which is a mistake, as Todd suddenly starts jumping up and down on the beds. He reminds DC that he is "always on!" as DC just tries to ignore the insanity.
After settling in, the comics go down for a formal reception. This gives viewers the rather odd site of seeing Jay London in what appears to be a tuxedo. At the reception, Todd starts bouncing off the walls and telling everyone about how he is "ALWAYS ON!!" It is one of the funniest things on the show and nearly everyone seems to be cracking up over it, but Ant sits and stews over Todd's antics. He sees it as messing up the good time he was having with the people at his table. Hard to agree with Ant there, as Todd genuinely is funny here. Perhaps if one had to live with it 24 hours a day one might feel like Ant, however. When asked about Todd, Kathleen Madigan says that Todd "will get crazier and crazier" as more time goes on if he gets into the house.1 2 3 Next-->
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