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Last Comic Standing 2: Eyewitness to Controversyby Dale Sherman -- 06/21/04
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Going out to Las Vegas to see the final episode of last year's LCS season being taped was a great experience. Okay, part of that was due to having a chance to go to Vegas for a vacation in the first place; the other reason, however, was because it allowed us to give readers a "first person" review of what happened when the cameras were and were not filming. Although we see a lot of what happens during the episodes shown on television each week, sometimes the things that happened off-camera or are edited out of the filming can speak volumes.
Neither Mike nor I had an opportunity to get out to see the Paris finals for Season Two this past February, and after all the controversy occurred (as seen this past week on the program) we really wished there could have been a way to seen what happened first-hand.
Fortunately for us, one of our readers, Alison Begeman, attended the show along with a group of her friends. She contacted me a day or two after the filming had occurred with her details about the show. Her notes on the filming were so informative that I asked Alison to watch the two episodes representing the Paris finals that were shown this past week on NBC and send me any additional comments she may have. She not only watched the episodes, but had her friends who attended with her over to watch as well, and her response on their viewing was so full of detail that it was more than what we could have covered within our reviews of the program this past week.
Since both Comedy Central and NBC have decided to repeat the two Paris episodes back to back this weekend, we have decided to combine Alison's notes into a stand-alone article for readers that may be looking for more details about the episodes.
RNO: How exactly did you find out about the filming?
Alison: My friends and I completely happened upon the show unaware. It happened to be on the way to the bathroom of all things. On the episode they showed this "huge" line waiting to get into the show, but there were production assistants walking around asking people to PLEASE come see a free comedy show. They were desperate to fill the seats in the auditorium, so in we went!
RNO: What do you remember about the setup of the show?
Alison: The comedians would come out in sets of five, with each doing a three-minute routine. After each set of five, the comedians would come out and do their one-on-one Q&A with the judges, who were absolutely useless. It was interesting to see how they came across after editing, as they hardly asked any questions of the comedians at all! Tess probably talked the most out of any of them, and her questions always had to do with how the comic would fit into a house with other comics. Meanwhile, Anthony Clark appeared drunk. In fact he interrupted production twice to run out to go to the bathroom. Every once in a while he would just get up and run out. Plus, when Anthony got a chance to ask a question in the Q&A, he would say to the comedian, "You know, we go way back . . . back to that alley in [insert random town here]!" This happened with about four different comedians. Jay Mohr seemed to be getting more and more irritated with the judges as the evening went on, and he began taking his own potshots at their expense after a while.
RNO: Was there anything else in particular about the filming we didn't see in the episodes that you remember?
Alison: It was a long evening. The show started at 7:00 and we didn't get out of there until midnight. Most of the crowd gave up on it halfway through, and by the end they were begging all of us to come down and sit next to the stage so that it wouldn't look so empty. Did you notice that they didn't show much audience reaction to the keys being handed out? That's because over half of the audience had left by then! That was at the end of the night and they did both key ceremonies back to back. They shot all twenty of the comedians' sets, and, as you saw, they broke it up into two different shows. Also, did you see Monty's reaction when he wasn't announced as one of the winners? He was pissed! Everyone else was hugging and he just stood there with this horrible, mad look on his face. He then stormed off the stage. Notice you didn't see a shot of him congratulating the others? That's why.1 2 3 Next-->
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