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Last Comic Standing 2, Episode 16: Here We Are Again, the Start of the End . . .by Dale Sherman, with Mike DeGeorge -- 08/13/04
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The August 10, two-hour LCS2 special did great for NBC, placing them in a very close second to CBS for the night. The first hour started off slowly, however, with a rating of 4.1 and a 7 share, most probably due to people either not realizing that the first hour was more than just a clip-show, or not knowing the show came on an hour early that evening. Fox won the first hour, by the way, with Trading Spouses getting a 5.7 and CBS behind them with their Navy NCIS getting the same.
It was the second hour where NBC did great, with LCS2 getting a 5.3 and a 9 share for the "final three" portion. The hour also helped NBC nearly tie up to CBS for the 18-49 'graphics as well with a 3.6 for NBC and a 3.7 for CBS.
As to who will walk away from the show tonight as the "Last Comic Standing?" Well, a USA Today article is up that features evaluation from Judy Tenuta, Budd Friedman (father of Ross Mark, by the way), and Mike Clements (co-executive vice president of comedy development at WB) on the three finalists. All three picked John Heffron to win. You can find the article here. Meanwhile, I had picked Alonzo winning, with John a very close second (and felt they actually were about even in their performances the other night); Mike also picked Alonzo, with John right behind as well. So let's see how we did with a look at the finale of Season Two, and what turns out to be a teaser for Season Three.
The show starts in the usual way, with the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California, an audience inside, and a recap of what has happened on the show since the very first episode. Clips are shown of the three finalists at different stages of the selections for the house: Alonzo at the Improv try-outs, Gary at the New York Semi-finals, and John at the Paris show in Vegas. After the clips are done, the three of them appear on stage in spotlights and one of them has a secret. Okay, none of them do, actually, but they are all three finalists of the show. The camera closes in on the LCS logo and then pulls back to show that they have all disappeared. It's magic! Like the show had suddenly become a David Copperfield special.
Seriously, the crowd stands up as Jay strolls out on to the stage. He notices the amount of signs in the audience, especially one that says, "We want Mohr, Mohr, Mohr!" There's so many signs that the theater looks as if it is expecting Hulk Hogan and The Rock to start wrestling a match any moment. Although the timing is perfect for Vince McMahon to come out and challenge him to a street fight (and wouldn't THAT be something to see?), Jay instead tells the audience that one of the three comics will be crowned the winner of LCS. He jokes that it would have been a tiara, but ANT ran off with it. Jay then jokes a bit about Courtney Love before introducing the seven finalists that were in the audience. Kathleen, Tammy, Jay, Todd, and Ant sit in the first row, while Corey and Bonnie are sequestered off in the second row. Jay skips over Todd initially, and finally says, "Oh, yeah, and Todd Glass" really quickly. You know that's got to drive Todd nuts.
With those introductions out of the way, John Heffron, Gary Gulman, and Alonzo Bodden come out on stage. Jay makes sure they all see the signs in the audience for them. Jay then tells the audience that the winner and runner-up of the first season - Dat Phan and Ralphie May, respectively - will come out to perform after the commercial break. NBC then cuts to a commercial cue before they should have and have to quickly cut back to the show. I've now decided that the only reason these type of mess-ups keep happening is because NBC is drunk. They're just so happy the show is doing well for them that they get a little tipsy before getting to the controls in the evening and then it's just "anything goes." Fortunately, it's the only time such a thing happens tonight. At least as far as I can tell.
Jay brings out Ralphie May with a brief interview/recap of his time on the show last year where he states how good the show was for his career. He comes out, definitely looking like he has lost weight, and performs a set that has several jokes seen in the first season of the show, along with a few new ones. They include talking about living in "da hood," using a joint as a weapon, Jizzack in the Bi-atch, going to Iraq, and what would happen if St. Louis blew up. It's mainly a "best of" set, but as Ralphie May has made clear on-line, NBC asked him to do such a set for viewers that may not have seen him perform in the first year. It's still all golden material anyway, and at least this year the closed-captioner on the show managed to keep up with Ralphie during the whole "Jack in the Box" parody. Ralphie gets a standing ovation and he and Jay hug. Jay asks Ralphie what he thought of the finalists and Ralphie says that all three are great. He then goes on to say that he voted for Alonzo to win.
Ralphie then heads off stage, allowing Jay to talk a little about the winner of the first year of LCS, Dat Phan. A recap/interview with Dat appears, followed by Dat coming out to do his set. He spends his time talking about his acting roles that he had gotten over the past year - all of which seem to be Vietnamese guy who either can't speak English, or doesn't speak English very well. He also covers Kung Fu movies and ends on a repeated joke from last year about Kung Fu in the men's room. Dat's set is newer material, but a bit repetitive and needed a better setup about his role in Cellular for viewers that have not seen the ads for it yet. [Note From Mike: Yeah, like me. I didn't get it at ALL.] That gag will probably work better once the movie is out and everyone will see that Dat's role is essentially picking up a phone and saying two lines in broken English. Still, at least he avoided material about his mother except in an incidental aside to one gag.1 2 Next-->
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