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Last Comic Standing 5, Episode 8: America Loves Face-Eating Dogs!by Dale Sherman -- 08/02/2007
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As a reminder to readers, the ten comics who won the semi-finals turned out to be:
This week starts with the ten comics arriving in Hollywood and getting picked up in a short bus by none other than Mel Silverback (still in his gorilla costume)! Amy is shocked to see Mel turn up, while Lavell jokes that he had never seen a gorilla drive on tires before. Meanwhile, Doug Benson says that it’s a dream come true to get on a short bus with nine other comics, especially when one could hardly fit through the door.
They are driven to The Ice House in Pasadena, although it looks like they actually ended up in the Annex part of the club, which by the way is an occasional home to one of my favorite comics from the first season of Last Comic Standing, Tere Joyce. The ten are brought in to find Bill Bellamy there to tell them that they will be participating in the first challenge on the season, which is a heckling competition. Jon Reep tells the camera in an interview that he hates the idea and knows he isn’t going to be very good at it. There is also some mild concern as the ten comics have only had two days together before the challenge, so they really don’t know what might work best against the others in such a situation. Meanwhile, Bellamy unwraps a lottery-ball machine in order to find out who gets paired up to get against each other in the challenge. Five of the comics will heckle their “partner” and then the roles will be switched, while an audience will decide on who of the comics on the stage does the best job against the heckling.
Lavell is the first comic on-stage, with Debra in the crowd. Lavell starts off with some material about being lazy, and is interrupted by Debra with some fat jokes. They play off each other well, with Lavell getting in some digs, but also swinging them around back to himself for more laughs, which is really a good way to handle such things, as the point is to remain in control and never let the person in the audience take over. Debra goes back with a half-smile on her face and tells the others that “He destroyed me!”
Jon is next, with Gerry in the crowd. They bounce off each other fine, but it doesn’t quite gel like it did with Lavell and Debra. Amy is surprising in her heckling spot with Matt, as she gets off a couple of funny gags off of Matt’s size and plays her cards well in keeping the focus on her more than what the heckler is saying. Gina comes off well against Ralph, but Dante starts off with an abused wives joke that seems made for the audience to turn on him. Still, the audience laughs while his heckler, Doug Benson, sits and looks around at the audience without much of an expression. When Benson starts in, Dante clicks off of his comments and Dante leaves the stage thinking he had “destroyed” Doug although it appears rather that they played off each other well and nothing more. In an interview, Benson admits that Dante handled the heckling well, “Obviously because it happens to him a lot!”
A commercial breaks up the challenge on the program and leads into a brief news update on NBC due to a bridge collapsing in St. Paul. Because of this, Doug’s set on stage against Dante is only briefly seen, with Benson telling the audience that if one looked up the word “funny” in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Dante… watching someone being funny. Matt does well in responding to Amy’s taunts that implies he’s either from Hogwarts or Lord of the Rings. Ralph actively digs into what Gina gives him – especially a comment about wearing a collar – and turns it into comedy without just resorting to some of the more generic slams of the other comics, which is a nice touch. Gerry Dee responds to Jon Reep’s heckling by making fun of Reep’s act and, while funny, it seems overly aggressive, as if he were angry at, rather than having fun with, Reep. Debra is last and seems a bit thrown by Lavell’s taunts at first, especially when her setup about chubby-chasers doesn’t get off the ground when Lavell unintentionally steps on her setup. She gets more into it as they move along, however.
With all ten done, the audience votes for who they believe did the best and the result has Lavell as the winner. Because he won the challenge, he has immunity from the “Head-to-Head” competition to come. Almost more importantly, he wins an additional prize of getting to perform in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival – a rather sweet prize for a comic and one that may have even had the others working harder to win if they knew that was included along with immunity.
The comics leave The Ice House and head back in the short bus, but they are not going to a house of some sort as in previous series. Instead, they are taken to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and arrive on the field to see a giant Bill Bellamy high above them. He then reaches down with a mighty hand and eats a couple of the comics before destroying half of Los Angeles with his nuclear-fire-breath and long reptile tail. No, wait, that would be Godzilla in Tokyo. Actually Bill is being shown on the giant scoreboard and telling the comics that they would be heading individually to a photo-booth out on the fifty-yard-line in order to do the well-known “I’m funnier than…” voting for the “Head-to-Head.”1 2 Next-->
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