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Last Comic Standing 5, Episode 12: Let’s Tease the Comics!by Dale Sherman -- 08/30/2007
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Short shout-out: Jay has another column up at the Fox Sports site and you can see it here.
This week’s episode of LCS has the five finalists on-stage as Bill stands in the aisle of the theater. One may wonder if he wanted to make a break for it to get away from bad comedy – but, no – he’s there to tells viewers that one of the five have been voted off and the other four will perform on tonight’s show.
After the opening credits, Bill is alone on stage and he does a quick bit about how white people love animals before having the comics come out to line-up again on the stage and then tells them to leave again as the show cuts to a commercial. When the show comes back, Bill introduces one of the ten finalists that didn’t make it to the final five, Doug Benson, for a set. Doug talks about how they could never name a television show after him, censorship in Kill Bill, the dread of jumping into “Part II” of any porno movie and using movie lines on dates. He seems to be not quite up to his normal form, but it’s still enough to miss seeing such a funny and original comic on the show.
Bill asks the five funniest comics to come out. Instead we get:
After another commercial break and nearly twenty minutes into the show, Bill announces that they will be naming the comic voted off in a different way this year, with the comics who are staying being named one at a time to perform first before finally naming the loser. That’s actually unfair to all the comics after the first one, as the anxiety of waiting to see if you’ve lost or not just builds up over the next ten-to-thirty minutes, while the first comic named gets to wipe out all of that anxiety the second he or she steps up to the mic. Yet, it’s reality-television and tormenting the contestants appears to be a die-hard rule of the business.
Gerry Dee is told that he will be the first comic to perform. A little biographical piece is shown on his wife and newborn daughter and I bet Gerry is just kicking himself to not have made his daughter the centerpiece of ALL his comedy like another comic from the show did! Because grabbing for sympathy is what the voting is all about sometimes in these things. Gerry then performs for the audience; stepping into his standard material about being a teacher once again and how having the kids do presentations when you’re hung-over is not very effective. He’s just as good as last week and no doubt he’ll continue onward into the next week as well at the rate he’s going with his performances.
With Gerry out of the way, the four remaining comics come out and Bill announces that Lavell Crawford will be the next to perform. The biographical segment shows his loving mother and family. Okay, that’s playing off of the newborn daughter in the first one and now the loving mother in the second of these biographical moments. At this rate, the final comic better be saving burning nuns from terrorists or else he’s not going to get any of the sympathy votes!
Lavell is much better this week than last, talking about moving into a white neighborhood – which plays off a joke Gerry did quite well – and being told how to handle a Grizzly Bear while in the Cub Scouts. The running gag of the “Little Black Fat Boy” makes it all work for Lavell and he looks to be a solid for next week as well.
As the camera heads out to a commercial, Jon Reep, Ralph Harris and Amy Schumer are shown waiting in the wings. Amy looks pissed and gives Ralph the cold-shoulder when she notices him smiling at her.
The final three for the night come out and Amy finally washes the pissed look from her face when she is told that she will be performing next. The biographical segment does not have her saving whales or anything heroic, but instead has her in a bikini with some other girls playing volleyball on the beach. Well, I’m glad they went for the intellectual angle there, and that Amy is continuing her crusade to push the idea of funny women comics who don’t need to push the whole sex angle. Way to go.
Amy talks about dating a mime and a deaf guy. I’m sure those two guys had a lot to talk about. (Hey-hey! Even THAT is cleverer than anything Amy did with it!) Amy goes for lame puns about the mime and tells how she never had to fake an orgasm with the deaf guy. No, she didn’t mean that deaf guys are great at sex (although, as a deaf guy, I’ll sheepishly admit that it is true), but that she didn’t have to make noise during sex. Evidently this means that an orgasm for Amy only means making noise and nothing else, which is… rather sad actually.
Amy then goes for a gag about her father that flat-out dies and she hits a lull with the audience that she meekly fumbles through with a third-grade joke about crackheads before finally giving up and rather pathetically clutching on to Bill as he gives viewers voting information for her.
Finally, Jon Reep and Ralph Harris come out to find out that Jon will be performing. Ralph begins to leave, but he is pulled back to the center of the stage by Bill for a final filmed interview segment with Ralph where he mentions that the people didn’t vote for him, but he was happy to have gotten that far.
Now, before the conspiracy players come into play (i.e. “How did he know ahead of time that he was going to lose? They must know who’s going to win?”), please PLEASE remember folks that all the contestants do these interviews ahead of time so that they’ll have such an interview ready to go IF the time arises. If Jon had lost, there would have been a video of him saying pretty much the same thing (well, and with a mention of Hickory, no doubt).
Jon’s biographical segment takes him back home to his family where they are shown to be a pretty close group. Jon then does his set, which has him talking about dancing, small towns, songs that don’t make sense and nursery rhymes. The “Rock-a-Bye Baby” gag is, unfortunately for Jon, an exact retread of an old Simpsons short, but it’s such a common theme that I’m sure it is just a coincidence. Still, that could come back to unintentionally hurt him.
Of the four, I have to say that Lavell and Gerry did the best, with Jon a distant third and Amy so far back that Captain Australia from the try-out episodes would have a better chance of staying on at this point. Still, maybe the bikini stuff will get Amy some pity votes. Yet, with Ralph gone now, it’s going to be a struggle to keep up interest in the show, as none of the four are anyone that I think is really showing themselves to be the “funniest person in the world.”
We’ll see who goes next week when we knock ‘em down to three, while Josh Blue and Harlan Williams will also perform. Maybe so there’ll be at least some laughs on the show. Until then, remember to keep a little Klaus in your hearts!
Dale Sherman, a regular RNO contributor, is a writer of six music-related books that are available in bookstores and through Amazon.com. Dale also writes the weekly television recaps for WWE’s developmental promotion, Ohio Valley Wrestling, at their official website. For something more offbeat, you can also check out some of his writing at his new home site. Email Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org
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