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Last Comic Standing, Episodes 1 & 2: Three Minutes of Fameby Dale Sherman with Mike DeGeorge -- 06/11/2003
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The first two episodes of Last Comic Standing aired on June 10, and finally viewers had a clearer idea of what the show is about and how comedians were judged on their acts. It was a bit unclear in the promotional material exactly how this was to be done (and is still a bit unclear as to how the winner will be picked in seven weeks), but at least these two episodes helped straighten out the show’s methods a bit more. Still, the ad before the program enthusiastically stated, “YOU be the judge as to who is the Last Comic Standing,” so it is safe the rules will change a little once we get past the finals that will air next week.
The two episodes were shown back to back, with the first hour dedicated to showing the semi-finals that was held at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, California and the second hour featuring the 25 East Coast semi-finalists at Caroline’s in New York. But first, some background information is shown as to how the 25 semi-finalist on each coast were picked. As snippets play, the viewers are told that a nationwide search was done over several months to find “undiscovered” comedians for the show, with Ross Mark and Bob Read narrowing down the lineup to just 50. Mark and Read help choose the comedians for appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and while that may be a good reason to not let them anywhere near the program, they’re here anyway, so let’s just hope they have better luck with Last Comic Standing.
Very brief clips are shown of the comedians who didn’t make it, and while you can readily tell in just brief half-second bits as to why that was, I have to admit that I liked the depressed, angry clown guy. (“I’ll be here all freakin’ week, folks.”) Yeah, I know it’s not the most original gag in the world, but surly clowns are just funny, there’s no way around it.
After a clip is shown of Read and Mark tearing into a guy for doing what they call “unfunny impressions” (I used quotation marks there because we really don’t get to see enough to judge if he really was unfunny, we just have to take their word for it), the show cuts back to the club and Jay Mohr (of whom we discussed in more detail in the Preview article) introduces the Celebrity Talent Scouts. They are:
Joe Rogan – probably best known for his role on the sitcom NewsRadio and for hosting the NBC reality series, Fear Factor. Viewers may not realize that Joe is also a stand-up comedian. To be honest, I’ve always been so-so about Joe, but after tonight I’ve become a huge fan of his. His judging was very much on the mark, although it does lead to a bit of a blow-up, as will be seen.
Mo’Nique – Mo’Nique is an actress and a comedian in her own right, although most people probably know her best for her roles on Moesha and The Parkers.
Buddy Hackett – Jay introduces Buddy in glowing terns, which is completely justified as Buddy Hackett is a long-time stand-up who has appeared in movies, on television (he co-starred with Jay Mohr in the series Action, incidentally), and in clubs for decades. The NBC bio given him on the LCS website does him little justice, as they make it appear that his career ended somewhere around 1973, which is just not the case. Hackett is a living legend in the comedy business, especially in the stand-up field, and when you hear the contestants later stating about how Buddy had talked to them after their acts, you can tell his words mean a lot to them.
And to put some more emphasis on certain comics, “writers’ opinions” will appear after some of the contestants’ acts listed below.
The first comic is introduced, who is Sean Kent from Austin, Texas. He comments in a brief interview that he is very nervous about being the first one out of the group, but he doesn’t appear that way during his three minutes on stage. What is seen is mainly material about being from the country. He also turns around and poses for Mo’Nique.Writers’ Opinions:
Dale – Okay. Not much of an impression made.
Mike – Good. Making fun of Alabama (and southerners) is always good material in my book.
It should be pointed out that it is not mentioned until late in the first episode that each comedian only gets three minutes to get themselves over on stage. As later comic Ralphie May states, it took him two minutes just to get to the stage. Really, three minutes is like an “open mike night” format for these comedians to work in. Sure, if they’re good, they can kill in three minutes, but there are some great comedians out there that need three minutes just to loosen up on stage, much less hit a bunch of jokes. It’s really a minor gripe, and after all we are talking about an audience having to sit through 25 comedians, but I wish they would have made this clearer at the top of the show.
Randi Kaplan is next. The portion of her act that we see is that she is Jewish but people mistake her for Italian. Actually she comes across as a New Yawker, which takes the best and loudest elements of both and blends them together. Before she goes on-stage, she tells a story about her deceased husband’s wedding ring and how she turned it and her own ring into a necklace, which was a sweet little story.Writers’ Opinions:
Dale – Another Okay. I liked the joke about getting up for snacks during church, however.
Mike – Didn’t care for her.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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