Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Last Comic Standing 2: Controversy at the Parisby Dale Sherman -- 03/02/2004
View Printable version of this article
Those of you who have been following our articles about Last Comic Standing 2 over the past couple of months will probably remembered that February 20 was the date set for the Hudson Theater show. This was the semi-final in New York, where the 42 “open call” regional winners were whittled down to 20 for the finals in Vegas the following week.
Those 20 who remained performed for an audience at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on February 26. The panel of judges for that show was made up of Drew Carey, Brett Butler, Anthony Clark (from the series Yes, Dear) and LCS 1 finalist Tess Drake. Jay Mohr hosted the evening, although he was not one of the judges and did not vote. How did it go? Thanks to our sources, we have some details about the show itself to pass on.
Much like the previous year, the comics were split up into four groups of five. Each comic was allowed to do a five-minute set for the judges and the audience that attended that evening. After all five in the group did their set, each comic was then brought out to field questions from the judges and Jay Mohr. As one would suspect, a lot of time was taken up filming the routines and the Q&A, and the whole event took a little over five hours from start to finish. Because of the length, which was not helped by judges who reportedly seemed little interested in interviewing the contestants, some audience members eventually slipped out of the five-hour marathon. Those fans who stuck it out got to witness a full night of great comedians, many of whom are fairly well-known on the standup circuit.
The only hiccup in the 20 was a last-minute finalist who had to be flown in from Kansas that day after one of the 20 contestants was disqualified before the show began. Even with jetlag and a raspy voice, all reports confirmed that the finalist performed well for the crowd and was a good addition.
Late in the evening, the judges went off to vote for their favorites, and Rob Cantrell was introduced to do a reportedly rather weak set. After Rob, Tess Drake was then invited to come out and do a set as well, in order to keep the audience’s energy up after Rob’s set for the eventual revealing of the winners that would go on to the house.
And who did those winners turn out to be? Well, half the fun in watching a show like this is guessing who will or won’t make it to the house, so we’ll have to leave it at that for now. One thing is for sure, just as last year had some familiar names to those who enjoy standup comedy, so too will this year spring forth many names and faces that people will recognize. In fact, there’s even one finalist that – no, even a hint would give too much away there.
Or, as Bugs Bunny used to say, “Ain’t I a stinker?”
Yet, us not naming the contestants is hardly the controversy that came up thanks to the show in Vegas. The real brouhaha arrived the following day when rumors began to emerge on the Internet about the judging being somehow rigged. In fact, rumor had it that two of the judges stormed off the show when their picks did not make the final ten, while supposedly an agent for one of the comics was overheard talking about how their client was going to win. To add fuel to the fire, at Brett Butler’s official site is a message expressing surprise and disappointment “at the results” for which she felt she had “NOTHING to do with.”
However, just like all rumors, there have already been different variations of this story flying around: Some saying that Butler and Carey “stormed off the show,” while another variation states that just Butler stormed off. Yet another goes that nothing of the kind at all happened and the whole event went as smoothly as possible under the circumstances. Nevertheless, it just adds to the age-old reality show conspiracy theory that “everything was planned in advance,” and some are now having a field day expressing their venom for the show because they have supposedly found it not to be on the up and up.
In further study of the facts about the show, however, there seems to be some holes in the above rumors. It has been stated before that judging for the program was done not only by the “talent show” judges – who are picked in order to give the producers and the network ideas as to who other comedians thought were the best of the group – but by the producers and the network. In other words, those who have seen earlier performances by the individuals involved had a chance to vote (which we’ll get back to in a moment).1 2 Next-->
View Printable version of this article