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Last Comic Standing 4, Episode 7: Ghost in the Shellby Dale Sherman -- 07/12/2006
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Interesting July 4th for LCS4, it turns out. No, you didn’t miss an episode – there wasn’t one. However, that didn’t stop NBC from announcing a winner of their online vote from two weeks ago. The winner was surprisingly Theo Von.
However, Theo’s win wasn’t the “interesting” part. What was interesting turned out to be who NBC lined up as the next five for the online voting. As some of you may recall, I suggested in the previous recap that NBC was supposed to only have five of these online votes, and that it seemed unfair to several of the semi-finalists to not get a chance to be part of the voting. I also mentioned that NBC is quite well-known for changing their rules as they go along in these things. As it turns out, I was correct – NBC did decide to have a sixth vote, which started on July 4th.
Unfortunately, instead of giving some of the other semi-finalists a chance to compete in the online voting, the producers of LCS4 decided to pick their “favorites” of the comics who did not win during one of the earlier weeks. What a thing for the resume, eh? “Oh, you’re the comic who couldn’t even win the online vote until the producers shoved you down the viewers’ throats! Nice gig.” Okay, I’m getting nasty about it, but the producers have to realize that viewers aren’t going to look at these five and think it was a nice gesture on the part of the producers, but rather, “if they wanted him this badly, why didn’t they just make him part of the cast?”
I’m not one to go off on a rant, but this whole season has been full of oddball decisions on the parts of the producers. Why the online vote if not all the semi-finalists get a chance? Why give some two chances when others got none? Why have the contestants on a ship – WITH a comedy club onboard – yet do absolutely nothing with the unique “house” the comics were in? Why have some contestants there who were obviously there for friction when we only saw 30 seconds of such problems in the first ship episode? Why have Adam Carolla host a competition when Bil Dwyer was a good friend of his, causing Bil to lose the competition due to their friendship even though Adam thought he was better than Rebecca? Why have Anthony Clark as the host when he’s not allowed to say anything even witty? What’s the point of even having a house situation when that part of the competition is over within three episodes (and, if I understand this correctly, less than two weeks on the ship)? It’s like the producers looked at everything that happened in the first two seasons, pointed at circumstances as if they were items on a menu, and tried to get build a new season around those elements. Didn’t matter if they made sense or paid off, just having them there made it Last Comic Standing.
So what we have is a shell of a show. Things happen in it, but none of them mean anything to the competition or to the viewers. It’s just trivial stuff that eats up air-time until we can get to a head-to-head. No inter-personal relationships building like in previous seasons. No insight into the comic mind. No fun of seeing comics improvise their way through comedic situations (like some of the earlier competitions). Nothing.
The biggest shame is that we have some good comics this year. Okay, April, Rebecca, and Stella were not that great, but they at least tried. Moreso than some of the comics from Season Two who seemed to just be on cruise-control (which had some great comics, but not the overall strength of this year’s comics, to be honest). Yet, NBC and the producers seemed determined to suck the life out of the show as they drag it further and further away from what Jay Mohr originally envisioned. Too bad. Maybe someone will see the light and get some people involved in the show who want to see it shine again. Then again, with ratings that continue to do well for NBC, why should they bother making it better?
But enough of my griping. The winner of this past week’s online vote, from a field of Doug Benson, Mike Boccheiit, Fred Bothwell, Matt Fulchironi, and Jackie Kashian was… not yet posted at the time of this writing. When we find out who it is, he will not go up against Theo Von, Kaitlin Colombo, Wild Willy Parson, Nikki Payne, and Josh Wolf for a final online vote this week; the two with the highest votes will then perform on the finale of LCS4. Yes, this is another change by NBC. Instead of having the two competing next week, with home viewers voting for one from their new performance, they will just appear on the finale. That’s the way it goes.
But, look, here’s a fresh episode to review this week, so we really should put the ranting aside and see what is occurring. The show starts off with Chris and Michele returning to the ship. Ty tells Michele that “you will probably not get challenged again!” Michele is happy because she thinks after two challenges, she has proved her place in the group and also that women comics can be funny. Chris is happy because he believes that he’s proved his place in the group as well.
We find out in the next scene that the comics get one phone call out every other day. No one is really happy with that arrangement, especially Gabriel who has a girl in his life that he wants to talk to and Ty who feels terrible in missing his daughter’s birthday. Still, those are the rules and everyone seems to understand the situation. On a side note, remember that while these episodes air over three weeks, the comics were on the ship for less than two weeks. So it was not like they were shipped off to a deserted island for weeks on end with no communication to the outside world. It’s a phone call every other day for a total of ten or eleven days. No big deal.1 2 3 Next-->
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