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Last Comic Standing 4, Episode 8: Five Go to Battle!by Dale Sherman -- 07/19/2006
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After some discussions around the RNO breakroom, the consensus was that Gabriel Iglesias needed to have his portrait up in the Hall of Shame. If you want to read why, check out the info here.
Meanwhile, this week sees Last Comic Standing 4 coming around the final corner with five comics left to go up against each other. The five are:
At the Pasadena Civic Auditorium (on July 15), we see Anthony Clark arriving on stage. As for the comics, Anthony states that they are coming by helicopter. The camera cuts to show a helicopter flying over Hollywood. Inside the craft, Ty, Roz, Chris, and Michele are clinging for dear life and screaming as the helicopter shakes like mad. The camera then swings around to show Josh piloting.
It was a cute joke, but it’s ruined when the comics stop acting and stare off into space as the camera pulls away to show that it was just a movie set. Well, gosh, and here I thought they were actually flying over Hollywood with Josh at the wheel. Nice going in destroying the joke there, guys. As my wife mentioned, it also primed the audience to like Josh more than the others. After all, who got to deliver the punchline? So perhaps not the best way to go in balancing the show at the start of the hour.
Back at the auditorium, Clark introduces the five, with Josh getting the center of the stage. Hmm, maybe it’s not just a coincidence there.
As the comics run off, Anthony Clark tells the viewers how the competition will occur: each comic will do a five-minute set. If a comic goes over five minutes then the microphone is cut off. Viewers will then vote for their favorite either by phone, text-messaging or the internet. Next week, the votes will be tallied and the comic with the lowest number of votes is eliminated. The four remaining comics will then perform again to reduce it to three the following week. After that the three comics will compete one last time before the finale, which will occur on Wednesday, August 9th. It may be a good thing to keep in mind that these comics have to have two more sets ready to perform in the coming weeks as the comics begin to perform.
Roz is first and as we all know – because she’s told us several times now – she doesn’t have jokes, she has problems. She talks about trying to use the bathroom on a plane, being big, how white men will just kill you and report you missing, and avoiding the bill collector. She is a bit nerve-racking to watch at first, thanks to her tendency to shout out her jokes and breathe heavily into the mic every few seconds. Once you get used to that, however, there is some funny jokes in there, and I did laugh. She did better than I expected, but the shouting really could put some people off. I’d give her ** out of ****.
Ty talks before his set that is loves being onstage, although he misses his daughter in Seattle. Ty works well in building stories to set up his gags. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, storytelling doesn’t necessarily work well when you have short sets, and that may do him more harm than good. I liked the way he works through the material in a relaxed way. The “after sex interview” was more pun-oriented than straight jokes, but there’s nothing wrong with that. He also talked about being from Chicago, religion, and breaking up. I’m going with ***, although I realize that Ty’s staying in the game is going to be based more on how people like their comedy than how funny he was.
Chris is originally from Kansas City, but we’re shown him now living in Hollywood before his set begins. He jokes about body glitter, how drinking and smoking go together, Catholics, and snake handlers. The material is pretty good, but something seems lacking in Chris’ set tonight. As if he’s holding back the really good stuff for a later competition. (See, I told you to keep in mind that thing about more sets to come in the next few weeks!) I thought perhaps I was just tired, but my wife asked me the very same thing, thinking that she may have been drifting off during his set. Uh-oh. I’ll have to go with a disappointing ** for Chris. I think he’ll make it to the next round, however, as he’s done so well earlier in the series.
Josh is shown playing with some members of the Para-Olympic Soccer Team. He sees the show as not only a career boost, but also a chance to show how people with disabilities can do more than most people believe possible. Josh stumbles at first with a bit dealing with pigeons, but immediately wins over the audience when he answers his cellphone and says, “I’m sorry, Gabriel, don’t call me anymore!” That gives him a standing ovation. He continues with bits on people thinking they have to talk slowly to him and about being the third wheel when best friends fall in love. Maybe they did give him the spotlight earlier in the show, but after this set he deserves it. ****
Michele is last and is shown in an interview segment before her set walking her dog in New York and discussing how she wants to do something for her mom who passed away when she was very young. Her set includes bits on the Queen Mary, depression, suicide, the weather, and Canadians. Just downer subjects all (Heh. Sorry, just couldn’t help that one.) She ends with some gags on trying to urinate outside. She does pretty well, although picking such New Yorker topics as depression and suicide might win her over only with the Woody Allen crowd for tonight’s show. Still, a solid set, so I’ll give her ***.
After Michele is done, bits from each comic’s set appear on the screen with the phone and text info needed. As the show comes to an end, the five comics are brought back out and Anthony Clark states, “Here are the bottom two comics in the voting so far.” Nothing is shown, however. Perhaps they meant that only for the West coast, or figured they would have some numbers ahead of time. In a sense, it is just as well. Some fans may have been persuaded for vote for anyone in the bottom two, while others may have felt there was no point in voting for those two if they were just going to lose anyway. So NBC’s mistake may actually be for the better. Late addition - it turns out they did show two comics to the West coast viewers, and those two were Chris and Michele.
In review, I would have to say that Josh Blue had the best set. The rest went two-by-two, with Ty and Michele doing fine, although not as well as Josh, and Roz and Chris just struggling to get out a few good gags before their five minutes were up. If I had to pick an order, I would probably go from first to last:
Overall, I think we really only got the group’s B-material this week. At least I’m hoping that they are just holding back and waiting for the next round. We shall see next week when one of these five goes bye-bye. Until then, as always, Bring Back Klaus!
You can e-mail Dale about this column or his other projects at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also click here to buy his book, The Urban Legends of Rock and Roll: You Never Can Tell, or any of his other books. Dale also writes weekly recaps for the Ohio Valley Wrestling shows at their official website.
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