Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Comic Standing: Fourth Elimination Episode

The show opens with a musical number that is both very funny and oddly contrived. The Dan Band sings a song that I believe is called "Last Comic Standing". It has some funny lines, but the best part about it are the two guys dancing in suits Britney-style behind the singer. They did a great job. What was just downright painful to watch was the comics coming out to introduce themselves and say why they will be the Last Comic Standing. It's just so... Miss America contesty. I don't know why they didn't just slap some feathered headdresses on the comics and make them do a dance number. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully they enjoyed it, they acted like they did, at any rate.

They keep saying that we will find out who was voted off from the previous week but it's not apparently obvious how they will do that. I would have thought they would tell us who didn't make it through, then the final 5 would perform, but they launched into Marcus and Ron G's sets without any indication of when we will find out the eliminated players. All I can do to get my question answered is to watch and wait. Before each comic performs they do a background interview/bio story that includes family members and photos from their childhoods. It was a really nice touch.

Marcus comes up first and does a fantastic job. He is safe because he won the immunity the week before. He talks about airport security, lead singers who are unintelligible and rap lyrics. This gives him an opportunity to do a wee bit of his impressions without it being an act by an impressionist. I'm sure I've said it before, but I love that he can tell funny jokes without always falling back on an impression just because he can, like many impressionists do.

Next up is Ron G. I think I finally figured out why I don't care for Ron's humor. It's a totally personal thing, and I'm sure many people think he's perfectly funny, but I think he has a mean streak. He relies entirely too much on making fun of other people. The subjects of tonights act are all people he thinks talk in an annoying manner; either too slowly, due to retainers or because of poor acting skills. I have a pet peeve about acts where putting other people down equaling comedy. Oh, and this is where we find out who has been eliminated. After they do their set, Bellamy then announces whether they make it through. Ron G. does not make the cut and he says goodbye. Thank you, Elimination Fairy!

Jim Tavaré takes the stage. I still really enjoy his act. He always has a tuxedo on, and that might make one think he's going to be over-the-top sophisticated, with a snooty aftertaste. But his jokes are innocently silly and off the beaten path, especially his tribute to Jimmy Hendrix and his example of the repertoire of the Double Bass. I am rooting for him in my top three, but I am resigned to the idea that he won't make it. He is up against some really intense rapid-fire comics, and I think the audience will vote them in before him. But for this week he is in and was not eliminated. So I am still happy.

Then it's Bill Bellamy! Wait, what? Kinda strange to sandwich him in at that particular juncture. Was it because it was the end of the first hour?

They also fill in time with a sneak peek at the new reality show NBC Will Not Rest Until We Kill Someone where contestants will do have to do all those jobs that we see on Ax Men, Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. It may also end up being called America's Toughest Jobs, but that seems like an understatement.

After all the shameless plugging we get to another of my top three comics on this show, Louis Ramey. I learn from the intro that he's been doing comedy for 20 years, and it shows. His delivery is so patient. Tonight's set touches on the Amish a little, then settles on a story about talking to small town citizens about what America would do if ever there was an attempted invasion by terrorists. I don't want to (and don't think I can) write out his jokes verbatim here but lets just say that as an African-American trying to get Americans to vote for him, he has definitely pulled in the redneck and patriot demographic tonight. There may be a person or two out there in this nation that might want to make a note of how he did that. Oh, and of course he made it through to the finals.

Adam Hunter. Adam is another comic I have not enjoyed in this competition. He has some funny jokes and he is a good looking fella, but his jokes seem incomplete, like he went with the first punchline he could think of for every premise, instead of looking for something more funny. His mini-bio piece talks about his love of wrestling, and then his first joke was about the Olympics. Did he tell us funny personalized wrestling related jokes and stories of which one might imagine he has plenty? No. He went for a crack about flames in San Francisco. A second later he's onto a new premise. Not surprisingly, my Elimination Fairy pulls off another request for me and he gets the boot.

I joked about it in an earlier post, so I wanted to clarify that I am not a fan of Jeff Dye because he's cute. I really enjoyed the set he did last week and this week especially. He talks in his bio about how he announced to his folks he wanted to be a comedian, and they were completely supportive of him. He pointed out his parents in the audience as he started his set, and I almost got the impression that his set was in their honor as he poked fun at them in a very loving way. I thought that was nice. He also did a great bit on the board game "Guess Who". As they drag out the announcement about the good news that he has not been eliminated they give us a really long extreme close up of his face. And, um, wow, is he cute!

Ahem, anyway, the last two comics are Iliza Shlesinger and Sean Cullen and this time they have them both perform and then gather them together to announce the last comic moving on to the Final Five.

Sean Cullen has a really funny bio piece. I do like Sean, and I was happy to see he did an actual set this week instead of just a couple jokes and a song. He had a great premise based on James Bond movies. He did great bits on the villains, Sean Connery's acting, and the musicians that have not done Bond theme songs. It was definitely the funniest he's been on the show. I really wish this had been the set he chose to do last week.

Before she starts her set, is it me or are Iliza Shlesinger's boobs getting bigger every week? Did anyone do a re-count to make sure they got back all those rubber falsies from last week? Anyway, and in the interest of total fairness she is also very attractive, even though that is not the direction in which I roll. But I hate to be unfair and focus entirely on the male's physical attributes. Did I mention her boobs? She does yet another great set full of drinking and stories from old jobs. I love her energy and her originality, even though it does occur to me that she mostly insults people throughout the set not unlike the way I criticized Ron G. for doing. I don't know what she does differently; perhaps she makes it so colorful and specific that it seems less negative and more "I know someone like that!" relatable.

They do the expected dragging out of the results, but Iliza makes it three in a row and Sean goes home. Sorry, Sean, you can blame me for mentioning you to the Elimination Fairy. As for who I will be submitting to EF this week? It may not be necessary. It would appear that they are going right for the throat next week and axing four out of five comics and giving us the winner. It doesn't even appear that there will be any performances since they said over and over tonight that these were the final performances. I hope it's only an hour long episode because sweet Mother of God, that would be far too much filler comedy driving me crazy to get to 120 minutes of air time.

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