Thursday, August 7, 2008

Last Comic Standing: Finale

Well, I partially got last week's wish: Tonights episode is only an hour and a half. Still, thats a lot of filler. The show opens with a spectacular major award show style "Last-Comic-Standing-And-By-The-Way- Did-We-Mention-We-Have-The-Olympics-Here-On-NBC?" production number that includes God's Pottery in the beginning, and at the end supposedly the rest of the top 12 comics. They are gestured towards but are never actually shown.

They had each comic do an Olympic moment type segment. They weren't entirely as bad as they sound. They weren't laugh out loud funny, but kind of cute. I wonder if they will show them during the Olympics?

Joel McHale from The Soup had one of my favorite segments tonight. He did a recap of the highlights of the season. It worked exactly like an actual episode of his show, which made it all the more hilarious. He featured a small montage of Iliza scantily clad in and around the Casa de Comedy. It was a little disturbing – ok, a lot disturbing – when they cut straight to her Dad, cheering for his daughter's ass louder than anybody. There was some more disturbing clips as we revisted Marcus dressed up like a beaten up Wonder Woman for the calendar shoot and Paul Foot getting turned on as he washed the LCS Short Bus. Then he played a montage of Esther Ku laughing. Wait, why was this a favorite segment of mine? It sounds so gross and annoying. Of course it's because McHale made it all funny.

My other favorite segment was with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. He was just as brutal and insulting as always. Even Triumph noticed Iliza's boobs grew as the show went on, so I now know I haven't been imagining it. He insulted the rest of them in turn, and was very funny, but I think he should have tried to get Jim Tavaré's name right. Triumph compared Tavaré to the Hunchback, compared Jeff to an America's Top Model (who sucks) and pointed out Marcus' future as a clerk at Virgin Records. My favorite line was when he asked Louis Ramey, "Did you say you eat and drink comedy? Eating and drinking comedy is how you turn it into crap."

There was some actual stand-up filler segments. Season 5 LCS winner Jon Reep did a set. He did a lot of his same subject matter (read: Hickory!) It was funny, as was the set by Jon Lovitz. He had some good political material. Speaking of which, they bizarrely had some short, humorous-ish statements by John McCain and Barack Obama. McCain pointed out that funny presidents get elected to two terms, and unfunny ones only serve one term. He then said he was the funniest candidate running, at which point you hear a voice off camera say, "Yeah, funny looking." Obama wanted us to know that if we didn't think he was funny, we obviously hadn't seen him bowl. I give both candidates a C-.

According to my satellite TV service's guide to the program, there was supposed to be appearances by Gilbert Gottfried and Penn and Teller. Either DirecTV lied, or they got left on the cutting room floor. The rest of the show was actual LCS elimination business, but don't worry, they kept that to a minimum and got back to the filler as soon as possible.

The comics get eliminated in this order:
Louis Ramey. That one hurt. And they axed him first. He was my favorite. He was original, brilliant and just so funny. I was really pulling for him to win. Even he looked shocked at the news. Sorry, Louis. You've made a fan in me and I look forward to seeing more from you.

Jim Tavaré. A one-two punch for me because I also liked Jim a lot. Kudos to NBC for putting through an intelligent and quirky act that doesn't look or sound like a "typical" comedian. The man played for the Queen, so it's not like he's languishing in obscurity without American recognition, but still: I think a lot of people wrote him off early on. I'm glad he made it to the finale. Jim, if you're out there, I consider myself also to be fan of yours, and as such a supporter, would you consider telling me why you were on crutches that second week? I am just concerned, you understand.

Jeff Dye. I must admit I found him unremarkable the first time I saw him. I mean that literally: I made no notes about his act. I was even a little sour that he got through when I thought there were much funnier comedians left behind. But the man grew on me, and and he did turn out to be much funnier than I originally gave him credit for. Congratulations, Jeff.

Marcus. Here is another guy I was totally blindsided by. The first time we met Marcus it was to tell us he was an ex pro-wrestler turned comic and he could do voices. I rolled my eyes and assumed we'd be seeing a macho poseur who could do Jim Ignatowski at parties and thought he had an act. Well, he was none of those things except the part where he had an act. He did not rely solely on the impersonations, he used them to accentuate his funny and original material. He also had many objective and informative points to make in the interviews. I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions, bro. You have a whole mess of talent. I look forward to see where you go in the business.

Which leaves our first female winner of LCS, Iliza Shlesinger. She battled some huge talents and a bit of chauvinism to beat comics with a lot more experience than she had. While at times I felt like she herself was doing her impression of Dane Cook, she did have excellent material and was a real hit with the crowd. I think she is a fine comedian and a bad ass chick to boot, considering the target she had painted on her back. It is nice to see a female win this competition for a change, but my heart isn't totally in this win. Again, I think she won it fair and square but I still wonder what would have happened if Jackie Kashian or Mary Mack had made it through. They were also strong acts. I really shouldn't rain on her parade, because I am really happy with the win. And Iliza, my mom is a huge fan of yours as well! Congratulations on the win, but more importantly, thank you for spanking Papa CJ.

So, that's the end of Season 6. NBC hasn't really come up with the perfect formula for this show. If there is a Programming Fairy (I'll have to ask Elimination Fairy about that) I would really like to see the best parts of all the seasons next year. I want two hour episodes definitely, but I would like fewer weeks of auditions. I know you show us people lining up supposedly overnight by the thousands to get their big break, but never have I seen a final 10 contestant saying, "I dunno, the guys at the office said I was pretty funny so I gave it a shot and I can't believe I made it this far!" You take professional comics, we get that. Those wacky off-the-streets auditionees that scare the scouts don't need to take up that much time. I like the idea of shipping in the "international" comics, and was happy to see so many make it through to the house. So you may keep that. You're welcome. And for the love of God, don't short change us on the head-to-head challenges. I guess there is some tension involved in having a three way competition, but the old formula of "I know I am funnier than..." where the person named most often gets to pick their challenger from the ones that said his/her name was golden. It made it personal. This season where one person chooses two people, whether they challenged them directly or not made people collateral damage. And make the head-to-head battles a regular thing. Doing just two episodes that way? That blew, NBC. Seriously, what a disappointment. Knocking out seven comics in two weeks is insane. You could have had at least two more weeks of head-to-heads and narrowed it down to the final four, and then had three "American Idol-esque" eliminations. I think that would have made a lot of us fans really happy. I'll be tuning in next season to see if you listened.

If you have read this article, I would love to hear what you thought of anything I discussed. Please feel free to comment. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I didn't watch the show, but I really liked how you used the word "poseur."