Getting in the mood for tonight's new episode of Last Comic Standing, let's relive the fun of last week's episode (especially since three of the final 10 comedians and myself were in Montreal at the time)...so, let the foolishness begin!
Iliza Shlesinger returns triumphant from her showdown with Ku and God's Pottery, and gets kudos from Marcus "she just owned that stage" and deserved to win, while Paul Foot and Papa CJ think she's vulnerable (foreshadowing a spoiler alert!!!). Oh, you crazy editors.
Comic Car Wash? I certainly hope this is as productive as the calendar shoot was...and can I hit the fast-forward button yet?...wait, what happened that put Jim Tavare on crutches? Now that would be interesting on camera...no? This is some morbid variation on that whole Last Comic Driving scam, because our comedians are telling jokes to the car wash participants for tips, or something, and whomever gets the biggest tips wins something or other? Cue the everyone gets wet montage. Is it wrong for me to be staring? Ad break!
Comedians get a barrel of carrots and overthink the challenge, because, yes, it's Carrot Top! They head to a Bed, Bath and Beyond and get "mad props" -- racing around the store to find props and whomever does them thar prop comedy the best wins immunity. "This is kind of funny that I'm teaching you!" Carrot Top tells the finalists. Well said, sir. Well said. So The Top Propster trots out some examples to share with the wannabes. George Bush's "decision master" is a tank on a map. Bobby Brown's new book is powdered. Get it? Got it? Good. Now run through the store. You figure it out. Ron G. suddenly has a mohawk...is that his prop? And it's showtime for our judge, Sir Top Carrot of Muscle Mania Man, and a live audience (and where from whence did they come?). "Where did they get these people," Sean Cullen asks. "Well, I guess they live here."
Up first, Louis Ramey. Sushi at night? Better luck with a light bulb affixed to the bottom of a pot thing, and with the shower curtain postcards. Then Marcus, who you'd think would do something, like when unicorns need braces? Lifetime's version of Iron Man? A Tommy Lee jokes gets a thumb's up and a smile from Carrot Muscles. Ron G., however, has jokes but not so much with the props. "This is not what I do," Ron G. acknowledges to the cameras. Papa CJ reimagines flashing headlights, so to speak, and does not know props, or how to make people laugh. Sean Cullen? Well, he tried, at least.
Last Comic Driving is still going?!?!? Ah, Brit lady. I miss you so. Tom Clark is in the hot seat. Wow, that was quick. Moving on...
Adam Hunter gets his chance, goes after Tom Cruise, Flavor Flav, O.J. Simpson, Paris Hilton. Um. OK. Jim Tavare opens with wordplay. Carrot Top said he was "clever." Iliza Shlesinger shows us Khloe Kardashian's foot corn pads, a mouse saddle she made, and, well, here's Paul Foot to dazzle us. Or not. I don't know what's going on here, and I don't think he did, either. Jeff Dye gets to close, it seemed, and goes for quick movie re-enactments which seem to work well with the live audience. And Big Red awards immunity to...Jeff Dye for his originality! Big Red knows enough to mock himself.
Back at the house, Ramey notices that the young comics are more insecure and therefore more likely to lash out at one another. Like, say, for instance, Foot throwing a nerf gun off of the balcony, perhaps? That won't win him any votes, unless he wants to get voted for elimination. Ramey predicts that the showdown will come down to Foot, CJ and Shlesinger, with Shlesinger prevailing again. Anyone want to bet against that? In the cemetery, host Bill Bellamy got outfitted in crazy again. Suddenly, Tavare is off crutches again. The votes are in...Ramey, CJ, Foot, Hunter, Tavare, Foot, Ramey, CJ, Foot, CJ...so Paul Foot and Papa CJ each get three votes, and they bring Shlesinger into the ring with them. Good luck with that, fellas.
Shlesinger says she'll use her Los Angeles residency to her advantage, while the boys backstage think it's going to get messy. Foot goes first. Puts awkward foot forward, trying to explain how he doesn't like early to bed, early to rise people. Eventually gets applause. Nervous giggles. Man, he's making me nervous with the pacing and the stammering and the looking at his watch. Shlesinger goes second. Reminds the audience what it was like to play high school sports, joking about the coaches. More nostalgia: You guys remember the game Oregon Trail? Yay, audience says. Other things and movements. Gets applause from the boys in the back. CJ goes last. Seems unfazed about it, and his opening joke about "L.A. being the most beautiful part of Mexico" gets a good reaction. Doesn't like "random" selection for airport searches. Again with the deliberate pointing at a front-row guy for no reason whatsoever. Don't mess with Indians, he threatens. He fails miserably with an Iraqi joke. Tries recovering with that old Hindu reincarnation joke, plus going back to the guy in the audience who wasn't asking for it. Ugh. Even the boys know CJ did the same jokes he did in Vegas. And the audience votes for...Iliza Shlesinger, with 62 percent of the vote! Bye bye, Paul Foot and Papa CJ.
The rest of you kids, I'll see you back here tonight with a new LCS recap!
Most of the industry just got to Montreal, Just for Laughs still has four nights to go, but that's not stopping them from jump-starting and continuing to schedule a nightly showcase at Comedyworks as "Best of the Fest." How would they know? Was someone judging? These are rhetorical, moot questions, as this showcase isn't all that different from the continuing "Bubbling With Laughter" shows. Both feature professional stand-up comedians. Perhaps the Bubbling lineups have more veterans, perhaps the Best Of shows feature shorter 7-minute sets.
But perhaps James Smith put it best when he took to the stifling hot, sweaty, packed stage last night and looked around the room, exclaiming: "So this is where they hold the Best of the Fest!?" For the remainder of his set in the early show, Smith did what I've seen other comics do already -- namely, not tailor their sets for the Canadians in the audience, but toward the Hollywood and New York agents, managers and show-business types watching from the back of the club. Smith devoted his first set to the Democratic presidential campaign in America.
John Mulaney, likewise, had no problems beginning his routine with the description of an odd subway encounter he had...in Long Island City, Queens...following that up with his take on Law & Order (so ubiquitous on American TV screens, but do Canadians get to watch a gabillion episodes a day?), though it didn't matter since he sold the audience with his impressions of that show's stock supporting characters.
Host Ryan Stout opened the proceedings boldly, even saying at one point that he liked how the audience felt "laughter mixed with shame." It could also have been Stout's attempt to produce an American version of Jimmy Car, inadvertantly or not.
What else? Matt Kirshen had the audience wondering which of his British accents was supposed to be the "funny" one. Hannah Gadsby provoked many laughs through her explicit sexual truths. One audience member laughed often and loudly at just about every facial expression Sebastian Maniscalco made. And Erin Foley proved she could've held her own on this season's Last Comic Standing, even if her bit on a billboard advertising the wrongness of rape reminded me of having watched Ricky Gervais tell almost the same joke (not alleging any nefariousness, just pointing out the parallel thinking). Paul Foot, on the other hand, didn't quite impress with his rehashing about people who have "Baby On Board" signs on their automobiles. Maybe someone will challenge him on this week's LCS? Oh, what's that? Little birdy says yes.
So here we are. These are your 12 finalists, and after watching that hourlong recap from last week, we're only reminded of a few good stand-ups who got left behind. Let us not mourn for them, but celebrate them, for they will not have to suffer the indignities of Last Comic Standing's house nor its challenges, nor the little yellow bus.
First off, the house is nice. God's Pottery acts as if they have "dibsies" on the girlie pink room with princess outfits and bunk beds, but eventually are seen unpacking in another room.
But wait, let's talk about Esther Ku's laugh, shall we? Spoiler alert: It's all real. Ku laughs a lot, and laughs loudly. Some comedians over the years have accused her of laughing insincerely, but oh no, my friends, it is sincere...sincerely overpowering. Iliza Shlesinger describes it as "operatic, forceful and when it's this close to your ear, we're talking sonic boom potential" ...Paul Foot calls it..."a machine gun of joy."
We've got a calendar shoot. A wonderfully goofy calendar photo shoot. Marcus as Wonder Woman with smeared make-up and a Bobcat Goldthwait vibe declares: "Don't laugh at me, I'm beautiful!" Sean Cullen has a "superhero medieval hermaphrodite ballerina queen" thing going on. Jeff Dye is the youngest, so he puts on the baby outfit. Ron G says he automatically looked for a pimp get-up. Adam Hunter is a hippie? Shlesinger says she wanted the baby outfit but couldn't because they'd have to blur her breasts. Louis Ramey brings the bling. Papa CJ's outfit is fairly lame. God's Pottery lucked out (or did they?) with the God and Devil looks. Jim Tavare blows his top (well, his wig). Ku is Uncle Sam as a girl? I don't see that. Paul Foot is, I don't know what he is supposed to be.
Tonight's show promises the Last Comic Standing "All-Time Best Jokes Countdown"...Dat Phan makes the Top 10??!?!?!?!? Are. You. Kidding. Me.
They wake up the next morning to find glasses with egg yolks in them. A clue, perhaps? Another opportunity to play dress up, and a chance for us to hear Survivor's Eye of the Tiger as the comedians get into boxing outfits for Last Comic Smackdown.
But #9 on our "all-time best"? Todd Glass with a bit about how bold some people must be to wear awful toupees. #8 goes to John Heffron with his bit about the junk drawer scissors that Mom uses to cut your hair when you're a kid, which means we get to hear the word "dingleberry" on TV again. Hooray.
Our judges for the Yo Momma smackdown are Jamie Kennedy and sportscaster Rich Eisen. Bill Bellamy is sporting a clip-on bow-tie. We begin with a "speed round" in which only four comics will advance? Alrighty, Louis Ramey vs. Jeff Dye. One minute for each comic to get in as many jokes as possible. They make it look as though Ramey scores early, Dye hits back late. But before judging, it's on to God's Pottery vs. Ron G. Oh boy. God's Pottery is going to be up for this challenge with the anti-Yo Momma jokes strategy, playing into their "Christian" ethic. They have Ron G off his guard. The look on his face is precious. Even his eyes are sighing. Marcus vs. Adam Hunter. Jim Tavare vs. Iliza Shlesinger. Paul Foot vs. Papa CJ. Esther Ku vs. Sean Cullen. They show Eisen really enjoying Cullen's joke of how Korean Ku's mom is, describing her body as both North and South Korea. The judging: Kennedy is claiming a few comics were telling really old Yo Momma jokes. Your four finalists in the challenge? First a commercial.
And another installment of Last Comic Driving, with Brit Lady Fearne Cotton "driving" contestant Stevie D. (btw, if you saw the repeat earlier this evening, they completely cut Brit Lady out of the picture for time, so boo, and oh, yeah, Stevie D. made some jokey jokes about long hair, but couldn't really hold my attention, did he hold yours?)
Grandma Lee from season 2 has the #7 joke? If it was so good, how come she didn't make it into the house, producers?
Your finalists in this challenge will be: Adam Hunter, God's Pottery, Jim Tavare and Sean Cullen. Oooh. This round is "you're such a hack" jokes! Hunter says fighting God's Pottery is like fighting Borat, and Borat, er, God's Pottery makes it to the finals. Cullen vs. Tavare. Tavare references Carrot Top! So it's God's Pottery vs. Tavare in the Main Event.
#6 "all-time best" features Doug Benson's joke about being "inconvenienced" on his way to a convenience store by a guy asking if Benson was going to Hell. Yay!
The Main Event is anything goes, but make it funny. Will God's Pottery succumb to temptation? What do you think. The winner of immunity is Jim Tavare.
Back at the house, Tavare makes dinner and Foot runs around like he's Rowan Atkinson, and he might look like the Mr. Bean man, but he's just not the same. Plus acting like Bean isn't going to win you any friends in this house. We get a peek at a graveyard set where the comedians will make their showdown nominations.
And we're back to Ku's laughter, suggesting she'll come up for votes. Marcus does a Christopher Walken impersonation to describe Ku's laugh "as a tsunami of pure evil." Well, the fog machine at the cemetery is working, and Iliza can hear them playing a "Thriller" medley because she's the only one doing the dance. Bellamy brings up how comedians "kill" and "die" onstage, "so we thought it would be a great idea" to hold elimination votes in a cemetery! Get it? Three people get voted into a live audience showdown, and the audience picks the winner, leaving the other two comedians to hit the road.
#5 on the "all-time best" LCS joke list goes to Roz from season 4, who has a retort when her boss asks her why she's always late to work: "Because it makes the day go quicker!" Oh, that Roz. She has issues!
The votes pile up for Ku! So she gets to pick her two opponents. Ku picks God's Pottery and Iliza Shlesinger. Ramey is shocked! Shocked! Rut-RO! We could have both of the ladies going home in the first episode...really...Ku says she didn't like how Shlesinger went after her laugh. And in the tease, we see that Ku's set is the one I had on my site two months earlier, and that the winner of this three-way (er, make that three-act, four-way) got 68 percent of the vote.
Dwayne Perkins from season 5 gets #4 on the "all-time best" LCS joke parade. Wait. He didn't make it in the house either? What gives, producers! Are you trying to make up for past transgressions here or something? Lavell Crawford, runner-up on season 5, jokes about being fat and breathing hard, and that gets him the third "all-time best" LCS joke.
Shlesinger oozes confidence in her backstage interviews with producers. This is a really interesting showdown, and Ramey points out that you should not underestimate Ku because the audience votes on who they like as much as who has the best jokes. Plus, you've got an audience deciding between two attractive but less experienced female stand-ups and a Christian acoustic parody act. I could not predict how they would vote. Yikes. The other finalists get to watch on a monitor. As mentioned previously, we've already seen Ku's showdown performance. It gets a mixture of big laughs and weird groan laughs, as audience members try to figure out if they can laugh at some of her jokes. Her Taco Bell joke doesn't quite work and closing on M*A*S*H, eh. Even the other finalists are not sure what to make of her chances. But more commercials before we see Ku's competition. Plus, we still have the top two LCS jokes of "all time" to discover, again. God's Pottery beckons, "if you put on your partici-pants, put them on!" The audience claps instinctively and immediately. I really would have loved to see God's Pottery take on Papa CJ. Maybe we'll get to see that because the audience is singing along. Another good sign for Team Jesus.
Season 4 winner Josh Blue gets the second-best joke by blaming his Republican vote on his palsy arm.
Shlesinger says she has deer legs, and it's still somewhat sexy. Her ditzy girl voice comes out. They like her dinosaur getting hit by a rock look, and I gotta tell you, it's a good look. But I wouldn't hit Iliza with a rock. Not unless she threw one at me first. Even then, probably not. I'm a writer, not a fighter. The nine boys in the back of the room back home think Shlesinger nailed it. What did you think? With the fewest number of votes, first one out is God's Pottery! Oh, no! It's for the best, fellas. Who crushed it? Iliza Shlesinger, that's who! She did nail it. Sorry, Ku. The rest of the final 10 appear onstage, and Bellamy tries to call them "the funniest 10 folks in the country," which isn't even geographically correct, let alone anywhere near to the truth, and even the finalists know that. Shlesinger obviously made a statement to the remaining guys. Next week, we'll get to see Carrot Top! I think Shlesinger will be safe for the next week, at least, because who wants to face her after that trouncing? Papa CJ and Paul Foot, however, may need to watch their steps. Ron G seems a little unsure of himself, too. Jeff Dye, of course, is the kid. What I'm saying is Ramey and Marcus seem like tough competition, Tavare is a wildcard, and Hunter and Cullen could go either way. And If the producers want to give me a hint, that'd be cool, too.
Oh, and speaking of which, the producers picked season 5 winner Jon Reep as having the best joke ever on LCS with a punchline about the redneck version of red, white and blue.
Welcome to the first half of the semifinals in Las Vegas, the night when Dan Naturman gets the shaft for a second time on Last Comic Standing -- spoiler alert!!! -- where we see if Bill Bellamy tell jokes, and because he has had a career as an MTV VJ, parts in big crappy movies, and tours the nation as a stand-up, you'd expect him to, so he does tell jokes for at least a tight minute before introducing our judges, who are, wait for it, Richard Belzer and Steve Schirripa, aka the guys in New York City who hated a lot of great comedians. Great. Just great. We know we're in Vegas because of the showgirls who perform at the Paris casino/hotel. OK. Enough already. We're going from 16 semifinalists to five finalists. Same thing next week. So here we go!
Adam Hunter from New York stretches a lot backstage. The producers evidently want us to see that. He says: "I know for a fact I will make everyone laugh." Hunter is rather loud. Is this because he wants to make sure everyone in the theater hears him? Makes a dig at Asians in porn, followed by Mardi Gras in the Middle East. Jokes about living in L.A., where even the homeless are in the biz. As Schrippa notes, even though some jokes don't hit, Hunter gets a lot of jokes out in his short time. But they show him getting a partial standing ovation from the audience and kind words from the judges. So that's all you need to know for now.
Phil Palisoul from Denver. He makes a bidet joke, but not the one you're thinking of. Notes how people would never act the way they do walking as they do when they drive. But. No standing O shown. No words from the judges heard. Uh-oh.
Jeff Dye from Seattle. Actually, Kentwood High School, as his people told me via email earlier this week. Same fluorescent T-shirt? Lucky T-shirt? He jokes about doing ecstasy while working out. Applause break for a joke about women wondering why people are staring at them when they have "juicy" written on their butts. More jokes about the gym and workout machines, and Dye goes straight at the judges. Dye gets interviewed by the Brit lady. This, plus the emails I got telling me to watch Dye in the semis, tell me and you all we need to know.
Erin Foley says it's time for a woman to win this competition. Bellamy bills her as another New York City comedian. She auditioned in Los Angeles. Anyhow. She has a baby shower to go to, but there's a lot of different kind of juices to consider. Her dictionary jokes aren't getting big laughs. A bit about being a sideline reporter for football telecasts. No big faces or energy? What gives? Did someone tell her to hold back?
Dan Naturman. Here we go, people. A nod to his Connecticut roots. He does his bit about Internet dating and photos. Prescription drugs. He ends his routine mid-joke. They laugh. I laugh. It doesn't matter, people.
Another installment of...LAST COMIC DRIVING! This week, Jacob Sirof gets the hot seat. Eh. I have more to say about this in another post.
Ooh. It's the Israeli Carrot Top (Bellamy even says so!) Lioz Shem Tov, or as Bob Biggerstaff likes to call him, Mozel Top! Anyhow. Carrot Top has a standing gig in Vegas, so you'd think Mozel Top would do well, too, right? He shows us Mickey Mouse ears on Viagra, a turtle, Spider-Man cutting himself shaving, a long bit that's PC-based. Oooh. We go back to the judges. "It wasn't typical jokes," Belzer says. "There's no rhyme or reason to what you were doing, but it was funny," Schirripa says. Hard to tell, people. The Brit lady is starting to grow on me. Maybe it's her kindness. Just as likely it's her sexy outfits.
Dale Jones is from Nashville. I sense he'll have some funny voices and faces, just by looking at his face. He starts out with big energy to play to the big room. Gets an applause break for acknowledging that he is "the strange on the road." Well, he didn't pee his britches or nothing.
Erin Jackson from Washington, D.C., just got a second-place cash prize at the festival in Nebraska, so we know she can do a short TV-friendly set. Jokes about how being a comedian actually should make her better marriage material. Black stereotypes, and the Tooth Fairy are also targets. So far, so good.
After another break and some onstage foolishness that we don't quite get to see, the Brooklyn Christian acoustic duo known as God's Pottery takes the stage. Only time for one song, and they pick their ditty about premarital sex, "The Pants Go Off When The Ring Goes On." Both judges say how they believe the guys and think it's not an act anymore. Wink. Wink. I already know they're through, and now so do you.
Ron G. auditioned in L.A., but he's from Atlanta, and he talks about how it's tough to hold onto a job, even a one-day assignment. He has a special voice he uses when he's in trouble...do you?
Drennon Davis, with a South Lake Tahoe residence listed, comes out without the uke or a guitar. So no songs tonight. Will this work? First joke, not so much. Vegas joke, better. Davis does some beat-box rapping, though. Um, yeah.
Winston Spear we saw in the initial previews standing outside in the snow saying he was going to be the last comic standing, and I certainly didn't believe him then. But then again, here he is in Las Vegas in the semis. So it's possible. He has won big comedy awards in Canada. Can he win here? A funny time-machine joke. Schirripa doesn't get his twitching and everything else. Hmmm.
Shazia Mirza, aka the British Muslim lady we've seen on 60 Minutes, jokes about her background. OK when you only have three minutes. Makes me wonder what her longer set sounds like. She tells the Brit lady she wouldn't want to do this again? Well, the producers certainly can make that not happen.
Englishman Paul Foot says he has never been to Vegas before, so hooray for that, and he starts with a bit comparing his skills as a lover with his skills as a driver. Why must cakes always be described as moist? Good question. And with that, I'm hitting my space bar wherever I may choose.
How many commercial breaks will there be, anyhow???
Andi Smith says what you really need to know about being on Last Comic Standing and winning, is that it means clubs will book you as a headliner knowing you'll "put butts in seats." She's from St. Louis, but she has performed in West Virginia for a crowd of eight, and had a funny joke or two or three about that. She clearly is not worried about offending anyone. Even in Vegas. Fearless or crazy?
The Meehan Brothers from San Francisco also could be described as fearless and crazy. Because this bit relies solely on one of the brothers and his physicality. Actually, I'm going to chalk this up more to crazy than fearless.
And your first group of finalists, moving into a house in Hollywood, are...Adam Hunter! God's Pottery! (I love how they kept up their goofy grins throughout the dramatic lighting sequence) Ron G! Wait. Only two tickets left? Oh, right. Paul Foot! Jeff Dye!
Obviously, Naturman should have made it through. Again. No fussing this time around. An interesting decision to move a parody duo into a stand-up competition, but the boys are funny. Including Foot allows you to say you're international. Dye represents youth. Well. There we have it. Next week, the other half gets cut down to size.
OK. They just ended with an "in memory" card to George Carlin, which, sure, Carlin has done so much for comedy, but if you're really going to honor him, you need to start making this show about finding the next great original inspirational stand-up, OK? Alrighty then.
ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT?! Yes, indeedy...
After catching up with a friend and finally seeing the new weekly Williamsburg comedy show, Big Terrific, which under the control of hosts Gabe & Jenny and Max Silvestri, and in the venue of Sound Fix Records lounge, is fairly big and terrific, I get home and what to my wondering eyes should appear on my DVR but a newly recorded episode of Last Comic Standing! So. On with the show.
Did they really have host Bill Bellamy record an intro in Las Vegas for an episode that teases to Las Vegas? I believe they did. Ack. Cue the planes! The planes, boss. The planes.
Before gas cost a gabillion dollars, you could fly comedians from around the world into Miami to perform at the Improv in front of two of the lesser-known co-stars of 30 Rock. This is true, because it's on my TV right now. Apparently, the "top international comics" from five continents and 20 countries are here, because that's what Bellamy says in a voice-over, but I do not believe this to be true. The Brit lady is wearing stereotypical costumes (sort of, but not really) to welcome our international guests from Japan, Argentina (I pretend her shirt is see-through and it gives me something to occupy the seconds before), New Zealand (a sheep outfit, really?), Turkey (now we're talking...Turkey), India (oh, Fearne), even the producers have gotten bored enough with this conceit to skip ahead to the judges.
Stephen K. Amos is from London. England. Got it. Apparently, if you have a dark skin color but speak with a British accent, that can cause confusion for people in Harlem, and make the judges laugh. Alrighty then. You have your standard. Can anyone cross it?
The Irish lady who almost won American Idol is here to compete. No, wait. It's just a lady who sounds eggsactly like her and looks kinda sorta like her. Close enough. NotIdol's name is Janice Phayre. But she really does sound and sorta look like the twin of the real NotIdol. And this perplexes me. How about the judges? Oh, they haven't seen Idol yet this season, because they're on tape-delay. I win? Her sight gag gets laughs. Easy peasy, eh?
Wait just a not cotton-pickin second here (did you know I actually did pick cotton one summer? true story!). You do not mean to tell me that they flew in all of these comedians and still had them wait outside on the sidewalk for hours? And yet they did. But here is the good doktor cocacolamcdonalds, who actually does recognize our Brit girl and sings a song for her to tell us who in the heck she is. What was the thing she did with the little bear? I sincerely would like to know. Google? However. This program already informed us careful viewers (and anyone who reads this site) that the doktor ended up in this season's "best of the worst" showcase, so before he steps onstage, we know the judges will not quite know what to do with him. Poor doktor. Lonny Ross calls him "Gene Simmons on acid." Actually, I'd take that as a compliment. Wouldn't you?
Janelle Koenig is from Melbourne, Australia. Maybe I should be on acid. Uh-oh. Here comes a "lost in translation" montage, and Ken Suzuki from Japan, Bernard O'Shea from Ireland, Desmond Clarke from Scotland, Yossi Tarablus from Israel all get victimized. Papa CJ is from India. "Just look at the disappointment!" he says. Yes. Just look. You know what. I know a guy named Kumail Nanjiani who grew up in Pakistan. He is quite funny. He moved to America, went to college in Iowa, then did comedy in Chicago, lives in New York now. You should look at him instead. You're welcome. Meanwhile, back at the League of Injustice, Papa CJ makes it through to the showcase, as Bellamy says, due to "good karma." Oh. No. NBC is paying people to write those voiceovers, by the way.
Oh, goody good goodness. If I can make it through these commercials, I'm promised "Israel's answer to Carrot Top." That won't have me changing no channel. No, no! That and the fact that I promised you a blog recap.
Kojo from Ghana is a teacher. The judges thinks he'll win if he slows it down. What do you think? It doesn't matter what you think, silly. It was a decent enough joke about motherly discipline. Moving on. French comic Arnaud Collery is here to improve our perception of the French. So he pokes fun at himself. Lonny wants to see how the crowd will react to him. Jim Tavare from London does comedy with a double bass. Take that. Brit lady cohost looks cute on skates. Brit Muslim comic lady not as cute in all black. Shazia Mirza. Was she on that 60 Minutes special about Muslim comics a while back? Tell me Google. That's a yes. OK. Back to the action. Lonny's advice? Her technique of telling joke after joke should work in a comedy setting. Thank you for that, Lonny. Funny booth means early bathroom break. You can quote me on that. Danielle Ward is from England and obsessed with Siamese twins. That's enough. Here is the Israeli Carrot Top, doing a bit offstage that he'll do onstage, as Lioz Shem Tov does what he wants. Prop comedy always translates, doesn't it? Oh....
Last Comic Driving this week is Alycia Cooper. And she's fine with it. But she doesn't even try talking to anyone in the back two rows of seats in that Honda Pilot. How can they hear her? That's not important right now. Stop asking questions. We still have an hour of show to go.
Sam from Armenia, also from previously on the "best of the worst." These judges, out of all of the prelim cities, really did laugh out loud more than the others and enjoyed playing along with the horrible auditions as much as the mediocre ones. Englishman Paul Foot has a secret society? Split decision over Foot's Jesus not much of a carpenter bit. Twins. Twins! The Nelsons. No, not those Nelsons. They're from Australia. Twin jokes. They're going to beg for the showcase. And...awkward. Tony Hendricks from Jamaica is, as he says, "a pigment of your imagination." Uh. Yeah. Montage of people who don't even get IDs. Will John Maloney, just by being identified with a name and a location (England), turn this ship around? Apparently. Now for the showcase...
OK. Before we comment on the showcase. They jump-cut all over the place and the guy from Ghana has a shirt on with two opposite-facing arrows. Up says The Man. Down says The Legend. I type this because I'm pretty sure in one of those Mike Myers interviews I referenced earlier he says he had Justin Timberlake's character wear a shirt like this. OK? OK. It has been noted.
A reminder. These are the foreign-born comics who could be convinced to do the show. And with that, Shazia is shown first (or, for my journalistic tradition, Mirza is shown first). "It doesn't say anything in the Koran about Ecstasy." Good. To. Know. Maloney points out German is not sexy compared to Spanish or Italian. Amos? Irish NotIdol? Is Foot ready to pounce? Are you ready for "Baby Onboard" jokes? Israeli Carrot Top repeats jokes for laughs. Including a "near...far" Grover joke I heard in a contest I was in 10 years ago. Time for ads. Tavare is up next with musical accompaniment. What's French guy got? No shirt, that's what. Mais non. Mon Dieu. Kojo has his mojo to worry about. Chris Radburn is from Australia and you haven't seen him until now and he wonders why people in boats wave at one another. Good question. Fishing also is like dating. He says so. Papa CJ the India Indian starts with a 7-11 joke, segues to a Hindu reincarnation bit. Also says being Indian means he'll win any reality-TV call-in vote. In-ter-est-ing.
Tickets to the semis go to...Shazia Mirza! (not surprised, except when she talks about getting exposure on American television, because, really, so many more people saw her on 60 Minutes than saw this episode of LCS) Jim Tavare! (so he didn't travel this far for nothing, sort of) Paul Foot! Lioz Shem Tov! (who says prop comedy is dead?) Papa CJ! Did you see any of that coming?
So now we get to see the 32 semifinalists, and yes, did you do the math?