Reality Bites: Last Comic Standing 2 - The Final Six
by Raul Burriel
Published: August 3, 2004
Hello, my name is Raul and I'll be your guide through tonight's penultimate elimination episode of Last Comic Standing. Your lovely regular host Molly is taking a well deserved break in anticipation of next week's Grand Finale. Tonight, Alonzo Bodden, Gary Gulman, John Heffron, Kathleen Madigan, Tammy Pescatelli and last week's wildcard winner Jay London face off for a chance to compete in next's week's finale. With the home audience now in the driver's seat, the comics on stage will not only have to wow the audience, but they will also have to deliver an act that has - until now - been entirely unseen by the home viewer. TV audiences have seen these comics deliver the same jokes over and over, and it's worked because they've gotten to play before different audiences every round. But we've been watching at home and we know their jokes so well, we can deliver the punchline with them. Last week's wildcard comics had some difficulty with this aspect. Some had enough unused old material to deliver a relatively solid set (but it certainly wasn't a-list stuff - they used that to get on the show!) Others had to write an almost entirely new set from scratch and - judging from some of the jokes - didn't have time to run it by a few small crowds at the Improv before coming on stage. Can these finalists - one of which never even had to go to a head-to-head challenge - deliver more laughs than last week's only somewhat chuckle-inducing episode? Let's find out!
Up first is Jay London, who manages to even give us a little one-liner in his pre-taped introductory monologue. He delivers 99% new (for the show) material interspersed with his regular self-deprecating jabs (which were oddly inappropriate as most of his material went over quite well with the crowd). His Stephen Wright delivery style should make for many rapid-fire jokes but he keeps interrupting himself, limiting the jokes and laughs. Jay's still that lovable schlub that people will vote for even if he's not the funniest, though. The others will have to work hard to overcome Jay's appeal.
Gary comes out dressed like he's going to sell us some insurance. He delivers a solid set attacking the snooze button and sugar cookies by way of those grade school safety scissors that can't cut paste. Nothing avant guard but after Bonnie's set last week, I think we can do with a little less avant guard.
Hey, John's dressed up! Looks like he's going out tonight, and that's how he starts his set. He's doing his "I'm getting too old to be a young man" routine again, but with new material. It's a solid set, the best so far. His closing is weak but he's run out of time. I'd like to have heard him finish the joke.
Kathleen has never had to do a head-to-head challenge, which tells us a couple of things. One, she may not be very funny (maybe not even as funny as some of those who lost a head-to-head challenge), and two, she's probably still got some a-list material saved up. She made a Willard Scott in her introductory monologue. Weak. I've never liked Kathleen's delivery but she really came through with her set tonight. As expected, she was able to deliver some solid a-list stuff.
Tammy doesn't try to be funny with her introductory monologue, instead going for the heart, talking about supporting her family and getting a hug from her mom. OK Tammy. Make with the jokes. Tammy sticks with her strengths, talking about he Sicilian family. It's clear that a lot of her material is brand new as she keeps referencing the show. She segways into a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction joke and then moves on to a series about doing a show at the Playboy mansion. Good stuff. She had me laughing.
Have they kept the best for last? Alonzo has been pretty quiet throughout the whole show, keeping out of all the petty squabbling and suddenly coming out of his corner like a prize fighter when it's time to be funny. Despite being a big, tall, bald, black man, I feel he's the most "average" guy here. He has the demeanor of a regular person until he gets in front of that microphone. He starts strong with a routine about doing comedy in "South Alabama" and plays the "black card" throughout the set. It's a good set, but no knock-out.
Final Comments: As with last week's wildcard show, I wasn't wowed by any of the comics. They were funny, just not very funny. Maybe if they had more than four minutes, they'd be able to deliver that homerun. If I had to pick who I thought was the funniest, my top three would be Alonzo Bodden, Tammy Pescatelli and John Heffron. Who do I think will make it to next week's round? Jay London (he doesn't have to be funny, he just has to be lovable), Alonzo Bodden (he was last and is therefore freshest in people's minds) and John Heffron (people love the kid). But you can help influence the decision by voting at VoteNBC.
The results will air live on NBC on Thursday at 9pm in most time zones.
Recaps at The Trades: House Episode 1 | House Episode 2 | House Episode 3 | House Episode 4 | House Episode 5 | Wild Card Competition | Wild Card Results
More Resources on the Internet: NBC.com's Official Site | SirLinksalot.net
Post your comments at The-Trades.com