Reality Bites: Last Comic Standing 3 - Episode 6
by Rachel Jaffe
Published: September 29, 2004
Tonight was a change-of-pace episode for Last Comic Standing. It was All Roast, All The Time, as the three comics from each team who didn't perform last week (for Season One: Tess, Rich Vos, and Geoff Brown; for Season Two, Gary Gulman, Alonzo Bodden and Todd Glass) roasted host Jay Mohr. In addition, comic Jeffrey Ross (no idea? yeah, me neither) acted as "roastmaster," and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog showed up for commentary.
What was not a change of pace was ... Season Two again won the weekly $50,000 prize.
Jeffrey Ross (Roastmaster)
To get the comedy going, the Roastmaster said a few words. I don't know who this guy is, but I was very unimpressed. He said things like "You're like the gayer Ryan Seacrest." "Jay Mohr is to stand-up comedy what J-Lo is to stand-up comedy." He referenced Jay's most famous movie, "Jerry Maguire", stating that Jay got a role "by using his talent, his good looks, and his willingness to bang Tom Cruise." This caused Jay to do a massive spit-take, which was disgusting not just for the fountain from Jay's mouth, but because it seemed so staged.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Special Guest)
Triumph, the puppet from the Conan O'Brien Show, made a bigger impression than the roastmaster. I enjoyed his zinger to Rich Vos -- "People on the show called Rich "the Godfather." When I saw his act, I was thinking more 'Apocalypse Now.'" Triumph then outdid himself with the line that "If Rich were any more rat-faced, Dat Phan would have tried to eat him by now." His material on Jay was milder -- e.g., that between his TV work, movies and writing, Jay kept you guessing about "what's he going to suck at next?" Still, this was a big step up from the official Roastmaster.
Geoff Brown (Season One)
Geoff hasn't impressed me with his stand-up, and he wasn't at all impressive with his roast, either. He did several jokes that at bottom were mixing up Jay Mohr with David Spade. David Spade? He also had material such as if you watched all the good parts of Jay's movies and tv shows and read the good parts of his book, "you just wasted eleven minutes of your damn life." As opposed to the great use of my time listening to jokes like "I think Jay is to comedy what a kick in the nuts is to a kick in the nuts." So Jay is synonymous with comedy? Overall grade: C-.
Alonzo Bodden (Season Two)
Alonzo, winner of the roast competition in Season Two, was next up, to show Geoff how it's done. Alonzo referenced Jay's role firing Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire." "Tom's still making 25 million a movie, and you're here with me." He also zinged Jay on his improvisations. "It's easy to do impressions when you have no personality of your own. That is, unless short and angry is a personality. Don't feel bad, Jay. I was angry when I was your size. Then I went to the sixth grade." This wasn't as impressive as last season, but still miles above Geoff Brown. Overall grade: B.
Tess (Season One)
Tess is not ever someone I saw as a roaster, and she seemed very nervous as she took the podium. She read her zings one at a time off of index cards, and her material was fairly generic, such as telling people about Jay's killer bit in the clubs -- "are you ready for your headliner?" She said that she had a secret crush on Jay, because she always wanted to know what it would be like to sleep with a white chick. Because Tess's schtick is her sexy self, she finished her set with providing Jay props for their night together (e.g., handcuffs so he wouldn't get away, a step-stool to make up for his height). Well, she gave it a shot, and, to damn with faint praise, she was funnier than Geoff Brown. Overall grade: C+.
Gary Gulman (Season Two)
As with the Season Two competition, Gary spent a lot of his roasting time on non-target attendees. Gary got off a good one on Rich Vos, trying to make his teeth feel at home by humming the "charge" theme they use horse races. His best line -- and possibly the best line of the night -- was that "Dat Phan wanted in the worst way to come up and make fun of Jay Mohr, but unfortunately Jay Mohr doesn't speak with a Vietnamese accent." (He should have refrained from following up with "We get it, your mom talks funny," but it was still a great line.) He zinged Ralphie May by saying that it isn't Ralphie's real voice -- he swallowed Wanda Sykes. "Poor Tess thought she was going to be the only black woman on the tv show, and then he swallows Wanda Sykes." Unfortunately, by the time he'd hit Rich, Dat, Ralphie, Dave Mordal ... there was not much time left for Jay Mohr. Gary made some jokes about Jay's hair loss, and then pretty much had to call it quits. Overall grade: B.
Rich Vos (Season One)
Rich's style naturally fits into a roast, so I had high hopes. As with Gary, Rich went around the room with some jokes. While Ralphie hadn't liked any of the zings to him thus far, he proclaimed "now that was funny" when Rich said that Ralphie was planning to get his kitchen stapled if he won the money. (He was less impressed by Rich's remark that his car has stretch marks.) I liked Rich's remark that John Heffron runs around the stage so much because he's looking for a punchline. I did not like his comment that Jay had to stop drinking because his liver was so brown and bloated it looked like Tess (and from the reaction in the crowd, I wasn't the only one). Rich closed with never-fail material, Dat Phan (an MRI revealed no funny bone in Dat Phan). Overall grade: B-.
Todd Glass (Season Two)
Todd was as off-the-wall as usual. Todd sang half of his act, and messed that up. In the middle, he stopped singing and just recited a bunch of insults ("I didn't want to waste time making jokes"). Then he went back to singing (badly). I was surprised that he only plugged his web site once. Overall grade: C-.
Jay Mohr (Roastee)
As the roastee, Jay had a chance to get his own licks in. He spent a lot of time on zinging Rich by making fun of Bonnie McFarlane, a comic from Season Two whom Rich is currently dating ("Rich has been doing comedy for 20 years and Bonnie has been doing comedian for 10 years."). Come on, Jay, let's make fun of the person who's there, and not treat Rich's girlfriend as an extension of him. I give Geoff Brown credit for laughing hard at Jay's statement that every time Geoff says something funny, Jay loses a bet.
Evictees: Of the six comics who competed last week (Ralphie May, Dat Phan, and Dave Mordal from Season One; Kathleen Madigan, John Heffron and Jay London from Season Two), only one comic from each team would proceed. Jay first announced the comic from each team who received the fewest votes. From Season Two, it was Kathleen Madigan. That's not surprising, because she's been on the bubble before and because her set wasn't particularly strong last week, but it's still just so wrong. From Season One, the lowest vote-getter was Dat Phan. I was pleased, but Dat looked crushed. Dave comforted him with the statement that he "did an honorable job."
Now, as for the comics going forward, the one advancing from Season Two was John Heffron. From Season One, the one advancing was Dave Mordal. I actually yipped in shock when I heard that. Dave winced and waved at the crowd, making me wonder if Dave thought that he'd been eliminated.
Final Thoughts: Season Two eliminations went like clockwork, just as I predicted. But Season One eliminations were shocking to me -- although I'm tickled to death that Dave advanced. Once again, only one comic from each team performing tonight will advance next week. From Season One, I think that should be Rich. He didn't do as well as I'd expected, but he was still better than Geoff or Tess. From Season Two, it's a toss-up between Gary and Alonzo. I'd be happy with either of them. But if I have to pick one, I'll pick Gary. Whoever it is, they'll join John and Dave for the four-person final competition.
Last Comic Standing is on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, on NBC.
Recaps at The Trades: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5
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