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?
Which means…quick recap!
Louis Ramey. Stone and Stone. God’s Pottery. Dan Naturman. Esther Ku. Marcus. Adam Hunter. Phil Palisoul. Ron G. Jackie Kashian. Eddie Pepitone. Erin Foley. Bob Biggerstaff. Andi Smith. Drennon Davis. The Meehan Brothers. Jeff Dye. Iliza Shlesinger. Sean Cullen. Winston Spear. Pete Lee. Dan Cummins. John Evans (btw, Lee, Cummins and Evans all got updated location IDs). Dale Jones. Heath Hyche. Mary Mack. Erin Jackson. Papa CJ. Jim Tavare. Lioz Shem Tov. Paul Foot. Shazia Mirza.
What a tease. And yes, they are playing to the cameras. Oh, hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole. Ready for next week?