Day: July 12, 2010

Last Comic Standing 7: The final 10 perform for your votes, America

Strap in, comedy fans. We're about to see 10 comedians perform stand-up on primetime network TV in front of giant letters lit up in light bulbs to spell out "COMIC." But nobody is king (nor queen) just yet, so none of these 10 can rightfully wear a robe and crown like Ricky Gervais did for his stand-up special. Nope. Not yet. This…is…Last Comic Standing. Season Seven. The final 10. Here we go! Host Craig Robinson is excited. The judges are not excited, since they are not televised this evening. Laurie Kilmartin said she has thought about quitting the comedy game before, so she just "wants to have fun while I'm here," whether she finishes first or tenth. Kilmartin opens with a premise that her ex-boyfriend wants to get back with her — cue the ooohs and boos from the live studio audience, and as if they were cued, they ooh and boo. Good job, live studio audience! Wait. We're supposed to be listening to those expertly-crafted jokes that the judges kept telling us that Kilmartin was writing. She mocks her ex's mistress for her misspellings. And she jokes that her son can only be good if he's gay. And yet, he also makes her want to give up, while on the toilet, or even when reading "The Little Engine That Could" for the sixth time in one evening. Felipe...

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Chipps Cooney, Doogie Horner, Ronith and Rudi Macaggi make America’s Got Talent’s final 48

If you think that replacing the Hoff with the Howie Mandel might have helped the cause for comedic acts in this season of NBC's America's Got Talent, then you would be right. The final 48 were selected last week (and again tonight in a repeat), and this year, several acts going for the million-dollar, Vegas headlining prize, are just trying to make you laugh. Rudi Macaggi already won a prize in the first season of America's Got Talent in the "wild and crazy" category, but this season, he seems to be focusing less on the humor and more on the acrobatics. Here's his initial audition this time around: Chipps Cooney has been around for years. Not that you couldn't tell that. But semi-seriously, folks. Chipps featured his special blend of comedy and magic in a 1993 short film by one Louis CK called "Ice Cream." His fans also include Jim Norton, who voiced his support for Chipps on Twitter recently. Here's his initial audition on the show: Doogie Horner had a tough time of it in his initial audition, as we were shown deliberately by the producers. Close to a half-million views on YouTube so far, though. Nice going, Doogie! And then there's Ronith. Who. Well. Just watch this and tell me something that makes sense afterward. Oh, wait. Did I mention Airpocalypse, the air-metal trio? Even the show...

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MySpace Comedy prepares to reload another revamp, now with Randi Siegel at the helm

My friend in comedy journalism over at The Hollywood Reporter, Georg Szalai, reported this afternoon that MySpace had hired Randi Siegel to take over management of the MySpace Comedy realm. After first making its mark as a social networking site for musicians and bands, MySpace branched out years ago to do the same for comedy. It worked for a while. Just ask Dane Cook, and all of the others who followed him into the space. And some comedians still actively use their MySpace pages and update their tour schedule and gigs on the MySpace calendars. But what about everyone else? What about video? That's now Siegel's job. She told THR that the new version of MySpace Comedy will roll out by late fall. "Social media is so video-driven, and there will be good video," she said. "But we also want to have a great focus on the writing community to give them a really nice resource and home." Before taking the MySpace gig, Siegel was in charge of alternative comedy programming for Fred Silverman's production company, and also previously worked for Comic Relief and National...

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How Last Comic Standing 7 will play out between tonight and its Aug. 9 season finale

NBC's seventh season of Last Comic Standing begins tonight with the first of several episodes in which America gets to decide who moves on and survives past the final 10. Unless, of course, you believe in conspiracy theories and want to figure out who executive producer Barry Katz is managing (but even then, you probably would not "guess" the winner, based on past seasons). So, since we have left our cynicism behind in the previous paragraph, let us now tell you how LCS 7 will play out. Tonight: Unlike the previous six seasons, in which finalists cast votes against one another to a challenge in front of a studio audience ("I know I'm funnier than XXX"), all 10 finalists will perform their stand-up routines in this first round. They'll each get a phone number and info for viewers to call/text and cast their votes. So in these senses, it'll be more like American Idol. Your 10 finalists are, in alphabetical order: James Adomian, Mike DeStefano, Felipe Esparza, Rachel Feinstein, Tommy Johnigan, Myq Kaplan, Laurie Kilmartin, Jonathan Thymius, Maronzio Vance and Roy Wood, Jr. But know this: They taped this showcase showdown several weeks ago at the Alex Theater in Glendale, Calif. It's not live. Sets may have been edited or re-arranged. Also: If you really want to vote for your favorites, you better hop to it, because they're cutting...

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Jon Benjamin Has A Van, and a 10-episode series on Comedy Central (with Funny or Die)

It's been a very good few days for comedian H. Jon Benjamin. Last week he earned an Emmy nomination for his voice-over work as Sterling Archer in FX's Archer, which already has been renewed for a second season. Today, Comedy Central announced that Benjamin would be appearing as himself (or at least in real life) in a 10-episode sketch showcase called Jon Benjamin Has A Van. This series will begin production in the fall and debut on TV sets and Internets in summer 2011, executive produced by Benjamin, Andrew Steele and Funny or Die, and produced by Absolutely Productions. In it, Benjamin will star as an investigative reporter who puts his own twist on human interest stories, all while traveling in a custom van. Sounds a little bit like a mix of The Daily Show and Dog Bites Man. "Not since de Tocqueville has there been a more insightful look into the fabric of America and the people who live in it and I'm not just saying that because I read that book and you didn't. Anyway, if you hate everything French, there's a shot you will love this show," said Benjamin. "We see this opportunity as one more step in our long march to take over the entertainment industry," added Funny or Die. Benjamin had appeared in sketches of Important Things with Demetri Martin, and his resume also includes...

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