Here were are, ladies and germs. The finals of the seventh season of Last Comic Standing. All five finalists are lowered on uncomfortable swings, and all five men — Mike DeStefano, Felipe Esparza, Myq Kaplan, Roy Wood Jr. and Tommy Johnagin — are wearing black suits. Host Craig Robinson is going with a tux for the occasion, while our judges — Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero and Greg Giraldo — are in business casual, semi-formal and casual Friday, respectively.
Anyone care to guess who won without watching the finale but having read between the lines of my blog this season? If you have, then you win a special bonus prize.
Our first elimination?
Fifth place goes to…Myq Kaplan. What? The crowd goes oh, no. You go, oh, no. Oh, no. Kaplan puts on a brave face as Robinson hugs, and when given the chance to say a final word to his fans, tells them they should have gotten more phones.
To change the topic, we are re-introduced to 2008's sixth-season LCS winner Iliza Shlesinger. She's got a black cocktail dress and high heels on, and jokes about how women often give their height in both heels and non-heels terms. Shlesinger also mentions heels in joking about how short women often start fights. Snooki, anyone? And…there's a pratfall. Nothing like seeing a purty girl sprawled on the stage.
After some commercial messages, all of the judges are onstage together. They're doing what, in the business, is referred to as reading a prompter placed somewhere in the middle of the audience. No stand-up from them just yet. Instead, they're introducing a montage of Robinson highlights. Which then leads into Robinson on the keyboard with his band, Nasty Delicious, who then introduces Gloria Gaynor to join him and them to sing, I Will Survive. I. Will. Survive! I feel they put this in the show right now to console Myq. You will survive. You will.
Another break, and then Robinson says it's time to get the show to what it's really about: "Neurotic Jews!" Andy Kindler! "I want you all to know I will be judging myself internally." He suggests putting all occupations up to a contest. And he immediately goes high science. And gives us his joke about being in the "deconstruction business," followed by a glimpse of Jonathan Thymius, and then gets in his digs on Old Dogs and The Proposal while we get glimpses of other finalists Maronzio Vance and Rachel Feinstein, followed by Kindler's other great joke — as told in his State of the Industry in Montreal — about getting an offer from Celebrity Fit Club. This is just great to see on my network TV. Yay, TV!
Wait. What's this? A history of Last Comic Standing? That's Executive Producer Peter Engel talking about the "funny" titles they didn't go with.
OK. Let's get to more results. Fourth place goes to…Mike DeStefano. Two eliminations, two Mikes. A Mike/Myq will not get behind the mic as the last comic standing. Too bad. DeStefano is appropriately blunter about his message to the people who didn't vote for him: "F#$& you!"
To make us feel better, we're introduced to Tom Papa, last seen on NBC hosting The Marriage Ref, and he appropriately makes fun of married couples, including his own. "We're not even fighting. We're just communicating in a timely fashion." More jokes you may have heard before follow, which I know I've linked to before (turns out the old Tonight Show clip from Hulu I put up before is no longer on Hulu!).
Another outtake from Peter Engel which they didn't already post over the weekend? Indeed. It's about the "International Phenomenon," in which we're treated to comedians from all sorts of countries, all played by either Hugh Moore (a show writer and stand-up), Tiffany Haddish or another woman. Is this over the line or what?
Let's take a break, and when we come back, how about some stand-up from Natasha Leggero? She jokes about the oil spill — topical! Just when I think I've heard all of her set before at Montreal, she says this: "A baby is like a DUI from the universe!"
Oh my. They're doing a montage of the past hosts of the show. This is another good reminder of how nice it was to have Craig Robinson as a host with stage presence and likability, who seemed comfortable being the host of this show. I'm not sure about these bears, though. This gives Robinson a chance to come back out — in character as an old man, with his musical sidekick (that's the guy he performed with years ago in an HBO sketch showcase, right?) — to do a song about his slogan for the season, "Be About It."
Ooh, they're doing a "Top Best Jokes," in which they honor Kyle Grooms for his joke about people hating New Jersey as much as they hate Iraq, Paula Bel for doing a joke about Lifetime (hold on while I call Jim Gaffigan to tell him that stealing his joke only got Bel fourth-place in this honor, Taylor Williamson for going to the zoo, Fortune Feimster for not realizing she was a lesbian, and Kurt Metzger for remembering where he was when Michael Jackson died. Congrats, Kurt! Show him what he's won. A bronzed rubber chicken.
Greg Giraldo, meanwhile, proves he can write great new material, just like a New York pro, joking about the guy who screwed up his car bombing attempt in Times Square, then segueing into his joke about the greatest city in the world. He's not worried about getting bleeped by the censors! And Giraldo does a couple of great bits about NYC's finest homeless people, including the guy who wears his underpants outside his pants, and the barbershop quartet.
It's time for our next elimination, and in third place is…Roy Wood Jr. Aw, man. The crowd aws, too. "I just lost $400," Robinson says. Someone had a side bet. Bronze medalist, except without a bronze medal. Wood says: "My journey is for every road comic who started in the South and the Midwest who is doing this the hard way." Classy.
So it's down to Felipe Esparza and Tommy Johnagin. One of these guys was considered a favorite by almost every working comedian I talked to this season.
Hold on. Time to look at Kathy Griffin look silly and hang out with horrible people. And then she talks about horrible people. This is what she does.
Hold on, hold on. The final two comedians in the contest will each get to perform an additional stand-up set on the show. I hope this isn't awkward if the runner-up is much funnier than the winner! First to do this is Felipe Esparza. He jokes about yelling out the wrong name in bed, and says "It's kind of like this show, many were called but few were chosen," and laughs at his own punchline. "So now I go out with gay guys." Wait. What? It's just a joke. Especially since he says he cannot afford cologne, so he rubs the magazine samples on his body instead. "What's your scent? Page five." Hey there's an acknowledgement by Esparza that "Jonathan" is in the audience. We're also getting final thoughts from the judges? Even though, as Kindler notes, his thoughts won't affect the outcome at all. He calls Esparza "amazing" which is a word that makes me wonder if it has other definitions from the one you're thinking of. Leggero notes that a lot of the audience members know his name, because they scream it out. Giraldo calls him "awesome."
Tommy Johnagin is up next, and tells us he'd celebrate a win with "beer, booze and broads." Fair enough. Here he comes onstage now with some additional jokes. "This show is way funner than the rest of them," he opens. He decides to tell me about a woman who has a tattoo of a zipper along her body, and what it means, and why it makes it tough for him to have sex with her. "Zipper!" Jokes! Leggero says he should call his comedy album "Black on the Inside." Giraldo jokes: "Not a fan." He adds, "best of luck" and assures him he will have a great career. Kindler said he was great to watch week to week and calls him "fantastic."
Can you tell who won yet? One more commercial break and we'll all find out.
But first, we see Doug Benson and Fred Willard counting the votes for the winner! Apparently a lot of votes for Crystal Bowersox.
She didn't win. She didn't enter. Our runner-up is…Tommy Johnagin. Which means our seventh Last Comic Standing is Felipe Esparza!
I bet you didn't see that coming. Or did you?