We finally got to see the new high-profile judges for the revived eighth season of Last Comic Standing all together in public at the NBCUniversal “summer” media day today.
Roseanne, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters are this season’s judges for the NBC primetime stand-up comedy competition, which returns with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, May 22, 2014, with one-hour episodes to follow throughout the summer.
They’ve already selected and auditioned their top 100 handpicked comedians in showcases last month.
Here’s a trailer featuring Greer Barnes, Erin Jackson, Guy Branum, Johnny Sanchez and more. “Tell it to my balls!”
Whom else did you recognize in the quick-clip action?
UPDATED April 15 with a new, shorter, different clip!
The top 10 finalists who advance from Wednesday’s semis then will compete in not just stand-up but also improv and sketch contests — which means they’ll also be forming teams!?! True that.
Producers said you might not see a house, as in the original two seasons of Last Comic, but you will get plenty of behind-the-scenes to learn about the comedians, their lives and their work.
And they pointed out that just because you’re funny on Twitter, that don’t mean a thing once you’re onstage with a microphone in your hand and the audience staring right back at you. “I don’t know where the jokes come from when they’re online. It’s not real to me unless I see you with a microphone,” Wayans said.
“Instead of doing a HBO hour special, you’re doing a four-and-a-half minute NBC special,” executive producer Wanda Sykes told reporters today.
Wayans compared Last Comic in 2014 to NBC’s other hit talent competition — no, not AGT, but The Voice. Trying to find “the best of the best” in comedy. That’s why they also discarded the cattle-call open auditions with lines outside of comedy clubs nationwide. This year, they handpicked the talent. And accepted hundreds more submissions via email. Executive producer Page Hurwitz said they weren’t looking to cast comedians simply to appeal to the network, either. “Usually if NBC says ‘These are people [we want]’, we exclude them,” Hurwitz said.
The winner’s prize package includes an NBC talent deal and a half-hour scripted project to be developed by Universal Television.
Push It Productions (Sykes and Hurwitz’s shingle) is producing with Universal Television. Javier Winnik (The Marriage Ref) also is on board as an executive producer.