This season they let the judges and not the viewing or the studio audience decide.

So it was a celebrity expert panel of Roseanne, Russell Peters and Keenen Ivory Wayans who ultimately handpicked Rod Man, a journeyman stand-up, husband and father in Los Angeles originally from Georgia, to win the eighth season of Last Comic Standing on Thursday night.

Rod Man’s victory wasn’t the biggest surprise of the evening. That’d have to the cameo voiceover from NBC’s Olympics anchor Bob Costas introducing him and his fellow two finalists — Nikki Carr and Lachlan Patterson — before host JB Smoove even took the stage for the finale.

Expanded to two hours, there was more time to get reacquainted with all three finalists, see “Comic Comeback” winner Alingon Mitra who earned a performance spot on the finale after winning five online head-to-head votes based on additional stand-up videos, plus performances from both Roseanne and from Russell Peters.

But first, a little more about our winner, Rod Man, who takes home a cash prize and development deal with NBC worth $250,000.

Rod Man started his career at Atlanta’s Uptown Comedy Club at the nights hosted by Earthquake. He’s played The Apollo. Earned TV credits on HBO’s The Bad Boys of Comedy and Martin Lawrence’s First Amendment for Starz, Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out for MTV, plus BET and even a gig co-hosting a morning radio show in Los Angeles. His appearances on L.A.’s comedy stages earned him a spot as one of the other showcasing comics alongside Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen in Judd Apatow’s Funny People. But it wasn’t until Last Comic that he got the national spotlight on himself.

Here’s the winning moment:

And the first finale sets, starting with Rod Man:

Nikki Carr:

Lachlan Patterson:

Round two:

Roseanne:

Russell Peters:

And Alingon Mitra:

You can find out how to audition for season nine of Last Comic Standing here!