This is shaping up to be the screwiest finale in Last Comic Standing since the whodunit that ended season three’s "all-star" challenge round. For one thing, will anyone in the New York City area find out who won?
NBC says the finale airs tonight from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but the NYC affiliate is airing the New York Giants preseason (preseason!) football game then, and telling viewers that LCS will air afterward, and only from 10 to 11 p.m. Where will the other half-hour go, pray tell? Seriously. What gives? And that’s beside the fact that your season six winner essentially gets crowned by a toss-up call-in vote (or producer finagling, for you conspiracy theorists with a touch of reality TV cynicism) among five people. You could win a five-way vote with only 21 percent, you know. Twenty-one percent. That’s telling America you’re their favorite, isn’t it?!
So…who will win? Let’s assess.
Marcus probably is the betting favorite. He won last year’s Seattle comedy competition. He does voices. Lots of voices. And people like impersonations. Even the hacky ones. You know why? Because hack works. That’s why it’s hack in the first place — hack comedy is stuff that is so popular and consistently successful that other comedians say it’s unworthy for achieving real laughs. But getting real laughs out of three Playboy Playmates got Marcus a free pass into this finale. And all of his voices, even Christopher Walken, make audiences smile and laugh…and vote.
Louis Ramey is a veteran road comic. NBC loved using him over and over again in promo ads to tease this season. He made a broad appeal to viewers with his pandering patriotism set in the finale. Could that work? Perhaps. Aside from Marcus, Ramey is the only American in this finale field with enough material to headline clubs and the oncoming LCS tour. He could win. Producers wouldn’t mind in the slightest if he won, either.
Jim Tavare. He’s British. He has a proven track record in the UK. And his shtick has survived two decades of performing. Is that enough? Guessing not.
Iliza Shlesinger. The only female in this bunch. Works a Dane Cook stage persona so effectively that even the show’s producers (one of whom is Barry Katz, aka Cook’s manager) have noticed the similarities. And everyone has noticed her cleavage, for better or for worse. Shlesinger obviously hopes all of those Google oogle oglers cast millions of votes for her to win. She’s the only one of the five to take part in the live audience challenges this season. Odd, but true. That means viewers have seen and heard more from her than the others. She’s so fresh in the stand-up game, though, and I don’t think she’s ready just yet to headline. Making her the winner might be too much. But no female has won LCS before.
Jeff Dye. Like Shlesinger, he is young and attractive and has a lot of fans because of it. People Google phrases such as "is Jeff Dye nice?" and "is Jeff Dye single?" Seriously. They do. And yes, he is nice. Not married. I expect many women voted for him because of this. Also an odd choice for a winner because, while he is funny and nice and has a good stage presence, he’s not a headliner yet. But if NBC is looking to be a star-maker, they could be looking at Dye as a younger, fresher Dane Cook. His odds are as good as Shlesinger’s.
But it’s a five-person race. So, really, anyone could win. Does that make any sense, though? We’ll find out tonight.