Last Comic Standing, Season 8, “Semi-Final Day 2” RECAP

Are you ready for the second half of our semifinals in season eight of NBC’s Last Comic Standing?

Ready or not, here it comes.

And this time, the remaining semifinalists only have one mentor to guide them and advise them. Sorry, no Amy Schumer in the house at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal City for you. Just Last Comic executive producer Wanda Sykes with her keen insight for you. Yes, you, Lachlan Patterson!

You’re presented to us anew as a dog walker who’d like to be a full-time comedian. But first, Sykes said you need some segues. Not Segways. Segues. It’s a sentence that transitions from one idea to the next. That’s easy for a mannequin to say, since mannequins don’t talk.

Speaking of mannequins, Lachlan Patterson starts his set onstage by telling us he has no troubles meeting women, since he looks like a dummy. I mean a mannequin. He’s no dummy! He has a greeting card for just this situation, if by just this situation, you mean you need a break-up card. Too bad they never have break-up cards for video games. Because something something no girls allowed. To our judges! Russell Peters said he has a look that makes men hate him. Keenen Ivory Wayans refreshes our memories by telling us he said Patterson looks like a mannequin when he auditioned. Good job, student! Teacher gives you a gold star! Roseanne loves him, too. Says his delivery is “one of a kind,” which means she hasn’t seen Daniel Tosh. I know. Why do I keep beating that drum? Am I the lone drummer on this one?

Zainab Johnson is up next. She figures that having done comedy for all of four years, “I’m still considered a newcomer,” but so she tells Sykes that she has been holding back on her rape jokes. Yeah. Why don’t you just not force a rape joke on us without warning. Or even with warning. Oh, it’s about self-esteem, really? Why didn’t you sell it like that, then? This is just ugh. No. You need to repeat this grade in stand-up comedy and not graduate with the rest of your class. Instead, onstage, her self-esteem starts out as a joke about how people call her a man at least once a day. And yet, she also gets hit on by a lot of thugs. Better thugs when she had long hair. Now with a shaved head, she gets hippie guys? Did Keenen say exactly what he said last time. I’m too lazy to Google my own archives, but it feels like he just did that for a laugh, even. The other judges are all positive about her, which seems like they saw a different set than we did.

Let’s look at her full set, then, since we didn’t see it on TV:

DC Benny is up next, and we jump right into him onstage in front of Sykes, where he attempts to jump right into a story about his supermarket sushi guy upselling him with smack talk. He says the “mentor stuff” really helped him focus his set for the semis. Did it work? I already know he made the finals because I don’t need to time travel to the present day. Meanwhile, onstage in the past, he’s reminiscing about a trip in his youth with friends to Popeye’s, the fast-food chicken joint. Beware the gift of biscuits from your cashier. Because you may end up taking her to prom, to a Chinese restaurant. Keenen wishes DC took that next step and physically acted out his voices. He blew Roseanne’s mind. And just, wow, from Russell. “You made us say ‘ew’ and we didn’t even know what she looked like.”

Cut to Jasper Redd backstage, who’s looking to have some fun. Looking to have some fun, eh? How’s a black president on for fun size? Oh, not so fun, now? Especially if you think about him as a penny.

Here is Redd’s full two cents, so to speak, in a “digital exclusive”:

Emily Galati from Phoenix is up next with a partial set treatment (which worked for her last round, according to our editing), but it seems to have worked as well as leaving her bicycle by a treadmill. Is she as safe as her bike was?

Here is Galati’s full set, also online-only:

Tune in after we see a bit from Tyree Elaine. Who is single now. Was she not single before this bit started? I don’t need to know she used to cheat on her men, because I can see she is wearing leggings as pants. Whomever convinced women that leggings are pants probably also convinced them to cheat on their boyfriends. And that’s an unsubstantiated overstatement.

Dave Landau in mid-joke set tells us his buddy got propositioned by a prostitute. Say that three times fast. Propositioned by a prostitute. Propositioned by a prostitute. Propositioned by a prostitute. Just typing that three times at my speed took a little something something out of me. It did give him a good idea of how much money he needs to bribe his wife for sex, though. Hope he’s not bribing her when she’s on her period. Because he will not value her wisely. No sale.

Here’s his full set:

After the break, we’re back with Nikki Carr, who loves her some food. And something about Puerto Ricans in the Bronx, but we never find out why. Instead, onstage, she’s telling us how easy her current job is, compared to her previous job. No. Not the job selling fried chicken — which makes us, meaning, me, immediately wonder if she went by LuWanda back then. DC, do you remember? Russell remembers working at a KFC, so he knows where she was coming from. Roseanne loves her “swagger.” Swagger is the new orange. Keenen tells us that some comics weren’t able to come back with as much as they had in their auditions, but since we never saw that, I’m not even sure what he’s talking about.

Dana Eagle says people in L.A. who ask her to donate money to causes don’t realize that she is the cause for whom they should be raising money. Her question: Why congratulate our friends on becoming parents, without seeing how their kids turn out first?

Eagle’s full set is here:

Gerald Kelly plays his wedding tape backward. But will he play this tape backward? Only he can tell us for certain.

Kelly’s full set is here:

Erin Jackson has a more affordable alternative to a $950 allergy test at the doctor’s office. Sounds like a bargain. And nutritious!

Alingon Mitra notices that men and women don’t really want to see each other naked. Well, one does; the other, not so much? Final answer? Russell says his set lacked a certain punch for the semifinals. Other than that, no criticism. Yeah. So…

Here is more of Mitra to judge from:

Rocky LaPorte reminds one of the judges of Rodney Dangerfield. But slower. Let’s go to the videotape. Pick up the pace, Sykes says, just as the judges suggested last round. LaPorte digs into his zoo routine. Also a bit on camping. Roseanne just wishes he brought it more. “These are semifinals,” she says. “You know what I mean?” Russell thinks Rocky could say anything and be funny. So, it could go either way, really.

Rod Man appreciates Sykes’ advice not to be so wordy. How appreciative, though? When he jokes about the carpool lane in front of more than one person, he does seem to get to the joke a bit quicker. He also jokes about pulling himself over for a DUI, and having the police get into the act. His pacing sure seems a lot like Rocky’s pacing, and yet, “good God, look at him go,” Roseanne says. Is it because he’s more physically jittery onstage, so it seems like there’s a lot more going on for him than for Rocky?

We’ll have to wait for the ruling from the judges…

But first! JB Smoove fills us all in on the Last Comic Comic Comeback competition online that you and I and we and us can all vote for, so go vote already! Our first contestants are Nick Guerra vs. Alingon Mitra. One of them will advance to face off against an eliminated finalist next week.

Wow. This is different, and yet like olden times. For Throwback Thursday, we remember how they used to dole out the honors on Last Comic — all of the stand-ups assembled onstage, standing up there together to hear their fates in front of all of us.

To hear that moving on to the semifinals are…Lachlan Patterson, Rocky LaPorte, DC Benny, Nikki Carr, Rod Man.

Stay tuned as we see our 10 finalists will be cut to 8 next week after their first challenge: Performing together in sketches? Other challenges will include being a tour guide at Universal Studios, roasting Gilbert Gottfried, and handling an interview by Ellen DeGeneres. Good luck, everybody!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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