Tag Archives: Nikki Glaser

Last Comic Standing – The Other Five

 
Yep, that’s gotta be how Kurt Metzger feels. 

Are you kidding me, Last Comic Standing? Just when I thought you had gotten past the asinine policy of “casting a reality show” in favor of finding the funniest comics, you pull another Dan Naturman on me. 

Naturman, you’ll remember, was the contestant on the second season of LCS who was passed over for the finals even though the on-air judges all voted for him. Turns out that there were more people behind the scenes – a voting majority, no less – and they thought it was more important to have an interesting mix of personalities on the show. It was an embarrassment at the time and still a stain on the program’s reputation to this day. 

So what happens last night? Metzger comes out and absolutely kills…easily within the top 2-3 responses from both audience and judges – and he doesn’t make the cut? WTF?

Of course, none of the judges looked surprised or said a word. In fact, the announcement process is bizarre in itself, as pre-assigned groups of five or six comics walk downstage and only one is chosen. When I saw that Roy Wood Jr. and Metzger was in the same group, I was dumfounded, as the two were easily the best performers on the program last night. 

Video: Kurt Metzger: Hilarious Crimes

And while Craig Robinson is openly mocking the banality of the role of host, the judges continue to coddle the contestants; I’ve learned that “you are telling personal stories and you should go with that” and/or “you are very unique/original/funny” is code for “make sure you pack as soon as you get offstage“. I realize that some of these people work together and no one wants to crucify a colleague onstage, but some of these comics just aren’t that good

Some went beyond that, bombing and going down in flames. Guy Torry is a seasoned actor and comedian but chose to riff on Hillary Clinton and – are you sitting downMonica Lewinsky. (I don’t know who is in charge of the calendar at the Torry house, but they should be fired.) Torry’s set pretty much sucked, but as the judges tried to be professional while telling him he was capable of doing better, he became argumentative, dismissive and insulting. Nice strategy, idiot!  He’s lucky that the ratings for LCS are minimal or we would have been watching career suicide. The only funny thing Torry did all night was come out for the final announcements with his coat on and his duffel bag over his shoulder. 

Guy Torry's career, as seen from space

And weren’t all of these people supposedly from the bigger groups last week? Either there are some continuity errors or several of them were so bland that I don’t even remember them after a couple of weeks. You’d think I’d remember a name like Fortune Feimster, for example, who plays off her unfortunate resemblance to Jonah Hill to good effect. Or Maronzio Vance, who barely registered last night in a short set. I want to like Nikki Glaser but she did another variation on the abortion joke she did at the auditions and it seems like she plows the same narrow ground. I’m a longtime fan of  Laurie Kilmartin, a great writer, but I’ve seen her do better and I was a little disappointed that she used her old routine about her Russian boyfriend.

Jason Nash, Carmen Lynch, Cristela Alonzo, Nick Cobb, Claudia Cogan and most of the others were okay; a chuckle or two but fairly pedestrian material. Two exceptions: Brian McKim has been doing stand-up for thirty years, and everything from his posture to his cadence screams old-school comic, but his delivery is great and he is memorable. Jacob Siroc wouldn’t have made my cut either but following the Torry debacle and opening with “okay, that wasn’t awkward” broke the ice; he later ad-libbed a “Google” call-back from Torry’s disastrous rant. He looks like a cross between Tom Kenny and Jake Johansen; in other words, he’s got the look down. 

But I’m starting to think something fishy is going on. Again. 

For example, comics are supposed to be judged on what they are doing that night – not how their career stacks up or how they did elsewhere. Yet several references were made to other performances; Andy Kindler told Jerry Rocha that he loved seeing him at another show, and Natasha Leggero went absolutely Paula Abdul on Feimster.  

Neither made the cut, but one of the finalists seemed to get a push. James Adomian had a mediocre set but then Craig Robinson and the judges asked him to do impressions at the post-set review…and then rated the impressions! And I can’t explain the vibe I got when Kilmartin‘s name was called, but it was as if she knew making the finals was a fait accompli

Their five:  James Adomian, Laurie Kilmartin, Maronzio Vance, Roy Wood. Jr and Tommy Johnagin

Mine : Kurt Metzger, Roy Wood Jr., Tommy Johnagin, Taylor Williamson and Mike Vecchione

And then there were ten. If I had to handicap, I’d bet on Mike DiStefano, Myq Kaplan and Tommy Johnagin for the trifecta. We’ll see what happens.

— 

 

R.I.P. Harvey Fuqua, Moonglow and Motown mover/shaker.

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Tuesday’s Mailbag

Just a few things that jumped out at me today…

 

Last Comic Standing

The fourth round – second for New York City – was broadcast Monday night and contained another mix of established comic veterans and lesser-knowns. As I watched the show I wondered how many “name” comics had possibly lined up to audition and didn’t even make the broadcast (bombed, too stoic, too well-known, etc.). How depressing would that be for a comic vet? Or would it be better to die in obscurity?

Because they’re not going for the whole “vote them off the island” concept this season by eschewing the drama of communal living, hopefully we’re more likely to get to see funny people than those the producers think will provide an interesting mix of personalities. I also wonder, given the scandals of past seasons, how much input the three judges really have and whether there are still a larger group of network people behind the scenes voting.

One thing I have noticed is that the judges seem to be pretty lenient inviting people to the showcase. I was surprised at least half the time when people came out with fairly limp material and got the yes vote. Then again, we might be missing a minute or two of what the judges are seeing because of the broadcast edits.

Married comics Brian McKim and Traci Skene (who manage the Shecky Magazine website) both tried out; he made the cut and she didn’t. They have some interesting info on the whole LCS applicant process on their site, well worth a read.

If you missed it, here’s the summary: Andy Kindler is funny as hell, Greg Giraldo is watching fifty people nowhere near as funny as he is vie for a large cash prize and Natasha Leggero’s boisterous laugh and great looks has every male watching the program twitching (in a good way). And as far as the competitors? My five would have been Mike Vecchione, Kyle Grooms, Myq Kaplan, Nikki Glaser and Carmen Lynch.

Television Without Pity

Eli tipped me to this one as she’s a TV hound; I do pop in there on occasion. But she knows I love awards, even when they’re ridiculous, so their Tubey Awards is right up my alley. Beyond the voting for “Best Drama” or “Best Supporting Actor” there’s also “Most Egregious Product Placement” and “Best Performance by an Inanimate Object” (my vote went to Ron Swanson’s moustache – no contest!)

It’s all in good fun, and even if Bravo and NBC Universal are behind the whole thing, it’s really just a harmless fun site for when you want to get your silly on regarding television.

Adam Marsland’s Blog

Prescriptioneers know that I have great admiration for musician Adam Marsland, a guy who decided long ago that hitting the road and bringing his music to the fans in whatever manner he was capable of was a far better path than sitting in his basement whining about the collapse of the music industry.

The former Cockeyed Ghost leader has circled the country countless times as a solo act, with his full Chaos Band and several configurations in between. And if you know Adam – or listen to his songs – you know that he’s not afraid to tell you what he thinks or how he feels.  From his email:

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where to go with my life and career the last week or so, considering whether to keep doing original music, and how and where I should do my thing. The biggest decision:  I’m going to start a blog. It’s going to be a diary of my life as a full-time itinerant musician, playing nudist colonies and casinos and state parks and stadiums, the crazy things that happen and the frustrations…and extension of the tour diaries people used to enjoy so much.  I’m going to try to make this a daily thing. My first blog explains the motivations for doing this, and gives some idea of what I’m going to do next.”

I can relate, brother. And 536 posts later, I can tell you that the daily blog is both invigorating and challenging. So welcome to the madhouse, Adam…and good luck!

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Laughs

More great clips from ten comics you might not know about; off the top of my head I don’t believe any of them even have a comedy album available. But you’ll probably recognize a few faces – Rick Overton is a longtime favorite, fans of The Daily Show know Wyatt Cenac, and Steve Agee (with Brian Posehn) plays Sarah Silverman‘s gay neighbor.

If you enjoy stand-up comedy, Effin Funny is a freaking goldmine. Here’s a great head start…

comedy-mask

Eric Price: I Love The ’80s

Matt Knudsen: Pickup Truck Confessions

T J Miller: Drawing Dicks on Faces

Wyatt Cenac: The Minority Battle

Rick Mitchell: Christian Fish

Nikki Glaser: Thinking About Abortion

Steve Agee: Grossest Story Ever

Dan Mintz: Food

Dwayne Perkins: Racist Kramer

Rick Overton: We’re Just Mammals

Life is short – laugh every day.

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