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Thread: East Coast Semi-Finals: Make Me Laugh

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    It ain't easy being green Wayner's Avatar
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    East Coast Semi-Finals: Make Me Laugh

    There is a significant portion of the population that doesn’t know this show exists. There an even larger group that doesn’t know I’m recapping it. And bigger still is the hoard of people that, if they knew I was recapping, wouldn’t care that I’m three days late in posting said recap. But I’m not here for them. I’m here for the segment of the population that really cares about Last Comic Standing. I’m writing this for the demographic that enjoys comedians, likes to laugh, and finds my writing amusing. I’d like to thank that demographic. So here’s a big shout out to Bob Doganowski of Saskawa, Oklahoma; thanks for making this all worth it for me, Bob.

    Okay, let’s get started. For those of you that didn’t read the recap of the West Coast Semi-Finals (in other words, everybody but Bob), let me bring you up to date quickly and without pause. (Deep breathe - read fast) Last Comic Standing is American Idol for Comedians with Jay Mohr hosting and there are semi-finals on both coasts with the top ten from each semi going to Las Vegas to compete and the top ten of that group live in a house in the Hollywood hills and they compete against each other and the overall winner gets a special on Comedy Central and a contract with NBC so they can be a big star. Got it? Good. Now can I get on with it? Even Bob is losing patience.

    To Recap
    The East Coast competition is brought to us from Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City. Our celebrity talent scouts this time are Collin Quinn, Joy Behar, and Caroline Rhea. How about that – I actually recognize all three scouts this time. One piece of information that escaped me during the first show is that each contestant only gets three minutes on stage. Jay introduces the first contestant, she is…

    The Performers
    Carmen Lynch, from Fairfax, VA. Carmen is tall. She talks about how her mom is short and Hispanic and when her friends come over they think her mom is the cleaning lady. Collin thinks she’s great, and Joy finds her really funny. It’s already clear that these scouts are going to get along and talk to each other more than the scouts in the first show did.

    Sheila “Strawberry” Gaskins of Baltimore, MD tells us that one out of three members of the audience is ugly. I recognize this joke before she gets any further. Collin does too as he tells his fellow scouts “And one out of three comedians tells that joke.” I think we can safely assume that we won’t be seeing Strawberry again any time soon.

    Rio Koike is from Tokyo, Japan. He tells a joke about being mistaken for the dry cleaning guy backstage. Collin asks him how much a beautiful blonde like Caroline would go for back in Japan.

    Our fourth contestant (they’re flying through them this episode) is Craig Baldo of Madison, NJ. We get to see some of Craig off stage in the first behind the scenes video clips of the show. In the clip, Craig practices his stand-up routine to his cat, and he tells us “I create funny things out of thin air and give them to you. And you accept them…hopefully.” On stage Craig creates an amusing bit about waking up to a Chris Isaak tune on his clock radio. I like the cat bit better, but this guy made me laugh.

    Dave Mordal hails from Elk River, MN. We get to see a clip of him on the Mordal family farm, his dad riding the tractor, and Dave trying to start a snow mobile. We’re also treated to a shot of their shop, or as he calls it, “The Spousal Avoidance Center.” Dave is an older guy than most of the contestants, I’d guess early to mid forties. On stage, Dave kills, and we get to see nearly the entire three minutes of his performance. His humor is all about living in a small town. He cautions about the foolishness of robbing the only gas station in a small town, and as we’re shown a 1978 mug shot, he admits to the scouts that he was arrested in high school for robbing the town gas station. “You know how I was caught? The next day I showed up at school selling cigarettes and oil. Who steals oil?” I’m going to go out on a limb right now and say that this guy will have his own sitcom on NBC someday. I think he’s the class of the field.

    Next on stage is Nancy Bellany, Queens, NY. During her routine, Caroline leans over to Joy and whispers “I have a similar act.” Joy responds “I hope yours is funnier.” Bye Nancy.

    John Priest of Manhattan, NY does a bit about what happens after your girlfriend leaves you. He’s funny, and he’s quick on his feet. When Joy asks him if he prefers dating bulimics or anorexics, he quickly replies “Anorexics are cheaper.” Twisted, but funny.

    Lisa Alvarado from Carpentersville, IL is an attractive single Latina mom. She jokes about being pregnant in high school at age 17, and how furious her parents were that it took her so long. She’s mildly amusing.

    Marc Theobald from Chicago, IL does a pretty funny bit about people from the West Indies. His family is from Trinidad, and that is the basis of his routine. He made me laugh, but not as much as some of those that came before him.

    Another Manhattan resident, Cory Kahaney, is up next. She does a bit about her teenage daughter that is smart and very good. On video we learn that she tells her daughter that if she doesn’t want it in her mom's act, then she shouldn’t do it. The scouts agree that she is smart and very good.

    Alex House from Jersey City, NJ tells us that she is depressed because she can’t shorten her name like J-Lo, because it would be A-Ho. That got a laugh, but it was the only joke we get to hear, so I’m guessing she’s toast.

    Russ Meneve is from Hawthorn, NJ. He writes his jokes while sitting in a Starbucks; what’s not to like about this guy? He does a very good routine revolving around the absurdity of the phrase “Unprovoked shark attack”, and wonders if perhaps there is some loser from Jersey provoking them. The audience liked him, and so did I.

    Mike Bocchetti, Staten Island, NY. I don’t remember any of his jokes being very funny, but he did this goofy walk between jokes that had Joy in tears. It is sort of hard to stretch a goofy walk into an hour long special on Comedy Central, so I don’t like his chances.

    Up next is Rich Vos from Plainfield, NJ. Apparently Rich has appeared on Collin’s Comedy Central show, so there has got to be some bias there. However, Rich does his best to balance out the scouts when he rips on Canada, only to learn afterwards that Caroline Rhea is Canadian. Oops. Rich is polished, but cocky “How about a big hand for all my opening acts?” He’s good, but I don’t like his attitude.

    Jen Kirwin from Wyncote, PA is a “cater waiter” and she joked that the thing she enjoys most about being a woman is tricking someone into thinking that you’re carrying their baby. Um, maybe it’s just because I’m a guy, but I didn’t think that was funny.

    Our sixteenth (yes, they’re showing us more folks than they did in L.A.) is Joe Matarese from Cherry Hill, NJ. He tells us that he tried to make it in Hollywood, but the best he could do was get a gig as an extra in a radio commercial. He’s better than some we’ve seen so far.

    Jessie Taylor is an African American from St. Louis, MO. He expressed his frustration that hurricanes are never named after brothers. Caroline thought he was adorable, and after his set he tells the folks back stage “I think Caroline was hitting on me.”

    Paul Mecuro, Providence, RI pokes fun at his enormous lips, and when the audience doesn’t laugh he says “Thank for shooting my chances, folks.” Buh-bye, Paul, we hardly knew you. Lucky us.

    Danielle Broussard from Philadelphia, PA has come up with a politically correct term for single, no kids: “Haaaappy.” As a father of two children under the age of two, that one had me rolling. And to top it off, she’s actually got a nice figure. But crap, she’s wearing a red shirt! If you don’t know what that means, read the West Coast recap.

    Our twentieth and final contestant of the evening in Eddie Pepitone from Staten Island, NY. Eddie is bald, pudgy, mid-forties, and looks, well, imbalanced. And he’s funny as can be. He brings down the house. When he leaves, the audience actually chants his name.

    While the scouts are deciding who is going to make the cut, I’m thinking Baldo. Meneve. Bocchetti. Vos. Matarese. Pepitone. Apparently, if you’re an Italian from New York or New Jersey, and you can’t get a gig with the mob, comedy is your backup plan.

    The Winners
    When all is said and done, Jay awards tickets to Las Vegas to Cory Kaheny, Craig Baldo, Jen Kirwin (really?), Russ Meneve, John Priest, Carmen Lynch, Dave Mordal, Jessie Taylor (be sure to thanks Caroline, Jess), Rick Vos, and Eddie Pepitone. Backstage we see winners being congratulated and losers being consoled. I ponder what might have been if only Danielle had worn something taupe.

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    LG.
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    FORT Writer LG.'s Avatar
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    I’m writing this for the demographic that enjoys comedians, likes to laugh, and finds my writing amusing. I’d like to thank that demographic. So here’s a big shout out to Bob Doganowski of Saskawa, Oklahoma; thanks for making this all worth it for me, Bob.
    Hey, I'm with Bob. Great stuff Wayner!
    Help fight cystic fibrosis or just learn more about it at the cystic fibrosis foundation website, www.cff.org and help give my little guy a better future.

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    FORT Fan skywisej's Avatar
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    Me too! I'm reading you Wayner! I care! By the way, it was a great recap.. it is interesting how your take on most of the comedians was similar to mine. Dave Mordal was SOOO funny!
    To be a star: you must shine your own light; follow your own path; and don't be afraid of the darkness, for that's where stars shine brightest.

    Watch The Amazing Race 4 on CBS Thursdays @ 8:00!!!

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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    I’m writing this for the demographic that enjoys comedians, likes to laugh, and finds my writing amusing.
    That's all that matters. You're doing a bang-up job, Wayner!

    I missed most of this episode, but I did catch the comedians from Jen Kirwin and on. I didn't get her joke either. It was pathetic, imo.

    I really felt bad for Paul Mecuro when not a single person laughed at his big lips jokes. Poor guy! From the comedians I saw, nobody really stood out. Well, that line-up pic of Dave Mordel was funny.


    I liked the west coast comedians better. We'll see how they all do next week.

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    Mike Bocchetti was hilarious. He had Jay Mohr cracking up with the telescope joke (don't remember it exactly).

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    I sure as hell don't feel sorry for Paul Mercurio. It's always the comic himself's fault if no one laughs and he blamed it on the audience.

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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    That's absolutley true, someguy. It did seem like he gave up after that one joke. However, I still felt bad for the guy. I'm just that way.

    By the way, Welcome to the FORT!

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    A recapper walks into a bar...

    Okay, I'm not a comedian, unless you count "smartass".

    John Priest of Manhattan, NY does a bit about what happens after your girlfriend leaves you. He’s funny, and he’s quick on his feet. When Joy asks him if he prefers dating bulimics or anorexics, he quickly replies “Anorexics are cheaper.” Twisted, but funny.
    That, and the A-Ho ones, were very funny. Great job, W!

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    It ain't easy being green Wayner's Avatar
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    Originally posted by someguy
    Mike Bocchetti was hilarious. He had Jay Mohr cracking up with the telescope joke (don't remember it exactly).
    I think he said something like "I'm in a long distance relationship with this woman... it's telescopic." That was pretty funny. I would have taken him over Jen Kirwin, but maybe they cut the best part of her act or something.

    And thanks John - for the compliement and the recapper joke.

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    Premium Member Bumpkin's Avatar
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    Wayner - dude -- I'm reading, I'm reading!

    Loving the recaps. Never mind that this one is late. (ahem!)

    I didn't watch this episode (it was bedtime) but plan to watch the series. Will there be another audition show?

    Do you know who the guest judges are for the regular competition, or will they change each week?

    Help me out on the judges for this segment. I'm thinking Collin Quinn may be from Whose Line, but I didn't recognize the other names.... (too many children in the house, can't watch Comedy Central like I used to)

    Anyway -- great job - looking forward to the next installment.

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