It ain't easy being green
Episode Six: The Last Trustworthy Comedian
Last week’s episode of "Last Comic Standing" ended with scenes from this week’s episode in which we saw the comics plotting to get rid of Dat Phan. All week long, NBC continued to run promotional ads for the show in which the comics continued to scheme against the loveable little guy. To casual viewers of reality TV, it would appear that in fact, Dat and his charts and graphs would be hitting the road this week. But not you. No, you’re here at the FORT, which means that you’re a veteran of reality TV. You’re immune to the parlor tricks those crafty devils at the networks try to pull to manipulate the viewers. Let’s face it - if you really thought that Dat would be leaving this week, then you’ll be thrilled to hear that Ralphie May will be appearing on "Paradise Hotel" this Wednesday.
This week’s episode opens with (gasp) the comics scheming against Dat. We’re shown Dat honing his craft by the pool. Practicing his comedy for Dat combines staring intently down at his journal while exhibiting some form of marshal art. Dat tells us that he’s “sharpening his weapon.” Dat, I’ve heard it called a lot of things before; choking the chicken, spanking the monkey, even wrestling the bald-headed champ. But “sharpening your weapon” is a new one to me.
Jay makes an early appearance and tells the comics about this week’s challenge. I realize there were no sirens or clues on 3x5 cards this week prior to Jay’s entrance and I wonder if perhaps Claudette the Fortune Teller is on the fritz. If so, I pray that Rich Vos didn’t get loaded and make a pass at her. This week’s contest will be to video tape a two minute pitch for a brand new sitcom. The videos will be shown to a focus group. The comic whose idea is picked by the focus group will win immunity from challenge this week and a walk-on appearance on the NBC sitcom “Good Morning Miami.”
The comics sat around working on their ideas. To my surprise, Cory Kahaney actually offers some suggestions to Dat about how to improve his idea, including the name of the show. She says that Dat will be the hero of the show because everyone loves him. Dave Mordal then suggests calling the show “Everybody Loves Dat.”
Coming up with all those creative ideas is hard work, so the comics take a break with a game of Hide & Seek. Ralphie will be the seeker. The catch? Dat doesn’t realize that he’s the only one playing. He’s off like a shot and finds a terrific hiding place under the curtains behind the stage in the mansion’s theater. We aren’t comics. We’ve all taken different paths in life. None of us have pulled the old “Fake Hide and Seek” trick since sixth grade because well, that’s just silly, isn’t it? I’ll wager that it was some time shortly after we stopped finding that funny that the door to a career in comedy was closed to us forever. And seeing just how much fun the comics had with it when, after fifty-three minutes of pretending he was hiding from an ax murderer (I’m not making that up), Dat returned to the living room to find Ralphie exactly where he’d left him, I found it funny all over again. Dat was a good sport about it in front of the comics, but told us “Success is the sweetest revenge.” Yes Dat, and somewhere in one of your journals I’m sure that you’ve also written that old Klingon bromide “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
The next day we see Jay explaining things to the focus group, a panel of three men and three women of various ages and racial backgrounds. The comics get to watch their reactions to the tapes, as they are witnessing the entire scene through one-way glass.
Tess pitches the idea of her being married to a redneck country singer in Nashville.
Ralphie’s idea is of a struggling comic trying to make it in TV; he seems completely unenthused about his own idea.
Rob Cantrell pitches his idea with typical Rob enthusiasm – his will be the show that keeps NBC Number One! It’ll be Naked Lunch meets "Cheers." It’ll be "Fawlty Towers" meets "Columbo." I can’t stop laughing because it looks like there isn’t a single member of the panel that has heard of Naked Lunch or "Fawlty Towers", but they seem to perk up hearing the words “Cheers” and “Columbo.”
Cory suggests herself as a divorced single mom that plans weddings.
"Geoff Brown’s Damn Show" will be about a guy that decides to host a Ricki Lake style talk show because his girlfriend found him cheating on her. What infidelity has to do with a compelling desire to be a talk show host I have no idea. Perhaps Geoff thought it might be a cheap way of getting to do a bedroom scene with Vivica A. Fox as a guest star in the pilot. Or maybe that’s just me.
Rich’s idea is this; he’s divorced with two daughters, and he’s down on his luck. He lives in his ex-wife’s basement, and she is now married to a wealthy, boring stock broker. His clip ends by telling them they are the best looking focus group he’s ever seen.
Some of the ideas to this point actually sound plausible, and it’s clear that some of the comics gave their pitches at least a little thought, and with the exception of Rob, were being serious. Not Dave Mordal. His idea is for a sitcom about a bunch of wacky terrorists. The guy that calls in the bomb threats stutters and since he can’t talk fast enough, the bombs always end up going off. The bomb-maker is down to one finger on his right hand. The comics find it funny, the focus group thought Dave was “questionable.”
Finally Dat pitches the idea that Cory helped him polish. In “Pick a Color” Dat’s family runs a nail salon, and he’s the guy that everyone confides in. His excitement and passion for the idea is clear on the tape, and behind the glass he’s begging them to take notes. Not only does Dat want to succeed, but apparently he watched NBC’s promos for the show all week and he realizes his head is on the chopping block if he doesn’t gain immunity.
The pitches made, Jay interviews the panel. They agree that Rich Vos was a complete waste of time. Tess was funny. Cory was funny but she should try another idea because “weddings are so tired.” Of course, then they praise Dat’s idea, saying it has a My Big Fat Greek Wedding quality about it. They liked Rob, and they thought Geoff could be a black "Fraser." In the end, they chose Dat’s pitch as the best one. The first words out of Rich’s mouth were “Thank Cory for helping you.”
Back at the house, Tess berats Cory, telling her of Dat “You knew he was marked!” and complaining that Cory helped him win. We learn that “The Coalition” is made of Ralphie, Dave, Cory, and “Don” Vos.
Dat tells us that, despite the fact that she helped him win, he doesn’t trust Cory. “I saw this look on her face like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe the little bastard won!”
It’s Ralphie’s birthday, and the comics have planned a surprise. While the big man is napping, the kitchen is invaded by a horde of Sushi Chefs. When he awakens, Ralphie is genuinely surprised and appreciative of their gift. And we are surprised when Ralphie’s girlfriend arrives to surprise him as well; the woman is beautiful! I think Rich’s comment summed it up best when he said “Ralphie’s girlfriend was hot. This guy is with a 10. I do fifteen-hundred crunches a day and I can’t get a 4 to call me back.”
Remember the first time you saw a Cirque du Soleil performance? Admit it, you saw those incredible contortionists and got a little excited about what it must be like when two of them got intimate. Please tell me that wasn’t just me. Ahem. Anyway, when you saw Ralphie and his girlfriend hug, didn’t your mind wander just a little. Just me again? Damn. This is getting embarrassing. Hey, I didn’t get excited, I was just pondering the mechanics, okay?
With their plan to eliminate Dat foiled, the comics go about plotting and scheming. Well, except Rob. “I don’t know who I’m going to vote for. I really don’t know what I’m going to do in the next five minutes to tell you the truth.” As a debate about trust rages on, Dave comments “The name of the show isn’t “The Last Trustworthy Comedian.” Good thing, too, that sounds about as bad as “Love Comic” or “For Love or Comedy.”
At last it’s time to vote. Dat selects “Comic House Strategy #3” and votes for Ralphie. I’m betting that Dat has at least two pages in his journal dedicated to CHS #3. Cory votes for Dave. Rob tells us that he did “Eeenie-meenie-miney-mo – twice!” and votes for Tess. Rich, Ralphie, Tess, and Dave all vote for Rob. Geoff votes for Cory, and the comics all make if very clear that he was supposed to vote for Rob and backed out, apparently Geoff isn’t too confident about his ability to beat Rob in a challenge match. It’s clear that Geoff lost a lot of respect from the group by going against them. Apparently they had already forgotten Dave’s comment about the name of the show. In a very gutsy move, Rob decides to challenge Ralphie. Jay didn’t expect it. Heck, nobody expected it, but everyone was impressed with him for it. There are hugs and the words “balls” and “respect” are used profusely.
Rich tells us “Ralphie is a powerhouse. On a 1 to 10 scale – he’s a 10.” But not in the way his girlfriend, or a plumed Cirque du Soleil acrobat babe in a skin tight leotard that climbs up a pole with her legs at impossible angles is a 10. But I digress.
At the comedy warehouse, for the first time, the challenged comic performed before the comic who had received the most votes. Ralphie killed the audience. He said that “Bobby Brown and Whitney Houson don’t do cocaine – and I’m just bloated.” He mocked political correctness. He brought the house down, and exited with a Chris Rock drop of the mike to the stage. The man is funny, and very, very confident.
Rob’s set was also very funny. He rambled all over, telling the audience that a comic needs a memorable, edgy name, and he was going to go with Bobert. Then he decided that he’d never get laid with that name, and he would be the Artist Formerly Known As Bobert, and his symbol would be a semi-colon “Because nobody knows what it does – kinda like my act.” He said that strip bars are like feeding a hungry man plastic fruit “Let me rub this plastic pear on your face. Now gimme a dollar.” His material was fresh, his delivery off the wall, his style rambling; you never knew where he was going next. His joy in performing was clear to see. You can’t help but like this guy.
Which is why when the audience voted for Ralphie over Rob by a count of 85% to 15%, the comics, like me, were all sad to see him go. Ralphie looked ready to cry when Rob walked off stage. “I didn’t want to be the one that took Rob out; that kid has more heart.” There were hugs all around, and with that Rob was gone. We’ll miss you Rob. All six semi-colons in this recap are there in your honor, my man.
And what do you mean, you think it’s weird that I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil live on six separate occasions?
King of the world
i'm really mad at how everyone hates Dat. They seem really vendictful and unlikeable. I love the premise of this show and they are all good comedians but none of them seem like really good people. I gotta cheer for Dat to take em all out (especially Tess).
Great recap BTW Wayner
I so agree with you all about Dat. I don't know how this all will finally play out but I assure you that IF Dat makes it to the final 5 or final 2 or whatever they boil it down to and the home audience gets to vote Dat might just pull it off because those nasty people (and I think what they did to him was NOT funny at all sorry). Anyhow I feel that group are making Dat the real underdog and a lot of people root for the underdog so they better be careful because if the home audience gets to vote Dat might just surprise them. Whatever I will be rooting for him. I really feel sorry for the guy because I don't see why they all feel the need to pick on him. And Tess ... why the heck is Dat getting on her nerves? I hope she goes next. She is the one getting on MY nerves LOL
Originally Posted by k1w1
To get off my soapbox I am just going to say this ... I have never voted on the outcome of a television show before but I am so upset about the way this group is treating Dat that I would spend the money to call in as many votes as I could afford to help Dat win!!! And next week when Dave tells Dat he has not said anything funny since he got there ... If I were Dat I would have come back with ... "I don't have to be funny in the house. It's on the stage that counts!!!" And I do think Dat is very funny on stage. Last nites nasty mess made me want Dat to win even more!!!
The face-off was good tho. I love Rob and I do like Ralphie (on stage) so I guess except for the group being mean to Dat the rest of the show was good Made me sad tho ... about DAT .. I hope he wins !!!
The race is back!
The only part of this show that I saw (my first ever) was the sitcom pitch scene.
I thought they were all completely awful, with the slight exception of Dat's. And the presentation of them wasn't well-done OR funny, something I would have expected from comedians. If you can't dazzle them with a good concept, at least get them laughing.
Great recap, Wayner.
would rather be cruising!
As always Wayner, you have me cracking up, right out loud, at my desk.
I will say that although I was disappointed to see Ralphie win, I think his set was pretty funny. I'll stick to my thoughts that he's definitely not original, but he is funny. Rob has his own quirky humor and I thought it hilarious.
I was laughing at the drawings Rob did at the end.
and thanks for the laughable recap Wayner!
Evil Slash Crazy
would rather be cruising!
and PS Wayner - I've only seen advertisements for Cirque de Soleil - never thought people actually attended those things!
Originally Posted by Miss Filangi
My officemate and I actually just had an entire discussion about that right before I read this.
I completely agree that if it gets to a home audience, Dat will have a real good shot. Everyone else in the group doesn't make you want them to win. They are all so mean spirited and nasty. Not to mention completely egotistical. Ralphie was really getting on my nerves talking about how brave Rob was to go against him. I mean, geez, what an ego. It does not make me want to feed it any more. Tess really gets on my nerves. Especially with her religious pitch on the first show, talking about how religious she is and she is the most backstabbing and nasty of all of them. If Dat gets knocked next week I will probably root for Geoff. He is at least more upfront than the rest of them and a lot less egotistical.
Originally Posted by ahlene
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