Last week on "Last Comic Standing", loveable underdog Dat Phan shocked everybody by trouncing comedy veteran Dave Mordal in the show’s weekly showdown. Please note that for our purposes, “everybody” is comprised of the remaining comics on the show, and possibly host Jay Mohr. Though frankly, we don’t see enough of Jay to know if he was surprised or not. I shouldn’t knock Jay, as the host of a reality TV show, I think he has done a fine job. I mean, what do we look for in a successful RTV host? First and foremost, a host must be able to explain the rules clearly and concisely on a weekly basis; I think Jay has done that. Second, a host must not overshadow the contestants; check. Third, a host needs a catchphrase that you identify with. Jay has “Ooooh, comics.” Sure, it’s no “Survivors ready? Go!” but it’ll do. And finally, a host must avoid being replaced midway through filming by a butler; perhaps the name Alex McLeod rings a bell to some of you.
On the bus ride home from the showdown, the comics are a sullen lot, for their friend Dave is gone. Rich Vos tells us that Dave being gone feels almost like a breakup. I know what you mean, Rich, I’ve been there. I’ll bet when Dave left he said “It’s not you, it’s me – I just don’t find you attractive.” No? Um, yeah, that never happened to me, either.
Back at the house, Dave’s loss is still felt around the house. Ralphie May says “Dave is the better comic. But Dat was better and he wanted it more. Damn you Dat Phan! Damn youuuuu!”
The next day, Dat is celebrating his victory by beating up a chair out near the retaining wall behind the house. Vos still misses Dave. “You know how bad I want that chair to beat him up? Would that be funny – if the chair threw a side kick and he flew over the wall. I like to end every story about Dat Phan with him flying over a wall.” He then tells a story about going to get on the bus, Dat trips, stumbles all the way around the house, and flies over the wall.
You’ll recall that last week, Cory Kahaney won an appearance on “Last Call with Carson Daly.” We’re treated to Cory asking an intern if it is okay that her name is spelled incorrectly (there’s not supposed to be an “e” in Cory) on her security badge. Cory, I know that security is a lot tighter in today’s society, but I’m guessing that unless they spelled it S-A-D-D-A-M, you won’t have a problem with the guards. Corey seems a bit nervous preparing for her appearance, but in the clips we’re shown, she does fine. “The best part of being part of the final six is I think we’re home free.” Yeah, sure you are.
Back at the house, the lovely Claudette’s siren welcomes a new clue. The clue is retrieved by Geoff Brown and Tess. I don’t know which is worse – that Geoff called the fortune teller a genie or Tess’ attempt to pass off a fur lampshade as a hat. The clue says “Jackson Slaughterhouse Comics.” After a brief discussion, Vos says “Jackson Five”, and the comics decode “Slaughterhouse Five”, “Five Comics.” Geoff says “Sounds like a showdown. I sincerely hope. I would love that.” When this show is over, I’m making a big sign that says ”Foreshadowing.” Then I’m going to drive to the NBC studios in Burbank, find the editor of this show, and beat him over the head with the sign. Consider it payback.
The comics ponder exactly what this means. Vos suggests it’ll be an all out battle between the six of them; that’s next week, Rich. When Dat tells them that he thought there would be one more elimination, but they had persuaded him otherwise, Geoff says “We hoodwinked you. Hornswaggled you. We bamboozled you.” Geoff knows at least three synonyms for “fooled”, but he doesn’t know the difference between a fortune teller and a genie.
Having successfully defeated the chair that represented evil, darkness and just everything bad, Dat sits on the rear wall of the property, looking out over Hollywood, eating an apple. You know, the fruit that represents original sin. This only a day after he was filmed telling us that he would never let Hollywood corrupt him. Am I the only one that sees any irony in this scene?
The comics gather, and Jay Mohr explains that they will have to vote again, but this time they won’t get to pick their opponent, and he leaves. Wait a minute, how will their opponent be selected? What happened to explaining the rules clearly and concisely? Is there a butler in the house?
Cory tells us in an old Jewish woman’s voice that they all thought they were home free. I think she would have told us in an old Vietnamese woman’s voice, but that’s been done to death.
Geoff says Rich is concerned, and Cory is going to freak out. Cory tells us “We are freaking out.”
Dat informs us that “You have to allow society to see your soul if you want them to see one-hundred percent of your art. Within your soul, that’s your heart right there. Why would you not want society to see that? We all have to face our destiny at one point or another.“
The comics meet and vote. Dat picks Cory. For the second time in the show, Ralphie votes for Geoff. Tess, claiming she doesn’t want to break tradition, votes for Dat as she has every time. Rich gets a vote from Geoff, and Rich returns the favor. Cory thinks she is funnier than Geoff. She says of Dat “I think he’s way smarter than we give him credit for.” Oh yeah? Ask him where the heart is located.
I’m rambling. In case you didn’t notice, Geoff got the most votes. “Everybody picked me because I begged them to – I want to perform.” Apparently Mr. Brown’s definition of “everybody” is even more rigid than mine, as it includes neither Dat nor Tess.
But we still don’t know how Geoff’s opponent will be selected. As if on cue, Jay welcomes back the four departed house guests: Dave Mordal, Rob Cantrell, Tere Joyce, and Sean Kent. They must chose Geoff’s opponent by unanimous vote.
Each departed comic gets to say a little something to the group. Dave says “I had a really, really good time with all of you… except Dat. I had no idea you were just gonna mock your mother for ten minutes. Otherwise I’d have brought my uncle into the picture. I didn’t know you could get away this that – it’s just crazy. I’ve had such a great time and it’s really nice to be back. This is going to be very, very interesting.” It was like tasting a glass of wine that’s a little off, I’m not sure if he was too bitter or too dry.
Rob tells the comics “You guys are a great bunch of people. I had a blast and I’m proud to say that I was on the show with you guys.” Rob’s a younger, lighter vintage of grape.
Tere: “I think you’re all very talented and it was a pleasure working with you. I wish you the best in your careers and in your personal lives.” Funny, I think that’s exactly how Dat signed the card he included with the roses he sent to the cast of ‘Good Morning, Miami.”
Sean, who was the first comic eliminated from the house says “Thanks for the vacation. The hotel has been lovely; nobody smokes, it’s been delicious. Dat, thanks for taking out Dave.” I’d get the feeling that Sean is a negative person if he hadn’t said how much he liked the hotel.
As the bootees discuss who to vote for, we’re shown a clip of Rob; he shows us a lava lamp in which he claims is the brain of the alien that visited him when he was fourteen. The alien told him that when he grew up he would become a super-duper comedian. The deliberations complete, they announce that Geoff will be facing Dat Phan in the challenge.
We’re shown the now familiar packing scenes as the comics prepare for their journey to the comedy warehouse. Dat quotes the Dali Lama. “You will win if you don’t lose the lesson.” It’s a little known fact that in his youth, the Dali Lama dreamed of becoming a comic, but his best joke was “Knock knock? Who’s there? Look inside yourself, and you will find the answer.”
Geoff prepares for the showdown by applying some sort of chemical peel. Uh, Geoff, Michael Jackson used to do the same thing, and look what happened to him. Of Dat he says “He beat somebody that beat somebody. Now I’ve got to beat somebody that beat somebody that beat somebody. And I don’t take that lightly.” Could you repeat that Geoff, I think I just lost the lesson.
The comics leave the house. Having managed to board the bus without stumbling around the house and over the wall, Dat has all but sealed Geoff’s fate already. You know, because it’s his destiny and all.
On the bus ride to the comedy warehouse, the comics reflect. Cory thinks “Dat, when he watches this show, is going to see how far he’s come. Because he really, really showed his inexperience in the comedy world. He’s come a long way since then. Ralphie tells us that “Geoff is the X-factor, he’s a dragon. You let the dragon sleep. You don’t want to wake it up.” Wait a minute; didn’t Ralphie tell us that Tess was a sleeping dragon? I’m getting confused.
At the comedy warehouse, Jay introduces the comics. Geoff goes first, wearing the smoothest burgundy shirt I’ve ever seen. It might as well have “Vos was here” stenciled across the front. Geoff tells some jokes about the guards not letting ugly women into the club, and about what to do when your lady “just wants to cuddle.” He’s funny, but the audience doesn't seem blown away.
The portion of Dat Phan’s set that we get to see tonight is much different than what we were shown last week; gone is his mother’s accent. In her place are some very funny jokes about going to the bathroom Mortal Kombat style and being the victim of idiotic racist slurs. He’s a funny guy, and the audience loves him. Dat’s set is animated from start to finish; he must beat up and entire dining room set every day to get in shape for this kind of performance.
With 77% of the vote, Dat wins for the second straight night. Geoff informs us that “I don’t apply any rules to this game, so I didn’t disappoint myself. I didn’t say that because I’ve been doing it longer than Dat Phan I deserve it more than he does – that’s ridiculous. This is not law school, this is not studying to be a doctor (as Mrs. Phan is painfully aware.) Dat Phan won because he was funny and the audience felt he was funnier than me. I don’t blame my loss on anyone but me.” The fifteen year comedy veteran may not have been the funniest comic tonight, but he might just have been the most dignified.
And Mr. Phan lives to Dat another day.