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Thread: New Show, Old Pros: Where have we seen these people before?

  1. #41
    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    The thing about this whole "Pros vs Amateurs" debate that bugs me is that some of the "pros" that moved on last night were NOT FUNNY. Sue Costello wasn't that funny. Neither was DC Benny. Geez, I don't even think Jim Norton was funny last night. However, it is obvious why some of the amateurs didn't move on....they don't have much material. They have 5 minutes-10 minutes tops. Vladimir did the exact same jokes...as did Paul V(?). Hopefully both will be able to hone their skills and get a bunch of material for next year and come back blazing.

    However, I thought there were several "undiscovered" comics last night that were a lot funnier than several of the "pros", and even a few of the undiscovereds. Chris Voth, for example, has a bunch of material, great delivery, stage presence, and actually made me and, seemingly, the audience laugh hard. I'm glad I heard his name though...I will be looking for him at my local comedy club.
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  2. #42
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    This was written in the local paper the other day. I found it very interesting. Especially after seeing many of the comedians. I knew I had seen many of them somewhere before but I wasn't sure.

    Here's some shocking news "reality" shows aren't really real.
    I'm stunned. Aren't you?
    Sarcasm aside (for a moment), Drew Carey and Brett Butler were certainly unpleasantly surprised by what happened when they served as celebrity judges for the new edition of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," which premieres tonight at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.
    And neither Carey nor Butler made any secret of their unhappiness. Carey called the show "crooked and dishonest" in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
    And Butler posted a statement on her Web site disavowing the results of the show "We had NOTHING to do with them."

    Bob Read and Ross Mark scout talent for "Last Comic Standing."

    NBC/Paul Drinkwater
    Well, maybe not "nothing." As we see in the four hours (really!) of the show that airs tonight and Wednesday, comedy talent scouts Bob Read and Ross Mark (who book comedians for "The Tonight Show") went to auditions at various sites around the country and sent a group of comics on to the next round in Las Vegas. There, the judging was "a combination of the celebrity talent scouts that were there in consultation with the producers," said an NBC spokeswoman.
    Apparently, however, nobody told the celebrities that their input wasn't what would decide the competition. At least according to Read.
    "We love Drew Carey and we consider him a friend of ours and a colleague," Read said, trying to make nice in a rather contentious situation. "I think what happened (was) nobody told Drew or Brett exactly what the situation was. . . . I would be upset too if nobody told me what my job was and then they start rolling the cameras. You can't blame them."
    Executive producer Peter Engel has apologized to the celebrities in the wake of Carey and Butler's rather public disavowal of the show. "Peter, I think, was professional and a good man and he stood up and said, 'Hey, I screwed up. I didn't tell them what to do there,' " Read said.
    Which is all very nice, except that it doesn't address the issue at hand. Talent of any kind, let alone comedy talent, is subjective but, rather obviously, Butler and Carey don't think the 10 finalists on "Last Comic Standing" are the 10 best comedians.
    And other questions have been raised about the legitimacy of the competition. Another of the executive producers, Barry Katz, represents two of the 10 finalists, although NBC insists he recused himself from making any decisions about their participation. And it at least appears at times in the first four hours that comics who have a past relationship with Marks and Read have a leg up when it comes to advancing in the competition.
    "Yes, we did represent some of the people in the past, but we also quit that job being managers," Read said. "And there was also no rule against people that we may have worked with before or booked on any kind of shows or anything like that."
    And they were both adamant that they judged the competition on talent alone.
    "I think it really was a level playing field because some of the people that we knew . . . like a total, professional comic who's been on 'The Tonight Show' before, and she came in and she was just horrible," Read said. "And there was no way that I could pick her over another comic . . . who I'd never seen before, who came in and was just original and funny."
    And, eventually, the winner will be chosen by viewers who phone in their votes.
    "It is a contest . . . and America votes. I mean, America voted the winner (last season)," Ross said.
    Which, once again, isn't really the question at hand. America can only vote for the finalists who are selected by the talent scouts and the producers . . . in consultation with the celebrities, maybe.
    Of course, viewers always have to keep in mind that reality shows aren't documentaries. It should be no surprise that results are manipulated in one way or another by shows' producers. They cast the shows, they set up the situations, they edit the footage to tell the stories and (in some cases) influence the voting.
    Just look at NBC's hit series "The Apprentice," on which the question of fairness never really arose. The producers selected the contestants and decided the results each week in consultation, of course, with Donald Trump and his staff.
    Didn't seem to bother the tens of millions of viewers who tuned in every week.

    Jonathan Antin

    If you watch "Last Comic Standing," just figure you'll see see standup comedians perform, and don't worry too much about the competition and the fairness issue. This is, after all, reality TV, not reality.
    Never Play Leap Frog With A Unicorn

  3. #43
    PSi
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    I need more Cowbell! PSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qboots
    Were the 7 spelling mistakes NBC's or yours?
    Just kidding - thanks for typing this up for us PSi.

    Haha, i wrote it before i went to work, so i didn't have time to pause it or even double check it. . . so very picky....

    and hep- the last paragraph was the 2nd screen.

  4. #44
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Well...the ones I like best haven't been outed as pros yet, so much for *professional* comics being necessarily funnier.
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    Mrs. Pusser's fanclub pudman13's Avatar
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    Why they should *not* pick the pros

    I'm sorry, but the likelihood is that if these people have been pros for so many years and haven't "made it" it's because they aren't good enough and never will be. That's the best reason for picking new talent here---they're not going to find any future star by looking at people who have been around forever and haven't ever blown anyone away. Some of the new talent will turn out to be one-joke comics and failures, but they'll be interesting, and that's the only pool from which they might truly find the next big thing.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pudman13
    I'm sorry, but the likelihood is that if these people have been pros for so many years and haven't "made it" it's because they aren't good enough and never will be. That's the best reason for picking new talent here---they're not going to find any future star by looking at people who have been around forever and haven't ever blown anyone away. Some of the new talent will turn out to be one-joke comics and failures, but they'll be interesting, and that's the only pool from which they might truly find the next big thing.


    I agree so much. If these journeymen haven't made it yet with all of their exposure through personal sitcoms, guest appearances, insider buddies and various other TV and screen time - it aint happenin' for em. During all of that time they had to have been scouted by numerous casting directors and producers, sent their reels to countless reps, had agents and business managers trying to open doors and cut deals for them, and yet they were continaully passed over - or as in Sue Costello's case - given a self-titled prime time netword sitcom. So she already HAS won what the prize of this show is and been given a production deal and still crashed & burned - yet, they prop her up and trot her out there once again.

    It's just like in sports when a team fires the head coach/manager, I hate it when they turn around and hire some old, tired, war horse who's already coached 6 different middle of the road, also ran, teams. Its the SAFE choice of complaceny and mediocracy. "Well, he wont shine or bring us to the big dance, but he wont embarrass us either". Safe, sacharrin.

    Hell, give me the hungry young former player or former assistant coach - they may come in with no front line experience, but they will come in with a burning passion and a thousand new ideas. Sure he will fall on his face on occassion but there is always that chance that you will find lightning in a bottle.

    With my present cable company, I can find a cookie-cutter Seinfeld wannabe standing in front of a brick wall and plastic potted plant spewing the flavor of the month, store-bought, professionally written jokes in front of 300 people in a comedy club - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    What I CANT find, is a show that offers a chance for an undiscovered gem to come out of nowhere and realize the dream of a lifetime.
    Last edited by Daddio; 06-10-2004 at 11:55 AM.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdobolina
    The thing about this whole "Pros vs Amateurs" debate that bugs me is that some of the "pros" that moved on last night were NOT FUNNY. Sue Costello wasn't that funny. Neither was DC Benny. Geez, I

    .
    I agree. Sue and Ant, especially, shouldn't have moved on.

    That said, there were pros... such as Durst, who were funny, and didn't move on.
    So I think that the problem is not a "pro vs amateur" one, but the producers not picking the best talent.

  8. #48
    FORT Regular mic813's Avatar
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    I have seen Pablo Francisco twice. The first time he was hilarious. Second time he did the same material and it just wasn't as funny. Curious why he didn't move ahead?!

  9. #49
    FORT Fogey JonasGrumby's Avatar
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    Most wasted picks were Jessica, Sue, Ant, and Todd (should have been Paul V., Frank S., Chris Voth, and Durst). DC Benny wasn't funny too, in fact he was surprised he made it. All here would agree that if a comedian already been there & done that and crashed, what's the point of putting them there again. The reason why they crashed before is because they were unfunny as is the case with the wash out Sue Costello. The only reason that she made it is because she has some clout with the producers. My co-workers thought she was unfunny too, her material was dreadful! She had her chance, give the slot to some up-and-coming and more deserving comedian!

  10. #50
    pop culture whore pg13's Avatar
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    Let's try this again...damned database problems!

    Hey Fortskateers, back once again to the complaining that never ends...

    I didn't see the very first episode this year...but there'll be plenty of opportunities on Comedy Central for that, right?

    I DID see last night's cutdown show and was looking forward to seeing if I recognized any of the comics. There were rumors all year about how Brian Regan was going to be one of the contestants--and if you're not familiar with Brian, he's one of the most brilliant comedians in the business...which does put a lie to the comment I've read on here earlier--the "if I haven't heard of them, they must not be very good" comment. The true comment should be "if I haven't heard of them, maybe they work in a region of the country that doesn't get many talent scouts, maybe they have a 'look' that doesn't lend itself to becoming a sitcom star or character actor, or maybe they love doing stand-up and aren't interested in stopping being a stand-up just to become a comedic actor."

    Dat Phan wants to be a comedic actor. I'm sure he'll be a wacky neighbor in one of the endless "Friday" movie sequels some day.

    The one rule, though, that I remembered from last year was that contestants could not have ever appeared on Letterman or Leno. Well, despite the fact that there was no Brian Regan present, it was obvious that Letterman/Leno rule had been tossed out. That didn't bother me as much as many of them weren't chosen.

    Everyone in year one was a working comic to some degree... Dat Phan had been doing time in LA, Rob Cantrell had been doing time in SF and Dave Mordal had been doing work in Minnesota. The difference, to me, was that last year the only "name" I knew was Rich Vos, who I knew at the time only because of seeing him on Tough Crowd (although some of my more experienced comedy brethren in Seattle had seen or worked with some of the others before...and if you're ever at Giggles in Seattle, ask to see the pre-LCS glossy photo of Tere Joyce they have on the wall...it's a hoot!)

    This year, however, I'm seeing significant players on the scene...headliners with honest to goodness credits...people I've seen...people I've paid money to see...people with their own (failed) sitcoms...

    And that doesn't bother me. What BOTHERS me is that I've seen Pablo Francisco's Comedy Central special...and I can't for the life of me understand how he couldn't have at least made it to Vegas. I've seen Will Durst's television appearances and I know that he's a top notch talent. I've seen Tom Cotter win the Laughs Across America competition in Las Vegas...a fact which I got to share with Cory Kahaney and Dave Mordal on a car trip to Olympia, Washington...and Cory got out her cell phone and ragged Tom out right then and there for not telling her about it.

    Great that Todd Glass and Kathleen Madigan go on...but damn! I'm almost happy that Dane Cook and Brian Regan DIDN'T participate in it...if they were in danger of losing to some rather questionable talent in the cutdown show.

    Now, I have to say that any discussion of "he was funnier than she was" based solely on this show has to be tempered with the knowledge that these people did 3 minutes but we only saw 30 seconds of that time... The people who are NOT going on to the next round could safely have their best material shown when the people who ARE going on to the next round aren't going to have their best material "burnt" this early in the season. (They tried their best to edit Dat Phan well last year in a similar fashion because he had significantly less material than some of his housemates did...but it still became obvious that he was doing the same material each time.) So, I can say "I didn't see Sue Costello doing very well and I saw Pablo Francisco killing, how could she have been chosen over him"--but that's falling prey to the skill of the editor in framing this show. I'll tell you this though...if, at the end of the year, if no one in the house has made me laugh the way that Pablo has...I'll be bitter.

    Oh, I should also give a shout out to the two comedians on the show that I've actually performed with... Ty Barnett and Rick Kunkler. Neither made it to Vegas... (Rick has actually had his own MTV show before...and Ty was on Premium Blend not too long ago.) I'm not sure about Ty, but it would have been interesting to see what the house would have been like with Rick in it. Rick is definitely a straw who stirs a drink... Remind me to tell you about the time one of the Seattle headliners PILE DROVE RICK INTO THE TILE!

    Anyway...the "sham of a travesty" show is up next. I'm putting parmesan cheese on my popcorn for THAT!

    pg--seattle

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