Recap 6/08: "The Big, Big, Balls of Buck"
Welcome to the land of comedy gold known as Last Comic Standing….2. If you’ve been here before, you’ll notice that I am not the talented, gifted, and beloved Wayner. For one thing...I’m a woman. Trapped in a man’s body, trapped in a woman’s body, trapped in an elf, living in a tree with some Inuits and several goats. You ever see those Russian dolls where you just keep opening them and opening them and there are just more and more inside? That’s like me. You peel away all my layers and inside……you’ll find a chewy tootsie roll center. And a little elf. Named “Pete”.
He likes cashews.
Anyhow, my little peeplets de la comedia, (is that “of the comedy” in Spanish? I…who took four years of Spanish….have no idea), I will be guiding you through this season of LCS2. And right off the bat, I must say that I had zero, zip, nada idea that this show was going to be 4,000 minutes long, followed by another episode which was 7,000 minutes long. All entertaining, joyous, hilarious. We all came, we partied hard, we slept with the band. Got a little drunk, kissed the roadies, flashed some old people in a Cutlass Sierra, and ate our weight in nachos. Extra cheesy nachos. Or maybe that was just me. But what I’m saying is, we all though the show was kickin’. Yes? Yes. But notsogood if you’re trying to whittle down your recap notes into some kind of comprehensible, delightful nugget of recap gold. So, that said, we’re just going to sit back and enjoy some highlights. Are we all good? S’okay? S’okay. Let us be entertained!! *whip cracks in the distance*
We start off with a flashback to last year’s winner, Dat Phan, and how his life is all roses and fancy cheeses now. Which is obvious. Because he…has…been….EVERYWHERE. I myself sleep on a coveted Dat Phan pillow case. Last year he was sleeping under a desk, this year he's sleeping under a really fancy desk. The particle board nightmare....OVER! He’s living the dream. He owns it, he breathes it, he’s squeezed it hard and called it momma.
For those of you new to the show, host and creator, Jay Moore, gives us the scoop. They’ll have open calls in eight cities across the country. Those finalists will be narrowed down to a final ten who will all live….in a van down by the river. Yeah, lame, and no, not true. They’ll live in some rockin’ estate we will all never see again after the show, and according to Dat’s skyrocketing career, I’m sure some of them will never see anything like it again either. Ultimately it is power to the peeps as the viewing audience decides who gets the gold. The prize? An NBC talent contract, a stand-up special on comedy central, and the ability to walk through doors that only open for the truly talented. And as I’ve walked through several doors all on my own today, I feel truly talented too.
The judges this year are again: Bob Reid and Ross Mark, the eagle eyes and ears for Tonight show comedy bookings. What are they’re looking for? Hookers and booze. Okay, they never said that. It’s just implied. By me. Right now. But anyhow, they’re obviously looking for great peeps who are kick ass on and off stage.
Tonight it’s time to find 40 peeps to advance to the semi-finals, where they will be whittled down into tiny little lawn ornaments and/or contestants on the show. Who will they be? Let us take a lookie.
Seasoned, Spiced, and Marinated Veterans.....and Unfunny Strippers
Soooo we’re in Los Angeles. Where absolutely no one ever goes to find comedy. Or actors. Or a decent low carb meal. But here we are. The scene opens with the usual scenario of waiting-in-line pain. People eat food. All are tired. Yada yada. End scene.
Sooo many to choose from, especially an unfunny Vietnamese cowboy and a surprisingly large supply of gyrating performers, including two guys who want to show their pasty, patchy-haired chests to us, making us long for the days when we fantasized about licking Will Ferrell’s sexy nipular region. Or maybe that was just me. Loooove getting my tongue caught on gnarled nubs of maze-shaped man hair. Wheeen I was high on crack. But anyhow, forgettable people, the judges no likey, we move on.
Pay attention right now, peeps. Because we get our first glimpse of Buck Star. Whose name sounds horrifyingly like a porn star, yet doesn’t look the part. He’s tall, with semi-subdued carrot-top hair, a knit little cap that either proves he’s down with the homies in a very white way, or all about offshore fishing. The judges stop him, tell him to get crackin’ on the jokes much more quickly, and we move on. Oh we shall see him again. Oh yes..we..shall.
An insane line-up of A-list comedians, including the hilarious Kathleen Madigan, who makes me twitter and snort in a way that’s utterly more gratifying than the way I typically twitter and snort. The judges say she’s one of their favorites. She says that THEY are. In any contest. Including wet t-shirt. She clearly moves on, along with Todd Glass who cracks jokes about his niece’s potential addiction to a vibrating horse, and Monty Hoffman, an older, serious, Barry White sounding dude.
The inexplicably chosen:
Joel Hursley, a blonde-haired bowl cut bendy boy who lunges, kicks, and inexplicably flexes his body in ways that I haven’t done. In a few days. He sings, he screams, he lunges, he IS Lord of the Dance. He is asked back, along with Triana Gamaza, whose claim to fame seems more about stripping than actual joke telling. Hence…she moves on.
Kathleen Madigan calls Oprah a shape-shifter, and a hairy little mothball named Jay London makes me laugh out loud with such a simple but effective little joke, “ You know what burns me? Matches.” Backstage, Tammy Pescatelli shows Corey Holcomb what is what by getting all pissy at him for even mentioning any kind o' comedy advice. Girlfriend isn't hearing it, talks about how she's headlined for a thousand years, and ends up on stage using that charm to tell jokes about how her sister-in-law is a ho.
Who makes it:
Ant, Monty Hoffman, Alonzo, Todd Glass, Bonnie McFarland, Kathleen Madigan, Jimmy Dore, Jay London, Pablo Francisco, Tammy Pescatelli, Corey Holcomb, Retha Jones, and oddly….the last one called for the night is……Triana the stripper. All chosen are thrilled. All unchosen clap half-heartedly and pretend to be glad.......while crying on the inside.
Smacking His Russian Momma (surprisingly not a euphemism) and Getting Granny off PCP
Ahhh.....onto the love o’ San Francisco, home of frigid cold summers, swinging bridges, and the new cheesier Gordita. Actually, I don’t think the Gordita IS from San Francisco, but it needed a home, and I have answered the call. San Fran, meet the Gordita. Gordita, meet San Francisco.
First there is Neil. Who believes he can sing. Somehow. I once believed in the Tooth Fairy. That did not make her any more real. Sorry Neil. Zip those choppers. Then there is the Hari Krishna dressed crazy church lady who makes puns about PCP. The judges are afraid. So am I, as when she is told the ambulance is there to take her back, she’s oddly gleeful. I am oddly chilled. Maybe she is on PCP.
Buck Star is back!!! This time with Mars jokes. Still unfunny, and the judges insist they won’t let him move on. Buwahahahahaha. <---lousy foreshadowing.
The boy-faced Vladimir Khylynin makes everyone giggle at callbacks by telling jokes about smacking his momma. Will Durst, friend of and inspired by Dave Mordal, spins colorful comedy about the inexplicable Schwarzenegger/Kennedy coupling. Scott Capurro uncomfortably signals a man in the audience and says, “men can be a little rough in bed, don’t you think, sir?” Little audience man giggles and Scott follows up with, “Don’t worry, I can’t turn just anybody gay. *pause, and then coyly* but you’re not just anybody, are you?” Chris Voth makes me repeat his jokes later. Well he doesn't "make" me, as I haven't met him and he hasn't held me down....yet...but the dude maketh me chortle. He’s just in comedy until his table waiting career takes off. Even Yamwe-something-sorry-didn’t-write-it-down-ethiopian-heritage-joke woman makes me giggle. San Francisco is PACKED with talent!!
Who makes it:
Will Durst, Chris Voth, and surprise choice: newcomer Vladimir, because they couldn’t resist his rosie Russian cheeks.
Unsexy Lederhosen, Cross Collecting Papas, and the Big Balls of Buck
In Dallas, the opening scene is crazy original with the desperately sought after line-waiting footage we all set our VCR’s for. It’s particularly nippley and cold outside, though, which makes Fred's choice to expose his hot and sexy patchy-haired man nipples a puzzler. He enjoys yelling and yipping a lot.....and I enjoy searching out shapes in his chest hair. I think I see a tugboat.
Klaus. Oh. My. God. Klaus. A scary-looking little Dutch Boy with lederhosen and a Hitler mustache. He wants to know if we’re excited by his pale thighs. Answer? Yes…annnd yes. Okay, not really. He frightens us, along with live-snake boy, who does no actual comedy. Neither do the snakes.
Buck moment numero tres:
Buck Star. Yes!! He is back for a THIRD TIME!! The judges giggle, but not as his jokes, merely at his inexplicably huge balls for showing up with zero material again. I actually don’t really mind Buck, as he seems like a positive little feller. Actually he’s not little, but he’s positive. And positive is soooo positive.
Where to begin? Everyone is gold!! Or at least bronze and platinum! There are too many hilarious peeps to name. First up is Paul Varghese, who does impressions of his father’s thick accent and his obsession with collecting crosses. A large group of Oklahoman men ride together and emerge one by one from a little clown car. Actually just a taxi. Only Lewis gets invited back for making bitter jokes about his ex-wife. The naked Fred gets invited back as well, who oddly chooses to be clothed indoors. Hmm. Also invited back for the night are Tommy Drake, who does great auditioner impressions, and Leah Chaney, a sweet little college kid whose dad thinks she’s hilarious.
The callback highlights:
John Wessling does a hilarious bit on parents and ass whoopin’s and parental induced scarring. Physical, though, not the emotional scarring that is so often necessary to a comic’s developing talent. And Mr. Shirtless himself, Fred, does a bit about needing to build walls between Texas and Arkansas, and getting the hard working, intelligent people of Mexico to build said wall, on time and under budget.
Who makes it:
John Wessling, scar-boy, who freaks out and pumps his fist in the air in a chimp-like celebratory romp, and Paul Varghese, who trembles and shakes like a little girl.
Axis of Evil in the Hizzouse
Yes, we open with again….more line-waiting footage. In New York. This time the peeps are roasting marshmallows over trashcans and singing Christian camp songs. And swaying. And weeping. As all comics do. Regardless of whether or not they're waiting in any kind of line. Or singing Christian Camp songs. Okay not really.
A lot of people to admire for their suckage:
Yada yada bing bang people suck. Or some of them do. Some of them undulate. Some of them, or, a lot of them, do Michael Jackson jokes and Arnold impersonations riiiight after the judges talk about how much they hate said things. The judges are particularly cruel to William somethingreallylongwith27conso nants who comes in and does an Arnold impersonation, if Arnold were an usher at the dollar movies with a doughy body and a bright red blazer. The judges laugh and actually ACT happy and tell him he’s the BEST. They…are…evil. Then they slam him in the balls with a hammer the size of coffee can by telling him how hideous he is. Poor little manyconsonant guy looks crushed. Not crushed enough is weird-man-with-TV. He’s apparently chosen to use his own video camera to tape himself mouthing sounds to flash on a TV screen. That’s not what I tend to tape myself doing, but whatever.
Buck eats free:
The Buckster is back. Again. But this time the judges take pity on him and buy him a 40 dollar lunch. Because that oughta put a dent in his airfare bills. He’s tickled because he’s never had a more expensive lunch in his life. Good for Buck.
Dan Adhoot thinks it’s about damn time to have some Axis of Evil representin’ in the hizzouse. He whips out hilarious jokes about his heritage and how incredibly disappointed his pop is that he’s chosen to pursue comedy. Kerri Louise and Tom Cotter are married. Why am I mentioning this? Because YOU NEED TO KNOW. Okay, actually I’m not sure if you need to know, but it is what I have chosen to tell you, for I hold the power. Tim Young says he was staring at a woman in the store and she was staring riiiight back, and so he thought, “hey…that’s probably a man.”
Jessica Kirson makes my ears bleed by yelling mommy 3,000 times at a pitch not meant for humans. I am afraid. Sue Costello…breaks new barriers by telling jokes about balding. Yep.
Who makes it:
Lewis Ramey, DC Benny, Tim Young, Sue Costello, Tom Cotter, Dan Naturman, Dan Adhoot, Marina Franklin, Eddie Ifft, and Jessica Kirson and the entire cast of Eight Is Enough. Annnnd just to freak out the tension a bit, they keep flashing on Kerri Louise, wife of Tom Cotter who has already made it, and say they only have one…more…spot!! <---dramatic booming voice that didn’t exist in the show. Who gets it? *dun, dun, duunnnnn* Kerri!! Woo hoo!! Her whole goal is to get in the house with her hubby so that she can have freaky sex sans kids for a month. Actually she says nothing about the sex, but I’m assuming. Or projecting. Or hoping. For her.
Last bit of funny:
Tim Young opens his envelope and says, “Mine says my test is positive.”
Hip Hop on the Enterprise
Apparently allll kinds ‘o great peeps came from the land of creamy-based fish soups, i.e. Boston. None of which is Jimmy Sullivan, an enormously beefy guy who the judges are too afraid to slam. Either verbally or physically, as we're all certain that he could snap their little spines like peanut brittle. And perhaps even make the same, tasty, peanutty-rich *crunch*.
Ahhh...Ronald Picard. The gyrating little rapper who perhaps nerdily adopted his last name but none of the talent....of the freakadelic, rappin' spin doctor aboard the Enterprise: Captain Jean Luc Picard. Who was all about angry raps about Kling-ons and really sh**ty replicator chow. Power to the peeps!! Buck Star returns to thank the judges for lunch….because he’s definitely not getting on stage THAT night.
Justin McKinney tells hilarious cop jokes about his freakishly huge territory in Maine, Frank Santorelli does a hilarious bit about straws, and Gary Gulman talks about “the pill” and how we all know exactly what pill that is.
Who makes it:
Justin McKinney, Gary Gulman, and Frank Santorelli. Um….basically who I kind of just listed up above.
Strange Head Gear and the Sweet Sound of an Armpit
Nashville is home to country music, some-other-things-I’m-sure-I-could-look-up-on-a-tourism-site, and some guy with a box on his head who does yet MORE Arnold impersonations. Which is kind of sad. Because now that I see that apparently everyone can do an Arnold impersonation, it makes my Arnold impersonation much less poignant and meaningful. *heavy sigh*
Well I mentioned box-head guy. But there is also Steve Armistead who I JUST DON’T GET, who chooses to wear a freaky helmet on his head and something underneath that I’m not sure if I’m supposed to see or not. I don’t really care all that much…so I don’t rewind. Anyhow, the judges laugh, yet do not let him pass go or collect 200 dollars. Thankfully. Actually, they need to let Buck collect the 200, because here…he…is…AGAIN!! He has chosen to fly to city numero six and hits a new low with armpit noises.
John Heffron does a hilarious bit about his future kids kinking up his air hose, because for some reason, according to me, nothing’s funnier than torturing the elderly with reduced air flow. I laugh guiltily. Yet merrily. And then feel ashamed. *second heavy sigh* Also up is Tanyalee Davis, a little person who thinks she has an edge.
Who makes it:
Bert Kreishner who popped out jokes about white men riding a racially diverse subway, and John Heffron, who calls home to tell his fiancé he’s starting a fame-induced drug addiction.
Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? Can we have a Pool dad? Canwehaveapooldad? Canwehaveapooldad? <----repeat until dead
It’s three degrees in Chicago, people are freezing their asses off for comedy, and the judges are sick…and…tired…of everyone. Even I, who love this show, am being drained of the creative forces that gripped me at the onset. We see a huge montage of footage of people uttering, “bu…” or “uh…’ and then immediately getting cut off by the judges, who apparently never found the hookers and booze they needed to give them the good vibes necessary for hour after hour of humorlessness.
Apparently......everyone. There’s some weird looking Welcome Back Kotter looking guy with an afro who cuts off his own hair and glues it to his face. Ewww. Then there’s the woman from Minneapolis who talks a mile a minute and gets tossed out almost as fast as she speaks. And yes…the Buck is back, with more unfunny jokes about his plane trip. Or actually already-been-done-jokes about the passengers surrounding him on a plane trip and their ability to take down attackers. He steals a successful formula, yet somehow manages not to make it funny. Poor, good natured, wonderful Buckerino. I feel for ye.
Bob Blevins, a high school student who makes mono jokes, Jim Wiggins, a really, really old dude with looong white hair and a low gravelly voice that makes Darth Vadar sound like he’s been kicked in the nuts.
Only room for one on this wagon train to success:
It goes to….Jim Wiggins!! He’s flabbergasted, and spends time backstage giving wisdom and hugs to the younger peeps.
Big Balls Finally Pay Off
It’s Tampa time, and our last city. The judges are relieved and the tension is high because there is just one teeny tiny little spot left.
Ed the possum man who screams. For a long time. For no reason. And several people who um and uh their way through their bit like they’re in a 7th grade speech class.
Annnd yes. The last stop for Buck Star. Or…the Buck stops here. Yeah…I can’t believe I used it either. But anyhow, he saunters up, still as confident and cheery as ever, and goes through another average bit when the judges finally lay it on the line. Dude, you’ve got great stage presence, you’re a good guy, you make a fabulous barbecued chicken wing, and your ass looks fabulous in leather chaps (actually, they don’t say this last part, but whatever.) But anyhow, dude, they're looking for someone great. And....as Buck is just about ready to exit....the judges let him through!! They totally messed with us!! Bastards!! The small underdog inner-nerd part of me is happy for him, despite not needing to hear his comedy again. Buck is thrilled and thinks this whole thing has been the best experience of his life. We get an extremely touching scene where Buck calls his father, apparently a big supporter, and tells him how much he loves him and appreciates his support. He tears up a bit while we all watch on with joy for the little Buckster. *cue touching music*
We’re treated to “Grandma”, a semi-funny tough old lady who chain smokes and apparently wants to bang all her younger competitors. Jim Norton jokes about being nude, and Buck Star actually does some of his best material by joking about sexin’ up the judges.
The last man through:
Jim Norton. But all are pleased: Granny had a wicked set, and Buck is certain everyone will know who he is. We already do, Buckster, we...already..do.
Next up: 40 comics will wrestle each other to the ground in a vat of beef fat juuust to make it to the final 20. Or actually maybe they just perform comedy. But the beef fat vat would be kind of cool. Anyhow, stay tuned!
Comments welcomed with squeals of unhidden glee: firstname.lastname@example.org