Three blades shave closer than two.
Take a deep breath, pg. Go to your happy place. All right. Now...begin...
Today, 01:24 PM Post #11
"I do understand that most comics work the same routine across different venues, and I cenrtainly am not putting that down--it's really hard to come up with 30 minutes of killer funny stuff. But I think the standards should be different for this show--otherwise, people are just voting on the one routine, not the quality of the comic and his/her ability to continue to be funny. "
Hey Chicago Viewer,
You're talking about "standards" and LCS in the same sentence? Now THAT'S funny. Whether it's ignoring most people's standards of conflict of interest or most people's standards of truth in advertising...LCS has only one standard--standardly drawing more viewers than a re-run of "Whoopi" would get in the same time slot in the same time of year.
Every contest seems to be run by different rules--and who knows on what "standards" people are being voted on... Sometimes it's about making a particular crowd laugh, sometimes it's about being likeable and attractive, sometimes it's about impressing people day in and day out, sometimes it's about getting along (or not getting along) with others in an entertaining way, sometimes it's about meeting a demographic expectation, and sometimes it's about giving people who bought a ticket to a tour...a facsimile of a tour.
As far as the showdowns go...that's about as pure as this show gets. The audience votes on two rather short stand-up routines. (Five minutes, I think, this year.) That format favors quick joke tellers who are instantly likeable and quckly are shown to match the demographics of the young, California "didn't have anything else to do so we'll see this" audience. Since these were taped in February, they haven't seen these performers before (unless they frequent comedy clubs for lesser known comic headliners & middles...) and thus, the comics can do their same act for them and be judged on its own merits. To not do their best material each time is a very risky strategy, one that backfired (on the show) for Dave Mordal last year (but has benefitted him in the long run, I think...)
Only the audience (who, to SOME extent, finally get to weigh in on this for the final vote) gets the benefit of seeing ever what the editors allow us to see--selection sets, cutdown sets, in-house scenes, challenge scenes, showdown sets. It gives us both an unfair advantage but also some unrealistic expectations.
Remember too that the comics don't know what the editors choose to use. Each comic might be doing killer new stuff in between what we see--we won't know unless the editor, who is there to CREATE a storyline in something that is unscripted, allows us to see it...which they don't until the finals.
Today, 01:45 PM Post #12
"I am saying the same thing. Their time on stage is only a few minutes so it would seem they should have enough material to present new bits each time. Especially on a TV show seen by millions! This is an opportunity for them to be seen and known. Whether they win or not it is a chance to gather a following. Not many comics are offered this fabulous gift and they would be wise to use it to their best advantage. Big time comics go for 2 hours!"
Big time comics go for two hours? Bill Cosby goes for two hours, that's true...who else does? Usually, theatre headliners (think Carlin, Cho, Izzard, Rock, Seinfeld) may do an hour to an hour and a half. Usually club headliners (think Attell, Black, Gaffigan, Hedburg, Murphy, Stanhope) do between 45 minutes to an hour fifteen.
Notice--none of the comics in the house are "two hour a night" comics. I know that Todd Glass and Kathleen Madigan have headlined in Seattle before (my frame of reference) so they probably have 45 workable minutes...but I have no clue how much time Tammy or Ant have. Todd says that he's followed Tammy before, so she's probably a middle...so, maybe twenty minutes?
Of that time, you probably have a good opening--one that you know works, so you keep that...and you probably have a good closer, so you keep that. Openers and closers are the most important part of the set--if you hook the audience in and leave 'em laughing, you'll get lots of work. (Did you notice Todd, in a panic, on the 6/29 show try to jam as many quick jokes in before the time limit as possible? Too bad he did one too many and that his last one didn't get the laugh he wanted--he might have won.)
Being on a tv show, yes...that's important. I don't think that Todd Glass hurt himself...and I don't think that winning the competition is a guarantee that the strategy of only doing your best set every time is the best career move (the "would you buy a ticket to see Dat Phan at a comedy club or watch him on a sitcom?" question.)
But if you're in a competition, you try to win it...it's natural and human--otherwise, why are you competing? You don't always try to think of ways to not win but still look good.
Today, 02:03 PM Post #13
"Last year they told the comics they could not use any material that they had been shown on the show for the final show. Then they changed it to only 1 minute of re-used material could be used(because of Dat Phan). SO, hopefully this year they will change it back to no re-used material at all. The comics have enought time off between leaving the house and the final show to figure out an original set. But, with the way they have been showing everyone's crap over and over this season, I'm not too optimistic about the finals."
I hadn't heard of any specific "how much material" rule from the LCS-One comics that I've spoken with--not saying it isn't true, but I'd never heard of it.
One nice thing about this year is that there's an attempt to show more of the stand-up of the house members--the whole "comedy showcase" stuff. What's odd is that it might be causing a backlash (this topic being an example) by overexposing the comic's best jokes.
Bottom line--the people we see telling new jokes every night...Leno, Letterman, Stewart, O'Brien, Kimmel, Kilborn, etc... They have STAFFS of people writing for them...and most of their jokes are less funny than timely (although Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien are usually funny every time.) These comics are not at the peak of the comedy game yet, they do not (I don't think) have staffs writing their material...and are probably reluctant to risk weekly national television exposure to trying new material out in a competitive situation, and they shouldn't be judged on any standards but being a stand-up comedian.
It's like saying "Why does Celine Dion sing that damn Titanic song every show? Why doesn't she write some new songs? We've seen her sing that before." (Admittedly, I don't want to her Celine sing that song again either...but that's what she does, that's her job, and that's what people should expect from her.)
"Your head is a lot like a bowling ball."--Jake Johannson