All right, my little pumpkin tartlets, we’re deep into episode seven of the laughter. Pumpkin tartlet is your name for this week. Last week you chose your own, this week, you are known via the tasty confection made from a gourd. A tasty, tasty, gourd. Does this make sense? Only if you've read my last recaps, and even then, it's a bit on the stretchy side. So let us instead, tune in and view the less-good-than-last-season show filled with angst, Survivor-like intrigue, and not nearly enough gnome shots. Bring on that gnome, I say!! <--Never thought I’d utter that line. Again. What will happen this week? Who will be eliminated? Who will take Todd's place as "zany man" in the house? Let us find out in this bizarre, sleep-deprived recap.
Tammy arrives back at the castle to mixed reactions. She thinks it’s lucky she beat out Todd Glass. I think it’s lucky she didn’t beat Todd Glass. Or that he didn’t wake up with the twisted head of the yard gnome in his bed. In any event, lucky he lost, as vengeful Tamminetta is back in the Castle where the Triple X-files was filmed. Ant screams in glee while Gary’s face falls into a pitiful little pout. According to Gary, losing Todd was like losing a best friend. The kind of best friend you make from a solid four, five…..hours of tight man-bonding over things like weed whackers and beer nuts and electric widgets. Actually, we're not sure how and why they bonded, but we know they were heavily "in like", and Gary sports a sad clown face from the loss of his fry-end.
Next up is the moment that actually makes me utter out loud, “oh man he’s a sneaky little bastard!” I am speaking, of course, of….Jay London. Such a manipulative little weasel he is, with those overalls and all that game play and the hater talk and the ‘fro that just screams, “look at me and be distracted by my mop-headed goodness!! Be entranced while I distract you from my devilish plots!” while he laughs a wicked, Machiavellian laugh. Okay, not really. Indeed the sneaky bastard I speak of is Ant. Little, bug-like Ant.
First, Ant let’s us know the pecking order in his evil plot, i.e. Bonnie, Todd, and now Gary. He waves at the camera and says, “bye, bye, Gary”. Then he walks outside and looks like a decent human being for about five minutes before revealing the soft under belly of evil hidden underneath his fake human-like shell. He finds Jay London on the veranda/porch/cement overhang thingy, and tells Jay he wants him to have his photo shoot prize from the last challenge. Apparently, he just had one done and doesn't need it. Jay looks like he just got offered the biggest comb ever that promised to take out those snarls in a kindly way. He smiles with child-like innocence and says, wow, those are so expensive. Oh yes they are, but little Ant insists. And just when Jay says, “wow, what a great guy” we see those words slowly echoed over Ant morphing into his Grinch-self, revealing to us his evil scheme. According to him, Jay needs the love. Armed with that knowledge, Ant intends to manipulate Jay into voting for whomever the Antster tells him to. Aha!! Sneakiness! Amplified. Ohhh how very Hatch-y.
Jay is soon headed to his photo shoot via limo, hanging his head out the window in a very puppy-dog way. He does not arf, and his tongue stays inside his head. Yet Rover, he does indeed resemble. He's so sweet, I want to toss him a milkbone. At the shoot, he looks slightly cleaner. Slightly. Must have already been given a milkbone, too, because his teeth….they are a-shiny. He wears his signature overalls, and they’re clean, and his hair is kind of out of his face. I notice he has nice skin. Nicer skin than I would have imagined. So damn nice that I’m going to look at my Oil of Olay bottle when I’m done watching this and start applying it more religiously. Anyhow, shots are taken, he loosens up over time, and we’re all happy he got this experience, despite being sucked into it via Ant’s diabolical and kind of unnecessary plot.
The Plastic Gypsy Makes them Mean
Before we know it, it’s time for the plastic gypsy to give the comics their orders for the next challenge. John Heffron grabs the challenge card and whispers, “I want to be Big,” referencing the Tom Hanks film. Noting that I used the “Big” reference in my first recap about the machine, I take a moment to pat myself on the back unnecessarily, pretentiously, and nerdily before listening again. The card says: "The challenge tomorrow is to show another comic how much you love them." Hmmm. I hope it’s a love-them-from-a-distance kind of thing. Not an active love. I do NOT want to see Jay London demonstrate “love” in it’s verb form. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. They ARE all in that porn castle.
Back in the Forest Pump room, Jay tells the gathered comics that the challenge is a roast of one of their fellow comics at the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills. For those of you not familiar with what a roast is, Corey has lived under a rock long enough not to know either, prompting Jay to explain it in a condescending tone. “Um…a doy….you basically make fun of, and/or “roast” the guest of honor via supposedly hilarious put downs and jabs.” Jay does not use the eighth grade lingo of “a doy”, but I choose to put it there (despite being fine with Corey’s actual question. So Corey-lovers….back the heck down.) Anyhow, Gary thinks this is the coolest thing ever, and Jay tells them/us that three legendary friar’s will judge their roasting skills, the best of them to be awarded a free, one-year membership in the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills. One of them will win immunity. Just to be tricky-because-NBC-probably-made-him, Jay tells us there is one piece of info. he will NOT reveal, hidden in a sealed envelope to be divulged only when the roast is over.
Up next, they must all choose the victim to be roasted. He reminds them again that, “we only roast the ones we love.” Each comic must take a cigar and drop it in the box of the comic they would love to roast the most. Whoever has the most cigars, gets roasted. After all is said in done…the box with the most cigars goes to……………………………….Jay London!! In side bar, Ant tells us this was all part of the perfect plan, i.e. if Jay is roasted, it gives his “team’ the best chance to win immunity and make his dream of ousting Gary a reality. Yep, tall, dangerous, no-allies Gary. Get 'im!!!!
They’re all given the rest of the day to come up with material, which John Heffron says will be a beyatch. He spends a good portion of time in the white room with Gary on his bunk bed, only not in that way, i.e. Gary is on the bunk, and John is on the steps in close proximity. Gary says yo, he HAS to win immunity because the Antster is gunnin’ for him. He and John spend a good portion of their time joking about the pressure of coming up with new material. I can’t hear everything they say, and there are no subtitles, so I focus in on the fact that white carpet is always a stupid choice. It’s not like it won’t stain, people.
All day long we watch Gary struggle to come up with one liners for the roast, “Alonzo Boden has the heart of a lion and the body of your worst prison nightmare.” In the kitchen, Ant tries to run unfunny jokes by his fellow comics while no one laughs and NBC inserts cricket sound effects. Eventually, Ant makes them all laugh fakily out of pity, while John Heffron, a fake-laugher and eye-roller, says that this thing is for immunity, and if someone runs crap jokes past you, you sometimes have to lie and say, “oh yeah, man, that’s gonna kill!!” when you know it sucks. Ant sucks. He is patronized. All are merry......delusionally and most of all: Ant. The scene ends with Gary commenting on Ant’s diabolical mad-scientist laugh, while it echoes out over the house and we zoom away from the castle.
Cave Man No Make Fire, Sits in Fire Instead
Up next is the official roast night at the Friar’s club. We join Jay Mohr in a musty looking mafia-like room with dark wood, big curtains, and potentially Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci in a corner talking about whack jobs. Not those kind. But those kind. Jay Mohr welcomes everyone and launches right into introductions of the three legendary friar’s who will be judging the roasts for the evening. Who will they be? Why it’s Phyllis Diller, i.e. legendary comedian and crazy plastic surgery lady, Rich Little, i.e. the man of a thousand voices, and…………..Norm Crosby, whose name is on the tip of the tongue as often as...…Bob Schlepkiss. Don’t know who Bob Schlepkiss is? Thaaaat’s right. Point made.
First up to get roasty is Gary Gulman, who tells us he’s worked too hard for this to not pay off. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t, as he stands at the podium and swears uncharacteristically. He tells jokes about Ant being gay, Tammy’s 70’s eye shadow, and Phyllis Diller as an antidote to erections. His best line? Thanking Jay for putting on a tux and taking the bone out of his hair. Now THAT was funny. Poor little (or big) Gary kind of bombs and looks uncomfy.
John Heffron’s up next and does a fantastic job right off the bat. He talks about how Jay used to clean out horse stalls, confusing flies everywhere. “Do we land on the thing with the bit in the mouth, or go with the horse?” He finishes with Jay getting kicked off a greyhound for not following dress code and how Jay looks like Neil Young on laundry day.
Kathleen is third and notsogood. She tells us that she absolutely hates roasts, always thought they were corny, and would give someone a million dollars to go back to the Laundromat. No one ponies up the cash, though, so the polite Kathleen's stage time is spent telling Jay he's polite, as polite as a Chinese waiter. Ba dump bump.
Corey’s up next and says a man should be judged by his deeds and not his aroma, telling Jay the back of his head smells like pit bull afterbirth. We’re not sure why Corey knows this, but the audience clearly does not want to know. He finishes with jokes about Jay’s bath water being an original recipe for broth, and telling us he wished the audience peeps would have loved him up a bit more.
Ant’s time/footage is brief, and talks about how Queer Eye for the Straight Guy rejected Jay, and does his not-funny-in-the-kitchen bit about Jay rummaging for food in the trash.
Tammy says there hasn’t been a man as sexy as Jay on TV since Festus from Gunsmoke. The TV veterans laugh. The rest of us mentally turn “Festus” into “Festivus”. She finishes with how Jay just shot photos for the cover of “Who Gives a Sh*t Monthly.” Suddenly giving a sh*t, I notice that the audience seems to somewhat enjoy Tammy's act.
Alonzo Boden is last and does very well by telling us that Jay is a wise man, a peaceful man, “possibly a cro-magnan man.” He spits out tons of one liners. “Jay put a personal ad in National Geographic.” “Jay is looking for an endorsement deal for Goodwill.” He finishes with jokes about Jay’s poor fashion sense, his evening wear being perfecto for standing around a burning trash can, and how Alonzo’s been living in the castle so long, he’s ready to fulfill Phyllis Diller’s mandingo fantasies. Phyllis and the rest of the crowd go wild. Well not Phyllis, she’s a bit old to be gettin’ too wild, but her cackly laugh rings out through the room and ricochets off the musty curtains.
Lastly, Jay London gets three seconds of time on stage to thank the roasters and make a quick joke about Ant being a gay cop who didn’t want to take him in, but take him out. He finishes by stiffly hugging Jay Mohr for a night well spent.
Jay Mohr soon says it is time….for him…to pump YOU up. Believe him now and hear him later, girlie man….oh, that’s right, he wasn’t the short blonde in that SNL skit. I digress. Instead, he says it is time for the final scores from the judges, but first, he’s sure we’d all love some of their feedback. Oh yes, you mind-reader, Jay, we would indeed.
Norm compliments everyone on their great timing before launching into a slam fest where he says Kathleen is a lightweight, Corey’s big but his material’s weak, and Gary was clever but crude, and didn’t need to go there. He says he’s sorry for the pain, peeps, but he’s just speaking from experience (from what, we still have no idea.) His good words go to Alonzo and John, both of whom were extremely clever in his well-oiled opinion.
Phyllis says Heffron is cute. Heffron kind of flinches and probably chooses to instead focus on how talented and great she thinks he is. She says Kathleen is not made for roasts, and that she loves Alonzo’s bald head and his material, both will take him far.
Rich Little says he absolutely hates blue material and says, “you a-holes use a lot of it.” All giggle until he too, slams Gary for not being clean enough and not spending enough time on Jay. With each passing comment, tall Gary slouches deeper and deeper into the table cloth, looking dejected. Gary tells us that it was all a slap in the face because he never swears in his normal act. Yo man, he just thought it was a-okay to fire off a sparkly curse fest at a roast. Apparently, it is not. Poor Gulman. But not poor Alonzo, as Rich says he blew him away. Rich finishes by telling Ant he should be in a home, “but not mine. We have a dog.”
It is finally time for Jay to reveal the winner o' the contest. Who gets it? Who gets this fabulous bonanza of cash and prizes? With a score of 9.3 out of ten, the newest friar is………………….Alonzo Boden!! The crowd roars!! People go wild!! Alonzo thanks the judges and tells us it’s fantastic to win a challenge based on comedy, because it sends a message, the message that yeah, man, that dude’s funny.
Ahhh..but we’re not done yet, my peoples. Forget about the hidden envelope? The sealed envelope? The envelope Jay taunted us with earlier? It is back. And it is ready. Ready to reveal it’s surprising twistiness to us. What is the twist? Oh what? Many questions haunt me. Will Bonnie be coming back to the house? Will Tammy actually knife somebody? Will they all be forced into a hot tub of cheese whiz? The answer to these…are unknown. Jay reveals to us the REAL secret. He reminds us that the friars only roast those they love, and because Jay London is so beloved as to be selected for a roasting……………he wins immunity!! Everyone is shocked and Alonzo is disappointed, while Jay is happy he can’t be voted out, despite his only danger having been mobbed by Slash fans.
The Bug Gets Balls and Ponies Up
The roast over, it’s time to head back to the house and prepare for the next head to head challenge. In the white room, a sober Gary starts to pack while dripping wet. We do not know why he is dripping wet. Is it sweat? Pool water? Hot oil? We do not know. We just know that Gary wants as much time to devote to writing comedy, and since he knows he’ll be up in the head to head, he wants to get his groove on early. He tells us he doesn’t respect that little Ant man, and cannot WAIT to go up against him. Bring…it…on….he doesn’t say, but asserts. While the comedy duel is okay with me, I kind of want them to wrestle. It won’t happen, so I just mentally picture it instead. You should see it!! Hilarious. Anyhow.
Gary’s hopes are about to be smashed, though, when he ends up on the deck with Ant who tells him he will NOT be voting for Gary tonight. Why is that? Because the comedian who gets sent to the head to head can only pick a challenger who has voted for them. If Ant doesn’t vote for Gary, Gary can’t chose him. Ha! Again I gasp and say, “tricky bastard” out loud. This ticks off Gary and he tells Ant how lame it is that after all this time, Ant won't vote for him. He tells Ant he’s a coward, says this whole talk is beneath him, and gets up and leaves. Ant quips back, “at six foot six, EVERYTHING is beneath him.” Oh no he di-in’t.
Back in the house, even Tammy seems perplexed that Ant won’t vote for Gary. She tells Ant he MUST vote for Gary, but Ant refuses. Tammy looks genuinely perplexed, but Ant says no way jose, this is not his week. Oh no, my friends, it most certainly is NOT his week. <-----And that, my friends, is called foreshadowing.
Back in the living room, Jay greets them all again for the vote. He explains the rules again, and for those of you who’ve suddenly emerged from under a rock: the comics squeeze themselves into a photo booth slightly smaller than an airplane bathroom and tell us who they think they can beat in a comedy duel. The person with the most votes goes up in the head to head, and selects a challenger from amongst those who have smited them.
Side note: prior to heading into the commercial, Jay’s voice narrates, “who will go up in the head to head? Oh who are we kidding? We know it’s Gary Gulman.”
The votes in:
Jay: Gary Gulman
Ant: OMG he picks Gary!! Yippy!! <---that is from me, and no one on the show.
The reactions: When Kathleen’s video pops up, she grips her head in her hands and says, “I can’t take this.” When Tammy votes for Alonzo, Jay says it’s a very tricky Sicilian thing for her to do. Apparently he knows Sicilians, and they be tricksters. But best of all, when Ant votes for Gary, Gary screams, “yes!! Ant!!” while Ant looks capitulative. No, that’s not a word. Never said it was. Anyhow, Gary immediately picks Ant for the challenge and Ant dramatically leaps up and shakes Gary’s hand in a fake show of enthusiasm.
While packing for the evening, Tammy asks Ant if he’s ready, and he says he’s readier than he’ll ever be, and that in his mind, he was going up against Gary tonight anyway. He knew he’d be going up eventually, so why not now. Gary tells us it’s important to remove the deceit from the house that caused Todd Glass to depart.
Lennie Crushes George, *She says, Using a Clever Steinbeck Reference*
Up next it’s time for the shoooow down. But not before Jay delights us with his own little bit of humor again. This week it’s a shorter bit about women readying themselves for bed in the same manner as an Indy 500 pit crew. But he says the problem is, “ladies, when you walk out…you look the same.” He finishes with bits about how men don’t get ready for bed, they pass out. “Men will sleep in the guest bedroom just because it’s closer to the bathroom.”
Gary’s up first, and before popping on stage, he tells us if he beats Ant tonight, there will be no more mind games in the house, and the contest will be more honest. On stage, he repeats his height bit and the common joke about being spawned from the milk man. I’m thinking his timing seems a bit off, but he still wows the crowd with some hilarious jokes about how much it sucks to drive with his mom as an adult. “I’d rather drive with an escaped convict.” Why? Apparently his mom gasps every five minutes, causing him to panic, and then mime-drives the car while pressing on an imaginary break on the passenger side. He said he hates the way she constantly grabs on that little handle, the “oh sh*t we’re all gonna die” handle. He finishes with some hilarious jokes about double-stuffed Oreos, and how Nabisco must be reading his diary and answering his chocolatey prayers.
Ant tells us this is the moment he’s been leading up to for his entire career, he’s not scared, and he’s completely looking forward to it. On stage, he starts to do a bit about being a flight attendant, running into a Romanian princess, and then knocking her back into place because he outranks her as a “queen”. The rest of his bit focuses on him demonstrating the safety procedures during an airplane crash, and how it might appear when sped up. He manages to sneak in a George Bush joke when he talks about the handle on the raft. In the end, his act is very physical, he mimes a lot of parts, and the laughter in the audience….is thin.
The audience votes and it’s decided….…with 73 percent of the vote……….Gary Gulman stays!!! OMG Ant leaves!!! Gary freaks out and tells us, “ding dong the witch is dead”. The dude is on cloud nine and thinks this is the best thing he’s ever done in his life. Ant, on the other hand, looks teary, shakes Gary’s hand, and leaves blowing kisses. Ant finishes by telling us that all the backstabbing, conniving and planning has been really, really, fun, but that he is NOT the brains behind the alliance. Someone else is pulling the strings. He’s just a little puppet! Buwahahahaha!! Oh..who could it be? Who? Something tells me it starts with a T and ends with an Ammy.
Next week: The comics face a room full of screaming kids and Kathleen asks to be shot. Who will shoot her? Tune in to find out.
Dedicated to the lovers of Chik-Fil-A chicken batter everywhere. firstname.lastname@example.org