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    Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: Episode Nine Recap

    Hey! Funny meeting you here...right where you said you were going to be...checking out the Last Comic Standing Forum here at the FORT.

    It's awesome that you've come...and awesome that I'm here, too. I'm your recapper pg13 and it's my job to make certain that your time here is as awesome as possible.

    Before we get to tonight's recap, I wanted to share with you a quick story...about what I was doing while this show was playing live... I was at the Comedy Underground in Seattle, coordinating the Seattle regional of the HBO/The Comedy Festival "Lucky 21" comedy competition...where eleven of the best comedians in Seattle were competing for two spots to move on to the semi-finals, coming up in Los Angeles this October.

    Watching these eleven talented performers--each with their own unique styles and expectations--it struck me what a folly it is for any subjective artform to attempt to have itself judged in what purports to be an objective manner. The competition we held last night was judged by three very smart and very talented people in their own right--and they did a fine job of judging...and the two people that will move on from Seattle (please allow me to introduce Kermet Apio and Gabriel Rutledge) will represent our scene very well... It's just the idea that one person...that three people...that a theater full of people...can say that "this person is funnier than that person...and here's a number that represents how funny they were"--is INSANE.

    ...as those of us who have been fans of Last Comic Standing over the years can attest to...

    Anyway, best of luck to the comedians moving on in the competition. I should point out that I was chosen to participate in this competition but I stepped up when circumstances demanded that someone act as coordinator for the event. I feel a twinge of regret that I did not compete...because I feel that I could have done something that no one else that did compete last night managed to do.

    I could have placed twelfth.



    And with that, ladies and gentlemen...let's shut off our cell phones, let's zip up our lips...and let's pay full attention to what you are about to witness. Which is, of course, another expression of the insanity that is a comedy competition...

    Let's go to the show!

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    Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: The pg13 LCS Recap
    Episode Nine: Knock! Knock! Who's There? (part one)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    "If I go head to head with you, I'll knock you out"--that's a statement of purpose from a confident comedy veteran.

    "I'm here...to win..."--that's yet another example of the wit and wisdom of the most generic World Peace purveyor in reality tv history.

    Does anyone remember what happened last week on Last Comic Standing or did you try to blot the memory of Lavell Crawford in a jester outfit completely out of your mind?

    Here are the Cliff's Notes, slackers: Medieval Times...Jon Reep wins immunity...Jon and Matt Kirshen both say that they're funnier than Debra DiGiovanni which makes her the top vote getter...Debra is supposed to pick two people to take with her to the showdown, but since Jon has immunity, she can only pick Matt (remember this fact...as it may be important later.) In the battle of the likable, the skinny rodent-faced boy from Britain eeks by the Crazy Canadian Cat Lady...and with Debra going home, we're now down to seven.

    Our host, Bill Bellamy is making a big deal about how important tonight is...because tonight will determine who will be "America's Top 5" comedians in Last Comic Standing. I want to flip open the ear-piece microphone, like Holly Hunter talking to William Hurt in "Broadcast News," and tell him to calm down...because what if what happened LAST week (where the votes were so evenly split that the person chosen could only take one person with them to the showdown) and they can't eliminate two people tonight?

    Unfortunately, that's a function my computer doesn't have (and, considering it would involve time travel to make my cautions heard by Bill when he recorded this voice over...it is a function unlikely to be found on any PC. Maybe on a Mac...but definitely not on a PC.)

    As reported here last week, the comedians who aren't competing in the showdown are kept in the dark about who won until the winner emerges from behind the curtain and steps into the holding cell--I MEAN LOUNGE--where they are kept--I MEAN WHERE THEY WAIT.

    For those of you trained to recognize the first blossomings of potential showmances on reality television, you would not be surprised to hear who coos the loudest when it is Matt who steps through the curtain. Yes, indeed, it is Amy Schumer who coos...as she is excited, relieved and bound to break that poor English boy's heart.

    Matt, possibly oblivious...possibly playing it cool, decides to celebrate his survival against the formidable opponent that was Debra...leaps up into Doug Benson's waiting arms. Doug, certainly, is very happy that it was Matt Kirshen and not Lavell Crawford who won today.

    "Gotta put the baby seat back in the car" is Doug's curious way of congratulating young Matt for making it to another Last Comic Standing day.

    So, for those of you who haven't been paying attention--yes, that means you 97.3% of the FORTskateers who have given up on what was once one of the more popular of the shows that the FORT covered--we have seven comedians left in this, the final week of the Challenge Round. They are: Matt Kirshen, Amy Schumer, Doug Benson, Gerry Dee, Ralph Harris, Jon Reep and Lavell Crawford...and tonight, Bill promises us...but I have to point out, he CAN'T promise us this unless he already knows, somehow, how tonight's episode is going to turn out...that two of these comedians will not be in the competition by the time tonight's episode is over...

    In the immortal words of Count Floyd..."Oooooooh, scary...

    It's daytime in Los Angeles. The day after the previous head-to-head and the Last Comic Standing short bus has come to rustle up some comics for whatever adventure awaits them...

    "We don't really know what we're doing," Matt Kirshen explains, "but that's really not much of a surprise any more."

    It turns to night in Los Angeles...AND THE COMICS ARE STILL ON THE BUS!

    Was this some sort of car-sickness challenge? Heavens to Murgatroyd...how many hours were they kept on that bus? Unless they've been declared enemy combatants, they've got rights, you know...

    Doug Benson, trying very hard to be the comedian that NBC needs him to be, provides us with his own "Amy Schumer World Peace" moment by talking about how, if he could win tonight, he'd be in the top five...

    "I can't tell you how excited I am," Doug explains, "But I could show you...if I stood up."

    Yeah...Doug's never going to be the comedian that NBC wants him to be...

    Finally let off the bus, the comedians meet up with Bill Bellamy inside the "Hollywood Social Club." I get the sense that if they said the word fidelo to Bill, he'd open up a secret door and they'd be in some weirdly un-sexy naked masquerade party...

    Bill reminds the comedians that tonight is the last night of the Challenge Round--so, they can all relax. I don't understand that instruction--it seems to me that if it is the last night of the Challenge Round, they should be at their highest alert level so they can compete with their ferocious warrior spirit. Nevertheless, Ralph Harris either chose that very moment to exhale very dramatically...like he was relieved that Bill told him he could relax...or, they've been filming him breathe all day and finally got to edit in one of the times he breathed out--YOU CAN'T TRUST THESE ELVES, PEOPLE!!!

    The challenge is explained as "Speed Joking."

    "It's like Speed Dating," Bill offers, "But, instead of making a love connection...you'll be trying to make a laugh connection."

    Amy Schumer looks confused. Jon Reep looks confused. If there was a mirror here, I'm sure that I look confused, too. In fact, here's an emoticon indicating that: :?

    Bill goes on to say that each of them will have to make six different people laugh...and he introduces us to the six people who will be the "victims."

    Victims??? Really, Bill? Victims?

    Down the stairs they come...OH MY!!! IT'S DOCTOR EVIL'S FEMBOTS!!! QUICKLY, BEFORE SMOKE STARTS COMING OUT OF THEIR JOMBLIES...GET YOUR MOJO WORKING, MATT "DANGER" KIRSHEN...COME ON, DOUG BENSON--INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY--START COUNTERING THEIR MOJO WITH YOUR MOJO...COME ON GERRY AND RALPH AND LAVELL...GET THAT CROSS MOJULATION GOING SO THEIR HEADS EXPLODE AND WE CAN STOP DR. EVIL FROM RUINING COMEDY WITH THIS EVIL PROGRAM!!!

    Wait. Those aren't Fembots. Those are the mindless clones who can barely open briefcases on NBC's "Deal or No Deal."

    Screw it... DJ, hit The Divinyls "I Touch Myself" ANYWAY...and guys, go ahead and make their heads explode... NOTHING GOOD WILL EVER COME FROM ANY OF THESE PLASTIC AND SILICONE CONCOCTIONS!!!

    Six absolutely generic "hot girls" come walking down the steps in tight little red dresses. Amy, who is wearing a tight red top, seems unimpressed. Matt might be thinking that this is a bonus prize for having survived the most recent head to head. Jon Reep says that hot girls intimidate him.

    "I'll be happy if I get words out," Jon says. I'm uncertain as to whether his book-learnin' back in Hickory included such advanced subjects as words...

    With the boys all drooling and the remaining girl trying to remain positive, Bill explains that each of them will have one minute in a private booth with one of the girls. Bill actually has to inform Ralph not to "get freaky with 'em"--but I'm more worried about the words "private booth" and "Lavell Crawford" and how those two concepts can't possibly work together...

    When the minute is up, the comedian moves to the next booth...

    And this is when Amy Schumer gets annoyed.

    "All of a sudden, I was questioning everything," Amy explained.

    Kind of bad timing that, huh? I mean, usually in college...when you start to realize that you don't have to agree with everything you learned growing up...and you're surrounded with new experiences to push the boundaries of your newly found freedom of deed and thought...and, at your fingers, is the potential for both higher learning and personal growth by which to redefine yourself...THAT'S when you question everything. But, I guess, Amy is having her epiphany right here and now... I imagine that it's kind of like being a pregnant woman and having your water break on a subway...it's still going to go where it's going, whether you need to get off and go somewhere else or not.

    Personally, there's only one question that is bouncing around in my pathetic brain--and that question is all about Amy's hair...because in the footage at the Hollywood Social Club, it's as curly as it usually is...and in the interview cut-scenes, it's as straight as the opposite of Clay Aiken.

    "What am I doing? Can I make them laugh? What is my sexuality?"

    Whoa! All of a sudden, this episode of Last Comic Standing has moved into Showtime territory. LCS: Our L-word has changed meanings!

    I can't help it...all of a sudden, I'm picturing Amy Schumer in the middle of a "Zoolander"-esque orgy scene with Deal or No Deal girls...which is great, but if you remember Zoolander, it gets weird pretty quick...so suddenly there's Matt Kirshen...there's Gerry Dee...AAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!

    Sorry, I had to snap out of what had started out as a pretty hot little dream sequence there...

    Why? Three words:

    1) Lavell
    2) Wearing
    3) Thong

    MY EYES!!! THEY BURN!!!

    Bill says that the ladies will determine the winner of this challenge...and the winner of the challenge wins immunity from competing in the head-to-head-to-head showdown...and thus, the winner of the challenge will be guaranteed a spot in the final five.


    Here's the thing... If you're playing THE GAME...you want to win this challenge so that you make it to the final five. However, if you're a COMEDIAN...winning the challenge means passing up the opportunity to possibly perform stand-up on network television...which might be more important for your career, after the show is over, to have performed as often as possible.

    I think that was the fatal flaw in Season Two--too many comedians wanted to try to avoid performing at all costs, because they figured that's how they'd win "the game." I also think that if Ty Barnett had performed earlier than he had in last season's Last Comic Standing...he might have stood a better chance at beating the eventual winner, Josh Blue--because by the time anyone even noticed that Ty was still on the show...America had totally fallen in love with Josh...and even though Ty is incredibly funny...you can't count on funny to beat love...

    So...what would YOU do? Would you want to win the challenge at all costs, just to make it to the top five...or would you be willing to take your chances and possibly go into the head-to-head-to-head showdown--where, at least, you'll be doing what you know you know how to do?

    I know that I'd try to make those ladies laugh...but I'd like to think that I'd be more than willing to perform my act for millions of viewers if the chance arose.

    How about you, FORTskateers? What would your strategy be?




    "Getting immunity in this challenge means the world"

    I'd give you three guesses as to who said that, but the style and the flavor of that moment of World Peace could only come from Amy Schumer. She's the comedian with the least amount of experience in performing stand-up comedy left in the competition (even less than young Matt has)...and she's made her decision to play the game for all its worth...and try to forestall any actual comedy performing...

    With the comedians all nestled snuggly in a room where they could/should be coming up with their strategy or the jokes they think could make their audiences-of-one laugh the most...but really, they're all just sitting around waiting for the crew to get set up for the next shot...Bill, like he's the new Allen Funt, tells us--the viewing audience at home--that there's a switcheroo in play...

    OOOOH, will they be letting the stand-up comedians perform stand-up comedy in front of an audience expecting stand-up comedy and will the Magical Elves show us their full sets so we can finally tell, based on our own criteria, who we believe is the funniest of the batch?

    Errrrrrrr, no.

    How could I be so silly? Of course, THAT won't happen.

    No, instead, Bill (with the intensity of a host for a children's show...and he's explaining "Cookie Time" to us all) tells us that four of the Deal or No Deal briefcase gals is being replaced with "some very interesting characters."

    Well, yeah...obviously, THAT'S a better choice than MY stupid idea of letting the comedians do their comedy... I don't know WHAT I was thinking...

    Bill said that because this was the final challenge and because the winner goes to the final five, "We had to make THIS challenge the TRICKIEST of them all?"

    Really? Who said you HAD to? You COULD have done anything you wanted... Like, you COULD have gone for heartwarming instead of tricky...and you could have sent the comedians to perform for soldiers wounded in the fighting in Iraq... You don't think THAT episode would have drawn a few more viewers?


    Meanwhile, back in the snuggle room, it looks like the comics have sent out for Chinese food. I'm surprised Doug hasn't started up a Dungeons & Dragons session...

    Jon, fulfilling the role of "person who realizes that they're on a reality tv show and will ask a leading question that it would seem that someone would need to ask for any of this footage to be worth putting into the broadcast show because silence is not what editors look for," asks Ralph how he's going to appeal to these women. Ralph assures Jon that those women already like him... AND SCENE.

    Sure, it's not Dave Mordal and Rich Vos together in a tub...but it was a single workable moment in a reality show given to us by people who should be able to understand the entertainment value necessary to turn a moment from worthless to worthwhile in the eyes of a Magical Elf.

    As the conversation continued amongst the comics about what they're probably not actually going to do--Amy teases us all by saying that she might go in the booth and simply say "This is so much fun...let's have a pillow fight."

    Well, a boy can dream, can't he?

    WHOOOOOOAAAAAA NELLIE! WE HAVE A MEL SILVERBACK SITING!!!

    When we cut from the snuggle room back where Bill will send the comedians forth from, we see the World's Funniest Simian getting it on and banging a gong. I bet Mel DOES have a hubcap diamond star halo--I'm sure of it. The gong, it seems, is to send the comics into the next booth...

    Ralph is the first one we see going into a booth. He gets into a booth with one of the actual Deal or No Deal briefcase openers--she has a name (Leyla) but seriously, do we care?

    Ralph doesn't care. Ralph is HYP-MO-TIZED. He can't even start a punchline...his eyes are drifting a good eight inches below eye contact...and he might as well be making that blubbery noise...because he's incapable of cognitive thought in the presence of overly made-up, underly-clothed pulchritude.

    I think it was Ralph Kramden who put it best when he said "A-hom-in-nah, hom-in-nah, hom-in-nahhhhh..."

    "Something about a red dress on a woman makes a man retarded," is Ralph's explanation for his inability to perform (as it were.)

    Ralph goes on to the next booth and...there's another red dress on a woman... He calls her "Pam Grier"--but that's as much as he manages. Time to break out the excuses, Ralph...of how "this never happened to me before" and then, tomorrow, you buy those girls flowers...ok?

    Doug Benson is the next performer to take on the she-beast that is Leyla. His attempt goes like this, "I like to leave my socks on when I'm having socks. I guess a lot of women don't like it, but it's just me alone at the computer anyway...so, what difference does it make?"

    Leyla doesn't laugh. I'd make some comment about how, frighteningly, she might not have gotten the joke--but then, I'd get hate mail from FORTskateers who would think I was making fun of a blond.

    Right...like Leyla's a blond...


    I'm beginning to get the process now... It's not like a Chinese Fire Drill...it's more like singing a round... Ralph's gone first...and he's going to each individual booth one by one...Doug is following him, going to each booth that Ralph has just left...and, with the ringing of the gong (Thanks, Mel!)...Lavell is now going where Doug has just left.

    Ralph...still trying to collect his tongue from off the floor of the first two private booths...and expecting even more hotness in booth number three...encounters the first of tonight's "very interesting characters"--drag queen, Jackie Beat.

    And for those of you who are either visually impaired or have chosen to experience these shows through these recaps instead of actually watching the shows themselves, I should express very carefully the difference between a drag queen, a transvestite and a female impersonator.

    A female impersonator tries to actually pass himself off as a woman--typically a specific woman. Sometimes a pre-op transsexual may follow the path of a female impersonator on the way towards the operation.

    A transvestite is a man who wears womens clothing... Eddie Izzard (who is amazing and hilarious...and I saw perform in Seattle this past weekend...who wants to touch me?) is a transvestite...and I don't think anyone has ever confused him as being a woman--he's, often, a bloke in a dress...or a bloke with make-up...or even a bloke with fake boobs. (Confusingly, Eddie was as butch as I've ever seen him for the show he did in Seattle--jeans, suit jacket, goatee...)

    Jackie Beat is neither of those things. Jackie is a drag queen...as in "Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" drag queen. Jackie is fabulous in a way that needs six inch long finger nails and fake eyelashes to match. For Jackie, the classic 80's dance club hit by the soon-to-be-industrial band Ministry is a life motto: "Everyday Is Halloween."

    (Actually, Jackie is probably in her day look, here...the night time look is probably MORE extreme than what we're treated to--the better to be seen in the back of the gay bar when you're lip-synching something saucy on stage...)


    To say that Ralph is surprised doesn't properly convey the image of him shrieking upon pulling back the curtain and almost falling flat on his face. Jackie accurately points out that it's supposed to be Ralph making HER laugh...but, if you thought that Ralph's head was spinning before...it's reached escape velocity at this point. In other words--HE...IS...GONE...

    "I'm glad you're laughing, because I'm not..." Jackie says.

    Let's leave Ralph with his drag queen and catch up with Lavell and Leyla.

    Lavell lets Leyla know that he knows she can't help herself from looking at his chest. Leyla, playing along, nods and says "I'm jealous."

    Lavell, seizing the opportunity, says "Yeah, don't be jealous, THESE are natural."

    Leyla, pointing to her abundance of cleavage, claims, "So, are these."

    Which is as good excuse as any for the camera man to remain focused in on the canyon before us...



    I remember that in junior high, those of us who took French class were jealous of the German and Spanish classes...because they were taught wonderfully colorful rude phrases in those languages...and other than the painfully weak "merde" and "zut alors", those studying Francais were given NOTHING to match that.

    I remember that we MADE our French II teacher...give us something...a word...a phrase...something. I mean, the German kids were told how to say "over the shoulder boulder holder" in German--WE NEEDED SOMETHING.

    Our teacher, the delightful Miss Konkol, gave in...and taught us this: IL Y A DU MONDE AU BALCON.

    AWESOME, we said. Then, since we were only French II students...we had to ask what it meant.

    We knew that those Spanish kids had all kinds of phrases about people's mothers and various body parts...and the Germans had words for every vile bodily function imaginable... THIS, we KNEW...would be something good.

    Miss Konkol sent us to our French to English dictionaries.

    "Il y a du monde au balcon..." means..."there's a world in the balcony."

    WHAT THE FRENCH IS THAT?

    Miss Konkol helped us out with this delightful colloquial phrase...by saying that it would be said to a woman of substantial endowment.

    It also helps to say use a really cheesy French accent and add the "ohh-hoh-hoooh" at the beginning of it...

    I also have to say that, it being junior high, only a few of the girls really deserved our offering them the phrase...

    I have to admit--that's the phrase that came to mind at the exact moment that Leyla pointed at the monde that was filling up her balcon.




    Those are natural, Leyla. Right. Just like your hair, sweetie, I'm sure...

    (I might ask Elaine Benes to fall into you at the sauna at your gym...because you never know...they might be real...and they might be spectacular...and, let's be honest, I'll never know, anyway.)


    Ralph finally gets the gong to leave Jackie Bent behind...and methinks he doth protest too much. He's laughing AT what Jackie is...not WITH Jackie at the ludicrousness with which she presents her caricature of womanhood. He makes the sign of the cross when he leaves...and, in his interview segment, he talks about this being a "funky trick"--like it was something he shouldn't have had to put up with... Ralph should know what a drag queen looks like...and he shouldn't be so freaked out by it.

    There's this fine line between making fun of someone's quirks and actually disliking someone for being different. It's actually leaving a hint of a bad taste in my mouth about Ralph's attitudes...and there's something hiding in the back of my mind that makes me think that this was one of the reasons that I stopped liking Ralph from back in the day--because I REMEMBER Ralph and I remember thinking he was funny back in the day...but I have this vague memory that something stopped me from liking him. It might have been a joke that seemed meaner than it was funny...or a joke that didn't really seem like a joke.

    Sometimes, that's all it takes to go from likable...to not being cool... And every comic risks that every time he or she steps on a stage.

    Or comes out of a private booth with a drag queen.



    The gong sounds, the comics all move up one. Now, it's Doug Benson's turn to meet Jackie Bent. And sure, Doug's reaction is one of over-exaggerated shock...but that's to be expected. Again--how Jackie looks IS...shocking...and extreme...

    "I get to the next booth...and it's not a girl," Doug explains, "It's girl-esque."

    Doug, however, isn't cackling like a school boy... Perhaps that level of calm demeanor from Doug is what made Jackie reach into her bag and pull out a banana...

    Why? Look--you can't really ask a drag queen, "Why?" can you?

    Doug, seeing Jackie begin to peel the banana, points out that it's been his experience that when his date pulls out a banana and starts eating it...it's typically a good sign that the date is going poorly.

    When Jackie begins to eat the banana, Doug asks Jackie what she's doing later...

    Few can pull off deadpan insincerity better than Doug Benson. "I don't want to offend any brutally ugly transvestites that may be watching, because I need votes...but...wooof!"

    There IS a difference between what Doug did and what Ralph did. Even if what Doug said might seem like it's far meaner than what Ralph said, what Ralph did is a truer indication of who they are...and what they think. I hope everyone recognizes this...

    Jackie's looks are fair game for humor. Jackie, as a person, however...shouldn't be laughed at, uncontrollably, to her face.



    Amy Schumer is meeting up with Leyla. Her attempt at making her laugh goes like this, "You must be so sick of people...just using you...for your brains?"

    My heavens, is THAT a perfect joke. Simple, economical...snappy little twist at the end. I give Amy a lot of flack for her World Peace--but, I've got to give it up to her...because that's the first time I've actually seen Leyla get a joke--IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE BEST JOKE EVER!

    "But, I love your show...it must be so great to work with Howie Mandel," Amy continues, "Like...to know that he ended apartheid..."

    Leyla laughed AGAIN!

    Wait a minute...there's a bigger story here.

    LEYLA KNOWS WHAT APARTHEID MEANS!!!

    I think...or else she's just laughing nervously so we THINK she does...

    Either way, props to Amy, right?

    Although, truly...she seems to have a distinct advantage. She's un-discombobulated by the heavily populated balcony before her. Maybe, for Amy, they should have brought in a guy wearing those teeny-tiny jogging shorts...and maybe they should have had him do lunges...deep knee bends... See if THEN she'd be so funny...

    Ring the gong, Mel...

    Jon Reep says that he's never tried speed dating...but he has made speed love. "I'm really good at that. I can get a lot done in just under a minute."

    Jon has just noticed that Leyla has nice lips. He's jealous. "The first time I ever kissed a girl, I gave her a paper cut..."

    Leyla laughed at this... Sure, now that she's warmed up...she's easy...

    "Holy smoke!" That's how Lavell responds to seeing Jackie Bent for the first time. That's a fair response.

    "I've got all your albums, KISS" is what he says as he sits down. That's a damn funny response. It even gets Jackie laughing...and she gives him a single gun to indicate that she thought it was a good one.

    All right...this Bobby Van is ON, people!

    When it's time for Lavell to leave Jackie, he steps outside the booth and he makes a face...and he says in his post-challenge interview that "they'd brought the circus in..." Not the most tolerant reaction, but he behaved quite well WITH Jackie...and that, I think, is the difference.

    I mean, let me be clear...this is MEANT to be a freak show... It's not like the producers of the show DON'T want them to react just the way that Doug and Lavell have done...they obviously do...

    Somehow, I've gotten into my head that Ralph has done something wrong...and he needs some sort of absolution. So, what better for him to find in the next booth he walks into...but...a nun. A directly out of Mary Katherine Gallagher's school nun--Sister Rose. (Nice touch of the illumination and the Hallelujah choir music cue, Magical Elves!)

    Ralph decides that now is the time to pull out the Coke-bottle glasses that he uses when he mimics his grandfather. It's actually a good strategy when you're chasing a Bobby Van...something as simple as a funny face, some weird hat...or glasses...those can make a person who is gearing up and tensing up, knowing that they're not supposed to laugh, actually laugh.

    Perhaps I should explain my terminology. There was once a game show called "Make Me Laugh" where contestants would try not to laugh while comedians tried to make them laugh...and the host of that show was Bobby Van. (See also the Cameron Crowe movie "Singles")

    Ralph asks Sister Rose what her parish is...and Sister Rose answers him--which throws Ralph for a loop, because he hadn't counted on her actually BEING a REAL nun.

    Once again...Ralph...gone.

    Meanwhile, Hayley Marie...the remaining Deal or No Deal briefcase opener who ISN'T Leyla (the one Ralph called Pam Grier)...is helping Matt Kirshen through puberty...just by allowing him to sit there and stare at her for a whole minute. He might be talking, but does anyone care? Does Matt?

    Well...I guess, maybe, Amy does...

    Matt says that this whole situation reminds him of those movies where he's supposed to help her with her science project and she's supposed to help him learn how to dance.

    He gets a chuckle from Hayley. I imagine that's ALL he got.

    Doug is surprised to find that after Jackie Bent that they don't go back to Deal or No Deal briefcase openers. Doug gets to talk to Sister Rose.

    Sister Rose is actually quite delighted to see Doug walk in...

    And this begins some of the most uncomfortable seconds on network television that I've seen in a few years.

    Because Doug, figuring that he has nothing to lose...since he has no idea that the other contestants are having just as much trouble with this challenge as he thinks he's having, decides to tell sweet (and, I repeat, REAL) Sister Rose...a dirty joke.

    Is that more disrespectful than what Ralph did to Jackie Bent? Good question... It's funnier, in that awful and uncomfortable way that "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is...and it's worse, because Sister Rose is (I repeat) a REAL nun.

    "Sister Rose, I'm good in bed," Doug starts, "It's true."

    Sister Rose looks crestfallen, as I think she realizes that the next sixty seconds will not be very pleasant for her tender sensibilities, and says "I don't care."

    Doug is undeterred.

    In his interview segment, Doug explains. "You have to sit here and listen to this because I've lost this challenge...so, I might as well do the most inappropriate thing I can do, short of whipping it out and slapping it on the table."

    I never could have dreamed that I'd see the day when you could say "whipping it out and slapping it on the table" on network television. This is why the terrorists will never win, people.

    And speaking of never letting the terrorists win, how about we go to a commercial right about now? Awesome...let our wonderful and hard working wait staff top off your glasses...and we'll be back with more Last Comic Standing right after this...

    -----
    I had a good week, friends... I told you about the HBO contest. I told you about the Eddie Izzard concert. I ALSO got to go to see the stage musical version of "Young Frankenstein." Just like "The Producers"--this is a Mel Brooks movie turned into a stage musical...and it's playing here in Seattle before it ends up on Broadway.

    Let me tell you--it's AWESOME! Great jokes, great songs, great effects... You've got Megan Mullaly from Will & Grace in the Madeline Kahn role...you've got Andrea Martin from SCTV in the Cloris Leachman role...you've got Sutton Foster from Flight of the Conchords in the Terri Garr role...and EVERYBODY ROCKS.

    I have to imagine that none of you really care...but there were no good commercials in the last break to make fun of here...and I couldn't just leave this space blank...so, there...I told you about a cool thing I did this week.

    I'd ask you what YOU did this week--because I'm not a jerk who can't listen to other people with good stories--but you're not here as I'm writing this recap, so you're kind of stuck reading exactly what I write.

    I don't know about you, but this works just fine for me...

    -----

    And we're back... Just in case we've completely forgotten what's been going on in the two minutes that we've been away, Doug reminds us that he's about to needlessly torment a (dare I remind you, REAL) nun with a dirty joke.

    It's amazing how calmly he proceeds with this self-destructive strategy...EVEN AS SISTER ROSE BEGS HIM TO STOP!

    No plaintive cry of "Please" is going to stop Doug Benson from telling his "T-Minus 10 joke." The interesting thing is that he basically does the joke "clean"--in that none of the words have to be bleeped out...but that doesn't change the fact that he's talking about a very specific incident of non-marital sex to a (REAL!!!) nun.

    The joke is funny--Doug's talking about how he would announce a countdown to the climax of the lovemaking activities, like a NASA launch. "T-Minus 10 seconds, nine, eight...oops."

    Sorry...no Bobby Van, Doug. Sister Rose, who looked uncomfortable the entire time, did not laugh. Doug, who didn't look like a naughty school boy while he pulled this prank--he looked very sincere and honest...speaking in reverent tones that belied that naughtiness of what he was saying, actually apologized when he finished the joke.

    Either that or his saying "Sorry, Sister" was meant to be an even more irreverent tag to the "Oops" of the joke.

    Sister Rose, being a real nun, blessed him on his way out (and, we hope, has forgiven him for what he has done...)

    Do not ask who the gong sounds for, Doug Benson...it sounds for thee...

    Everybody switch...and we get one of our first sightings of Gerry Dee tonight. Gerry has a strategy for this challenge--although, remember that he doesn't know about Jackie Bent or the nun yet--and that is that he plans on telling the same joke to all six girls. Gerry is quite confident because "this bit kills in all of the clubs.

    We see Gerry telling this bit...it's a pretty standard bit about guys and girls being different--how girls plan their nights out and guys don't...and there are specific details about what girls do when they go out... And we see that Gerry is doing well with the Deal Or No Deal girls...doing this joke.

    "I feel kinda bad for the other comics," Gerry says, in a laser-beams-couldn't-have-been-brighter to highlight such an obvious moment of about-to-have-your-words-shoved-in-your-face-by-the-editors foreshadowing, "Because they don't know that I have this..."

    Speaking of someone not knowing what someone has (or doesn't have)--Gerry Dee meet Jackie Bent...Jackie, Gerry...

    Gerry, looking more subdued in another interview, admits "I don't have a lot of transvestite jokes."

    (I'd correct him about interchangeably using transvestite when he meant drag queen...just as I would have corrected Doug when he made the same mistake...but I'm not there...and I can't go back in time. We've covered this earlier, I think...right?)

    Gerry decided to stick with his strategy...and tell "the girl's joke" (his words, not mine) again. Didn't work so well with Jackie... Can't put my finger on why.

    Don't want to put my finger on why, either, frankly...

    Ralph walks into another private booth...and begins cracking up with laughter again. One would think that he's not taking this challenge seriously, because he hasn't managed to keep a straight face yet... I'd say it's unprofessional, but this is a Last Comic Standing challenge...and I don't think that word applies.

    The reason that Ralph is laughing is because his latest "date" is Twinkie the Clown.

    Twinkie the Clown.

    You know, it's moments like this that I regret not having tried out to make it on this show...because think of what an incredible boost it would be to my career to face off against...Twinkie the Clown.

    How about you, Joe DeVito? You feel like you really missed out on something wonderful as you watch this?

    Twinkie's make-up is awesome...because you couldn't imagine anything being more happy... Of course, these are also the things that nightmares are made of...and I think Ralph thinks that he's living through a nightmare at the moment.

    There's little chance that Ralph will actually manage to say something funny to Twinkie...so, let's jump back to see how Amy Schumer does with Hayley.

    "There's such a pressure in Hollywood to be skinny," Amy said, putting another fastball right in the Deal Or No Deal briefcase opener's wheelhouse, "Like Mischa Barton...or Paris Hilton...even that chihuahua that Paris hangs out with--Nicole Richie..."

    Guffaws come from the briefcase opener. More than just laughs...we're talking about throwing-her-head-back and trembling-boobage-on-display guffaws going on here...

    Meanwhile, her reality-tv show sorta boyfriend Matt is meeting up with Jackie Bent. Matt, to his credit, is unfazed by the strange looking drag queen...so, it was up to Jackie to start things off with a friendly "Don't tell me we haven't met..."

    Matt--showing that he's quick to pick up on a thread that might pull out some humor from any situation--says "Was it Vegas? I still have the rope burns..."

    Good effort--but Drag Queen does not mean Bondage/Dominatrix...doesn't get Jackie's eyelashes fluttering...and I don't think that anyone really wants to see Jackie's boobage a'tremblin'...

    "This just looks wrong...this just looks like a court case waiting to happen," is Matt's second attempt at getting past the cold (and overly made-up) exterior to tickle the funny within Jackie Bent.

    DENIED.

    "I don't think I made her laugh in anyway," Matt admitted, "When I say 'her', I don't even know the proper terminology should be..."

    Fair enough. Guess our stereotypes of the English need to be toned down a bit.


    Doug Benson is walking into his next private booth, and he says "Oh...look at THIS clown..."--because, of course, he's starting his time with Twinkie...

    The off-handed manner of how Doug delivered this line is spot-on perfect... I couldn't tell if Twinkie smiled or grimaced at it... I don't know if clowns are sensitive to clown jokes. I know my girlfriend is a lawyer--and she hates lawyer jokes. She probably doesn't like being called a clown, either... Remind me never to do THAT... ...again.

    Doug, in a proper skewering of this event, admits to Twinkie that these dates have been going pretty bad...and he doesn't think any of the other girls are going to put out.

    "Can we just get it on the table right away," Doug asks...in a line that is made a bit more shocking considering what he said was the one thing more inappropriate than saying what he'd said to the nun just moments ago. "Do I have any chance with you?"

    Twinkie, sadly, shakes her head, "no."

    Twinkie. The Sad Clown.

    Doug Benson. Ditto.


    Doug, speechless, goes back to the snuggle room, where Ralph is STILL laughing at what they've now both just done.

    "It was like going through a haunted castle," Ralph explains, "All you can think of is insults. I was like, you' the kind of people I make fun of. I think I suck."

    ::deep breath::

    OK, self-realization is a good thing. Much better than being blindly stupid. I still don't like hearing Ralph say "You' the kind of people I make fun of" but at least he knows that it's an issue...I guess.

    I honestly don't know how I feel about Ralph now. I better just base my decisions on if I think he's funny--but the problem is that Ralph NEEDS to be likable to be funny...he needs you to care about what he was like as a bratty kid...or what his grumpy Grandpa is like... We'll see. I can respect him as a comic without liking everything he says.

    I mean...I sure as hell laughed at Sam Kinison back in the day-and I didn't agree with 90% of what he said or how he said it.


    "I'm ready to perform in the head-to-head," Ralph says, "Because it's looking like it's going that way."

    Hit the gong, Mel.

    Amy Schumer, having made the Deal or No Deal gals laugh, now gets to try her luck with Jackie Bent. Amy, although shocked to see Jackie, keeps up her sunny disposition--while mentally scrambling for the right game plan.

    "I...like surprises," Amy says...sounding like she's winging it, here, "And I guess you've got a surprise for me..."

    "I sure do," is Jackie's answer...and I'm going to take her at her word.

    Amy feels the need to ask Jackie a personal question. "Do you think we would have been friends in high school?"

    Jackie replies honestly. "No," is Jackie's answer...and Amy is going to take her at her word.


    We haven't seen Jon Reep in awhile... Where's he and who is he talking to? Ahhh...he's with Sister Rose!

    Jon finds out that Sister Rose has actually been to Hickory! (I'll refrain from suggesting that this must mean they're related...but, it makes it much more likely that Sister Rose drives a Hemi!!!)

    Jon, basking in civic pride, informs Sister Rose that Hickory is the home to a Winston Cup champion, Dale Jarrett...and to the pig from Green Acres.

    "Not Arnold," John clarifies, "I'm talking about Zsa Zsa..."

    That got Sister Rose to laugh...nice work, Jon!

    Meanwhile, Lavell admits to having nightmares about clowns. Twinkie the Now Suddenly Worried Clown tries to reassure Lavell...and she starts by introducing herself to him.

    "Oh, don't say Twinkie around me," Lavell cautions. "I might bite ya..."

    And that got Twinkie to laugh...nice work, Lavell!

    "I like clowns," admits Lavell, after this Twinkie encounter changed his heart. "She looked like a big birthday cake."

    OH MY STARS!!! HE WAS GOING TO EAT HER!!!

    The gong sounds and Twinkie the Cream Filled Clown is saved from Lavell...only to be introduced to Gerry Dee.

    "Hello, Bozo," is Gerry's exasperated introduction line as he enters Twinkie's booth.

    "I've never talked to clowns," Gerry admits. "I don't know what to say."

    Gerry talks to her about how she works with kids. Gerry segues from that lead-in to a bit about how he used to be a school teacher but was frustrated because he couldn't beat his problem students--so, instead, he made certain that he played dodgeball against them...but he'd use softballs.

    Sister Rose might have been sensitive when it came to Doug's dirty joke, but Twinkie went into the deep freeze when Gerry started talking about beaning kids with softballs...

    Oooooh, really great instincts on that one, Gerry.

    "This date is not...going well...is it?" Gerry asks.

    Back to being Twinkie the Sad Clown, Twinkie shakes her head "no."


    So...is there anything worse than telling a children's clown a joke about beaning kids with softballs? Well, you could tell a Jesus joke to a (REAL) nun!

    Ladies and gentlemen, Amy Schumer!

    "The other day, I was on the subway and there was this little old woman sitting next to me..." Amy says, in all earnestness...while Sister Rose looks on with such a hopeful "I really want to like you" look on her face. "And out of nowhere, she was like...'Have you heard the good news?' And I was like, no...are Jen and Brad finally getting back together?"

    Still, Sister Rose is looking hopefully...

    "She was like 'No. Come to the Times Square Church'--because she was trying to save me," Amy explained, "And I said to her, as nice as I could, I'm so sorry...but my people are Jewish. And she said, 'That's ok sweetie, your people just haven't found Jesus yet.'"

    And Sister Rose nods, hopefully...still.

    "And, Sister, you're going to love this," Amy said, like a Venus Fly Trap luring in a fly, "I said...No, we found Him... Maybe you haven't heard the bad news..."

    And it takes a second...but Sister Rose nearly blushes when she gets it... And I'll count that as a laugh...AND Amy gets a high five for having the stones to tell that joke to a (REAL) nun.


    That's the end of the competition...every comedian has had their one minute with each of the six...of... Ahem... They each met...six...

    Wait a minute.

    They started with six Deal or No Deal Girls. They replaced four with "very interesting characters."

    1) Leyla
    2) Hayley Marie
    3) Jackie Bent
    4) Sister Rose
    5) Twinkie

    6) ???

    What could the sixth person possibly be that it was completely edited out of the show? I think I know.

    I bet it was Nancy Grace. Yeah, sure...it was probably Nancy Grace!

    And I'm not at all upset they cut her out of the show.


    Mel kicks the gong around a couple of times--just like Cab Calloway taught Minnie the Moocher how to do...

    Ralph, who evidently is completely self-delusional, says that he thinks he's got just as good of a chance as anyone...after hearing how everyone did. Either those hopes are all in your head or all scattered on the editing room floor...because what WE saw in the show...all your hope is gone in this challenge, Ralph...

    The "dates"--however many of them there turned out to be--all voted for who made them laugh...their votes have been tabulated and the comics have gathered to find out who has won this challenge.

    Remember--winning this challenge means not having to compete in the head-to-head-to-head showdown...and, unless the same thing happens this week that happened last week...this should mean that the winner of this challenge will go into the final five. (Bill is not considering the possibility that, like last week, someone could be the most voted for comic but only have one eligible competitor to bring with them into the showdown...which is why last week, it was a head-to-head showdown...and only one was eliminated.)

    And the winner of the Speed Laughing Challenge is...

    THIS RECAP CONTINUES IN THE POST DIRECTLY BELOW...
    Last edited by pg13; 08-20-2007 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Should have put in an "of"

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    Last Comic Standing Episode Nine Recap (Part Two)

    Now, let's see...where were we? Oh yes, I believe there was a cliffhanger in this recap...

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: The pg13 LCS Recap
    Episode Nine: Knock! Knock! Who's There? (part two)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    And the winner of the Speed Laughing Challenge is...

    Amy Schumer



    Sure...you tell a bunch of comics to go on dates with various women...and the one the women like the most...is the woman.

    See what you've done, Ellen?!?!?!



    Now, when Bill mentions Amy's name...people react in different ways. Amy, literally, jumps for joy. Doug's eyes light up and he claps like a gay man turning on the track lighting in his kitchen for the first time. Jon Reep is clapping, happily, for Amy. Gerry Dee mouths the word "Wow" and then he claps, politely. Matt's jaw drops...and then he looks on (lovingly, perhaps) at Amy...and then begins to clap. Lavell gives a look of surprise before he undertakes the Herculean effort to bring his arms up high enough to clap. Ralph Harris' head goes down--possibly out of self-disappointment--and he claps earnestly...


    The reason that I have to tell you what each of the contestants do in the 2.1 seconds following Amy's name being announced...is because, in true reality show fashion, it is about to become an issue.


    Doug lets Amy hug him, while she's still going through her "Oh my God" moment. Jon reaches behind Matt and past Doug to give Amy his hand to shake. Then, Amy and Matt hug (and all of the people who ten years ago would have been dying for Scully and Mulder to kiss are now going "Awwwwwwwww...")

    Then, while Amy begins her complaining in an interview voice over, Amy turns...and Gerry awkwardly hugs her when Amy reaches out to him.

    During this time, Lavell and Ralph are clapping loudly and willfully for Amy.

    Amy then gets it in her head...and on her mouth (as not only was her next reaction bleeped, but her mouth was pixilated and blurred)...that Ralph was snubbing her by not hugging her.

    Amy says "What, no hug? OK. (expletive deleted)"

    That's right people...in the biggest molehill made into a mountain in this summer's fare of reality television...we must consider that Amy Schumer is upset because she didn't get hugged for her having won a challenge that the people around her were trying to win.

    She goes so far as to say that she thought that she was friends with Lavell and with Ralph...and that their not immediately giving her a hug in that moment was tantamount to betrayal.


    In the words of the Geico Caveman, "Yeah, I have a response to that... Uhhhhhh...WHAT?"


    Because they wouldn't hug you fast enough...right then, right there...when they were probably dealing with their own disappointment in not winning the challenge...and they were instantly forced to consider all of the variables that now stood in their way and their assuring themselves that they will make the Top 5...THAT is what you're upset about?

    "When Amy won, I just went numb," Ralph explained. "I was just like, 'I don't feel like celebrating...I didn't win.'"

    I don't know if anyone's been paying attention--but Ralph is very competitive. That's his quote, about knocking others out, that is the first thing in this recap. If you didn't pick up on that, Amy...that's on you, I think...

    "I forgot that this is just a competition and that these guys aren't your friends," Amy says...as naively as any of her other painfully generic moments of World Peace have sounded. "It just hurt my feelings..."

    No kidding. You can see her entire mood change in less than five seconds...and it looks like Ralph and Lavell merely clapping for her and not hugging her is going to make her either cry or throw up right then and there.

    She doesn't... Props to Amy for that...but I've got to take those props right away immediately for overreacting in the first place.

    Some might think that this has something to do with either Lavell or Ralph thinking that a woman shouldn't be in the final five. I can't presume to speak for either of them...but I don't think it goes that deep. Others might think that this has something to do with the fact that Amy has the least experience...and that her earning immunity means that two people with more experience will be going home...and not her. Again, that might be true...but I don't think that has anything to do with how they reacted in that moment.

    I think, simply, they wanted to win...they didn't...and while they were respectful in applauding for Amy having won...they didn't feel as touchy-feely as Doug and Matt (and, awkwardly, Gerry) did.

    And why are YOUR feelings getting hurt, Amy... You won.

    How can you be the winner and whiny at the same time?



    All right...enough high-schoolish behavior and immature attitudes...let's take a commercial break, get a hard belt of something nasty into us...and then, it's on to the voting for the showdown...and we'll find out who's joining Amy in sticking around another week.

    -----
    "I raised you to talk to me like that"--that's from the ad where the dad and the kid sound like they're having an argument...but they're really agreeing with each other.

    Do people really want to buy a cell phone from a company that creates such an oddly negatively-vibed commercial as the AT&T Go Phone ads are?



    Hey...it was either this or me telling you more about Young Frankenstein...

    -----


    So...it's the next day... Actually, I don't know that for sure. It's a day. I'm assuming that it's after what we've just seen. The short bus has collected the comics for some sort of an outing...and Amy is hiding behind Sophia Loren-style sunglasses. She's not very chatty, so we get Matt to explain the obvious--that everyone is nervous because it's voting day and nobody wants to go home.


    That's when they pull up to the community college.

    I'm sorry...what's going on here? Are they voting at the community college?

    The answer to that question is no...and I'd prefer it if you didn't raise your voice to me like that.

    But, I didn't raise my--

    Your constant questioning of me makes me feel marginalized. I think you need to do an inventory of your feelings and respect my personal schema...

    Your what?

    So, typical of you...ridiculing me...tearing down whatever you don't understand to lower me and raise yourself.

    What the f--

    Look, I think you need to do what the comics have been dragged into doing...they're meeting with a couple of stress educators. Janine and Jean...they're there to help these comics relieve their stress.


    The problem with this is...there is already a way that comics relieve their stress...it's called DOING THEIR ACT.

    Janine and Jean have the comics beat up stuff. "Dump your stress" is what they call it.

    Doug looks like a crazed madman as he bashes a foam tube with a bat. Doug suggests that the best way to relieve your stress is to tell a dirty joke to a nun.

    Well, it worked for him, anyway...


    Jon Reep is encouraged to make sound and noise when he beats on the foam tube with a bat. Jon, being a comedian, seeks out the simple truth and starts saying "Sounds! Noise! Noise! Sound!" as he continues this painfully silly exercise.

    "These therapists are WACKO," Jon informs us. "They're insane."


    This continues...with Lavell Crawford beating up on a realistic boxing dummy.

    "They let us beat up on this little no-armed white man," Lavell pointed out. "I swore I heard the police comin'."


    The chance to beat up on stuff has, it seems, encouraged this group to go from a fairly calm place...into a very amped up, prone to violence place. Which, I'm sure, Amy is thankful for...


    Jean gets the group together in a circle...and she wants to teach them about a stress-relieving technique known as a "heart sandwich."

    Sounds like one of the really bad Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef, to me... I halfway expect someone to come up with a heart sandwich foam...

    Just the name of this is causing Doug Benson to crack up...but, damned if everyone isn't about to do it...because if they don't, then they don't get on network television, do they?

    Basically, your partner sits quietly on the floor and they put their hand over their own heart. You sit next to them and you put your hand over their hand which is on their heart.


    And that's it...


    Unless, of course, you're Matt Kirshen and you've managed to partner yourself up with Amy Schumer...then, it's called first base. Way to go, McLovin!

    Ralph Harris is partnered up with Doug Benson. Doug says that the minute that Ralph gave him that heart sandwich, it was true love. Ralph says that Doug's heart doesn't even beat... And you can't love...without a heart...

    Jon Reep, who was partnered with Lavell Crawford, admitted that the entire time that Lavell had his hands on him, he was just trying to hold in a fart.

    "Fart sandwich"--inspiring our pal Butthead, still on the couch.

    As Amy & Matt, who were basically on top of each other by the end of the exercise, are disengaging, Jean asks the crowd to talk about "anything that might have come up with their partner." Amy volunteers that something might have "come up" for Matt...and proceeds to hide that "something" with a pile of juggling scarves.


    "Heart sandwich is now an instant punchline for anything," Matt predicts.

    Wait. Did he say "heart sandwich" or "fart sandwich"?

    (See...I'm American, Matt...and you're not. I know my peeps. We giggle at the flatulence...every time.)


    Doug says what we're all thinking in calling whatever this was "ridicka-donk-ulous."

    I also fail to see the point of it...unless it was just to convince everyone who has been whining about there not being a house (or a boat) this season...that HAD there been a house, there'd have been many more embarrassingly awful and forced moments like this was...

    As foolish as it was, however...I can kind of see the "fans of the house-era of LCS"'s point--in that, we got to see some people be genuinely funny...for a change...and we got to know some of these contestants a little bit better as people... (I guess.)

    I think that a GOOD house is something that's been missing since the first season of LCS. If you can't guarantee a good house, I understand why the Magical Elves might want to just skip that part...and concentrate on what they CAN control...the challenges, the voting...and the consistency of their head-to-head-to-head showdown system.

    Speaking of which...now that everyone has supposedly de-stressed (Amy claims that everyone is MORE stressed, because now they know that people like Jean and Janine are on the loose)...isn't it time to put these comics into the cauldron of truth and make them spit out boasts of who they are funnier than?

    They hop back on the short bus...the day is still young...they're off to find the voting booth...the wonderful voting booth of LCS. By the time they pull up to the Santa Monica pier, it's night...again, suggesting that they're putting some of the best comics in this country into hot school buses (with no air conditioning) for hours at a time...until they are ready to talk...to name names... Insidious, that's what I call it.

    Matt doesn't know who he's going to vote for (proving that he didn't spend ENOUGH time on that damn bus)--he's just hoping that he doesn't have to go into another head-to-head challenge tonight. (Perhaps, then, you should have found time in your busy schedule to discuss...oh, I don't know...some sort of ALLIANCE??? I mean...it worked, for awhile anyway, in the first season...)

    Just a few hundred yards away from the midway rides on the Santa Monica pier, the spotlight shines on the beach...or, more specifically, the famous Last Comic Standing voting booth that is currently residing on the beach. The comedians trudge their way to a fire pit on the beach...where if they had sticks and marshmallows and chocolate bars and graham crackers...they could make s'mores! Instead, they're just letting the smoke make their eyes go red with smoke.

    Or perhaps the smoke is getting to their brain, because Amy tries to suggest that Ralph is one of the people who thinks that "women have no place in comedy"--and why? BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HUG HER FAST ENOUGH...

    I wonder who SHE'S going to vote for?

    I was right.

    One by one, the comedians go to the booth to make their decisions.

    Doug Benson surprises me a little bit by admitting that his strategy has been to try to avoid the head-to-heads.

    "Why compete if you don't have to?" Doug asks. "I wish the Olympics was like that. I'd totally stand there and wear that (expletive deleted).

    Matt points out that neither Gerry nor Doug have either won a challenge nor have they competed in a head-to-head. Matt thinks it wouldn't be fair if they made it to the Top 5 without having to do anything. (He forgets...we're North American. We're used to not doing things.)

    The comedians have all made their choices, so it's time to wheel a huge plasma television screen down to the beach...where we will now watch the very same thing that the comedians just recorded, two minutes earlier and ten feet away.

    Here then are the votes.
    Amy Schumer: Ralph Harris

    No surprise for us, there...but I get the feeling that Ralph has no idea why (or, even, that) Amy is angry at him...because he gives her a smile and a look... She blows him a kiss back. I bet she's wearing poisonous lipstick... And, I bet that Matt, not knowing this, kisses Amy all unexpectedly...and then Matt dies, tragically, from this cruel twist of fate. Because that'd be a veddy English thing to do, wouldn't you say?

    Ralph Harris: Matt--NO...WAIT!!! HE'S PULLING OUT THE OLD SWITCHEROO! HIS REAL VOTE GOES TO: Doug Benson
    Doug Benson: Ralph Harris
    Matt Kirshen:
    Matt wants to read a poem instead of voting.

    "This is a poem I wrote years ago," he explained.

    Whenever I am near the sea,
    I know I'm funnier than Gerry Dee.


    "Never really made sense...until now," Matt admits.

    Matt Kirshen: Gerry Dee
    Lavell Crawford: Jon Reep
    Gerry Dee: Lavell Crawford


    OK, so, very much like last week...the votes are very evenly split...with only one person with more than one vote going into the last and deciding vote. Ralph Harris has two votes, everyone else except for Matt (and Amy, who has immunity) has one vote. This next vote will decide who goes into the head-to-head challenge.

    Jon Reep needs to de-stress before making his decision.

    Jon Reep: Matt Kirshen


    The person with the most votes: Ralph Harris

    I knew it! I knew it! JUST LIKE LAST WEEK! I warned them, didn't I?

    Wait. Didn't I?

    Oh, no I didn't...because my computer doesn't have a time travel function... Damn it!

    See, here's the deal--they really want to get rid of two comedians tonight...but, just as last week when two people chose Debra DiGiovanni, making her the top vote getter--but one of the people who voted for her was the person with immunity, so all she could do was go head-to-head against Matt Kirshen...so, this week is Ralph Harris the top vote getter. He was challenged by two people...Doug Benson and Amy Schumer. Amy has immunity, so Ralph can only pick Doug.

    I mean...that's right, isn't it? That's what happened last week...so, that's what happens THIS week when the same thing happens. I mean, you can't just go changing the rules on a whim, can you? You can't throw out whatever you did before to do it the way you want to this week. Sure, it'll mean not living up to your promise of cutting the cast down from 7 to 5 this week. And, it might mean an extra week of the show...just to get down to the five you want to start pimping in front of America...but, you have to do it this way, don't you? You have to remain consistent within your own rules. I mean...in order for this contest to have ANY integrity at all, you have to at least be consistent with your own rules from one week to the next...right?

    Wait...did I actually use the word "integrity" when I was just there talking about Last Comic Standing?

    Oh, silly, silly, me.


    It seems whatever integrity this show may have had has blown down the beach like a stray wrapper from a corndog in the wind...because Bill Bellamy, possibly making this stuff up on the spot, has sent Doug Benson and Ralph Harris back to the voting booth...where they can choose anyone they want (other than Amy) to join them in the "damn it, we said we'd get to the Top 5 tonight...and we meant it" head-to-head-to-head showdown.

    First...what the hell?

    Second...does this show have NO REGARD for the people watching it?

    Well, whatever...it's their voting booth...and if we don't want to play by their ever changing rules, they can always pick up their voting booth and go home...so, if we want to play, we've got to play how they say...

    Sigh.

    Into the voting booth go both Doug and Ralph...for some sort of a two person vote.

    Of course...we won't find out who they picked until after the commercial break.

    Someone's been studying Seacrest again, haven't they?

    See you after the break...

    -----
    Creepiest ad on television? The disco dolly robot that opens up to reveal a keg of Heineken beer. Every frat boy's dream girl. A sexy, dancing beer machine...

    On the other hand, I still think the previews for the new series "Life" look really good.

    One last thing...it looks like Doug Benson is wearing a shirt from Bumbershoot--which is the Seattle Music and Arts Festival... I got to perform at that festival last year and I'm lucky enough to host a show there this year. Great times had by all...so, if you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest for the Labor Day holiday...make certain you stop in and check out some music, food, art, film, readings, crafts and comedy...

    -----

    Back so soon?

    "I told you earlier that three comics would perform..." announces Bill Bellamy. "So, Ralph & Doug...go vote..."

    Because Bill Bellamy will get his way, even if he has to break the rules or make up new rules in order to do so...BECAUSE BILL BELLAMY IS ABOVE THE LAW!!!

    Matt tells Jon that "there's no way I'm safe from this head-to-head."

    Sure enough...

    Doug & Ralph: Matt Kirshen

    And Matt takes it like a man...while Amy does, honestly look sad.

    Until, of course, Bill reminds her that she...along with Lavell, Gerry and Jon are automatically in the Top 5. Then she seems practically giddy and she probably doesn't even remember that she knows anyone named Matt.

    Who?

    Matt. Little English fella, big rat teeth...really clever...

    No, sorry...

    See...I told you.


    So...by the powers invested in no one in particular and codified nowhere in particular and held accountable by no one, really...the head-to-head-to-yes, indeed-head showdown will be:

    Ralph Harris vs. Doug Benson vs. Matt Kirshen


    Ralph thinks it'll be a good show--he's up against two really good comedians...and he knows that they know what he can do.

    Doug explains that they both like Matt, but they decided to choose him because he's got the least amount of experience.

    Matt understands, pointing out, "Doug and Ralph both started doing comedy when I was about seven...it's not going to be an easy gig in the slightest."



    Night falls...morning comes...and we get our packing montage started.

    Ralph, who seems to be wearing a cranberry suit with a pink shirt...very sherbet-y...says that last time he was in the head-to-head-to-head showdown, he was anxious. This time, he's really confident because he does know what to expect.

    "I feel like I can't be defeated now," Ralph says, confidently.

    Meanwhile, Matt, after once again assessing the depth of experience his opponents in this showdown have, expresses the obvious. "I don't think many people are expecting me to come back from this one...and if I don't, then I'll've still gone out with dignity because I've been knocked out by a twenty year veteran."

    Now, I ain't one to gossip...so you didn't hear this from me... But while Ralph packed alone...and we're about to see that Doug has packed alone...Matt was joined in his room by Amy Schumer... And I'm not saying she doesn't have two of the same outfit with her...or that she's above wearing the same clothes two days in a row...but she did seem to be wearing the same thing that she wore to the stress-relieving exercises the previous day. And those hugs keep getting longer and longer between these two cute kids (and we now know how important hugs ARE to Amy...)

    Of course, she might be cold blooded enough to snuggle up next to Jon Reep on the couch in the lounge in case her young squire fails to return from the battles...

    "This is an important head to head for me to win, because if I don't, I'm not in the top five," Doug explains. "And I'm pretty sure that means I don't get to be on the show anymore. No one's told me how this works."

    We get one last slightly off-kilter Doug Benson smirk...before night falls, the short bus comes to shuttle all of the comics--the cool customers who need do nothing more than watch who joins them in the Top 5...and the three on the chopping block tonight...one of whom is said to be rather nervous.

    "Matt is nervous," Amy says. "Matt's pacing, he's being all crazy and British...but I can't wait to see the show..."

    Sounds like she's beginning to form a basis for a dumping, Matt. Hope you kept your heart safe. Sing "American Woman" with Lenny Kravitz and Grand Funk if it gets too hard to handle with quiet grace and dignity.

    American woman...stay away from me
    American woman...mother, let me be...


    It's showtime folks...the Last Comic Theater is packed...and Bill Bellamy is in the hizouse.

    BILL: Y'all watch reality tv? Oh my God, whatever you do, if you've got kids...please do NOT allow your children watch MySweet 16. Whatever you do...parents...DO...NOT..DO IT. I made a mistake. I'm gonna be honest... My daughter, she's three years old. OK? I happened to walk out of the den...just for a few minutes, it was almost over... You know, by the time I came back in there...my daughter was a different girl. She changed just like that, in the last ten minutes of the show. She's like...

    ::Bill strikes a pose with attitude and his eyes grow large as he begins to mimic his daughter.::

    Daddy...c'mere... First of all, I was watching this show right here, My Sweet 16... Mmmmm-hmmmm. There's this man on there, he's very successful... he's a music executive, his name is L.A. Reid. OK. First of all, he's very very successful...he has a lot of money and guess what he did for his son on his birthday.

    What?

    He had Kanye West. Mmmmm-hmmmm... I'm about to be four...so, who you gonna get for me, Daddy?

    ::Bill goes back to being himself.::

    I'm like, Bitch, you gonna have the same person I had. Chuck E. Cheese. I don't give a-- What the hell's wrong with you? I had Chuck E. Cheese.



    And that, ladies and gentlemen...is Bill Bellamy.

    Commercial break...and then the head-to-head-to-head showdown! Hit the bathrooms while you can!

    -----
    Wait a minute...did Bill Bellamy just call his three year old a "bitch" right there?

    I'm beginning to think that "My Sweet 16" isn't the biggest of his worries when it comes to parenting...

    And did he start his set by asking if we watched reality tv? Like...oh, I don't know...LAST COMIC STANDING?

    Yeesh.


    Over on Top Chef, they're doing my favorite of their challenges--Restaurant Wars--OVER again... The same challenge twice in a row...to see how the cheftestants will do when they've tried, failed and gotten feedback.

    Would that be interesting to do on Last Comic Standing? I'm not so sure... One more time into Medieval Times, brave knights? I wonder.

    Oh, and a couple of my friends saw sneak previews of "Superbad." They're telling me it's all that. Only in modern slang, not that eight year old stuff I just tried to pass off as being "hip" (or "fresh" or...well, you'd know better than I, right?)

    -----

    All right...with freshly emptied bladders...you are now ready to dig right into the meaty bits of this head-to-head-to-head challenge.

    Matt will be going up first--setting the tempo. He's not happy about that. He, like many comics, likes to get a feel for what the others do with the room...and react to that.

    Meanwhile, Ralph is very confident. He's going to win...he even says that he's "got to..."

    On the other hand, he's wearing a cranberry suit...and Matt's got a cool graphic t-shirt with a bomb-ass picture of a monkey on it. So there.

    Let's go, Matt!


    MATT: Thank you, thank you lovely people who decide my fate. Oh, it's a joy being here in Cali-fornic--oh, I can't do the accent. I can't even do the English accent. I thought I could and then I came here and...

    ::Matt effects an American-ized cockney accent to over accentuate how a Brit might talk.::

    Apparently, I should be talking like this. I am just a friendly chim-i-ney sweep.

    "Matt, what happened to your accent?"

    I have spent some time in Amer-y-ca...being mocked.

    ::Matt returns to his normal speaking voice.::

    You've got the same stuff we've have. You've got traffic cameras over here, now...we've had them for years...and everyone's got their own schemes to beat them. What I do...is only ever drive around in no-top convertibles...naked... If I get caught by a camera, they look at the photo...see a naked child--BACK AWAY.

    You've got to find love where you can. I've got weird luck in relationships--not even bad luck, weird luck. I was seeing this girl for a bit, we were staying together in this hotel bedroom...it was 2 in the morning and the only way of playing music was to put the radio on. For whatever reason, that night, when we were in bed, the dj on the radio decided to play...the chase music from the "Benny Hill Show."

    You know what I mean?

    ::Matt hums a few notes of this frantic, frenzied saxophone based song::

    And, at first...you speed up.

    But...you really can't carry on like that, you've GOT to stop. It's just wrong...

    Ladies and gentlemen, before I go...I'm going to give you some advice. If you're going to listen to music in bed...pick a live album... Because every so often, you get applause.



    And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Matt Kirshen.



    Based on the edit, Matt seemed to do very well in taking "the bullet" by going up first. The crowd warmed to him and he got substantial applause there at the end. Will it be enough to keep him in the competition over Ralph and Doug? That's hard to say.

    Have to see how they do first, I think.





    And Ralph is up next.

    RALPH: Me and my girl've been talking about marriage, y'all. Auuuugh! Yes...well, she's talking about it, I'm just a good listener.

    I think marriage is cool, it's just that when you get married you've got to share everything, down the middle. You know. I... I don't like to share. I don't mind sharing if I've got a lot of something. But if you put on my clothes...whoa... Hey baby, that's MY shirt. That's my shirt. I was gon--I was gonnna wear that. I don't wear your halter tops. I don't wear 'em when you're in the house.

    That's what you do, ladies. You put our clothes on 'cause you know we ain't gonna wear your stuff...

    I'll surprise ya... Hey girl, look at your thong underwear What do you think about that? Got 'em on backwards, don't I? Knew something was wrong, I think I broke 'em on this side.

    Fellas, you ever do that? You ever put your ladies underwear on your head, clownin' around. Did ya ever--ya ain't never? I never did that either, I was just checkin' with ya, I knew it...puttin' no underwear on my head.

    I don't know. When you really love somebody, you'll do weird things... I never thought I'd wake up...and find myself...tied to the bed. Cause that's one of my big fears--that I give in to that kink out night...and then something goes...awry. I'm tied to the bed, blindfolded. She's on the dresser with a whip

    ::Ralph imagines his woman cracking the whip::

    Wheeep!!!

    'I'm about to beat your ass!'

    Yeah fellas... That's funny, she goes to jump off the dresser...and busts her head on the ceiling fan. And four hours later, I'm lying there...like Baby, where you at??? The whip cream is drying up!!!

    GET THE CAT...NO...GET THE CAT...




    And that's Ralph Harris.




    I guess we've got to get that paper, because it's time for one more commercial break. One more performer to go! Hurry back!

    -----
    Oreo Cakesters. Why can't an Oreo just be an Oreo? An Oreo is an Oreo, a DoubleStuf is a DoubleStuf... Now, they've got Spring Oreos, Halloween Oreos, Ooops Oreos, Golden Oreos...Oreo Sticks, Oreo Bars, Oreo Cakesters... IT'S TOO MUCH!!!

    Especially because I have neither Oreos nor milk right now...IT'S NOT FAIR!

    Somebody hug me and fast or else I'm gonna Schumer.

    -----


    Nice hurrying, everybody... We've got one more performer...and then the theater audience votes...and then two finalists will fall by the wayside as a Top 5 will have been determined.



    No pressure or anything, Doug...

    DOUG: Let me start by asking you a question. Do we have any religious fantatics here tonight? Just a couple? That's good, let's talk about those (expletive deleted)s for a second. I think religion is awesome as long as you keep it in your own head where it belongs. Like, when people try to force their religion on others...that's when all the trouble starts.

    Here's where religion got in my way recently. I was walking out of a convenience store and i was inconvenienced...by a dude who was in my face, yelling at me.

    He was like 'Are you going to hell?'

    And I was like 'No...but it's on my way, if you need a lift. As a matter of fact I'm going right through Bakersfield."

    BOOOOM! Local reference...right out of the gate!!!

    :: Doug tosses the mic stand on its side...in an act of obviously pathetic mock rebellion.::

    For the past few years, I've only had sex in months that end in "bruary."

    And women like to say that the number one thing they look for in a man is...what? A "sense of humor"...and, when ladies say that...when you say that, you are lying liars who are lying. What you really want are big penesseses...and a lot of cash. But, that is not ladylike...so...you always say, "sense of humor."

    But, I know that is not true, because I HAVE a sense of humor. And it never works.

    And you go to movies and pick up lines in movies work all the time. Like I saw that movie "Derailed" with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. He goes up to her in a bar, he's all smooth and British-y.

    He's like, "I'll bet you twenty dollars that I can kiss you without touching your lips."

    And she's like, "Whaaaaaaaat?"

    And then he leans in and kisses her...just plants one on her.

    And goes, "That was worth every penny."

    But I know if I tried that pick-up line, I'd totally screw it up.

    I'd be like, "Heyyyyy lady. I'll bet you five dollars that I can put my (expletive deleted) in your (expletive deleted) without having sex with you. Damn it, I messed it up. I meant twenty dollars. Hey, where are you going? February's a short month!"

    :: Doug drops the microphone on the ground, a la Dante, and does an airplane fly off stage.



    And that, ladies and gentlemen is Doug Benson.





    Doug's set was like Doug...strange, awkward, knowing but not being above doing something silly and cheap. I liked it. I'm pretty sure he made a conscious decision to go a bit dirtier than either Matt or Ralph was likely to go... I think Ralph had the same thought. Might mean that people might like Matt's more subtle innuendo...or it might mean that Ralph and Doug blew the poor kid off the stage. I wasn't there, I can't tell you...I can only share what I saw on tv.

    Bill brings all three comedians to the stage.

    Meanwhile, in the lounge...the comics await the results... Amy's looking very nervous...and she's on the edge of her seat. Maybe she does actually like the kid? Jon Reep, seated next to Amy, is also on the edge of his seat...but he might just have wanted to look down Amy's top...counting to make certain the balcony isn't exceeding the fire code's maximum capacity.

    Bill lets us know that this was the closest vote in Last Comic Standing history...which, I'm pretty sure, is the same thing that he said LAST week when it was Matt over Debra. The margin of victory was only 3%. If there were 300 people in attendance, that'd be 9 votes... 9 votes separating you from moving on to more network tv time and possible glory...9 votes separating you from carrying your luggage away and going home.

    Comedy competitions are perverse and, as I said earlier...INSANE.

    The Capital One No Hassle Pass and $1000 winner is...Ralph Harris.


    Sorry Amy Schumer...your new boyfriend was slain by the man who wouldn't hug you...ironically, BECAUSE YOU VOTED FOR RALPH OUT OF SPITE.

    Sorry alt-comedy hipsters...your shining hope for a well-respected comedian (who gave Patton Oswalt some lines that he used in the recent Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav) continuing to find ways of playing with the format from within have been dashed...which means now, you can go on mercilessly slamming the show without fear of one of your barbed arrows striking someone you honestly like.

    And sorry for fans of scoring...because they never told us this week just what WAS the score of "the closest vote in Last Comic Standing history" was...just like we never know what the vote totals for the Academy Awards are...

    After being announced the winner, Ralph hugged Matt...Ralph hugged Doug... He doesn't seem to have a problem hugging people when HE wins, does he, Amy?



    Matt, being philosophical, recognizes that it's a shame that it's got to finish...but it was a long road from that first audition in London. Matt goes backstage...gets one more hug from Amy...and says that out of this, he's gained a lot more experience and more fans, so he can't complain.

    Doug, on the other hand, takes a different approach.

    "Standing," Doug says, "is overrated. A fella likes to sit down every once in awhile. I don't have to be the Last Comic Standing. I'm gonna take a seat...relax..."



    Meanwhile, back on stage...Ralph's happy that he's made the final five...


    And that final five is brought up on stage... Everyone goes up to hug Ralph...except that when Amy gets up to him...well, it's hard to say what happens because the Elves through in a jump cut edit. The way THEY'VE presented it...it looks like, once again, Ralph declined to hug Amy...and she ends up high fiving someone else...but I remember when the Magical Elves worked their editing magic on all of us who were watching Top Chef last year...and the whole "shaving Marcel" incident where they totally created a motive IN THE EDITING for those who nearly shaved Marcel--something that sharp eyed fans found flaws in the timeline of events to call that fabricated motive into question...SO I'M NOT BUYING INTO THE HYPE OF A SCHUMER/HARRIS FEUD QUITE YET, ELVES...

    Anyway...the challenges are all over... From now on, it's America voting for who they like...each week. And, you get to choose from:

    Lavell Crawford, Gerry Dee, Ralph Harris, Jon Reep and Amy Schumer.

    One of those five will be the latest champion of Last Comic Standing.


    While Matt Kirshen and Doug Benson join Dante, Debra DiGiovanni and Gina Yashere as those who came close...but didn't quite make it there...

    And...after Bill Bellamy signs off the live show...what do I see? Yes, it's a big...and very real hug from Ralph Harris and Amy Schumer. Oh, how quickly feuds are forgotten...and how quickly Matt "What's his name" is forgotten...eh, Amy? Wow... His peculiarly British scent hasn't even left the air on stage and already you're moving on...

    In the previews for next week, Amy gets the only line of fresh dialog...when she says that she's going to "give these boys a run for their money." I sense a Dat Phan edit happening for Amy against all of these big, mean veterans... Anyone else?



    One more time for our final five, everybody, yes? And keep it going for your hard working wait staff...keeping you refreshed and revived all night, wonderful job there.

    Keep it going for yourself for being such a kind and generous recap audience... What we lack in numbers, we make up for in silent enthusiasm, yes?

    Drive safe and we'll see you back here next week for more Last Comic Standing. My name is pg13. Thank you all...and good night, everybody!!!
    Last edited by pg13; 08-17-2007 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Some extra space was needed. Sorry, Milton.

  3. #3
    CCL
    CCL is offline
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    Re: Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: Episode Nine Recap

    Great recap, pg13!
    If you type "google" into google you can break the internet.

  4. #4
    A pirate's life for me suncat7's Avatar
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    Re: Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: Episode Nine Recap

    Was this some sort of car-sickness challenge? Heavens to Murgatroyd...how many hours were they kept on that bus? Unless they've been declared enemy combatants, they've got rights, you know...
    and in the interview cut-scenes, it's as straight as the opposite of Clay Aiken.
    Ha!

    Well, yeah...obviously, THAT'S a better choice than MY stupid idea of letting the comedians do their comedy... I don't know WHAT I was thinking...
    Eddie Izzard (who is amazing and hilarious...and I saw perform in Seattle this past weekend...who wants to touch me?)
    I do I do I do! I mean, because you saw my favorite comedian EVER and everything. *sigh* {jealous!}

    (and all of the people who ten years ago would have been dying for Scully and Mulder to kiss are now going "Awwwwwwwww...")

    Wait...did I actually use the word "integrity" when I was just there talking about Last Comic Standing?

    Oh, silly, silly, me.

    Sorry Amy Schumer...your new boyfriend was slain by the man who wouldn't hug you...ironically, BECAUSE YOU VOTED FOR RALPH OUT OF SPITE.
    Great recap, PG13!
    Always looking for cat treats!

    Breathe out, so I can breathe you in...

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey Add It Up Champion famita's Avatar
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    Re: Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: Episode Nine Recap

    pg13, great recap! I loved all the innuendo and the outright laughs your recap caused!

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    Re: Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: Episode Nine Recap

    and in the interview cut-scenes, it's as straight as the opposite of Clay Aiken.
    I laughed really hard at this line.

    Great recap, PG!

    I am really sad that Doug was sent home, he was probably the most entertaining one on the show.

  7. #7
    Christian,Mom,Teacher mom2's Avatar
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    Re: Hey, Keep It Going For Last Comic Standing: Episode Nine Recap

    Wow, pg, that was lot of work. Thank you for the time you put in to this.
    "Quotes on the internet may not be accurate." - Abraham Lincoln

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