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!
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:
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?
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.
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.
"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."
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."
2) Hayley Marie
3) Jackie Bent
4) Sister Rose
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...