Wow! An actual LCS Show Discussion thread! Way to go Remnants!
I watched tonight's show from a sports bar in West Seattle with none other than TV's own Marcus...who is in town doing shows here this weekend.
Watching the show with someone IN the show is an eye-opening experience--opening to the sheer tedium that is television production... Evidently, it takes hours and hours to set up and record what takes minutes to show on television...entire days can evaporate through the magic of editing.
In other words, if you thought Esther Ku's laugh was annoying tonight--you only had to endure three hours of it... The people in the house were buffeted by it for days.
I was sad that they erased Jackie Kashian and Eddie Pepitone completely from the recap part of the show. (They also did the deed to both Mary Mack and Heath Hyche.) On the other hand, being in a sports bar where the patrons cheered out loud for Marcus' two-standing-ovation-getting semi-finals performance was very cool...
I'm glad the house is back--and I'm glad that Doug Benson's prediction (on another board) that they wouldn't actually be showing us any footage from the house turned out not to be true...as I, like most everyone here, do enjoy some of the interaction of the comedians with each other and their environment. I don't, however, want it to be come "Real World: The Comedians"--so, a balance between off-stage and on-stage is always appreciated.
So, here's my first question then...what the bleep was up with that first "challenge"? Dressing up in funny costumes for a pretend calendar shoot? Because comedians do calendars ALL THE TIME... Can any of you imagine any of the Season One contestants even bothering to try in that challenge? (NBC couldn't even get them to bother trying to do a scavenger hunt...)
Still...there were a good number of funny moments in that sequence--so, be prepared to see "let's get the comics to where funny, humiliating costumes"-type challenges from now on.
As far as "immunity challenges" go--a "snaps-off" isn't a bad one. It's certainly better than the infamous "heckler challenge", in my opinion, because you're actually trying to show off your creativity and not just trying to ruin the wonderful thing that your peer is trying to do.
Oh, and I love Rich Eisen. (As far as the other judge goes, have I mentioned that I love Rich Eisen?)
I thought Jeff Dye and Sean Cullen had the most original snaps. While I laughed wholeheartedly at what God's Pottery did, I wouldn't have voted them past the first round...although, you COULD give them credit for throwing Ron G off his game.
And then when the next two rounds turned into "You're so hack that..." snaps--I might have been happy to not have moved on in that challenge...because who wants to have someone be rewarded for telling a national television audience that you're not good at what you do...especially if they do so in an entertaining way that gets re-told or replayed in the edit? Not as bad as the heckler challenge, but still something that I wish that comics weren't forced into doing to each other.
Into the graveyard we go...and we see some comics have seen this show before and are thinking strategically...and other comics are forgetting that eventually America has to vote for them, and they're showing off a mean-spirited side that may come back to haunt them later.
Let's talk about strategy. I don't know if Sean Cullen and Jeff Dye planned it, but if there's a specific strategy for making it to a later round on this show--they nailed it. By being strong performers voting for each other, it SEEMS like they're taking a risk, but neither of them were likely to get called out by many others. This strategy works fine unless you're Doug Benson and you vote for Ralph Harris...and then you go home, unfortunately.
I also got the strategy from Esther Ku--which was, it would be unlikely that anyone would vote for Louis Ramey...so pick him...and you seem brave for doing it, but you risk nothing. Too bad everyone else in the house chose not to employ any strategy and simply voted for the person they either thought was the weakest or didn't like.
Esther Ku gets the Tere Joyce treatment tonight...and that's got to be hard for ANYONE who is pursuing the thing that they love only to find out that some of their peers don't respect them. Even if it is "just a game"--that's got to be difficult to take and I feel somewhat bad for her. On the other hand, if she's been doing stand-up for six years and she only seems to have five total minutes of material, nearly all of which are easily made first-take reactions to Asian stereotypes...I don't feel THAT bad for her.
In my opinion, she was the weakest of the comedians who made it to the final stage--but yet, she has a certain likeability that could have helped her with the audience voting... She ended flat--and you have to have a big punchy laugh right at the end of your set, as that's the thing the audiences hold in their head when they vote. Especially as she went first, the audience's last memory was pretty much "ehhhh..." and a smile and a shoulder shrug doesn't make up for a weak closer.
Either you find God's Pottery funny (I do) or you don't (pick from any number of the FORT Remnants, yes?)--there's no way that they change your mind with any particular individual line from their songs. I was giggling like a school girl as the "Who loves Jesus more than anybody else?" kept going higher and higher in register--but it isn't, in itself, actually "funny" if you don't find the whole concept funny. So, while it seemed like the audience was enjoying them...they felt no particular need to vote for them.
And you know what? I think that's ok...and I bet God's Pottery, who could never have imagined themselves getting this much airtime from a show like this, think that's ok, too. Godspeed, Mr. Smallchild and Mr. Lamb...Godspeed you, God's Pottery.
Which brings me to Iliza Schlesinger...in all of her not-quite-Tea Leoni-ness. I can't believe that I'm going to say this, as a straight man and all, but I'd like to see less of Iliza's pubic bone--who's with me? BUY PANTS THAT FIT.
(Who am I kidding, at this point, they're getting a "wardrobe"--as I read on her blog that Jackie Kashian was none too happy about the Ann Taylor outfit that they gave her to wear on the semi-finals show... Evidently, when it comes to Iliza, NBC wants us to know just how low women's pants can go before the FCC intervenes.)
I concur with those who have said that Iliza had the funniest set of the head-to-head-to-head. I'm not certain if I'm a fan--I think she's a bit mean spirited, she covers some well worn ground and I didn't laugh very much during her set--but I'll say this, she comes across as a professional. She's obviously been in the wars and she's got skills on the mic. Unlike Esther (or, even, Amy Schumer, from last year), I don't think that she's in any danger of running out of material or breezing unexpectedly forward. If she lasts, she'll do so because she put in the work to do it. (Which, for someone who can't seem to get enough of showing her cleavage on television, is a better-than-expected impression to have left on me.)
If she makes it to America voting, it will be interesting to see how her likeability factor plays... She's certainly not the next Dat Phan that America will be rooting for.
(Oh, and I didn't buy that there was any shock or outrage that Esther picked GP and Iliza to go up against. Given the same options, I would have picked the same.)
Next week, the comedians debase themselves at a car wash...and then they go to Bed Bath and Beyond to be made to feel uncomfortable by Carrot Top.
pg--Marcus told me that he's stopped reading "the blogs"...so I could talk smack about him here if I wanted to...but I don't.--seattle
PS--We took a picture together tonight...if he emails it to me, I'll post it here for y'alls amusement.