What people don't remember is that the person who absolutely had the best set on the night of the LCS-1 performance finals...was...Cory Kahaney. Ralphie got locked onto repeating "Light 'em up, George, I want cheap gas"--as if that was a punchline. Tess bombed, Rich always does better doing crowd work than doing material...and Dat did Dat's performance set...which, while good, wasn't anything new. I thought Cory rocked it that night...and if all you had to decide on was those sets on that night...I'd have given the award to Cory.
However, I'm with the majority in saying that the funniest person in Season One was Dave Mordal. Best comic, best writer, quickest ad-libber, great on stage and in the house. The fact that LCS has never found another Dave Mordal has proven to be this series' Achilles heel...and is a testament to how damn funny Dave is...
I don't have a problem with John Heffron having won. I remember being annoyed that Gary kept talking about food...and that Alonzo's material wasn't as strong as his stage presence...so, good going America...you got yourself your Last Comic Standing.
I know that my girlfriend wants me to pick her favorite, Jay London, as the truly deserving winner...and I know that my peers in the alt-comedy community want me to choose Todd Glass, as he was hilarious in the house and is such an anarchic force on such a cookie-cutter kind of show... But, I think Kathleen Madigan should have won...and would have won, had she gotten a chance to actually do comedy on a comedy competition show. This was the year that proved that the format was broken--because good comics were encouraged to try to avoid doing comedy in order to win...and that's wrong.
I don't think they've ever really fixed the format, by the way...as is obvious by how they keep changing it, even now.
I remember very little about this show...other than how it seemed like America had totally forgotten Season One in all of those team challenges that pitted Season One versus Season Two. I know that I probably rooted more for Dave Mordal to get what he should have gotten in Season One more than I rooted for Alonzo Bodden to get what he didn't get in Season Two...but, if I remember correctly, Alonzo did just fine this season and I don't have a big problem with his having won.
More so than even Dat Phan's win in Season One, I felt that Josh Blue's win in Season Four was an example of people voting for whose personality they liked more than any sort of objective comparison of who was actually funnier. I thought Ty Barnett should have won, based on his strength of material and how he delivered that material. While Josh does have an act and is, in fact, funny...I didn't think that he was funnier than Ty (not certain if Josh was even funnier than Chris Porter)--but it was clear that wasn't going to matter in the votes.
I think Ty was the strength of this year...except for Gabriel Iglesias, who slays...and had he not been kicked out, I could have seen him make Lavell Crawford's run in Season Five seem silly and derivative. I liked Kristen, too...more than I like Iliza from this year...but she wasn't going to give Chris, Gabriel or Ty a run for this title.
Lavell Crawford versus Jon Reep...it's like a cartoon competition. Lavell is a huge black man--his entire act is based around that fact. Jon is a twitchy redneck--his entire act is based around that fact. Does it matter which one you pick, either way, you're stuck with a one trick pony. (Granted, in each case, a very funny and successful one trick pony...each of whom have earned their success.)
Going into this season, I thought Ralph Harris was the cream of this year's crop...and then, he went out and started annoying me by being, himself, a one-trick pony...with lengthy, childish act-outs instead of material (also a criticism I have of Ron G, from this year.) I ended up being very impressed with Doug Benson--and I'm so happy that his time on this show earned him the chance to headline at the comedy clubs that I work...and he's much stronger in that setting than I'd thought, based merely on his quippiness on VH1.
I continue to maintain that while I respect Iliza Shlesinger, I don't think America got it right by naming her the Last Comic Standing. I think the best set of the performance final was turned in by Jeff Dye--as it was fresh, original and different from the other strong sets that he'd had to get to that point... Every set, Jeff presented a set that was definitely him--but was on a different topic--and every one of them was strong. (No Gary Gulman, he...)
I could have seen America going for Marcus, and I couldn't have argued with that. I've seen the destruction that Marcus can do to a comedy audience...and America couldn't have gone wrong by wanting more of that. I just think that Marcus' impressions, while crowd pleasing and well done, aren't always original enough...though, to Marcus' credit, he usually gives his impressions good, original things to say...but not always... I also think that when Marcus purposefully avoids impressions, his material isn't always as strong as others' material. That's why I voted for Jeff over Marcus.
Going into this season, I thought Louis Ramey would be the one to beat...but it feels like he slept-walked through the show and never got into the energy or vibe of the competition. It was like he didn't want to commit to actively wanting it, for fear of not getting it and looking like he tried and failed. I also think that he was let down by his choices--of what material he chose to do at what times.
But, other than picking Iliza over Jeff and Marcus, I think America basically got this year right... :)
The bottom line is...this show is never going to be an accurate, objective assessment of who is truly funnier...but, let's face it...would we tune in to a show where the right decisions are always made? I've told this story before, I'll tell it again...but the whole reason that I joined the FORT was to express my outrage that Dat Phan had defeated Dave Mordal in a head-to-head challenge in Season One. It felt like my whole world was turned upside down and I needed to find some likeminded people to shout my anger and disappointment with...and I found it here.
Wouldn't happen if the show gave us everything that we think we want, would it?
pg--Look how much I've already written about THIS season, which didn't go the way I wanted it or expected it to go--seattle