July 26, 2008

TV Review: Last Comic Standing, Finals Round 2

I know this is later than I planned, but I’ve been somewhat distracted this past week, pleasantly so

So it starts with…err… a car wash. The comics wash cars. There doesn’t seem to be a point. Jim Tavare is on crutches. No explanation is offered. If they do a good enough job they may receive a clue for their next challenge. They don’t. Some comics tell the customers jokes. Paul Foot is a nutcase: “I was so wet I was drenched through, and so then became highly erotic”. I’m not sure what the point was.

Still, it soons gets good. No reallly. There are carrots at the house, which appears to be the clue. Sean Cullen: “Maybe we have to mate with a number of different rodents”. Heh. Turns out they end up at a department store. The carrots: famous prop comic Carrot Top is going to be judging them doing some prop comedy. They have 20 minutes to find props, and an hour to plan a routine. To give them all due respect, they all get laughs. Which is more than I could have managed. Which is why it’s an interesting task, as it actually seems to stretch them.
Paul Foot
Everyone’s favourite to win Louis Ramey is again pretty crap at the task. Again, great at what he does, not so good at thinking on his feet. So happens that what he does is what you need to do to not get eliminated. He’ll never win a task but he’ll win the show. Papa CJ sort of falls apart… he doesn’t do any actual prop comedy but instead he does jokes vaguely related to the items he’s found. It’s sort of cheating really, but it’s not like he gets many laughs so who cares. Sean Cullen is brilliant. He has a crap load of jokes. They don’t all get laughs but he does it so quickly it doesn’t matter if he has a few bad jokes, or even a lot of bad jokes, as there’s so much there he keeps the energy up and is very good.

Jim Tavare has actually written some decent, clever material that doesn’t rely on easy jokes or crazy surrealism. He’s very good. Doesn’t get the most laughs but he’s most believable as someone who does prop comedy professionally. His act is by far the most polished.
Iliza really wants to win as she doesn’t want to have to perform again this week, as nominating the same person each week until they run out of material for the showcase appears to be a viable tactic. She does well, but clearly not good enough.
Paul Foot is a glorious disaster. The comics think he looked unsettled and confused on stage but that’s pretty much his stage manner even when he’s doing his own material. He actually runs out of time and it’s sort of awkward but funny. He’s far too odd for the crowd.
Jeff Dye is on last and is great. He has a load of jokes all linked to scenes from movies. It all ties together really well and while some bits aren’t great (and there appears to be a Flight of the Conchords lift in there) it works and whole and he deservedly wins.

The comics are annoyed, as they wanted to vote for Jeff as he’s young. So instead they shoot nerf guns at Paul Foot because he a Brit and weird. Paul takes the gun and throws it off the balcony. People are pissed. Some people applaud. We don’t see who. Apparently the ‘Brits’ are at risk. Which makes sense, since they’re playing to hugely different crowds to what they normally do. And y’know, pack mentality. So to the vote. Paul Foot and Papa CJ are tied, so have to choose someone else to perform against. They agree quietly outside who they’re going to go for, then make a big display of debating who they’ll choose inside. We see the video, they don’t want to vote for Iliza as it seems unfair. So they decide to vote for Adam: “We know we’re funnier than Iliza Schelsinger”. Heh. Okay it was a dick move. But then, Iliza did shoot Paul with a nerf gun earlier. Still, it was probably a bad call. I’d have actually gone with Adam. Or maybe even Jim Tavare to eliminate the home advantage. I mean did they see last week? She won with nearly 70% of the vote.
Papa CJ
So to the showdown. A lot of the acts think Paul Foot might win: if he gets the crowd behind him he might take it. No-one thinks Papa CJ will win.
Paul is on first. That’s not good. He’s better with a warmed-up crowd. There’s not enough laughs. He get a round of applause early on mid-routine but the main punchline barely gets a laugh. It’s sad, as he doesn’t connect with the crowd and it’s clear he’s going home. The comics still think he seemed rattled, missing that that is his stage persona: “He got off on that hallway thing and lost everybody”.
Iliza kills it and it’s clear it’s not just a quiet crowd. Papa CJ does a good job and gets a lot of laughs, though his last joke is beeped out entirely which is a bit weird. Sean Cullen: “Same set as he did in Las Vegas” and it pretty much was. Again, does anyone know the rules about repeating material?

The acts are split on who they think will win: 4 for Paul Foot, 1 for Iliza and 2 for Papa CJ. The actual results: Paul Foot goes home first, then CJ. It’s odd as it seems the comics are either giving the crowd too much credit, that they’d go for someone like Foot, or too little, that they’d go for something as polished as CJ’s. With a UK crowd, Foot might well have won, he certainly had the most original material. Much like last week, Iliza looked physically sick while waiting for said result.
I did wonder for a sec if CJ might actually pull it out, it’d been a horrible shame if he did as they’d just vote him back next week when he had no material left.

The real disappointment? Next week they’re going to the Playboy Mansion and have to charm the Playmates with jokes in bed. Aww Paul, look what you missed out on! The last time I saw Paul play he had a whole bunch of girls fawning over him after the gig, lucky sod. It would have just been so brilliant to see him in that situation. They’d have either loved him or thought he was a freak. Ah well. Oh and there’s some audience vote or something too.


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