First things first: I apologize for having to recycle the same photos every week. The NBC press site hasn't been updated since the premiere of Last Comic Standing, meaning all there is to go with are the same shots of the judges week in and week out.
This week on Last Comic Standing saw the conclusion of the Semi-Final round, meaning we've now got our 10 finalists as we head into the competition proper -- meaning audience voting begins next week. Like last week's episode, the first round of the semifinals, this week's show was overlong, choppy and light on many standout competitors. The guy with the best joke of the night didn't even make it through. Also, the joke wasn't part of his set. So there's that.
Even comics who were strong in their first audition -- like, say, Carmen Lynch -- delivered uneven sets this week, making it hard to root for them to proceed even though I knew they were better than some of what made it through. I liked James Adomian when he first auditioned, and he wasn't bad this week but relied a little heavily on impressions, which I'm typically not a fan of. I will say, though, that his Gary Busey impression was incredible and I have every confidence that he's a funny guy. And, once again, the judges comments were pretty ho-hum, boiling down to "Great job and you're funny" or "I didn't love it but you're funny." Greg Giraldo was the only judge who hinted at insight, but the way the show is edited made even his best comments a bit nonsensical (at one point, he said that even some good comics aren't actually all that funny; if he elaborated on this intriguing theory, NBC didn't want to spend any more time on it).
On the whole, the competition this week was a bit weaker than last week. It showed in the judges' remarks, too; whereas the first round of the semifinals was basically a love fest, this week there were several instances where they were perfectly willing to say they weren't crazy about a comics' set. Nowhere was this more apparent -- or more awkward -- than after the set of actor/comedian Guy Torry. Torry came into the show as one of the most recognizable faces, having had significant film roles in movies like American History X and Sprung. His set this week wasn't terrific, though, and Andy Kindler, Giraldo and, particularly, Natasha Leggero weren't afraid to say so. It made for the most interesting moment of the episode -- and perhaps of the show so far -- as Torry openly argued with the judges about why they were wrong. But they weren't. Just saying "Google it!" after a sort-of-punchline and having a lot of energy doesn't make you a talented comic. It makes you RAAAAAAAANDY. I'll agree that Leggero didn't seem all that willing to give Torry's act a chance (of course, that's just the way NBC cut the set together. They were particularly hard on Torry, constantly cutting to stone- faced expressions on the judges and the audience members, as though they wanted to set us up for the confrontation that would follow but didn't trust us to figure out that Torry wasn't doing so hot without some major visual cues), but his defensiveness and arrogance were quite unbecoming.
To make matters worse, Torry came back on stage at the end of the night (when all the comics are called to see who will be advancing) with his packed bags in hand. Really? That's his big move? It was immature and ugly -- a premature rejection of the show before it had a chance to officially reject him. What a baby.
I was surprised at a few of the comics who didn't make it through -- mainly Fortune Feimster (because she has such a specific character and seems like a comic that a large part of the country would really get behind) and Kurt Metzger, who's one of the bigger names on the show and had a great joke about looking like Mr. Bean if he was a rapist. Oh well.
Oh, and the best joke of the night belonged to Jacob Siroff, who was in the unenviable position of following the Torry incident. During the post-set debriefing, Andy Kindler was complimenting him on a fake fact included in his routine, to which Siroff replied "I Googled it." Fast and funny on his feet. The guy should have gone through to the finals just based on that response.
The comics advancing to the Top 10 this week are:
- Roy Wood, Jr.
- James Adomian
- Laurie Kilmartin
- Moronzio Vance
- Tommy Johnagin
They join last week's Top Five finalists, who were:
- Myq Kaplan
- Mike DeStefano
- Felipe Esparza
- Rachel Feinstein
- Johnathan Tymius
So, there you have it. Your Top 10 finalists for Last Comic Standing. I'd put it at about half and half in terms of comedians I think are truly talented originals and comedians who are slick and professional, but ultimately a little generic -- the kind that usually do well on Last Comic Standing, actually. I only wish I was more interested in seeing how it all works out.
- Original Air Date: 7/5/10