So, Last Comic Standing has reached the point where it's all really running together and I'm pretty much out of things to say about the show. Unfortunately, there are several more weeks to go, so I'm not able to give up just yet.
This week, the show kicks off with the elimination of Jonathan Thymius, and it's overdue as far as I'm concerned. I'm impressed that he's made it this far with his odd style and deadpan delivery, mostly because America doesn't usually go in for comedy that's offbeat -- not on Last Comic Standing, anyway. At the same time, the voters seem to like comics that can be easily categorized -- let's call them "types" -- so that might explain his success in the show. Now he's gone, and the show will be down at least five or six awkward pauses from this point forward.
The first comic to perform this week is Roy Wood Jr., and he delivers yet another solid set. Wood has been going early the last few weeks (except when he hasn't) and has consistently raised the bar for the rest of the show. I don't think he's the funniest comic on the show, but he's one of the best all-around -- a great combination of sharp writing and solid delivery. He's exactly the kind of comedian that should be in the finals of Last Comic Standing, now that it's not a total joke. Of course, that's a pardox; Wood being on the show is part of what keeps it from being a total joke.
Next up is Tommy Johnagin, and it's still a two-man race between him and Myq Kaplan for my favorite comic on the show. He's good again -- he always is -- even though this probably wasn't my favorite set of his. The judges disagree, calling it his best routine to date; Greg Giraldo is particularly effusive in his praise, calling Johnagin a "great comedian." I don't disagree.
Myq Kaplan follows Johnagin, and this is the first week where the judges pick up on something that I've been noticing about Kaplan for weeks: he's really the only comedian on the show who comments on what's actually happening around him. He's spontaneous and able to make jokes about Last Comic Standing and what the judges say to him. He kills it tonight, and his joke about how manholes should be called "street vaginas" is one of my favorite jokes of the season. I feel like he and Johnagin and Wood Jr. are clearly the best comics on the show and really elevate Last Comic Standing's reputation this season. At the same time, I'm not sure they're audience favorites.
Speaking of audience favorites, the show closes with sets from Felipe Esparza and Mike DeStefano. They both do the kind of sets that they do, defined as much by the characters that they create as they are by actual joke writing. They're the "types" I referred to earlier, and it's easy to see why audience members are voting for them week after week. They're memorable and they pop, even if I don't find their material nearly as strong as the three comics who preceded them. I have to believe at least one of the two of them will make it into the top three, meaning we're going to lose a comic that we shouldn't in the next week or so. Such is Last Comic Standing.
Since there's time left at the end of the hour, comedian Ron White comes out and does the filler spot. In a different season, White really might stand out in a different way -- he'd be the old pro coming out and showing these young punks how it's done. But since this season is made up of terrific, seasoned comics (anyone catch Myq Kaplan on Louie last week?), he feels like a comic that's a little more famous. I tend to like White better when he can perform uncensored, but his stuff this week probably pleased his fanbase. I don't know what else to say.
Greg Giraldo refers to this week's show as "the finals," so maybe this is it? I wish they would be a little clearer about the structure of this show. I feel like they're making it up from week to week. Whatever.
- Original Air Date: 8/2/10