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Tara Ariano

S08.E10: Challenge 3: Universal Tram Experience

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Howie Mandel is the guest mentor when the seven remaining comics must serve as guides on a tram tour at Universal Studios. Also: Two comics square off in a stand-up showdown.

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That was a good, funny episode!  I am glad that my picks for F2 are still here, though I am sad that Monroe isn't .

 

I was hoping that the much-touted "never-before-in-LCS-history" was going to be a non-elimination week. *sigh*

 

I enjoyed all the tour patter that was shown; in fact, I kind of wish that we'd gotten to see more.  (If there were more than one guy "playing " Norman Bates, then the first one looked better. If not, man, how can you look so different?)

 

I loved Howie bringing in folks and telling them that Joe was George Clooney! I just wish we knew if Joe was instructed to look at the camera instead of the nice family.

 

Next week's roast should be a hoot!

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Monroe and joe are my two favorites, so I kind of appreciated the judges having trouble choosing. I agreed that the TJ joke tipped the scales, but it was still a rough decision.

 

I don't understand why no one challenges Karlous. He was okay doing the challenge, but every time they show footage of him talking off the cuff in a mentoring situation, I find him crude and offensive.  I don't remember what his act is like because it's been so long since we've seen it, but i would challenge him just so i wouldn't have to be around him backstage anymore.

 

I wondered if there was some producer intervention to make Lachlan immune; from what we saw of his challenge improv, it seemed much lower energy and less funny than the others. I thought everyone was pretty good on the tram, though, to be honest, including him. But was that the same group of riders for every contestant? I wonder how long it took for them to go on the same tour so many times in a row.

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After eight seasons, Last Comic Standing is finally living up to its brand promise, and delivering what it always should have been delivering: stand-up as Grand Slam Tennis. Two comics go back and forth until the last volley decides the match. I think the judges have inadvertently stumbled upon the show's ideal format.

 

I thought everyone was pretty good on the tram, though, to be honest, including him. But was that the same group of riders for every contestant?

 

I believe the idea was for the same group to do the tour with each guide, then vote for their favourite, no?

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What nonsense.  Monroe was good (particularly his first set).  But Joe was on fire.  It was hardly "dead even".  Yes, Joe eventually won, but I think he had it all three sets (admittedly by the least in the first set, but he STILL did). 

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I don't understand why no one challenges Karlous.

 

Ditto. He's obnoxious and rude to the guest mentors. I'm pretty sure  it's bravado and insecurity masquerading as ultimate confidence, but he doesn't come across well. Telling Howie he wasn't scared at all...Really?  He seemed to be proud of the fact that he hadn't seen any of the movies that Universal featured in their tour.  He seems proud of the fact that he doesn't study or prepare for sets. Next he'll be bragging that he's never read a book. I thought it was pretty telling that they showed about 5 seconds of his tour as opposed to some others who had several highlights. And I didn't think even that 5 seconds of yelling at Jaws was very funny.

 

I thought Lachlan deserved the win. I could sit and listen to him make up fake movie sequel names all day. "Taken 3: Why do you keep taking me?"  And I was going to be ticked if he won immunity on a night when the judges decided not to send anyone home because they were "both just too good." Like the poster above me, I didn't think it was even close. Monroe had about 2 good jokes (superman, diabetes) but I didn't think his bear set was funny or his gay joke. If you can't do a good stereotypical gay voice (which is hackneyed anyway) maybe you should stay away from jokes like that.

 

I still call shenanigans on the voting. Is this producer manipulated or are they conspiring off camera? it doesn't seem likely that so many vote for the same comedian.

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There was so much focus on Rod Man during the tram tour segment. He must have received five times as much screen time as any other comic. I'm not sure he will win it, but I would be surprised if he isn't one of the top 2.

 

Joe killed it tonight's episode. I was worried they were going to send him home despite beating Monroe Martin in the head to head. It was clear to me that the audience liked his sets more (including the other comedians), and he had us doubled over laughing a few times. Martin has some funny material, but his delivery has never been great, and tonight wasn't his best set. (Although his "not with crumbs on my chest" was funny.)

 

When they were doing the "I'm funnier than" selection, I posed the question: do you choose a contestant that you know you can beat so you stay in, or do you choose a front runner and try to knock them out now?

 

I don't understand why no one challenges Karlous. He was okay doing the challenge, but every time they show footage of him talking off the cuff in a mentoring situation, I find him crude and offensive.  I don't remember what his act is like because it's been so long since we've seen it, but i would challenge him just so i wouldn't have to be around him backstage anymore.

 

I can't remember any of Karlous' performances. Does anyone here really like him? Or has he managed to slip through the cracks up to this point? It has to be him going home next week.

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I'm another Karlous non-fan.  He just seems too unfocused and rambling, though not in the good way that Rod Man presents.  That tram ride was hysterical.  If the producers wanted to REALLY be kind, they'd release the video of each comic doing their full length tour commentary.  I would love to see that, but we probably never will.

 

All in all, the most entertaining episode for me.  And I agree that Joe M. really nailed that head-to-head. 

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I wondered if there was some producer intervention to make Lachlan immune; from what we saw of his challenge improv, it seemed much lower energy and less funny than the others

 

I don't think it was the same group on each tour, because I specifically watched for that and didn't recognize people from trip to trip.  Lachalan was good but Rodman slayed.  I wonder if Lachlan got voted for because he is so handsome??

 

Karlous was my #1 pick from the auditions, but he later ruined it for me with his attitude.

I am tired of Nikki's aw shucks attitude about everything they do and everyone they see.  She needs to specifically try to get jokes into everything more.

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I agree with you guys about Karlous seeming to be a jerk (thankfully, they focus very little time on him).  I do remember some of his sets and truthfully, he much more warm and charming on stage then he is off stage.  I do not know if he is a nasty person with a good stage presence or if it just weird editing that is making him look bad.

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I wonder, at this point, if keeping Karlous and Nikki around at this point is strategy among the top contenders to keep the 'weaker' ones in for an easier path to winning?  Out of the remaining ones, I think Rodman and Lochlan are the clearly dominant - and having a head-to-head with either Nikki or Karlous is almost a cakewalk for either of those two.  That's the only reason I can find for those two not being thrown up in head-to-heads at this point.

 

Joe seems so sweet, personally - telling everyone no hard feelings for the votes made me want to hug him - he just seems like a very nice, shy person who has a wickedm biting sense of humor.

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There was so much focus on Rod Man during the tram tour segment. He must have received five times as much screen time as any other comic. I'm not sure he will win it, but I would be surprised if he isn't one of the top 2.

I think in large part because he was totally hilarious.  Lachlan was very good too, but I think there may have been a little producer whispering in some ears so Rod didn't keep winning over and over.  At the very least, it would have been close.

 

 

 

Joe killed it tonight's episode. I was worried they were going to send him home despite beating Monroe Martin in the head to head. It was clear to me that the audience liked his sets more (including the other comedians), and he had us doubled over laughing a few times. Martin has some funny material, but his delivery has never been great, and tonight wasn't his best set.

At least what we heard of his tram set was a bit weaker. And his FIRST group of jokes in the head to head was only slightly better than Monroe (although only a bit--and it was mostly in how good his delivery is). But his SECOND set was so superior, I call shenanigans of the need for a third round.

I wonder, at this point, if keeping Karlous and Nikki around at this point is strategy among the top contenders to keep the 'weaker' ones in for an easier path to winning?  

I dunno.  I agree on Karlous, but Nikki at times seems VERY funny.  I enjoyed a lot of what we heard of her tram set. For example, her "now I'm feeling at home"/"I know some brothas who woulda done it cheaper" stuff in the mess of the War of the Worlds set are probably fairly predictable "ghetto" jokes, sure, but had really good execution.

Edited by Kromm

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I finally figured out what J.B. Smoove is aiming for with his delivery.  Minus the specific accent, he's going for this same kind of "energy" and projection.

 

 

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It looked to me like Monroe conceded in the final round. He was shaking his head about going to a one joke format, and just brought more material from his second set. In the "middle heat" I was certain he'd won until Joe close out his bit on a high note between "I texted him the whole way home" and "He Died." That format fits well to Joe's style. Monroe needs a lot more set up in his material.

 

I am still convinced Monroe will get a writing deal out of this, his material is good personal stuff that is different from a lot of comics. With an editor and some mentorship I think he could go a long way. Hey, Lorne, I think I know someone to help fill the void left by Michael Che.

 

I don't know if it was the exact same group for all of the tours but there were definitely some folks that were on multiple tours. I couldn't imagine sitting through that thing 7 times. They must have been employees in training or Universal supervisors or some such.

 

It is interesting that those who have won the previous weeks head to heads have won immunity the following week. I wonder how well this speaks for Joe in the Roast challenge, though I can't imagine that being his forte.

 

Karlous' set in the round of 100 was great, and he seemed like a genuinely good guy in the behind the scenes episode chatting with the other comics and giving some insight into his time in Mississippi. That said, he really looks like he doesn't want to play the game. I don't know if his material will be able to carry him at this point if he's not giving the producers good material through the other elements of the show.

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Rod Man slayed during the tram ride bit.

 

I enjoyed the head to head, and I have to say this is the first time I liked Machi a little bit (still not enough to want him to win though).  Monroe did his best but he just flamed out at the end. 

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I thought Joe told 3 jokes instead of 1

Yes he did.  And good for him!

 

I personally can't/won't "rules mechanic" this the way I might watching a different kind of reality competition.  Comedy isn't about following rules, it's about breaking them and pushing limits.  He did it, nobody STOPPED him from doing it, and so it was the right thing. And he did wrap it all up in the appearance of a single joke, even though we all know better.  His cleverness in knowing HOW to do that was infinitely better than Monroe's "I barely care" approach with that last joke (not that IMO Machi didn't actually already "have it" based on both of the previous rounds).  In bothering to try and squeeze three jokes in there he illustrated he was more invested (as WELL as funnier).

Edited by Kromm

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I'm in the minority because I thought Monroe clearly won the first round, but Joe destroyed the next 2. 

 

I thought Lachalan was funny, but  to me what he didn wasn't truly improve.  Every joke he said was written ahead of time.  That's not improve.

 

I like Karlous standup act, but I agree his attitude stinks.  I just cannot see him winning.

 

Rodman is still my favorite and I think it will be between him and Joe Machi for the title.

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I kind of love how Joe seems to be the nicest, most deferential guy, always happy and positive, then comes out with a joke about revenge-killing someone. But he just seems to approach everything with an air of optimistic glee.

 

I enjoyed Lachlan's tour patter, and didn't even mind that he seemed to be reading some prepared jokes. He did enough genuinely improvised bits with the situations that presented themselves to balance it out. ("Look at that guy. Does anyone else besides me stand in a window like that?" was a good example.) I can go along with him winning the challenge even if Rod Man seemed to do better, since we didn't always see the group's reaction to his stuff, and what we saw of it was pretty good.

 

I'm not 100% clear on the rules during the "I know I'm funnier than..." voting. After Joe got the most votes, I didn't get why he only could choose between Nikki and Monroe for the head-to-head. Shouldn't anyone other than Lachlan (with immunity) have been fair game?

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In previous seasons the head to heads were voted on by the audience at the comedy club, were they not? That's how we got the infamous Dat Phan victory over Dave Mordal. I'd be curious to know what the result would have been if the audience had been choosing between Joe & Monroe.

 

I have been a Joe fan since Day 1 but I think Monroe also did a great job, and they both had such a good attitude toward the competition. They obviously had a lot of respect for each other and seemed like they truly wanted to give the audience the best show possible. At least I'm pretty much assured at this point of Joe making it to the top 5 -- I can't imagine anyone would try to take him down next week.

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I thought Joe told 3 jokes instead of 1,but Monroe may have told >1 too.

 

It depends on what you consider a "joke." Personally I think it's more accurate to say that Joe did a "bit." Asking the Founding Fathers about gun control, and their reaction to it, qualifies as a small bit, but I think altogether it's basically one joke.

 

I don't think he'll win this thing but Joe is my favorite. He's just so weird and so funny. He's probably not mainstream enough for the producers but I'd go see his stand-up act in a heartbeat. I'd skip Monroe's, frankly. He just never did anything for me. I've chuckled at a few things he's said but there have been other comics who were cut in the preliminary rounds I found way funnier than Monroe.

 

My favorite joke of the night: "Taken 3: Why Do They Keep Taking Me?"

 

 

I'm not 100% clear on the rules during the "I know I'm funnier than..." voting. After Joe got the most votes, I didn't get why he only could choose between Nikki and Monroe for the head-to-head. Shouldn't anyone other than Lachlan (with immunity) have been fair game?

 

He could only choose between people who voted for him.

Edited by iMonrey

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I'm not 100% clear on the rules during the "I know I'm funnier than..." voting. After Joe got the most votes, I didn't get why he only could choose between Nikki and Monroe for the head-to-head. Shouldn't anyone other than Lachlan (with immunity) have been fair game?

He could only choose between people who voted for him.

 

Yep.  He couldn't choose Lachlan due to immunity, so that left Monroe & Nikki.

 

& IMO, Machi slayed all three rounds.  I didn't think there needed to be a second go-round, Joe had it in the bag. 

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He could only choose between people who voted for him.

 

Thanks, must have missed that part. But it does make sense, as it hangs some risk on who you vote for.

 

Another thing that was amusing was when Howie was "mentoring" the comics, and talking to Lachlan about improvising vs. working from a script: he then asks Lachlan if he's ever "blanked", at which point Lachlan... blanks.

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I was really glad the judges were as torn as I was! I think what killed Monroe was that he didn't use new material for his final joke. He just went back to diabetes like he had been interrupted. Maybe that's due to experience? Joe killed me on the tram pointing out the tourist was 50% off on how long he was married.

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I was really glad the judges were as torn as I was! I think what killed Monroe was that he didn't use new material for his final joke.

 

I agree--Monroe almost seemed defeated (at least imo) when he went out on the stage for the third time.  It was like watching a boxing match where one of the fighters runs out of steam and yet has to come out for one more round. 

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It was like watching a boxing match where one of the fighters runs out of steam and yet has to come out for one more round. 

 

I'm sticking with tennis.  ;-)

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What I really liked about the second round was that neither comedian wasted time asking how the audience feels. As soon as they grabbed the microphone, they were delivering comedy.

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My first instinct was that going last would be an advantage in the tours, because if that same group is sitting for 4 hours it's the last set of laughs that they'll remember the most.  (Then add on the time he had to pre-write some lines and it works to his advantage.)  But mostly I think it was a fair win and I loved Howie getting into the mentor role with them.

 

Monroe could still get invited back for a guest spot in the finals. (Not to win, just to perform.)  They liked him so much I wouldn't be surprised.  (Though via web vote he has to beat Alingon Mitra, who has been beating all comers so far.)

 

Black Batman is a funny concept and I wish Monroe had developed that more.  "Scared of gay people" is played out and "bear rape" is more uncomfortable than funny. The diabetes set could work, but needs polish.  On the other side, Joe's doing unique stuff and that's why I like him, but I've heard that "Founding Fathers" joke a dozen times with minor variation, so there was nothing much to it for me.  (I've heard that Hitler kind of joke before too, but not as much.)  Still, "texted him the whole way" was a great finish so Joe was the clear winner by the second set.

 

I wonder if it will help him in the future to have been so popular here, or hurt him because he's used up a lot of material now. That's the thing about Joe's style vs someone like a Rod Man - if a joke falls flat he can't just cover with personality, because his delivery is so stark you'll hear the crickets.

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A few thoughts.

I think people don't tend to challenge Nikki and Karlous because they have strong powerful deliveries. That's hard to go up against. On the other hand, they're being judged by comics and not audience members, which negates some of that.

I think Karlous's material is somewhat hackey.

I think Monroe is a fantastic writer. I suspect he's only been doing stand up 5 or 6 years at most, which is why his delivery is somewhat weaker than most of the other comics who have been doing it two and three times as long. He's definitely one of my favorites I've discovered this season.

Joe is is a genius. I've never seen anyone do stand up like his. On his initial appearance, when he first came onstage, I thought I wouldn't like him, because of his delivery, but his jokes are so brilliant, and he takes them places no one else goes. LOVE him! BTW- that joke does technically count as one joke- but with two tags after it.

Lachlan has grown on me also. A good writer.

All that said about Joe, I expect Rod Man to win. And I am actually rooting for him . He's hilarious, charming and has a really unique and surprisingly engaging delivery.

This has been my favorite season of LCS since the first one. I really hope they bring back these judges.

Edited by Cramps
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I think Monroe's material was pretty good, but his relative inexperience was really obvious to me in the h2h. His delivery was kind of stilted, he rushed through some stuff and dropped volume on a punch line or two. Joe, on the other hand, took his time, let the audience catch up with him, and then dropped the funny hammer.

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Also Monroe has a hoarseness to his voice sometimes, like he needs to clear his throat.  I wish he'd take some honey or throat lozenges before going on stage. 

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Sadly I missed this episode, out of town and forgot to tape it.  Good to read all the comments on what I missed. 

 

Monroe was OK, not terribly upset he is out though

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I always forget about Hulu, good to know

 

Episode was actually replayed last night, so I watched it.  I thought Monroe Martin should have won based on the first sets they did, but I like Joe Machi too and he finished stronger

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I also wondered the logic of the voting - vote for the weak, or vote for the strong?  Possible theories for each -

 

Vote for the strong -

- because there is less chance of them getting the most votes, so there is less chance of you getting picked to oppose them in the head to head

- because they will have to use up some of there best material now and increases the chance of beating them in the end, since they will have to use their weaker stuff

- in hopes that whoever goes against them wins, and a strong one is out

- because you have immunity

 

Vote for the weak -

- to increase your chance of winning in case they pick you to go against them (they truly believe they are funnier than the one the one they voted for.

- because more people would vote for them and it lessens your chance of getting picked for the head to head (logic is a bit off here, but I could see someone thinking this way)

 

I was surprised Joe picked Monroe.  When you get the most votes, you should pick the weakest of the people that voted for you.  I thought Monroe was a much stronger comedian than Nicky.  Then again, although I like Nicky and think it would be a bunch of fun to go out to lunch or go shopping with her, I don't find her stand-up routines to be anything special.  She doesn't make me laugh, they way most of the others do. 

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Nicky and Rocky I think are the weakest of the ones left. 

I don't know if it plays that way to everyone. In terms of material?  Maybe.  But shows like this also bank a lot on "personality" and Nicky and Rocky both have broad comic personalities that don't entirely depend on the specific material.

 

That's why Karlous and I think to a slightly lesser degree Lachlan are in trouble, IMO.  They don't have these broad comic personalities you can hang a whole image on.  Karlous is just vaguely ABM-ish (angry black-man), but without any real edge to hype up the interest, while Lachlan is kind of like a conglomeration of every generic white observational comic out there.  There's no good HOOK with these guys.  Nicky has one, albeit suffering under a lot of pure cliche, Rod Man has a HUGE one, Machi has one (although it battles with some people being creeped out by him) and Rocky definitely has one (the "real life Barney Rubble", I call it).

 

Now down between that crowd?  IMO Rod wins in the end if the public votes, because I think he manages a surprising level of lovablity, paired with sharp material.  In the end Machi will have too many people in the general public weirded out, Nicki's fat/food schtick will in a larger arena bore some people, and Rocky's dumb-guy may actually do better than I suspect some will think it will... but it won't win against Rod.

Edited by Kromm
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It helps to bear in mind that a TV deal is a factor in this, so beyond telling jokes on a stage, who could you see anchoring a sitcom? I think several of the remaining comics could pull it off, but if it comes down to who would I want to see in a sitcom, I think it has to be Rod Man or Joe. You could build a decent show around either of them, as long as you didn't let the "situation" part get in the way too much. Lachlan would be great in an ensemble, group-of-singles kind of piece. Rocky would be perfect as a family patriarch, though I'm not sure if I'd want to watch it regularly.

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When you put it that way, Nicky is actually a perfect sitcom candidate. Her act is like a hybrid of "Awkward Black Girl" and "Everybody Hates Chris."

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I would not want to see a sitcom with Nicky screaming about not being able to finish off fried chicken scraps.

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Yep, now that we are talking in terms of a sitcom, I see the final three as Nicky, Lachlan and Rodman. I'm trying to think up a concept that allows Joe Machi to anchor a show and it would definitely be a new sitcom style. Karlous would have to star in a show about a standup comedian who doesn't write his jokes ahead of time; that's all we know about him.

 

I forgot someone, but not sure who. 

 

I could even see Rod and Lachlan on the same show. With Rod being the married, responsible father(?) who goofs around when he hangs with slacker friend Lachlan. Whoever gets second place would be in the supporting role. Win/Win.

Nicky is actually a perfect sitcom candidate. Her act is like a hybrid of "Awkward Black Girl" and "Everybody Hates Chris."

 

I would love that! There isn't a show like that on TV right now either. 

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I don't really see rocky LaPorte as having any unique personality for TV beyond the middle aged overweight cliched sitcom dad. If that is what they wanted, they don't need to hold a huge competition like this to find it. They seem to be a dime a dozen all over TV and all over every mediocre sitcom from now back until the 1950s.

I agree about Lachlan being kind of generic with no real show appeal, he couldn't hold a show by himself. I think he is funny, but I wouldn't say unique. I don't see Nicky as all that unique or interesting either though. If someone told me she was on a sitcom, I doubt I'd watch.

Rod Man or Joe Machi, I'd watch them just because they would be different than anything else I have seen

Edited by DrSpaceman
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Ah! My comment got eaten again. To summarize quickly... Howie was weirdly manic but I liked the segment with Joe as George Clooney. That poor (probably Filipino) family. I don't think they were fooled but I also think they had no idea how to react.

 

There was some wonky editing during the bus tour. They edited in the tour group laughing in awkward places and sometimes the laughter sounded canned. The challenges seem to be getting better. I much prefer this crowd work challenge to the sketch challenge. Everyone isn't an actor but a good comedian can do crowd work and handle hecklers.

 

Rod Man is really growing on me. From his camera time, they seem to be setting him up as a finalist. He has the energy of an actor or comedian who is particularly quick and good with interviews. 

Joe Machi continues to be adorable. I laughed a lot during the clips of his tram tour. He's surprisingly great at crowd work. He really lucked out with the husband who forgot that he'd been married for 20 years.

From what we saw of Lachlan I think he did well but not as well as Rod Man and Joe. 

Nikki was better than she usually is in that she didn't make the same jokes about her weight or diet.

 

I don't think it was the same group on each tour, because I specifically watched for that and didn't recognize people from trip to trip.

I'm pretty sure it was the same group. There was the woman who kept talking to the comics. She was the one who asked Rod Man if his last name was Man. Then there was the family with the dad in the blue shirt who forgot how long he'd been married. There was a younger guy up front who laughed a lot. There was a woman towards the back with yellow nail polish. And a group of Asian girls. They were definitely the same group.

 

Joe had a good first set. I don't think it's his best stuff but while the others have gone into the head-to-head with weak material, Joe's version of his weaker material is still good. He didn't slack off. If he doesn't win, I hope he puts out some albums or gets a special.

 

I thought Monroe would last longer even though he doesn't have the best delivery. But the second I knew he was going up against Joe it was like, bye, Felicia! I think if you take all of his jokes together, he doesn't have the best sets but he has good jokes here and there. I can definitely see him becoming a writer.

 

With the second set, Joe clearly had it.

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What I find interesting about Rocky is that his persona is dumb but his material is actually really smart.

Most of these comics would play the neighbor or the wacky friend on a sitcom. You couldn't build a show around them.

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As I think about it, when a comic gets his own show he tends to play the straight man with wittier punchlines, not the goofy comic character. However, if instead of a big headline lead they set it up as an ensemble show, most of them could work.  What you need is someone who can come up with situations and find the comedy in them, not necessarily act it out all him/herself.

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As I think about it, when a comic gets his own show he tends to play the straight man with wittier punchlines, not the goofy comic character. However, if instead of a big headline lead they set it up as an ensemble show, most of them could work.  What you need is someone who can come up with situations and find the comedy in them, not necessarily act it out all him/herself.

I agree that a lot of the comics come across as wacky side characters. When I think of a comic headlining a show, I think of Seinfeld or the new John Mulaney show. But wacky side character can work. It's not the best example as he wasn't originally the lead but they managed to make Family Matters work as a show about Steve Urkel. Super Fun Night was terrible for reasons other than how it was structured. You can debate whether Whitney (yes, I watched it. Stop judging me.) was an ensemble or not and whether Whitney Cummings played more of a straight man character. But I think she let herself be more of a mess than Seinfeld was. I'm inclined to think that making the weird character the focus isn't as much of a hard sell these days. The problem in my mind is that sitcoms like to deal in terrible stereotypes (which is why I don't watch most of them) and making someone your protagonist generally means developing the character. When you develop the character you can't paint them in such broad strokes removing the element that the networks apparently feel is super hilarious. 

 

So it's like if you took one of the stereotypes that DC Benny caricatures and made them the focus. Oh wait, now I have to see them as a person? But how can I laugh at the funny accent and racist stereotypes now that I'm made to see this character as a human being?

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Does the development deal strictly mean they would be acting in the show? I mean, could it mean they would write for a show? Tina Fey has an NBC Universal development deal and she will be behind the scenes in the many shows that get picked up.

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I'm not sure the acting requirements on a sitcom would be a deal-breaker. Look at the first few eps of Seinfeld or Everybody Loves Raymond. Neither Jerry or Ray did well. They were surrounded by pros. They got better.

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