Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER

Lantern7

Your Favorite Comics

Recommended Posts

If there's a sentence to encapsulate Last Comic Standing it would be "The Show That Refuses To Die." Even few years, it gets buried by NBC, and you think you've seen the last of it . . . but then the network digs that puppy up and plops it on their summer schedule.

The premise is basic: who is the best comic out of a given field of aspiring comics? Sure, a lot of folks have gotten huge after LCS, like Ralphie May, Amy Schumer, Gabriel Iglesias and Alonzo Bodden . . . but a lot of the show and the judgements have been sketchy, ranging from the auditions to the finished product. I'm betting a lot of fans are still butthurt that Dat Phan beat Dave Mordall in the opening season, and that Dat would up winning that edition. His problem was the overuse of his Vietnamese ancestry in his jokes. Other LCS finalists have been guilty of that as well (being Italian, Indian, pregnant, etc). And the last guy to win LCS was Felipe Esparza . . . and he's better known for his antics in Gabriel's stand-up.

Anyway, NBC has decided to bring the show back for an eighth edition, with JB Smoove hosting. The judges are electic: Rosanne Barr, Keenan Ivory-Wayans, and Russell Peters. There might be a good season to be had, but I doubt it.

ETA: What are your favorite memories from the show? BTW, Dat Phan : Ralphie May :: Jesse Camp : Dave Holmes.

Edited by Lantern7
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

I will always love LCS for introducing me to Alonzo Bodden -- I have seen him live several times and follow his podcast and Twitter. I really enjoyed the "house" format in the first couple of seasons and have fond memories of Rich Vos ironing and the various pranks the comics played on each other. I'll keep watching, though I'm not super-optimistic about the show's resurrection either.

(And I will admit to being one of the butthurt -- I burst into tears when Dave Mordal was eliminated, the first and only time I've EVER had such an extreme reaction to a reality show. Dat Phan appears regularly in the San Francisco area, where I live, and I still feel a little surge of anger when I see his name, especially since Mordal seems to have retired from stand-up. I believe he now does morning radio in the Twin Cities.)

Edited by trow125
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

It was amazing how consistent the online communities seemed to be on the Phan/Mordal thing too.

Not that Phan was incapable of being funny, it's just that Mordal's dry wit was nothing short of epic.  He should have been one of the big names in comedy.  

I will say while the idea of a show promoting stand up comedy is always welcome, the actual execution was by default pretty sad.  The show never really lived up the concept, and I doubt a revival will either.

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

From what I remember, the show peaked very early.  Season 1 had a decent batch of comics (Mordal was great) and was enjoyable despite Dat Phan.  Season 2 was the best season.  Alonzo Bodden was outstanding and probably should have won over John Heffron, but I liked John.  Kathleen Madigan, Todd Glass, and Corey Holcomb were also quite good, though it amazes me that some of the others in the house managed to make it that far.  Seriously, Bonnie McFarlane?  She was one of the worst I'd ever seen on the show.  And I'm still not sure how I feel about Ant being the one to have a career after the show.  Lots of good comics didn't make it to the final 10 in Season 2.  Remember Jim Wiggins?  Marina Franklin?

Season 3 was just a rehash of the S1/S2 comedians, and that's where the show got canceled for the first time.  Jay Mohr was furious and never returned as host.  I never liked Mohr as the host, but every host who followed was even worse than he was.

Season 4 had a decent crop of comedians.  It was a shame that Gabriel Iglesias, probably the best comic featured that season, had to break the rules and get himself disqualified.  I liked Josh Blue and Chris Porter, saw both of them live when I was in college.  Don't remember many of the others.  Anthony Clark was a pretty awful host, seemed like he was nervous and/or didn't want to be there.

Season 5 was where it all really started to fall apart for me.  Suddenly, nobody with any talent seemed to be trying out for the show, and many of the final 10 comedians were just brutal.  Season 6 was worse, and by Season 7 it seemed like they had stopped bringing in professional comedians altogether and were just grabbing strangers off of the street.  It was brutal to watch, and I stopped after a few episodes.

Share this post


Link to post

 

and by Season 7 it seemed like they had stopped bringing in professional comedians altogether and were just grabbing strangers off of the street.  It was brutal to watch, and I stopped after a few episodes.

There was a season 7?

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

I wish there wasn't!  S7 was a few years ago, during the summer I believe.  The seasons went like this:

Season - Host - Winner

S1 - Jay Mohr - Dat Phan

S2 - Jay Mohr - John Heffron

S3 - Jay Mohr - Alonzo Bodden

(CANCELLED)

S4 - Anthony Clark - Josh Blue

S5 - Bill Bellamy - Jon Reep

S6 - Bill Bellamy - Eliza Shlesinger

(CANCELLED)

S7 - Craig Robinson - Felipe Esparza

(CANCELLED)

S8 - JB Smoove (who?) - Winner TBD

Share this post


Link to post

In the vein of the thread's title: who are your favorite comics? In my case, I'll defer to the last comic I've seen live: Maria Bamford. The woman is ten pounds of quirk in a five-pound bag. Like Gabriel, she's got impressive vocal range, and she makes it work.

Share this post


Link to post

Are we talking favorite comics from the show or in general?  I think Alonzo Bodden is the best comic ever to appear on the show, though Gabriel Iglesias, Kathleen Madigan, and Dave Mordall were also very good.  Of those, I've only seen Alonzo and Gabriel away from the show.

Like I said, I saw Josh Blue live once, and he was actually fantastic.  Better than I remember him being on the show.

Outside of LCS, Lewis Black is my favorite stand-up comic.  Mitch Hedberg is another favorite.  I wish he was still alive and could show Jay London how to do one-liners that are actually funny.

Share this post


Link to post

If you subscribe to Netflix streaming, a lot of the LCS alumni have comedy specials available there. Josh Blue has a stand-up special called "Sticky Change" and Kathleen Madigan has "Madigan Again," just to name a couple. The Blue special is fairly recent (2012), and he talks a lot about his marriage, so it's a different side of him than we saw on LCS.

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

Are we talking favorite comics from the show or in general?  

I'd guess it's probably better to mostly stick to comics on the show, but that's just my own feeling based on how many shows (for example, @Midnight) you could plant a generic "favorite comedians" topic in.  

That said, if this forum doesn't already have a "who would you like to see appear on LCS" topic (which is a roundabout way to a similar point of discussing comics you like), then maybe it should.

EDIT - there wasn't such a topic, but I just made one -- http://forums.previously.tv/topic/3936-who-would-you-like-to-see-appear-on-future-lcs-shows/

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

dat phan just wasnt funny, its not that he relied too much on his ancestry.

also can stand jon reep. Never found him funny. A small step above larry the cable guy

Loved alonzo bolden. John Heffron was good too though, the one season I wasnt disappointed in the finalists.

I had not heard the show was coming back. I agree it was a good idea poorly executed, but still was nice to be exposed to some good young comics, even if some bad ones get mixed in

I think its a good idea to bring the show back now. AFter awhile my guess is they cycled through all the younger comics over several seasons. Waiting and bringing it back now should give them a chance to get a whole new group to expose.

There are numerous comics I first heard on LCS though that I now hear and listen to on a regular basis

Share this post


Link to post

From this show, I'll go with Josh Blue.  In general, I have to go with Jim Gaffigan.  He cracks me up every single time.

Share this post


Link to post

I loved Kathleen Madigan and Tammy Pescatelli. I always seem to be rooting for the girls! I still laugh when Kathleen did a talking head about what they learned from the show, and she said, "I learned to never sit in the pool while being next to Tammy."

 

I'm excited for this season because I'm kinda sorta in stand-up comedy and have even worked with some of the Top 100!

Share this post


Link to post

Love Kathleen MAdigan and Jim Gaffigan. 

 

I like Tammy Pescatelli as well, though I have not heard anything from her lately

 

Seems like they have tweaked the show this year, I am hoping to hear some new up and coming comics looking for some exposure. 

Share this post


Link to post

Dat Phan.  If I ever saw the little f*cker, I'd drop-kick him.

 

My favorite LCS comedian was a guy who died, and I can't remember his name (he'd laugh at that insult).*  His schtick was Italian/mafia guy, and his routine just cracked me up.  Come to think if it, there was another LCS comedian who died as well.  Can't think of his name either but it's sad that they died relatively young.  Maybe I'm a hex, so if I have a favorite this season, I just won't acknowledge it.  I might just save a life. 

 

*  I just checked Google.  His name was Mike DeStefano from Season 7.  RIP, Mike.

 

And oh yeah, Gary Gulman was a tall drink of water.  Yowza.

 

 

Edited by Ohwell

Share this post


Link to post

Dat Phan.  If I ever saw the little f*cker, I'd drop-kick him.

 

My favorite LCS comedian was a guy who died, and I can't remember his name (he'd laugh at that insult).*  His schtick was Italian/mafia guy, and his routine just cracked me up.  Come to think if it, there was another LCS comedian who died as well.  Can't think of his name either but it's sad that they died relatively young.  Maybe I'm a hex, so if I have a favorite this season, I just won't acknowledge it.  I might just save a life. 

 

*  I just checked Google.  His name was Mike DeStefano from Season 7.  RIP, Mike.

 

Whew.  From your description I was afraid Eddie Pepitone had died.  Relieved that's not the case.

 

Ralphie May is the one I constantly think I'm gonna hear died (especially since John Pinette died).

Share this post


Link to post

Greg Giraldo died as well, he was a judge on the show, not a contestant

Yes, I had forgot Gary Gulman was on the show. He and Jim Gaffigan should pair up, he can do his cookie bit and Jim his bacon jokes, they could do a whole food set.

And you know I hated Ralphie May on the show, but some of his stuff later I like.

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

May was okay on the show.  Just not as good as Mordahl.

Edited by Kromm

Share this post


Link to post

I apparently missed a lot more seasons than I realized. The last season I watch was Josh Blue's season. I always found him really sharp and funny. I've never even heard of the other winners after him. I just recently started following him on Facebook. Ralphie May can be funny, but he's kind of one note. He's better in small doses. 

 

For non LCS comics, I always liked Christopher Titus, but he's turned into a douche since he and his wife divorced and he got remarried. Although it seems the first wife made up abuse claims, so that would turn most of us into a different person. Same with Jeff Dunhamm, although I suspect sudden fame and money had a lot to do with that one. 

Share this post


Link to post

For non LCS comics, I always liked Christopher Titus, but he's turned into a douche since he and his wife divorced and he got remarried. Although it seems the first wife made up abuse claims, so that would turn most of us into a different person. Same with Jeff Dunhamm, although I suspect sudden fame and money had a lot to do with that one. 

I dunno.  Dunham became massively offensive, and not in a good "pushing the envelope" kind of way, but instead in the "pandering to the least common denominator" way.  I know this is a matter of opinion/taste, but sticking your hand inside the back orifice of a puppet called Achmed the Dead Terrorist is like a "Red State comedy out of control" thing, IMO.  When he just did a grumpy old man or a purple faced whatever that other puppet was, it seemed a bit silly but harmless to me.  Not Achmed the Dead Terrorist though.

 

Come to think of it, didn't he start out early with another massively racist character (it was like a chile pepper that spoke with a stereotypical Mexican voice)?  Seems to me that he's always been a dirt-bag.  There's that line in comedy you don't cross about mocking your own vs. mocking others, and Dunham seems to have always been willing to cross it (he also had a "redneck" puppet too, I recall, which was his contribution to "mocking his own", but he didn't limit himself to that).

 

To this day people like Dunham think they're being Don Rickles, when they're not.  Why could Rickles make fun of other races?  Because ultimately Rickles himself was the butt of the joke by posing himself as the insensitive boob.  These other guys never seemed to GET that about him (whereas the public instinctively always did).

Edited by Kromm
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

I don't really care for Jeff Dunham.  His jokes aren't that original.  In fact they are downright trite and overdone, he just does them with puppets instead of straight stand up.  I never really thought of his routine as racist, though you may have a point, now that I think about it.  Overall I just think its cliched stuff though thats been around for the past 30 years he is just repeating. 

 

I'd put it this way, I defintely would not pay to see Jeff Dunham and if I happen to run across him on Comedy central or some other show, which I do occasionally, I am not stopping the remote there for more than a couple minutes

Edited by DrSpaceman
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post

That reminds me . . . according to Gabriel Iglesias in his stand-up, he's the second-most popular comic in Saudi Arabia. The first? Jeff Duhham. He found that out where he was on tour there, and his chauffeur wasn't put off by Achmed the Dead Terrorist. The guy punctuated that with "I KEEL YOU!!!" I just thought that was funny, even if that fact is a little depressing. And I think the routine is in Gabe's "Aloha, Fluffy" Comedy Central special, if you need it confirmed.

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have a weird soft spot for the gimmicky "we only put this audition in here so you can laugh at this schlub" comics, even though in general, that's not really my thing.  One of them, Francois Fly (he was on the first year they weren't in a house anymore IIRC), was a dude I know from theatre in Sacramento (he's active in Sac and Bay Area comedy and I think does L.A. stuff sometimes) and while I knew he did standup, I had no idea he sometimes did the gimmicky stuff and I died when he was on.  Ever since then I get a smile when the gimmick guys are on; I just have this hunch a lot of them have more conventional acts that are way more hilarious than we'd guess from the silly stuff we see in their auditions. 

Share this post


Link to post

He found that out where he was on tour there, and his chauffeur wasn't put off by Achmed the Dead Terrorist. The guy punctuated that with "I KEEL YOU!!!" I just thought that was funny, even if that fact is a little depressing.

 

The character is not "Achmed, the typical Muslim".  It's "Achmed, the dead terrorist".  Why wouldn't Saudis be able to laugh at it?

 

That actually reminds me - remember in season 1 there was a challenge to pitch a sitcom to a focus group?  Dave Mordal's idea was a wacky group of failed terrorists.  Naturally the focus group didn't pick it, and I'd be the first to say that Dunham and Mordal have very different styles. But no topic is inherently off-limits if a comic can craft a joke around it.

Share this post


Link to post

The character is not "Achmed, the typical Muslim".  It's "Achmed, the dead terrorist".  Why wouldn't Saudis be able to laugh at it?

 

That actually reminds me - remember in season 1 there was a challenge to pitch a sitcom to a focus group?  Dave Mordal's idea was a wacky group of failed terrorists.  Naturally the focus group didn't pick it, and I'd be the first to say that Dunham and Mordal have very different styles. But no topic is inherently off-limits if a comic can craft a joke around it.

Except Dunham doesn't do so with any finesse or even any proper sense of absurdity. It's just broad material, falling prey to all of the cliches vs. mocking the cliches.  That's the dividing line between good comedy of this type and bad.  The good stuff is subversive and mocks the stupidity of stereotyping (often by SEEMING to stereotype, but actually mocking the process of doing so as part of that).  The bad stuff embraces broad stupid views and milks them, with no other subtext.

Edited by Kromm
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

Except Dunham doesn't do so with any finesse or even any proper sense of absurdity. It's just broad material, falling prey to all of the cliches vs. mocking the cliches.  That's the dividing line between good comedy of this type and bad.  The good stuff is subversive and mocks the stupidity of stereotyping (often by SEEMING to stereotype, but actually mocking the process of doing so as part of that).  The bad stuff embraces broad stupid views and milks them, with no other subtext.

 

 

Yes, basic reason why I am not a big fan of Dunham.  HIs grump old man doll, I think Uncle Walter or something, just spouts cliched and rehashed ideas. 

Share this post


Link to post
Except Dunham doesn't do so with any finesse or even any proper sense of absurdity. It's just broad material, falling prey to all of the cliches vs. mocking the cliches.  That's the dividing line between good comedy of this type and bad.

 

Oh I agree with that. The recent characters are very simple and lazy, and really a letdown after the original Peanut stuff early on.  I just resist connecting it to anything as broad as race, culture, or nationality.

Share this post


Link to post

Cringe Humor, the year DAT won, showed up to one of his shows and presented him with an "award" that was "The Worst Comedy Moment of the Year: Dat Phan wins Last Comic Standing." And took a picture with him. Cringehumor.net isn't working for me right now. I have no idea if they've stopped running it, or I'd link to the article. Their YouTube channel is still up, though, with the video of Rich and Patrice O'Neal busting him up on Tough Crowd.

 

DAT is a Hack who makes it work. He would study his shows and thus push everything that worked together. The result is something you can't help but laugh at when you hear it for the first time. His energy is infectous, and the voice is funny. He just has no breadth.

 

Patton Oswalt's critique of the show, which Jay Mohr didn't like, was that it promoted that kind of humor. Having a great 5-10 minutes, but nothing more. Tammy Pescatelli was the same way for me, she relied on Ethnic jokes and you heard the same ones over and over.

 

I enjoy Eliza, though didn't like her newest album as much as her first. I think she surprised everyone when she continued to come out and do fresh material every time she got challenged. She got taken to the show downs the first two or three weeks in a row, which completely back fired on the other comics. Instead of exhausting her material, she kept coming with more, and the audience was the most comfortable with her.

 

I'll always have love for my fellow Canadian, Gerry Dee. It took him 3 years, that we saw, to make it to the final 10. He's had a good stable career in Canada since the show.

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post

Oh I agree with that. The recent characters are very simple and lazy, and really a letdown after the original Peanut stuff early on.  I just resist connecting it to anything as broad as race, culture, or nationality.

Why not?  Both the Chili Pepper on the Stick thing and Ached seem to be inherently about taking certain races and paring them down to just the stereotypes.  In the case of Achmed it's not necessary for Dunham to be as direct as calling him "Achmed the Muslim" or maybe even more properly "Achmed The Arab" to insult those entire groups, because using "Terrorist" with a specific set of cues (turban, accent, the character's name, etc.) does the same thing through implication.  I'd label it as racial because it seems like it's clearly MEANT to be.  The same way that Bubba J puppet is meant to inherently telegraph "inbred Southerner", or a Talking Chili Pepper is meant to shortcut "Mexicans".  

 

Ask yourself, in this skit I'm gonna link, does Jeff taking the "political correctness" side while Peanut makes Mexican jokes mean he's NOT making racial jokes?  Of course it doesn't.  He's Peanut, after all, and it's not like Peanut is the real target of the jokes the way, lets say... Archie Bunker was when Archie made racial statements on "All in the Family",  -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgNKI2CRQFo&feature=kp

I won't try and claim most of those jokes aren't funny.  Most are.  But they're also racial (and debateably pretty racist--again Dunham "mitigating" some of them by acting outraged at Peanut doesn't change that).  If we're realistic we have to admit we laugh at racist stuff all of the time, for good or ill.

Share this post


Link to post

Cringe humor's article about the "award" was up a few days ago.  It was the first time I'd heard about it but it was pretty hilarious.  They had a video or a gif (I forget which) of him realizing what was up.  I can't recall if that was the actual url I was at though; maybe I was on another site with a mirror? Alas, I regularly dump my browser history. 

Share this post


Link to post

I have many comics I love, but to keep it centered on the show, my two favorite comics to appear in an actual season are Amy Schumer and Doug Benson. They both thrived more after they appeared, but I thought they were hysterical in their season.

Share this post


Link to post

I saw Seinfeld tonight in Charlotte, first time I have seen him live. He is now 60 and has been doing stand up for 40 years, which is astonishing to me, he has been doing stand up since basically I was born.

What I found remarkable was not his material, which is all stuff that other comics bring up, but just the delivery, execution, timing, it was all so perfect. He had another comic come out to warm up the crowd as the opener and he was no slouch, he was a writer for the tonight show and also Arrested Development and he had some good jokes and material. With Seinfeld though, you take material any other comic could think of and it becomes just perfection.

He still is as good as any stand up comic out there. And he has obviously written new material over the years, doesn't just rely on old stuff and rehashed jokes. He only mentioned the show a few times, when fans brought it up.

  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post

Robin Williams is my favorite professional stand up comedian. The man was a genius and magician.  My favorite comedian to come from the show was/is Todd Glass. He just cracks me up! I loved his goofball humor but I also loved that he could make jokes about society that were so on point. 

Share this post


Link to post

For me, while Robin Williams was a genius, he also had that thing that a lot of people who's acts rely more on schtick than actual jokes did--the schtick took on a kind of sameness over the years. Wild manic energy can only play out in a few ways.

  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post
×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size