LAST EDITED ON 06-29-04 AT 09:53 AM (EST)Last Comic Standing 2, Episode 5 Official Summary
Welcome to the Hotel California
Previously on Last Comic* Standing…
The Peacock searched Coast to Coast (read: New York and Los Angeles with obligatory stops in a half-dozen other cities) to find the best comedians NBC could approve for a family hour-style pilot, and came up with these 10 not-ready-for-anything-other-than-prime time players:
Alonzo Bodden – The angry black comic who’s the smartest one in the house. He will definitely be in the finals. Or he’ll make me look really stupid for making a bold prediction in Episode 5. (Fortunately, only 30 people read these, so how big of an idiot can I really make of myself?)
Ant – About whom we know 2 things. 1) He’s gay. 2) He isn’t funny.
Bonnie McFarlane – A woman who needs to remember to turn the lights on before she gets dressed.
Gary Gulman – On the Bob Saget fast-track of inoffensive Jews.
Todd Glass – Possibly the most annoying man on the planet.
Kathleen Madigan – This season’s Dave Mordal.
Tammy Pescatelli – Is to Italian-Americans what Ant is to gay folk.
Corey Holcomb – The friendliest homophobe you’ll ever meet.
Jay London – A man with a seemingly endless supply of one-liners…and overalls.
John Heffron – The funniest one in the house, who is also a complete nervous wreck.
Our comics arrive at the house in the Hollywood Hills where they will be staying for the dog-eat-dog portion of the show. The house looks like the place where Dracula got his 1970s disco-playah groove on. It is probably the only house in the world with a moat and modular furniture. Ant informs us that this is the closest he’s been to the “Hollywood” sign. Make sure you get a good look, my man, cuz it’s back to waiting tables in San Francisco when your 15 minutes on this show are up.
Jay (that’s host Jay, not Cro-Magnon Jay--it is Cro-Magnon that's 4th from the left on the evolutionary chart, right? or is it Australopithecus? I can never remember) greets them at the gate (yes, there really is a gate—and probably a portcullis—to this mockery of God’s design) and says he’s 50% sure the house isn’t haunted. This obvious attempt at levity actually gives Ant the heebie-jeebies. It seems he has a thing against demonic possession. He really means premature demonic possession. The terms of his contract with Satan clearly state that he has until his expiration date to be free and clear of minions of the Underworld. But I digress.
Host Jay explains the pedestrian details of the show in case they picked up another half-dozen viewers in the interim from the last time they explained them. Lord knows we wouldn’t want to lose those new folks with the complicated “game” that’s about to begin. I’m not going to detail them here, because if you’re reading this and you don’t watch the show, you really need to find something better to do with your free time. Jay does offer us a little nugget by telling the comics to expect some twists and turns along the way. OK, color me stupid, but isn’t the point of a twist that the players don’t see it coming? Is Mark Burnett that smart, or are the guys who run this show that dumb? Personally, I’m going with the latter.
The comics move in. Cro-Mag Jay and John get the red room, which is not to be confused with Redrum, although there is a very Snoop Dogg meets Stephen King vibe in there. Call it the King Snoop Doggy Fizzle room.
Gary, Todd and Alonzo move into the white room. This room looks like something out of A Clockwork Orange. Maybe they’ll put on a little Ludwig Van to mellow Todd out a little before Alonzo goes Droogie on his ass.
Corey and Ant move into the green room. This is the closest Ant will get to an actual green room. (I’m sure
his agent the executive producers want to give him something to remember the experience by.) In a shocking twist, it turns out Corey’s a big ol’ homophobe. Is there a black male stereotype he doesn’t embody? He jokes about how he’s going to sleep with a golf club to keep Ant at bay. Wow. That joke hasn’t been funny since Eddie Murphy was doing AIDS humor. Not that I’m opposed to bludgeoning Ant, mind you. It’s just that there are many more valid reasons than simply because he’s a prancing queen. It’s now a dead heat in my mind between Corey and Ant for who is the most unfunny person drawing breaths in the Pimp Castle.
Host Jay (God, I’m going to get tired of having to differentiate between the two) gathers the comics in the creepy Fortune Teller room and explains that the Fortune Teller will be handing out assignments for them. Right on cue, it spits one out. They are to “Leave the Castle and Entertain the Unwashed Masses”. As they are leaving, he warns that something is always on the line. Not that a one of them is paying any attention to this.
Their task is to entertain people washing their clothes at a 24-hour laundromat. Todd is first up and tells a Henny Youngman-esque joke about his grandfather with wooden legs burning to the ground. No response from the crowd. He gets flustered and says “come on, that was my whole act!” I’m starting to believe that’s the truth, there.
Alonzo is next and tells the kids in attendance to stay in school. He thought he was going to be on TV, but he’s working the floor at the laundry. The comics laugh, anyway. Cro-Mag Jay does his schtick of one-liners. Nothing. Bonnie tells a joke about giving money to a homeless guy to buy crack and getting pissed seeing him buy a turkey sandwich. Bonnie gets annoyed when C-M Jay doesn’t laugh at her jokes, saying “I laughed at you”. C-M Jay is far too polite. He should’ve responded by saying “I’ll laugh when you say something funny.” Instead, he just takes the abuse. This is shocking. He seems like a model of self-confidence.
Gary does a bit about self-adhesive stamps being created after space shuttles. His act is like Seinfeld lite. Kathleen, who is far too wry for this crowd (and this show, frankly) tells of her adventures in waitressing. John gets interrupted by a woman needing to get past him to use the restroom. This gets more laughs than his material. Ant breaks out the same old lame San Francisco accent and Scooby Doo jokes. Who didn’t see that coming? Corey, in lieu of any sort of act, starts harassing the customers. More of the same ghetto fabulousness that is the Corey Holcomb experience. Tammy loses her voice and can’t perform. She has a confessional where she gets paranoid about this lack of performance being perceived as weakness. This? Is the central theme of this episode.
After they’ve all performed, Host Jay informs them that one of the patrons was a rep for HBO’s US Comedy Festival in Aspen. She will invite one to fly out to attend the festival, ski, relax, and perform. Not that she had a whole hell of a lot to choose from, but she picks Corey. I worry about the future of HBO. She says that Corey was the most adaptable. Perhaps, but that is most likely due to Corey being used to being surrounded by women in curlers who like his “Where’s yo’ man at?” act. I wonder how “adaptable” Corey would be at any venue that wasn’t lined with vending machines. Corey gets to pick someone. He picks Kathleen. Apparently she was nice to him once. I’m sure if she had it to do over again, she would rethink that.
Afterward, the comics go to dinner. Bonnie gets a dig in at Tammy (who had given all the comics cards in Vegas, before they moved in), by saying “not that I got you all cards or anything" <insert eye roll>. Tammy then calls Bonnie a word that rhymes with “stunt”. This is what we like to call a completely histrionic overreaction, although I am a little surprised that Bonnie took offense, what with it being her pet name and all. To make matters worse, Tammy goes on some confessional rant about Bonnie confusing kindness for weakness. I’m getting the feeling that Tammy is a little thin-skinned to be in a house full of friggin’ comedians. Cripes, if that little dig set you off, what happens when people start making fun of your wardrobe of 6th grade girl shirts? (Side rant: I can’t figure that out. Either she really likes wearing shirts that middle school girls wear, or she’s trying to be ironic. The thing is that it doesn’t work if you spend 2 hours on your hair and make-up and have Dragon Lady fingernails. I have now concluded that Tammy is an overly sensitive, psycho, Mafiaosa-wannabe with no sense of style.)
Back at the house, there’s trouble in the Clockwork Orange room. Todd and Alonzo bring new meaning to the word “snorer”. Gary can’t sleep. Todd wakes up from his snore-frenzy and asks Gary if he has any sleeping pills. Gary laughs, because not laughing would mean shoving Todd’s foot into his snore-hole.
Meanwhile in Aspen, Ghetto Corey talks about how this was his first time skiing. He made sure to include the part about hitting on the ski instructor. (Odds are now down to 2-1 that he packed a bottle of Courvoisier.) Kathleen tells him it’s not just a Ghetto thing. She’d never been skiing, either.
Back at the house, an alliance has formed between Tammy, Ant, Alonzo and Jay. Ant and Tammy appear to be the ring leaders. Their goal is to pick those who annoy them the most first. Cue Todd, who’s singing the “Attention Song”. The only thing keeping the others from tying him up in phone cords and beating him with rolling pins is the presence of cameras. I think 2 more days of this pre-schooler behavior, and the camera peeps will be willing to shut them off and do the beating themselves. Bonnie thinks Ant dislikes Todd because he takes attention away from him. I think Ant dislikes Todd because he’s a raging a-hole. Ant confesses to Bonnie that he’d vote for Todd. Yeah, like that’s a burning secret. Didn’t need Scooby Doo to figure out that mystery. Bonnie confesses to Ant that she’d likely vote for Tammy since she choked. Ant, who is 80% schoolgirl, immediately goes back to Tammy. Tammy feels persecuted and flips out, as if they’re not in a competition where this is an inevitability. She blames it on her Sicilian blood. I blame it on the fact that she’s a complete moron.
Back in Aspen, Corey does his same tired set about his two 6-year-olds who aren’t twins and tricks on looking at hot women when you’re with your woman for a crowd filled with rich white folks. This makes two comics with no sense of irony. He claims to have made the industry people laugh. He’s well on his way to a WB show, opposite Tess, called “What's Your Man Got to Do Wit' Me?"
At the Pimp Castle, Ant says John is an enigma. (Mostly John is just a good comic who is incredibly uncomfortable in the format of this program.) He tells him that if he goes against the herd, he’s next. The only thing funnier than Ant trying to act tough is…well, nothing, truthfully. Still, John looks like he’s expecting to wake up with a horse head in his bed tomorrow. Corey and Kathleen jet back. Kathleen speculates that Todd and Ant will throw down. This “throw down” is likely to have the same amount of drama as the Screech v. Danny Bonaduce bout. Ant and Tammy argue about which of their personal tormenters they should go after first. Tammy convinces Ant that it’s best to go after Todd’s friends first, only to leave him all alone, just like the Mafia would do it. I’m sorry, is this a TV talent contest or an episode of the Sopranos? Tammy has now officially moved past Corey on the stereotype leaderboard.
Host Jay rounds them up to tell them that tonight is the first head-to-head. It’s time for them to go into the photo booth and do the “I know I’m funnier than…” bit. Corey knows he’s funnier than Ant. (Who isn’t?) Tammy knows she’s funnier than Bonnie. (Yawn.) Ant knows he’s funnier than Bonnie McFarlane. (Ant isn’t funnier than my daughter’s goldfish. And while we’re on the subject of Ant, could someone please tell him he didn’t sign up for Survivor and it’s OK to shave? Growing a beard to mark your time in the house is just pathetic. Unless, of course, he just forgot to pack a razor, which would actually be more pathetic.) Alonzo knows he’s funnier than Bonnie McFarlane. (I’m sensing a pattern here) Todd knows he’s funnier than Tammy. (Yeah, but do you want the wrath of the Cleveland mob coming down on you?) Gary knows he’s funnier than Jay. (Someone needs to tell him he can’t vote for the host.) Bonnie knows she’s funnier than Corey. Corey knows he’s funnier than Ant. C-M Jay knows he’s funnier than Bonnie McFarlane. Kathleen knows she’s funnier than Bonnie. And John knows he’s funnier than Bonnie, which he follows with “nothing personal”. (Oh fer chrissakes, John. Grow a sack, will ya?) Jay calls him out on the “it’s not personal” bit. “What is it, then?” he asks. “My strategy?” John says weakly, not even believing it himself.
So it looks like Bonnie’s on the hot seat with 6 votes. She says she doesn’t want to challenge someone who would be too easy, like Ant or Tammy. She can’t beat Kathleen. She picks John. (Guess what, you can’t beat him either. And just in case anyone thinks that John might meltdown on stage and lose, here’s where this show’s ass-poor editing comes in. If there was any way (and I mean ANY way) that John was going to lose, don’t you think they’d have spent more than 30 seconds on his story this episode? Bonnie is officially toast.) Host Jay asks her why she wouldn’t choose someone she can beat. She replies that she told herself she wouldn’t challenge a girl because it seems catty. Tammy, who can’t take yes for an answer, or let anything go, EVER, butts in to say “it’s funny that you choose now not to be catty”. Bonnie replies “you’re the one who called me a <rhymes with “blunt”> and gets all sensitive and I’m not even challenging you”. This was way more verbose than she needed, when a simple “Eff you” would’ve done the trick.
John is baffled that his “strategy” didn’t work. (Umm, John? A strategy can only work if it exists in the first place.) He goes on to explain how they’re friends and get along great. Yet somehow the overpowering threat of Ant made him go Fredo on Bonnie. Bonnie was surprised at John, but now she knows what they mean by “playing the game”. Maybe she can clue John in on what that means.
Host Jay warms the crowd with an East Coast v. West Coast homeless guy bit which segued into a bit about the homeless Olympics. Maybe he can try out for Last Comic 3. Hee-yeah, like there’s going to be a Last Comic 3.
Backstage, John goes to visit Bonnie in her dressing room to play the “please don’t hate me” game. John is the biggest wuss in the history of wusses. It finally dawns on Bonnie that there might be a coalition that John’s a part of. Unfortunately, this hasn’t dawned on John yet. Fortunately, this incredibly awkward moment is broken up by the stage manager, who informs them it’s time to go on.
Bonnie’s up first.
She opens with her “policeman shouldn’t wear mirrored sunglasses” joke. She moves on to her friend who goes to AA meetings to out people to her. Then she does her “my agent made me anorexic” bit and how anorexics are so hot. She does a bit about the difficulty in breaking up with guys and one about the one guy she can’t get out of her head—the hypnotist. She finishes with the “breast implant/liquor store robbery” bit.
Overall her material was decent, but she was way too unconvincing in her delivery.
And then came John.
He opened with his bit about being an old guy who used to carry condoms in his pocket, but has switched to Tums, which segued nicely into over-30 drinking. That flowed into talking about the abuse kids heap on their bodies and his suck-ass swingset. Next was a bit about how his cell phone company sucks, and he finished on his continued obsession with video games.
His material was put together much more fluidly than Bonnie’s and was better overall. He totally rushed his set, though. If he had paced himself, he would’ve slayed. No question. He still won 94% of the vote, so I can’t say it would’ve mattered that much.
Afterward, John is sad to see Bonnie go. He says there were 8 other people in the house he wanted gone before Bonnie. And yet he was bullied by Ant. That’s just sad, there.
Bonnie is still clueless about the alliance, and wondered why it was her instead of an easier target. Here’s a guess, Bonnie…all the easy targets voted for you.
Comics on tour and a promise of “the funniest stand-off yet”. (That’s odd. My English teacher taught me that you had to have 3 of something before you get to “-est”. She drank a lot, though.)
Good luck with that, Silvergirl.
* Title of "Comic" not to be construed as contestant(s) having actual comedic talent. Participants subject to approval of vapid and humorless network executives. All contracts null and void in event of Ant victory. Offer not valid in Alaska and Hawaii.