LAST EDITED ON 06-11-06 AT 04:42 PM (EST)
So, previously on Last Comic Standing -- no one knows. Seriously. This isn't the 'We actually managed to block out one trauma, thank you' that accompanies the end of a really bad season. This is more along the lines of 'It ended?' Y'see, in the first two seasons, we had a nationwide talent hunt for new comedians, no more than pretty much all of whom had been performing for several years, and then we stuck them in a house and watched them prey on each other until one of them was determined to be the most funny, or at least the most adept at pushing his sob story for votes. It worked, for a given value of 'work' that translates to 'Yes! We finally beat out the test pattern!'
But then we got Season Three, in which the contestants from the first two seasons were pitted against each other in a struggle to the death, although that part ended when Ant's cold corpse was pried away and sent to the ultimate home of all celebrity rigor mortis: VH1. After that, it was just a matter of watching the ratings slowly sink into the sunset, because it turned out that the audience wasn't interested in watching different seasons slug it out punchline to punchline. They'd already learned their lesson on that one, courtesy of CBS, EPMB, and a little entity called Romber. (Since network executives have the collective memory capacity of a brain-damaged mayfly, CBS is scheduled to temporarily learn this again starting in late June. Don't hold your breath, but if you get the chance, do hold theirs, preferably by the throat.) What was happening on screen had all the entertainment value of watching a goose choke to death on its own golden egg -- which also happens to be a well-known network executive strategy -- and as a result, the series floundered. Weakened. Thrashed at the waves. Choked on salt water. And went down for the third time, coming to its final rest in a place generally known as Davey Jones' Locker, but occasionally called Comedy Central for no apparent reason. Last Comic Standing became Latest Series Killed, and before a few of you say anything, I was nowhere near the victim at the time, okay? No one was anywhere near the victim, therefore, the victim died. Q.E.D. There was a brief display of the body on cable, about two people walked past it and said a few words, mostly along the lines of 'Who was that?', and we were done. Another vaguely non-hateful series destroyed through the bumbling attentions of network executives. Thanks, NBC!
Which would sort of bring up the question of just what the (censored) is airing right now...
Isn't this one of the more universal signs of The End? Graves start to give up their dead?
Looks like none of us are going to get to rest in peace... roll opening credits.
And the opening credits roll, and they still have the grave mold all over them, because the lead-in cell for LCS has always been one of the most stupidly overdramatic pronouncements to hit the airways since forever, even worse than 'And the winner of Survivor, Any Season, is' -- but this time, they're being spoken by a new host. This is Anthony Clark, and we are going to ignore him. This is not because we miss the Mohrpet, because we do not miss the Mohrpet. Head shots kill zombies and that one got a 67mm Pepsi can right through the empty skull. We are going to ignore him because he's barely in this episode. Sure, he has some previous credits, few of which I've ever seen and none of which were actually worth watching, and they somehow managed to land him this new job as Puppetmaster Of The Living Dead, but that's still not enough to get him actual screen time. We are opening with what should be the ultimate series killer for the newly resurrected, the two-hour audition special, which is exactly like having the Simpsons sing 'It's a stupid clip show!' 7200 times, except it hurts a lot more. We're not going to get to Undeadville until every last vampire, ghoul, wight, and minion has been paraded before the camera and examined for degree of decay. And yes, those were in fact fangs that just sunk into your neck. The whole strategy here is to drain your blood, free will, and intelligence, then leave you drooling in front of the set until the season ends. Dead bodies still count in the ratings: all they're asking for is that your final convulsions don't turn off the television. You can do that for your new lord and master, right? You can? You're so considerate. Good minion. Good minion. Here, have a drool bib. It's monogrammed!
Now the normal procedure for locally launching a season is to take a few minutes (and a few thousand words) to introduce the cast, then go through the rest of the all-important first episode on almost a frame-by-frame basis (and definitely several thousand more words), reporting on the editing tricks that will set up the way the rest of the series plays out. This, however, is a Stupid Clip/Audition Show. The judges are going around the country to look over experienced comics, a few very rare fresh faces, and thousands of people who happen to think they're funny and are totally wrong, then get them all down to forty people who will go to Hollywood and work to make The Ten, most of whom will come from Category Three because that's the way we produce faux drama in the house. (Not comedy. Comedy is not important. Faux drama is very important. Just ask the cast of Starting Over -- oops. Too late.) We can't introduce the cast because any given person who makes it through this stage only has a 25% chance of making it to the cast. We can't examine the editing because that inconvenient SC/AS status has not gone away since two sentences ago. And we're not going to spend that much time with the judges because we've seen the judges before and they're just not worth it. What we are going to do is skim over this thing at slightly less than .5c, which for me should translate out to about six thousand words, tops, and then hand the rest of the series over to the rest of the summary volunteers, which should turn out to be absolutely no one. We've tried to kill attention-eating zombies this way before, and there's times when it actually works. (And then there's Romber, but we already induced that flashback.) We'll skip over most of the stupid, except where a really dumb moment or notable line comes up. While watching reality television is all about suffering through idiocy in search of a few golden moments and there are times when idiocy itself can equal a golden moment, this show isn't going to contain any of them. Let's keep the agony down, shall we?
So here's our host, whoever he is, and he tells us it's fourth verse, same as the first, and we're going to pretend the third never happened, do you hear him? Never. Happened. They're looking for either the most talented comic, the best sob story, or the most attractive face that can hold down a no-writing series for five years. The winner gets an exclusive contract with NBC valued at five cents a year and that's just for the cost of the paper, their own comedy special on Bravo (twelve cents, the value of the film), the eternal loathing of Comedy Central because they're never going to touch anyone who gets on this show with a fifty-foot boom mike, once burnt, twice crispy, and everyone will completely forget about them about four seconds after the series ends. However, the second-place finisher will go on to have a really nice career on the stand-up circuit and work some truly outstanding casino appearances for anyone willing to drive a few hundred miles to see him perform, so at least there's a little hope. (Hi, Ralphie!) And while we all know this fundamental truth, the now-nameless host still lies to us and lets John Heffron and Alonzo Bodden, our Season Two and Three winners, appear to say they've enjoyed tremendous success since being on the show. Oddly, the Season One winner, whoever s/he might be, is not included in this segment. Wonder why?
Here are our judges. They are Bob Read and Ross Mark. They book comedians for the Tonight Show, which in decades gone by would make them the comedy equivalent of organized crime: 'You do our show, only our show, no one else's show, ever, and your career doesn't get hurt.' Of course, the days of threatening people with the power of the late-night slot are over. (Now they just shoot them. It's much quicker.) You can tell them apart this way: Bob is the thin gay one who occasionally laughs, and Ross is the failed Jimmy Kimmel clone with the perpetual ulcer. Our judges, who have been the victims of more bad jokes than Bob Hope's bathroom mirror, are going to pick our initial forty based on sob story potential, drama in the house (which is, according to the so-called entertainment news shows, actually an ocean liner, but we're going to call it a house because it's quicker to say), the mysterious gender/color/background profiling sheet, and the need to have at least one attractive person from each chromosome combination to lure in that part of the audience that never says 'I'm just looking for someone who can make me laugh.' (And by the way, any time you hear that one? We're totally lying. Remember: the more you know...) Basically, this means plucking a couple of dozen performers from each audition stop, having them all perform in front of a small live audience, then handing a select few red envelopes that contain a cardboard replica of a hitchhiker's thumb, which they can use to get to the next site. However, there's a small twist this year. At each stop, one of the sub-forty will be selected by the audience, based on popular vote. This is basically an excuse to get the series its first ultra-cheap sponsor who will not be mentioned here, but Fear Factor viewers should know the name -- and it also shows who people other than ultra-jaded judges are laughing at. Follow the bouncing ballots...
First stop: Los Angeles, where the line to get into the audition is around the block, which isn't bad considering no one on the planet knew this thing was coming back until three days ago. (Then again, this is L.A: there's always several hundred comedians standing around waiting in line. Usually at Unemployment.) We get the first bad sign with the first applicant, a rejectee from last year who plays a little song for us that consists of one word: 'Doi.' This means 'Duh.' And also 'Door,' which is what our judges throw him through. As with Ant needing an extra year to find someone whose material people hadn't heard to steal, failing once doesn't mean you're out forever. And neither does failing eight times, because shortly after, we get -- Buck Star.
That's right, it's Buck Star, welcome to the Buck Star show, and somewhere in America, Fester's television just took a giant light bulb through the screen. Fester had the SC/AS for Season Two, and that's when Buck Star showed up at every (censored) audition with the same unfunny routine, although let's give him credit: the sheer hilarity of the Fairplay Lite hairstyle never went away. Buck Star is the Desperate Attention Whore personified, with the power to move all over the map and take over an entire summary in the process. And do you know what this gets him here? This: Buck once again shows up at every stop, getting totally rejected at all but the last, where the judges once again let him take the stage just to shut him up already and because they did the same thing last year and consistency supposedly equals ratings or nausea, whichever comes first. He performs, the judges don't give him an envelope, the audience doesn't vote him an envelope, and that's it until next year, when he'll do the same thing again. This is just about all of the attention Buck will receive in this summary, and if you examine him closely through the vomit filter, you'll notice his left arm starting to fall off. Good riddance, and may your name never darken my monitor again.
Notable performers for the LA segment begin with Gabriel Iglesias (no relation), who's probably destined for the house -- he's sort of the Ralphie May discount size, now available in a new color and with less controversy! He impresses the judges by describing the five levels of fat: Big, Healthy, Husky, Fluffy (him), and Damn! -- but doesn't get much further before Ross cuts him off.
Bob: 'What? I was having a good time!'
Ross: 'It's not about having a good time. It's about finding the right people.'
Bil Dwyer is the next to make the initial cut, and here's a helpful hint for the judges: if they have their own IMDB entry, they're not a total unknown -- unless, of course, they were the color commentator for Extreme Dodgeball, in which case, they deserve to be. This is further demonstrated when Marc Price shows up, and if you don't know who he is, well, VH1 will: as he notes in his routine, it's this or Celebrity Fit Club IV for the former Skippy from Family Ties. And look for him there, because he doesn't make it here. But don't worry about him, really: he'll make it on VH1. Anyone can get their own series on VH1. All you need is a few extra pounds. Or a drug habit. Or an impending nervous breakdown. Bonus points for all three, plus you must be willing to strip down at any time. Yes, Marc, that means you. You can start peeling your skin off on Flav's cue. By the way, your new name is 'Bleedy'. (Fairness here: he's not great, but he's got some potential. Expect him to try again next year and make the forty. Or to be found dead slumped over a toilet. One of those.) Tig Notaro makes it as a female version of Steven Wright, minus the hairstyle. Great deadpan. Great deadpan. Material, that's debatable, but deadpan? World-class.
The first example of casting purely for house drama hits when Kaitlin Colombo, with six years of stand-up experience at nineteen years of age, is rejected in favor of Nikki Payne, who has exactly four distinguishing traits: she dresses like a demented Catholic schoolgirl, she has a lisp an Igor would envy, there is absolutely nothing funny about her, and she can usually be seen trying to remove a viewer's hands from her neck. She does not have jokes, talent, or stage presence. What she has is raw annoyance, which is going to bring the faux drama and may even bring the funk, but only when that quasi-schoolgirl uniform starts to smell. (It's grafted on!) In ten years, you will know who Kaitlin Colombo is. In ten minutes, you will be calling your therapist about Nikki Payne. Migawd, it hurts...
The first example of casting purely to bring in a pre-existing audience comes a few minutes later, when the judges select Theo Von. Who? Well, you might know him as just plain Theo, and the really MTV-obsessives here might recognize 'Theo Vonkurnatowski.' That's right, our very own Theo, world-class DAW that he is, has finally stopped appearing on every season of Road Rules ever and gotten a day job, which is to appear on every season of every reality show, ever, starting with this one. Theo is here so his legion of MTV fans (three) will join in on the ratings bonanza, which should effectively increase the prior mark by a third. (To be fair, he has some material: it just all sounds really familiar. Maybe he should go with what he knows and start making jokes about reality shows. Then again, it's not as if anyone could possibly make a career out of that...)
Doug Benson (who makes the forty cut): 'My career is really taking off: I've performed in six states! Let me count them off for you! Drunk -- sober -- elated -- depressed -- California -- and Texas! I'm in three of them right now!' What a coincidence. I'm writing this summary in two. (Good stage presence. Could be a sitcom dad in five years. The audience vote-in for this stop.)
Also making the LA cut: Chip Chinery (a slightly less annoying, considerably less energetic Todd Glass), Rebecca Korry (not that notable), Matt Fulchiron (slightly demented -- a sitcom best friend type), Willie Parsons (good life story material -- went to jail for being in the wrong place at the wrong time: at the scene of the crime when the cops showed up), Vargus Mason (just one line... his story will probably be developed in the next episode), and Stella (sassy, loud, chipmunk-cheeked, and six months pregnant. We've had kids conceived because of reality shows, especially when they get really boring, but having one born in mid-season? Interesting. Wonder if the kid will count as a vote?).
On to Tempe, Arizona, and we're all thinking the same thing: 'At least it wasn't Scottsdale.' The Oh-My-God-My-Brain-Is-On-Fire State brings us Josh McDermitt, a complete unknown who isn't even a legend in his own mind, mostly because it's occupied with thoughts of using desperate mothers and babies trapped under cars as an emergency tire jack system. He's followed by Jim Wiggins, who may or may not have pooped today -- yes, that Jim Wiggins, there's another? -- but isn't going to make the forty-cut this year. Chris Porter does, because Ross thinks he can play a character in a sitcom for a decade and he's not sure if Jim has a decade, and yes, that was ageist, this is Hollywood, did you have an actual point? Chris goes through as the audience vote-in, and earns it with a great routine about how high gas prices are the fault of all females who won't sleep with men who ride buses. Or drive cars that get good mileage. If women were only attracted to public transportation riders and hybrid drivers, then SUVs and sports cars would go out of fashion, less gas consumption, supply and demand, and yes, I am deliberately ruining his joke because he's tapped into a fundamental truth and in the process, deeply annoyed me.
Since the house is going to need a couple of conventionally attractive women, we'd better start looking for them now. Of course, conventionally attractive women generally don't go into comedy -- supermodels would do standup, except that few of them ever saw 'talking' as an essential skill -- so we'll go with April Macie, who will be playing the redheaded mayor of Crazytown this evening, which at least means the D.C. elections are finally over. Bruce Fine gets through by noting that men have to hear everything three times before they acknowledge it, and that's why the signs outside strip clubs say 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' No, it's because no one in the business has ever heard of that strange profession known as a 'copywriter'. Remember, these are people who don't understand how a measuring tape works, because they've sure never figured out how to read one. But beyond that, Bruce was really close. In fact, he was really, really, really close.
Also getting through in Tempe are J. Chris Newberg (who just needs to find a few million people to mock and he's set for life, or at least the portion of it he'll enjoy before the protest groups kill him) and Ty Barnett (comparing the audience choosing reality contestants to the buyers at a slave auction, and guess what? He's right. In fact, he's too right. He can't win, because he has tapped into a fundamental truth and deeply annoyed the producers. But I kind of like him). And as long as our skulls are already cooking eggs, let's serve up a second course and head for Texas!
Welcome to Austin, where we will pause for a brief performance by the non-dancing Hitler -- don't ask. Just don't -- and then get Fred Bothwell back from last season's SC/AS, only now he's A. found extra body hair from somewhere, possibly by stealing it from passing orangutans and B. still can't make the cut. We get a notable line from non-invitee Chris Dodger: 'Ever get so drunk you dial your ex-girlfriend's number into the microwave? Well, don't do it, because ten digits is a damn long time to wait for a burrito.' Daniel Huntsberger makes the forty-cut by noting the near-impossibility of deleting a cell phone number by accident, and Daniel, I would like to introduce you to my cell phone, where a fifty-button combination accesses my voice mail, but any three random numbers will launch the final missile strike.
Getting through from the City Of Weird are Doug Mellard (who totally stole the trick where you take a drunk friend, rip off his shirt, stick him in torn-up purple pants, drop him in the middle of nowhere, and convince him he's the Hulk! I'm gonna sue!), Brendon Walsh (who is so generic that I forgot everything he was saying before he said it. And yet, he was the vote-through. Go figure), and Kristin Key (who is so sick for the comedy life that she actually likes cheap motel rooms. And if staying in that level of housing is her goal in life, she should have waited for the inevitable FOX clone). And if you think this is going relatively fast for one of my summaries, you should see the show. They are racing. They are desperate to reach the next lap. They are pulling out all the stops and throwing them into the editorial shredder. And just not mentioning a certain person is saving at least twenty minutes.
Next stop: Manhattan, Caroline's, and really, you'd think someone would have spotted the line, but it was probably camouflaged by the stink of desperation. (Flop sweat, in large quantities, forms a dense fog. This is why no one ever found UPN.) Besides, as one perfectly-timed mood shot confirms, the natural state of the New York comedian is asleep in the street under a blanket of newspaper, so maybe we all thought they were already made professionals. Now Manhattan is full of people who think they're funny, most of whom can be found immediately behind you with their face implanted in their car horn, convinced that it'll somehow make you run the red light if they can just manage to stop thinking long enough, so this is the cue for another parade of rejectees. We're going to ignore nearly all of them because wrapping people around mailboxes is just too much trouble sometimes, but if you stuff them into a single package and send them to Tasmania, you get the bulk rate. However, the existence of the world's only body-building Popeye The Sailor rabbi should be noted.
(Sometimes, I like to just let the image in your mind take over.)
But we do get Joey Gay, who correctly sees that if you're growing up with that last name in Brooklyn, you become either a comedian, a boxer, or a NCAA standout, and the last one was taken. (Edgy material, but with some humor in it -- there's a bit about Iraq truly having democracy when the negative campaign ads start attacking candidates that works well. 'Here is a picture of him eating pork with a Jew.') There's also Mike Bocchetti, who has a head that's bigger than John Goodman's and Todd Glass' combined. The good news is that there's actual working grey matter inside that triple-occupancy skull, and since someone has to pick up John's slack once Hollywood manages to completely forget he exists -- (censored) Hollywood -- he's through the forty-cut without so much as a hiccup, or a contract, or the sixteen neck braces it takes to let him sleep sitting up without crushing his own spine. (Notable line: 'When I was a kid, I had an imaginary playmate... he was an alcoholic... I called him 'Dad'...' If talent means anything at all, he makes the house. Unfortunately, this is reality television, so hopefully this is enough exposure to get him somewhere.) This is followed by Michelle Balan trying to work the casting angle with 'You need an old broad.' No, they need an old, funny broad. Let us know if you run into one outside.
And speaking of the casting angle -- this is Josh Blue. Josh has cerebral palsy in either a halfway moderate or fairly controlled version: he can walk, he has control over the microphone, and his speech is comprehensible. All of the comedy Josh trots out in his audition centers around his condition, and some of it isn't bad, like needing a stack of paper to give a girl his phone number -- one digit per sheet, please don't mix them up. Josh has potential and he wouldn't be the first person to make a career out of making jokes about a disability: look at Christopher Titus, who was stuck with the handicap of his entire family. But Josh is probably going to make it into the house on one thing alone: best potential sob story. Well that and if anyone annoys him, he can slap them across the face and blame it on a muscle spasm. Finally, full-contact comedy!
Also joining the throng from Manhattan are Roz (sob story #2 -- former drug addict, so she'll work the tears for votes and be assured of appearing on Oprah, win, lose, or discriminated against by the man. You know, her just showing up for the audition may be the most intelligent long-term planning of anyone on the entire series), Moody McCarthy (way, way generic), Modi Rosenfeld (imagine if Richard Kind was the most Jewish man on Earth), and Jon Fisch (the audience vote-in -- he did a bit on how being complimented for cuddling after sex was like a chef being complimented on how he washes dishes, so let's see if he gets any ever again. Pity, really. Losing a cuddler is a cruel blow, but the man has to be taught a lesson about priorities...). This saves us from the mid-40s rapping Cuban real slim shady.
(Got the image yet? Let me help: he's also short, bald, and as he describes himself, looks like a Cuban leprechaun, if any fae ever stooped to wearing their pants that low. All set? Good. Go wash your brain and come back when you're done.)
This brings us to Chicago, where you just know the Second City is going to get less contestants in than Manhattan, and before I forget, ha-ha! By this time, Bob and Ross are starting to get a little tired, so the man trying to use a butter substitute as a shampoo is not immediately pushed into the city's voting pool, and if you got that, you have no right to complain about the line. Jimmy Pardo shows up and then, because whatever's running the universe does have the occasional soft spot for mercy, Jimmy Pardo goes away. A white woman goes 'Woooo!' A black man notices how white women like to go 'Woooo!' A white man does a routine about the word 'literally' that makes me want to go 'Raaaaalph!' None of them make the cut or get the very minor recognition of having their names show up in a summary, so guess what? They actually rank below The One Who Kept Showing Up. Now that's low.
But persistence can pay off: Nikki Glaser is found funny by Bob, rejected by Ross, and is on her way out the door when she asks if she can do one more joke. The extra line, about getting be-yotch slapped by her black boyfriend -- not his fault: she just messed up on the handshake -- gets her to the evening show, and that brings her through the forty-cut. And the motto? Don't be afraid to ask for one extra try if one judge likes you and the other one openly thinks he can be talked into it. Also, it helps to be blonde, somewhat attractive, college-age, and going out for a series that's desperate to appeal to certain demographics, like 'male and breathing'. Oh, and being funny might help. Couldn't hurt. Much. (Notable line: 'There's a website where you can log on, type in your zip code, and it'll give you a list of all the sexual offenders in your area. You guys know about this? EHarmony.com?' Oh, and when she was twelve, she found her father's porn stash, and she wondered where he got all the nude pictures of her -- okay, she's good...) Of course, she has to drop out of a few classes to go on the show. And she has to call her mother and let her know that a small portion of the country will be treated to My Mom The Alkie jokes for a few weeks. But at least she called first.
Chicago also provides us with Gerry Dee (and everyone take a deep sigh -- this is another storyteller in the Dave Mordal mode, who could kill in an hour show, but might just get killed with a five-minute set -- he gets off to a promising start with a vision of stoned kindergardeners, but Mordal types are doomed coming in. Still, he's the audience vote-through) and John Roy (social statement comic -- wants to be the next George Carlin and needs more than thirty seconds of screen time to judge). And that's it. That's right: three people for all of Chicago. Win another World Series and it goes down to two.
And the last stop (for now -- insert ominous drum roll here) is Miami, where non-invitee Jim Holland teaches us a valuable lesson: prop comics should not place their items in a place where reaching for them means showing the audience your rear. Especially not that rear. That's gonna leave a scar... As he says, it's a love-hate relationship, and they hate him, and isn't that one of the best descriptions of any reality show and its audience ever? In fact, the judges hate a lot of people down on South Beach, with Ross declaring that he'd rather eat his own organs than listen to a performer go on. But don't worry: Jessica Kirson is nowhere in sight, and if you got that line, you have every right to check yourself into the sanitarium now. In fact, Miami is so full of bad comics that we're going to give out just two envelopes on this last stop. That's right. Two. If you've been keeping count, that's thirty-five. We were told forty would make the initial cut. You may be wondering where the other five comedians are. And the answer is 'Behold, the power of editing.' Five people have been completely held back from us. They may be someone we saw briefly in line, or someone we'll never see because the judges are really regretting that choice and trying to make up for it with an online poll, or we've just had a few sob stories held back for the next episode. Either way, if you can count, reality show producers hate you. So let's get some extra steam out of their ears. One is the audience vote-through, Malik S, a fairly laid-back, gentle man who wants to know how to cope with a world that's fallen in love with the thug stereotype, especially when his nieces weigh as much as him. (Yes, he's black. Yes, I'm using the word 'black' here because the last time I did it, I got a twenty-five post thread going! Of course, about a third of that was someone yelling at me... As long as some people worship a division of music with more fatalities than hits, he will never run out of material.) And because you can never have too many Jewish comedians -- really, just ask the Friars-- our final invitee is Flip Schultz (whose name is sadly the funniest thing about him. It's all been done before, and he's going to do it all again. Especially the coupon jokes). And that's it. Thirty-five people, with a mystery five waiting in the wings, and a next stop of Hollywood.
Wait. If we're going to Hollywood, can we stop off in a few places and get some real comedians? After all, as long as graves are giving up their dead... Hey, Benny: that's not an exceptionally long pause, that's zombie reaction time!
Next week: the semi-finals. Someone may or may not write that up. We may have summaries all the way to the
house -- okay, fine ocean liner, which is where the actual material starts to show up. We may not. We need volunteers. We need summarizers. But do you know what we need most of all? We need a good laugh. And why did this show really come back? Because everyone at the network needed one too. Seriously, there is nothing funnier than a 0.0000021 rating...
I've been Estee, and this svck-fest of a summary is being moved to Bravo. G'night!
(Special note: five of the best non-invitees are currently performing on the Second Chance section of NBC's website, competing to see who gets the most votes and turns out to be the Last Comic Downloaded. The final two from there will appear on the penultimate episode of the season, and the winner of the mini-competition will be picked through online votes. To help Kaitlin jump-start her career (or give one of the other four a boost), go to http://www.nbc.com/Last_Comic_Standing/voting/ . And yes, I guess that does make forty. Cheaters!)