It’s Thursday, there’s a giant illustrated microphone, and we know that means JOKES. This episode features auditions in San Francisco and Toronto, as well as the promise (or is it a threat?) to show the most explosive audition in the history of Last Comic Standing. From the ominous sound of the heart beating in the background, I assume it will involve either E.T. or Edgar Allen Poe.
Rap rap rap mothuhfu**a.
We’re kicking off in San Francisco and even though some people leave their hearts there, some of these auditioners must’ve forgotten their jokes in Fresno. The celebrity judges are Josh Gomez from Chuck and French Stewart from “the comedy we all love”, 3rd Rock From the Sun. I’m not sure who “we” are who love that show, but it’s probably the same “we” that kept it on the air for 84 seasons.
You were also really good in…uh…there has to be something….
The comics who played both rounds were:
Jason Downs: His first bit was about Anne Frank and said the words “Anne Frank” the most times this side of PBS. He followed by talking about a friend who bought cheap cruises on the internet, where the ship’s activities were “rowing…or eating other passengers”. He was getting his money’s worth out of his Old Spice Red Zone, but probably has a bright future. He should audition again next year.
Candy Churilla: I actually just purchased a packet of Candy Churilla at World Market last week. One of my pet peeves (other than skin rashes and being stood up for dates) are comedians who tell jokes about being comedians.
The Meehan Brothers: Three guys, one mustache! Their audition bit was to pantomime a series of bows. You know, like Japanese and Chinese and the one fisted 1968 Olympic salute. Their whole shtick (and this group would be the centerfold in SchtickWeek magazine) is what you’d expect to see while you’re waiting for the Country Bear Jamboree to start. French Stewart said they reminded him of street performers and I was unaware that was a compliment. For the late night show, they did Irish accents. Yay.
Alright. Who’s got a boner? Admit it.
Iliza Shlesinger: She has earned her B.S. from the Dane Cook School of Comedy, with a major in Gesticulating Wildly and a minor in Irritating Voices. Her set was less about jokes and more like watching Sybil have a dialogue with herself. She does have a lot of confidence, though, and great stage presence.
Tony Dijamco: I applaud you, Tony, for opening with a pedophile jokes. I also think you sound like Don Knotts.
Mike E. Winfield: He has giant teeth so he told jokes about his giant teeth. His second set was about buying a $26 pregnancy test for his girlfriend. Where are you shopping, dude? Here in the South, you get a free EPT with every Jim Beam purchase.
Jesse Case: OK, I’ll just go on record as saying that I liked this guy. He was nervous and a little unpolished, but his material was fresh and entertaining. When he described his PT Cruiser as being made with “vagina repellant” he became my favorite, mainly because the word “vagina” is hilarious to me. Vagina. He also got the most screen time, by far, and admitted to telling a joke during the audition that he’d just written. Fearne, aka Superfluous Spice, told him he was very “bah-rave”. Vagina.
Drennon Davis: He sang a song about what he’d like to be when he grows up. Even if he doesn’t make the finals, he’ll definitely be on the Juno 2: Full Throttle soundtrack. In the second round, he sang the same song but with different verses, including one that involved shouting “whore”. I (vagina) thought he was great.
Sky and Nancy Collins: These two tied sweaters around their neck, displayed the appropriate Orange County accessories, and reminded me of a Will Ferrell/Ana Gasteyer sketch from the early 90s. Part of me snickered when they talked about their maid’s daughter “turning 15 in Mexican years”. This is the same part of me that enjoys Rob Schneider movies.
Joe Klocek: He looks like a 40 year old lesbian, albeit one with corn niblets for teeth. Despite a shaky audition, he made it to round two where he told a long (looong) story about watching a homeless guy punch a pigeon. That’s a great thing to share if it’s “Get To Know the Accounts Payable Department” Day at work, but not if you’re trying to win a comedy competition.
Jonathan Thymius: He has horrible posture and the savage tan of someone who has lived behind a file cabinet for his entire life. He did one snort-worthy joke about having a third of his stomach removed and then eating it, but during the second set he took his shoe off and pretended that his foot was a ventriloquist dummy. Read that sentence again. He’s like that one uncle no one wants to invite to Thanksgiving.
Jeff Dye: Even though he dresses like a highlighter pen, he’s insanely hot. That said, he’s another Dane Cook-er, who shouted lines like “I watch BET! I know it’s not for me, but I still watch it!”. He coaxed a smile out of me, but that’s because I was picturing him naked.
Whitney Cummings: She had the highest setup-to-fart joke ratio.
Larry “Bubbles” Brown: His material was weaker than gas station coffee. “Gays want to get married? Haven’t they suffered enough?” Hey-ooooh, that’s topical! Maybe next week, you could throw in some riffs on the Menendez brothers.
Andy Haynes: When Billy from “Family Circus” stops racing around his neighborhood long enough to grow up, he’ll look exactly like this guy. That said, he was really good. He compared dentists to other medical professionals, saying that if you go to your doctor with a pain in your hand, they don’t “cut it off and replace it with a gold one”.
Too bad he didn’t have this wacky mask on.
Unfortunately, French Stewart did not ask for my opinion in judging comics for the semifinals. The red envelopes went to Drennon Davis, the Meehan Brothers, Jeff Dye, and Iliza Shleshinger. I’ll give ‘em Drennon and Iliza, but the Meehan Brothers?!?! I’d rather watch the animatronic otters at Chuck E. Cheese.
The most scandalous audition that they promised came by way of Shashi Bhatia. Her only joke was about Enya’s rap career and her album (wait for it…wait for it) “En-YA FACE”. When the judges stopped her set, she flipped and said that she didn’t even need the show because she didn’t have “a deep dark pit in my soul that needs constant filling with attention”. To her credit, she did bait French Stewart into cursing at her, which is on my own personal life list, right after “Win Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest” and “Have stomach pumped”.
Next goal: getting Kirstie Alley upset enough to eat Valerie Bertanelli.
The second half of the show went across the border to Toronto, Canada. The judges were Kids in the Hall NewsRadio‘s Dave and Richard Kind from a number of now-canceled sitcoms. Bill Bellamy wearing a toboggan and a scarf for the simple reason that it’s cold there. The comics who skated (BECAUSE IT’S CANADA AND THEY SKATE THERE) to the second round were:
Winston Spear: He told jokes about Canadian geese. More remarkably, he wasn’t the only comic to do that. Just wait till I audition and I talk about nothing but American cheese. His second set was pretty entertaining, including a bit about watching an M&Ms ad, buying a bag of ‘em and opening it to discover they were all dead. And their arms and legs were missing. The disembodied candy joke made Richard Kind open his mouth so wide he looked like he was auditioning for a Reach toothbrush commercial.
Chuck Byrn: He wins the inaugural Dave Coulier Canadian Hair Award. Speaking of which, where is Dave Coulier? Mr. Woodchuck would kill. DID SOMEBODY SAY WOOD?
Scott Faulconbridge: Cornholio? Is that you?
Brian Lazanik: He opened with a joke about digging up the dead. In Canada, he said, it’s a crime but in other countries it’s called archaeology. The ubergeek side of me thought it was hilarious, but I also laugh at most novelty t-shirts. In my head, he shoved the most funny into his set.
Kate Davis: She earned the Canadian Triple Crown for saying ‘soorry’, ‘aboot’, and making ‘been’ rhyme with ‘mean’.
Sean Cullen: Dave Foley introduced him by saying “I think he’s one of the funniest men in the world”. So crayola me surprised when he makes it to the semifinals. He also has the most in-depth Wikipedia page of any of this season’s participants.
Sabrina Jalees: Fake Indian accents stopped being funny when Hank Azaria died. Wait…what?
Darrin Rose: The sole bit in his late night was about sending the losing team’s Superbowl merchandise to Cambodia. Picturing those kids from the “Man in the Mirror” video wearing Tennessee Titans hats somehow makes it sadder. A Patriots hat, though, would be AWESOME.
Seinfeld is shaking in his boots right now.
Pete Zedlacher: His audition set was shaky but he negotiated his way into the late night show by promising to rock everyone’s face off. Richard Kind gave him the nod, telling him “I dare you to be great tonight”. Apparently “being great” involves Canadian geese jokes.
The Williamson Playboys: Here’s another novelty act but this one does ragtime songs about microwaving your cat and watching the Hindenberg crash. These are the kinds of things you do when you’re not having sex. With other people.
Derek Forgie: He tells riddles.
Johnny Gardhouse: His idea of a good time? Getting drunk, putting on a pilot costume, and hanging out around airports. I thought he had a great voice and was comfortable onstage. One of my faves of the show.
As for the semifinalists, I knew that Sean “Superfluous Accent Mark Over the A” Cullen would be in but didn’t know that the only other semifinalist would be Winston “I Also Have a Wikipedia Page” Spear. Only two finalists? Does this have something to do with the exchange rate? I would’ve taken Johnny Gardhouse and Brian Lazanik but Canada doesn’t care about my feelings.
Until next week, tip your waitress and drive home safe. Vagina.