Welcome to another elimination episode, which will begin to right after we recap everything that happens last week because dammit, we’ve got to fill two hours. To summarize, Iliza shamed Esther and God’s Pottery and they’ve been sent home leaving Iliza–the last female contestant–with her own room. Totally sweet except now all her housemates will know with 100% certainty who owns the tampons in the medicine cabinet.
Paul Foot and Papa CJ immediately tell the cameras how much they loathe Iliza. The increasingly irritating Papa CJ says “Welcome to the Big 8, sweetheart. This week’s going to be hard for you.” What a Douchecake. The only thing that’s going to be hard for Iliza is explaining why she decided to curl her hair this week.
Before we get to the challenge, there has to be a Ridiculous Group Activity That Isn’t Entertaining To Watch. This week, that comes in the form of the Comic Carwash, which Marcus refers to as “Funny Hard Labor”. If the producers need ideas for the upcoming weeks, the cast is welcome to swing by for Comic Clean My Refrigerator, Comic Re-Grout the Bathroom, or Comic Housebreak My Puppy.
Countdown to that Rose Royce song in 3…2…1…at the carwash yeah!
So apparently they have to tell jokes to strangers and try to get tips in their buckets. No, that’s not a euphemism. Marcus is wearing a bikini top, Louis is touching women in a way that apparently makes them give him $20, and Paul Foot is trying not to get his ascot wet. Papa CJ laments the fact that he “spent three hours washing cars and made $36.” Big deal. I work in a shoe store. After three hours of slinging sneakers, I’ve earned less money than the kids who made them.
Back at the house, the comics see that someone has left a trail of carrots all over the house, which may be a clue to their challenge but it’s also wasteful. Additionally, Ron G has given himself a mohawk. That’s not relevant to the challenge, but it is worth pointing out.
They’re loaded into the short bus and driven to a gigantic Bed Bath & Beyond that is larger than the town I live in. They must stock a hell of a lot of Beyond in there. Bill is there to meet them and tells them that their challenge this week is called “Mad Props”. They’ll have twenty minutes to gather merch from the store and create a prop-comedy act with the winner and most propular (see what I did there?) earning immunity from being selected for The Showdown.
The guest judge for this little exercise is over-muscled comedian Carrot Top who will tear your arms from the sockets if he doesn’t like your set. He gives the comics a tutorial on prop comedy and a short course on looking like a post-op transsexual, both exercises overshadowed by the awkwardness of being seen on national TV laughing at Carrot Top. None of the comics have ever done prop comedy before, so this should end poorly. Yay!
The race to gather props begins. Bill Bellamy is shouting through a megaphone and wearing a Bed Bath & Beyond apron, probably because he just finished working a shift there. After gathering their goods, they’ll all have an hour to prepare their sets and I say a silent prayer that it’s not going to be televised in real time.
A frenzied montage of cutting styrofoam and bending pipe cleaners follows and when the comics have finished Craft Hour, there’s an audience in Bed Bath & Beyond. Do you get that kind of entertainment at Linens & Things? Of course not! That’s why they’re bankrupt. Louis Ramey is called to the stage first and he isn’t telling jokes as much as he’s actually invented things, like lighted chopsticks and a colander helmet/headlamp. He may not win the challenge, but he’ll be filing four patent applications.
Marcus goes next, doing several gags about unicorns with crooked horns, a literal translation of Iron Man, and–his big finish–making an actual “banana hammock” for Tommy Lee’s, um, banana. He was solid and, I think, is sliding under everyone’s radar.
Ron G struggles to do anything but imitate Shaquille O’Neal’s school pictures. To explain his poor showing, he said “This is not what I do. I tell jokes.” Um, that’s debatable.
Papa CJ is worse, probably because there wasn’t anything he could use to make an Indian joke with. The crowd is completely silent, wishing they could just sneak off and look at the duvet covers.
Sean Cullen’s strategy each week is to cram as many back-to-back-to-back quips into his alloted time, and some of them work. I laughed when he brought out a tiny hook and said it was a pirate costume for a midget. What? MIDGETS ARE HILARIOUS.
Adam Hunter whips out a package of knives and calls it the OJ Simpson starter kit. He also calls a pop-up laundry hamper “a condom for the Incredible Hulk”, which makes me think way too long about the length and girth of the Hulk’s genitals. i was still trying to work out the measurements in my head when his set ended.
Jim Tavare, while “clever” according to Carrot Top, did less prop comedy and more visual puns. He brought out a small ladder and said that it was his “step-ladder, not his real ladder”. Meh.
Iliza–wearing her third V-neck tee of the episode–starts with “Amish dominos” but loses everyone when she’s made a saddle for a mouse that she’s built out of a feather duster. No, it didn’t make any more sense when you could actually see it.
Paul Foot was completely unintelligible. He hopped around the stage like he was trying to walk on hot sand and his big finish was something called the “Cat Assassin”, which consisted of him wearing a mask and brandishing either a feather duster or Iliza’s mouse.
Jeff Dye used his props toward a theme of reinacting movies. He did Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, ET, and 300. It was very, very good, and I’m pretty sure that Carrot Top wrote all of those jokes down to use in his own show.
That’s everyone and the winner HAS to be Jeff Dye. The only other comic who was evey close to being entertaining was Marcus. Carrot Top agrees with me, selecting Jeff.
Next, because there are 60 more minutes to fill, we get some backstory on the dynamic inside the house. Louis says he “feels tension” because “some of the younger comics feel insecure” and they display this insecurity by all shooting Paul Foot with a Nerf crossbow until he freaks out and throws it off the balcony. Louis also said that– going into the elimination portion of the show–”that the most vulnerable acts are the British ones, like Paul, Jim, and Papa CJ”. Um, Louis, India stopped being British in 1950. BURN!
They all go back to the cemetery, passing tombstones for God’s Pottery and Esther Ku who were apparently killed after last week’s show. Bill rolls up in a hearse, wearing a top hat and long coat that he couldn’t possibly have purchased on a Bed Bath & Beyond salary. Everyone enters the mausoleum to vote for who they’d like to boot. The breakdown this week?
Jeff and Paul vote for Louis.
Jim votes for Adam.
Ron G votes for Jim.
Sean, Marcus, and Iliza vote for Papa CJ.
Adam, Louis, and Papa CJ vote for Paul Foot,
Since there is a tie between Paul and Papa CJ–who I hope gets eliminated for having the most ridiculous stage name this side of Tila Tequila–they are both going to the showdown. Bill tells them to go back into the mausoleum
where they will be bricked inside, Cask of Amontillado-style and left to die where they will select their opponent. Iliza seems to think that they’re going to pick her…and they do.
Uh oh…a single tear trickles out of her eye. That doesn’t bode well. In the next segment, she’s pacing around her room wearing a wife-beater, exposed bra straps, and looking like a tornado just took out her trailer. I hope that means she’s going to kick ass again.
Cut to the Showdown, where Paul Foot takes the stage first. His hometown is listed as “Buckinghamshire”, which doesn’t even sound like a real place. I can’t decide which is more confusing, his jokes or his haircut. He does a looooong bit about people who go to bed early, then a bizarre rant about societal conventions dictating that he can’t just sit in the hallway of his house. Watching him move onstage, he reminds me of one of those plastic birds that bobs when you put them near a glass of water. That was four minutes of horrid.
Iliza is next and she immediately throws the “America, FUCK YEAH” card by telling the crowd that “it’s great to be home in LA”. She launches into a physical bit about her female high school coaches dressing up like men on game day and then talks about playing the game “Oregon Trail” just “to see how badly [she] could mess up [her] family”. I am very close to proposing to her at this point. She also got beeped by the NBC censors twice and was, as usual, chock full of awesome, finishing JUST as the “Time’s Up” music started to play. If she doesn’t win, I’m writing a very strongly worded letter. IN MY OWN BLOOD.
Papa CJ bats cleanup, coming out with a condescending attitude and more theatrical hand gestures. I think if you tied his wrists behind his back, he would be unable to speak. His set consisted of an Indian joke (“Brown is the new black!”), a bit about having anal sex with a (male) member of the audience, more Indian jokes, making “finger quotes”, Hindu jokes, something about a sex act that got beeped out, aaaaand he closes with an Indian joke.
The audience gets to cast their votes for the winner and my faith in humanity is on the line. Bill Bellamy comes onstage to announce the results–in between fourteen commercial breaks–and the fewest number of votes goes to Paul Foot, who will pack his seven suitcases full of ascots and return to Buckinghamshire or Narnia or wherever he’s from. Either that, or he’ll immediately be killed.
The winner…with 62% of the vote…is….ILIZA SHLESINGER! AGAIN!!!
After she’s responsible for eliminating four people, I think it’s a safe bet that no one is going to utter her name in the mausoleum ever again.
Until next week, I’ll be resting easy knowing that Papa CJ and I never have to spend another Thursday night together. And that feels pretty damn good.