You Don’t Know Me (at ALL)

Ben Folds has a new album!  It’s called Way To Normal.

The way I learned about this is through the modern technology of Tivo.  I’ve told my Tivo to record any show on which Ben Folds appears, and he was on Conan last week.  You can watch him perform “You Don’t Know Me” feat. Regina Spektor on, though you probably have to watch a commercial first, then fast forward to the fifth section of the show.

Anyway, I picked up Way To Normal today and have listened to it twice so far.  It seems to be about Ben’s divorce and how to get over it and get back to normal and, as you can imagine from the post immediately below, you can see how that would resonate with me.

Anyway, so you should watch the performance.  Ben is my favorite musician and Regina Spektor is also on that list.


Last Comic Standing: Season 6, Episode 11: The Five Finalists

So this is it? The last performance show? Did they cut it short for some reason? I guess it’s probably the fault of the Olympics. This season has been so unbalanced, I wish I had had a blog back when things were a little more stable. Oh well, it should only end up being two more posts, right?

They opened with a musical number as though it was the Oscars or something. Everyone’s doing the Jack Black thing lately, even Marcus! Marcus and Iliza got the most applause when they came up to announce that they were going to be the last comic standing.

Luckily we went right to the performances. Here’s my review of each comics in order of least-liked to most-liked.

Bill Bellamy doesn’t believe in punchlines? I never thought I’d be asking for them to bring back Jay Mohr.

Jeff Dye did a whole section on a board game, a man after my own heart. Who knew “Guess Who?” taught racism? I like him a lot (I’d be happy to see him win) and I smiled but I didn’t end up laughing enough to rate him high enough on this list. Plus he was mean to his parents. Who does that?

Ron G rocked the mohawk. I think that’s about all he rocked. He has really good energy, though, and he tied everything up in a neat little bow at the end, calling back all his previous jokes and impressions. He is technically very talented but he just doesn’t do it for me. So sad when they kick someone off the show just after they come off a performance!

Sean Cullen fell flat except for the Australian James Bond villain. That one short bit redeemed the whole act for me.

Adam Hunter always goes for the political stuff. He seemed nervous up there but I think he did really well. The jokes came rapid fire and they didn’t really tie together very easily, but it didn’t really matter becaue his energy kept it moving. I feel like everyone did well tonight.

Marcus gets his first real chance to perform on stage tonight, and he gets to go first. Hopefully that doesn’t mean people will forget his performance. Doing a whole music-themed set with some impressions and some standup seems like a great idea. A few more impressions would have hit the spot, but he did well as was expected.

Louis Ramey goes the patriotic route, he does a great redneck impression and he has them pegged. He doesn’t go negative, he’s even, experienced, and he finds a tone right down the middle: a consummate showman. Of course he made it into the final five.

Iliza Shlesinger represent! She started off on drinking games, which I don’t have enough experience with to relate to, but then she got into office culture and it was good. So smarmy! I think it’s to her credit that she’s the one on the show with the most balls. I’d be happy to see her win the whole thing.

Jim Tavare I had very expectations for. I think he met them, I’ve liked him since the very beginning, I like that he carries around a giant Bass and finds good and interesting ways to incorporate into his act. I laugh when he tells jokes. He’s in the final five and he’s going to WIN!

Vote for Jim Tavare!

All my last comic standing posts.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6, Episode 10. Surprise Democracy!

Midgets? They stooped this low?

Marcus finally got to do some impressions in the Hibachi section of the show, and Jeff Dye just ruined it. It made me laugh, actually, but the little people didn’t seem to care too much for his irreverence.

Actually, everyone seemed to do alright in the Japanese restaurant warm-up challenge thing, and since it didn’t seem to really matter to the outcome of the show, it was nice of the producers to skip over most of it and just show the funniest clips.

Then we arrive at the challenge that does matter: telling bedtime stories. I don’t know whether to be happy or unhappy that every season they seem to end up doing less and less in the house and more and more at auditions and in the finals. They could have stretched this season out 3 more episodes by only eliminating one comic at a time. That being said, they seem to have eliminated the right people and those who remain I want to see perform on stage. It ends up okay.

Marcus did a great job, more impressions this episode; he was wrong about being the only one to do voices, though, Iliza also did some. He was one of the few who didn’t seem to get nervous being around the girls next door. I also liked what I saw of Iliza and Jeff’s stories. Marcus definitely deserved the immunity he got.

They really put the pressure on the comedians with this rule change. But it also means the comedians will be judged not only on their comedy, but on their personalities and their daring and their perserverance.

I guess I’m obligated to vote, since I’m so invested in the show as a self-styled LCS-blogger. I’ll cast ten votes using, and I’ll tell you how I voted right now. My thinking on the various sets tonight, in order from worst to best in my humble opinion:

Adam Hunter1.877.386.6901 He started out very strong. The first two jokes, I laughed. The last joke was crude but it got me. In the middle there were a few smiles, but it wasn’t overall what it needed to be to earn my vote. I’m also still angry at him for the vegetarian joke in auditions!
Sean Cullen1.877.386.6903 “Thank you humans!”? Is he channeling the Interloper from the first episode? The jokes fell flat. The song was good, but it wasn’t as good as the one he did in Las Vegas, and it feels like he’s channeling Jack Black who simply can’t be beat for showmanship. I like Sean Cullen a lot, but this performance didn’t get me there.
Jeff Dye1.877.386.6905 I really like Jeff Dye, I think he’s creative and pretty cool, but essentially he didn’t tell enough jokes. He stretched out the first joke way too long and then all of them sort of ended up running together as if he ended up only telling one joke. I did like to see him get in a few Nintendo reference at the end. I’ll toss him a vote for that.
Ron G1.877.386.6906 I didn’t like Ron G in Vegas or in the auditions, but he has high energy, which I respect. His set about being single also happened to resonate with me at this point in my life. I laughed. I’m gonna toss him 2 votes.
Louis Ramey1.877.386.6907 Louis seems like one of the most experienced comics on the show. I thought his set was solid, good, I smiled, a few chuckles. I think he’ll move on and so I’m not going to cast a vote for him.
Iliza Shlesinger1.877.386.6902 **** I wonder which of these were the new jokes. The whole thing was good, but the audience didn’t seem to get into it until around the middle section. She ended very strong, which is what you need in a competition like this. She’s also going to get sympathy votes because she is having to work a lot harder than the other comics, having been up 3 times already. 2 votes for her.
Jim Tavare1.877.386.6904 Jim Tavare brings out the bass! And he does the British humour so smoothly. I was grinning the whole time and there were a few laughs. Mostly grins though, the kind you end up with when you’re watching Monty Python. I predicted he would win, and I’ll stand by that judgment based on this performance tonight alone. He gets my remaining 5 votes (plus one phone vote just to see what it’s like (Bill Bellamy yells in your ear, it’s unpleasant)).

Let me know how you voted!

All my last comic standing posts.

Obligatory Fanboi Post

I’ll be the one thousandth person to suggest that you have to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  Joss Whedon, the creator of Firefly, has done it again.  In 40 minutes.  On the intertubes.

While you’re at it, if you’re like me, you’ll want to start watching the Heroes and The Office webisodes as well.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6 Semifinals Part 2

I’m late again! This time I was at the beach, and then I didn’t rush to the Tivo to watch LCS after I got home. I think that’s okay, though.

Let’s go straight to the competitors, again from those I thought were least funny to those who were funniest:

Stone & Stone:
They mainly did material they had already done. I didn’t laugh at it this time; last time was pretty good. The audience seemed to like them, as did the judges and Fearne.

Heath Hyche:
Very high energy, I can give him that. I didn’t know we had two prop comics in the competition, though. The audience seemed to like it, though the judges didn’t. I didn’t really care for it.

Papa CJ:
Relatively new to comedy, he did a lot of the same material he did at the tryouts. That’s probably not a good sign, but the new stuff was pretty funny. He also has the confidence, even cockiness, that good stand-ups often have. Fearne should have given him a harder time about that!

Dan Cummins:
Pretty good and I laughed; some people posted a comment on my blog saying he steals material, and a lot of people were searching for him. I don’t know if that bodes poorly. I like him when he’s up there.

Eddie Pepitone:
There was a lot of yelling on his part, and some laughing and smiling on my part. Self-deprecating humor can work well in some of the sequences they do on the show when you make it through, and he is a master.

Bob Biggerstaff:
“The world’s only push-up cummerbund.” Very laugh-worthy, and they always need at least one “fat guy” comedian on the show.

Jackie Kashian:
She ended with “there’s more to that” and I definitely would have been willing to hear more. I didn’t laugh out loud, but I respected that finally, a white comedian could do a whole set making fun of their parents.

Iliza Shlesinger:
When she’s on the stage telling jokes, I’m laughing. I don’t think she did anything funny, though, in the interview beforehand or after with Fearne. She could be a fierce competitor in the house but maybe not a funny one.

John Evans:
I laughed, and I don’t just think he’s funny I liked him too.

Esther Ku:
I didn’t know what my expectations here were. She has sort of a combination of the Asian family humor I liked from Dat Phan and “I’m a cute girl and I know it” I liked from Amy Schumer. She is definitely funny. Fearne gave her two thumbs up.

He didn’t do any impressions! This is quite surprising, since they’re his strong suit, but his set was pretty good which shows important range. I didn’t laugh out loud but I respected it. Then he did his Walken on the way out! Fearne and the judges made the same conclusions as me.

Louis Ramey:
He did wall-to-wall jokes, with no relief, and most of them landed. Again, a couple times he repeated material from the tryouts, which seems a little strange, since he has so much experience and probably a huge repertoire.

Pete Lee:
He always makes fun of his own name! But at least it’s in a different way, not a repeat of material. I laughed a lot during his set, really enjoyed it.

Mary Mack:
Hooray! Funny and fun. I liked her just as much here as I did in the tryouts. The judges say she took too long to get out the first joke, but I think it was worth the wait, just to establish her stage presence.

Sean Cullen:
Great set! A funny and well-sung song and some jokes beforehand that I don’t even remember after the song. It really only had a couple of jokes in it, but they were good. He reminded me of an old-timey bard.

Jim Tavaré:
Great performance! I laughed the most of any and I think it’s pretty amazing that he can do that with a Bass on stage in a tuxedo.

This weeks comics were more consistently good than last weeks, in my opinion.
I would have been happy if all the girls had moved on. As it is, only two did. I would have also liked to see 7 or 8 move through from this group rather than only 5. I don’t know how they divided up the group into 16s, but they didn’t do a great job!

Anyway, the comics they chose to move on, as you can see, I am much happier with than last week. Given the little I have seen, I think I will go with Jim Tavaré to win it all. That being said, whoever I usually predict to win goes home about 4th from the end. We’ll see if my record continues.

This is the last time I can choose someone who should have gone forward, because the eliminations will be in 1s and 2s from here on out. I’ll choose Mary Mack, because I have a crush on her.

All my last comic standing posts.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6 Semifinals Part 1

This week: a semifinals episode, where half the comics are eliminated. This is the first of two two hour episodes, so we get four full hours of semifinals! I hope they are acceptably funny. Richard Belzer and Steve Schirripa (I remembered how to spell that from the last time he was a judge!) are back, having made the trip from New York to Vegas. Bill Bellamy was not on the top of his game warming up the crowd; reminded me of back when Jay Mohr was the host.

I’ll go over the comics in the order I thought they were, least funny to most funny. I came up with this order before I saw who got to move on. Comics who moved on are in bold. I also mention when the comics got to talk to Fearne or the judges.

Adam Hunter:
The pretty boy was very high energy, and seemed a little nervous. He went for a series of rapid fire jokes, one after the other, with not really very much transition. In the interview before he went on, he was very cocky He got a judges comment and an interview with Fearne.

Phil Palisoul:
He has a good personality and solid material but I didn’t really laugh.

Ron G:
Most of his set was him doing a funny voice, which was funny, but not super funny. I didn’t laugh.

Jeff Dye:
Many of his jokes got applause more than laughter; I think he did some pretty good physical comedy on exercise machines. He got an interview with Fearne.

The Meehan Brothers:
These guys do something totally different every time, which is respectable. They can think things up. I didn’t laugh at all, though, in the end.

Shazia Mirza:
Another instance where she got some applause as well as laughs for her jokes, and she did the rapid-fire delivery as well. It seemed like she was a little nervous. Fearne interviewed her and she seemed very nervous.

God’s Pottery:
They only have time to perform one song in the sets they show on the show. It’s hard to judge them just based on the one song but I don’t know if they will fit in well with the rest of the show. Judges comments: they never break character, which is respectable but a little creepy. They got a Fearne interview.

Andi Smith:
I’d go see her in West Virginia! Smiles all around but no laughing. She does the low-energy thing pretty well and she’s fun. No interviews!

Drennon Davis:
Lots of smiling from me, no laughing. He’s very much a personality and I respect anyone who can pull off a whole chorus and verse of a fake rap song. Fearne interview.

Paul Foot:
I didn’t want to like him, because I didn’t really like his set on the international show, and he comes off a little cocky, but I smiled throughout. He did alright. The judges talked him up, as did Fearne.

Lioz Shem Tov:
As a prop comic, it feels like he’s a bit of a long shot, has to prove himself. He might not have that much material, it appears, as I think we’ve seen the turtle before. No laughs, but he made me smile consistently from beginning to end, which was also the judges comment. He got judges and a Fearne interview.

Erin Jackson:
Produced some laughs, she has a very laid back personality. I think she would do well writing and starring in her own sitcom (it’s too bad NBC took that prize away this year, but it figures since none of the other winners ever got theirs). Again, she’s from DC so she has a hometown advantage for me. She got a Fearne interview.

Winston Spear:
I don’t remember seeing this sort of act from him before, the sort of nervous and strange footwork and posing. It worke for me, though. I laughed. Winston got to talk to the judges and they gave him somewhat negative comments which was unusual.

Erin Foley:
I would consider her very sardonic if I am right about what that word means. She was the fourth comic on stage and the first to make me laugh out loud.

Dale Jones:
A southerner with a little bit of a similar sensibility, though a little less crazy, won last year. He very much has an interesting personality. He definitely produced a guffaw or two from me during his set.

Dan Naturman:
Very funny, he produced some laughs in my case. He has kind of a Maxwell Smart delivery which I appreciate, and it’s timely!

Obviously the judges and/or producers did not agree with me at all! How very sad. Three of their selections were in my bottom four picks. I hope America is as disappointed as I am! If they choose this poorly next week, too, I might have to stop watching!

It seems like they went for diversity and charisma over funniness, which is pretty common with this show. They selected no females, though, so expect to see at least two females move on next week.

Four of the five winners got an interview with Fearne; eight out of sixteen performers did, so it seems like a Fearne interview is strongly correlated with being selected. We’ll see if that holds next week.

All my last comic standing posts.

Last Comic Standing: Season 6, Episode 5

The “international” episode of Last Comic Standing this season was a little less exciting than previous seasons…

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