This week they’re in New York City. I’m liking this host, Craig Robinson, and his unique hosting skill set. He opens this week with a kind of song (not sure exactly how to describe it) walking down the street wearing a strap-on keyboard. I’d like it even more if judges Greg Giraldo and Andy Kindler weren’t following behind, along with dozens of others. Go small or go home, I say. No need for the overkill. And as ironic as it is, Kindler and Giraldo can’t be enjoying themselves.
But thankfully they get right into the auditions.
Alycia Cooper, a 10-year vet from Maryland, says, “The economy is so bad, my cousin texted his wedding invitations.” Got a laugh from Giraldo and Kindler but let’s please hope they were laughing at how bad it is. “So I texted back a picture of a gift.” That ain’t gonna cut it... What?! Giraldo was really laughing. Kindler has some constructive criticism but still calls her "hilarious." Natasha Leggero is the only one with good sense and says no.
Mike DeStefano, a 10-year-vet from the Bronx. We see him sitting around with his buddies, shades of The Godfather and The Sopranos. You see, he’s Italian, so therefore he must be affiliated with the mob. Not a good sign. But his audition was better than I expected. Not surprisingly, he gets to come back for the evening showcase.
Kindler tells us the calibre of comics is really high. It certainly seems higher than in past seasons. Or at least they’re not showing as many train wrecks. And good for them. People want to see good comics. And, yes, I speak on behalf of people.
Great line from Kevin Bozeman: “I’m pro life, except for, like, two times.”
Jamie Lissow also had a great line about trying to do the New York Times crossword. Sometimes, he says, he knows he’s not going to get it without even reading the whole clue: “’What Portuguese--?’ I dunno.”
Claudia Cogan, who looks like the furthest thing from an exotic dancer, says she wants to be a nasty stripper with a spray tan, a coke nosebleed and a 5-year-old. There didn’t seem to be a joke there, but Giraldo liked bloody coke nose so on she goes.
Oh, here are the train wrecks. Nuff said.
Kurt Metzger, an 11-year-vet, has a funny delivery. I wasn’t sure where he was going with the gold bit, but it got better and better and the result was pure gold.
“Welcome back to New York where millions of people have been waiting in line for years for their chance to be the Last Comic Standing.” See? What’s not to love about this host?
Tommy Johnagin had a good audition talking about keeping track of the number of times he had sex in a month with his girlfriend.
Okay, enough with the riff-raff in the crowds.
Todd Catalano was the maybe best of the New Yawk aggro-comic montage, which is why they gave him the most screen time even though the judges didn’t put him through. Thankfully none of them got through.
Jamie Lee quit her very stable job to do stand-up. Listening to her audition, I’m thinking that wasn’t the most prudent of moves. I thought for sure she’d be sent packing, but all three judges liked her. She had the delivery. She sounded like a comic. But her material did nothing for me. Doesn’t really matter at this point. This just gets her to the evening competition.
More Robinson, speaking in a megaphone to the throngs: “When you go inside, do you know what to do? Try not to speak into the microphone. Talk [shit] about women and children. Humiliate them. Make fun of people’s religion. And be as racist as possible.” Again, doesn’t really matter because the people in line have no chance of advancing anyway. All the serious comics have scheduled audition times.
Roy Wood, Jr. was very polished. Talked about how it’s going to take time to get the troops out of Iraq because “it took me two years to get a crazy girl out of my apartment... You can’t just put them all on Southwest. It takes time to book these flights.” The judges loved him.
Ventriloquist time. Kenny Warren has a funny looking dummy. And that dummy had its own dummy. You just knew there was no way those particular judges were going to put through a ventriloquist. He shouldn’t be dismissed just because he uses puppets, though. Although I don’t mind ventriloquists (that is, I won’t discount them immediately without even hearing them), this guy did what they all do, which drives me nuts: he didn’t have a mic for his dummy. If we’re going to buy into the conceit that his little buddy can talk, put a dummy mic out there for him.
And then we had the ventriloquist montage. Okay, Kenny Warren definitely was the best of that bunch. And Giraldo made a great point: why can’t ventriloquists and their dummies ever get along? (Although the same could be said for comedy teams.)
Jared Logan has been doing stand-up for seven years. I wish we could have seen more of it instead of that stupid sketch about wine tasting from a box. He did a long set-up and I thought he was tanking but it actually paid off nicely. It started with advice he was given to ward off smoke bummers, and escalated to him carrying a fake cell phone, an iPod with only one song on it, and progressed from there. The judges aren’t thrilled with him, but Andy and Greg give him yeses and we’ll see him tonight (or whenever this was filmed).
Amanda Melson wants to see more ministers using air quote fingers and that was enough to get unanimously forwarded on. I didn’t see it, but we only saw a snippet of her.
Jesse Joyce sounded, at times, like Todd Barry and his joke never went anywhere. Or maybe it did but not anywhere funny. Still, we’ll see him tonight, too.
Flavia Masson got through on a joke about a Brazilian wax looking like Hitler’s moustache in your underwear. Seriously. That’s all it takes. Good Lord.
Jim David was next. Has he been on this show before? He’s been somewhere because I’ve seen him. Man, where was it? I don’t know, but that joke perpetuating the gay lifestyle, told with appropriately heavy irony, is really familiar. He goes through.
The first New York showcase is underway!
Jamie Lee starts things off. She was great. Talked about getting cat-calls. Look at that. I wasn’t impressed at her audition and she nailed the showcase. Maybe those judges know what they’re doing... Mike DeStefano strangely won me over even though he talked about putting a gun to the head of a young punk... Roy Wood, Jr. railed against Facebook and Twitter but in a pretty uninteresting way with very few jokes beyond they didn’t have it hundred years ago... Kurt Metzger did a great bit about our shallowness in thinking the death of Michael Jackson was the worst thing, only he approached it from the back end, actually agreeing that it was a shattering experience even eclipsing the death of his own father... Amanda Melson talked about yoga. Meh... Jim David wasn’t particularly original, getting frustrated over making plane reservations with automated agents. He got the good edit because we saw all three judges laughing and clapping, greasing the way for his advancement (even though I don’t think he should).
Out of this group, I’d advance Lee, DeStefano and Metzger only.
The showcase continues... Tommy Johnagin is recently single and scream cries. He had a good way about him. I’m not thrilled with his set but I wouldn’t mind if they advanced him... I didn’t think Alycia Cooper did well in the audition and I don’t think she did well in the showcase. She talked about airports. Yes, she did. I don’t like her material or her delivery. So what’s the mean? Oh, she’ll probably advance... Flavia Masson also didn’t do well in the audition, I thought. She did a bit better in the showcase with a ridiculous bit about her “maid”. Yes, her maid. While she was better, she shouldn’t advance... Jesse Joyce talked about Malaysian roadkill. I dunno about this guy. He seems like he should be better than he is. I don’t dislike him, and has good ideas, but I’m ambivilant. I’m saying no... Claudia Cogan hates LOL. Yeah, don’t we all? Am I right, people? She also probably doesn’t have HIV. I like her presence, that’s about it... Jared Logan says he is too fancy because he says “pardon me”. Seemed like a false premise, but he sold it.
Hmm, who would I pick from this group? Nobody. So I’ll just see who the judges pick. I like that Robinson pronounces “semis” the right way, with a short i instead of a long one. That guy can do no wrong.
I wish they’d tell us ahead of time how many would advance. Not that it matters, I guess. We saw 12 comics. Here are the first round winners:
- Roy Wood, Jr. Not based on anything we saw, that’s for sure.
- Tommy Johnagin. I don’t mind that pick at all.
- Claudia Cogan. Okay. I don’t hate that pick.
- Kurt Metzger. Obviously.
- Alycia Cooper. As predicted (even though I disagree).
- Amanda Melson. Meh again.
- Jesse Joyce. Alright.
- Mike DeStafano. Yes.
- Jamie Lee. Yes.
And I will now be going to bed. Good night.