9:00 p.m. The spotlight’s being monkey-handled, but Craig Robinson isn’t letting it stop him from starting this show. Don’t worry! It’s just a classic case of a chimp with a cigar in the light booth. Nobody can frown in the face of a primate with a mission, right, King Kong? And it’s time for Part Deux of these LCS hotshots!
9:03 p.m. The judges are introduced with no credits this week. I guess five times was the charm in terms of America feeling like they’re qualified enough.
Roy Wood Jr. is up first and he’s been waiting for this moment for a long time. We all have dating material to get off our chest, and he is no exception. An applause break right off the top. He’s talking about living wills and killing. How appropriate! There is a hooting crescendo coming from the back in the middle of a joke set up. Hey sound editors; I’m onto you. All three judges liked him and note that the crowd liked him.
9:07 p.m. That was apparently just a teaser, as Craig Robinson bilingually takes us to commercial.
9:10 p.m. “There are no losers on Last Comic Standing; only unwinners.” What type of New Age attitude is this? Anyway, let’s hope our next contestant lucks out. With a name like Fortune…you know she will start her set by doing a fast and personal version of the robot. We’re still talking about timeless issue of finding love, or at least, lust. Or simply, a hook up that isn’t in a box. Kindler: “Fantastic,” and an Ellen DeGeneres putdown to boot! Leggero: “You got it, girl!” Giraldo: “You’re funny and your act is funny as well.” Dare I say they liked her?
9:14 p.m. Jerry Rocha is going to be depressed for months if his set doesn’t go well. Way to plan ahead, but let just hope he’s just being a ninja worrier. Mexican reference, and the crowd goes wild! “Dammmmmmmn,” he’s doing well. Latonka; creative name use and he’s done! Kindler calls himself ugly and pronouces Jerry’s set solid. Leggero felt the material was easy. Giraldo doesn’t like racial humor typically, but pronounces Rocha “very funny.” Robinson is pole dancing with the mic, rushing the camera, and I am realizing the judges are being overall mostly complimentary, and since they liked most of the comics last week, it’s really a toss-up who they actually pick as their top five. So that’s an observation that I will punch up later.
9:22 p.m. Guy Torry hopes to be the greatest stand up to ever take the stage. That’s a sound bite you can really sink your teeth into! Within the first minute of his set, he’s named Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin. I didn’t take him for a political comedian, but aside from that, I’m not sure if the crowd is getting him completely. He has some prolonged moments that appear quiet punctuated with some good laughs. He gets one “Oooh” and now we see that Kindler is not laughing at all or even smiling.
Let’s see how this pans out considering he’s had his own HBO special. Kindler finds Torry’s topicality isolating; Leggero isn’t impressed by his punchlines; and Giraldo doesn’t think he killed that hard. He is arguing with the judges. This is interesting because they did pick him for the semi’s, but at the same time, Giraldo argues that he could have seen a stronger set from him. I am changing my tune from 9:14 p.m. That exchange felt chilly. Robinson even tried to lighten things up, but it was too late to staunch the stage wound. Fake blood everywhere!
9:27 p.m. Jacob Sirof is up, and talking about a friend’s jacket that has more accessories than his. He plays off of the Torry incident, indicating that chronologically, his set did actually follow Torry’s. Sirof hugs guy friends good night, or rather mid sleep. His set feels clipped up. Andy Kindler likes him. He does a callback to a Torry moment with the judges. Ha. Meanwhile, backstage, Torry, Maronzio Vance, and Sirof discuss their fates. I am still feeling the secondhand awkwardness though, being a sensitive cat myself.
9:33 p.m. Robinson calls LCS the funniest show in the galaxy minus The Office, of course. Glaser is going to cry whether it goes well or not. Good policy. She broke up with her boyfriend over Skype, but it was probably for the best because she didn’t want to catch something from sex, like a kid. An abortion jokes elicits a groan, but it don’t phase ‘er. Kindler says a solid job; Leggero likes the party girl mentality. Giraldo was clipped for whatever reason. Oh well, maybe he’ll get more screen time, uh, for the rest of the episode.
9:37 p.m. Taylor Williamson is adorable, by his own admission. He was talking to his girlfriend, and oh wait, nope! That was the joke. And we’re moving from relationships to animals! Labradoodles and camels. He calls the audience awkward. He likes to follow road rage to see where it takes him. I like his laidback style and so does the audience. Kindler finds him hilarious with a strange mind; Leggero loves how everyone laughs even before he started talking; and Giraldo likes how Taylor knows how to quirk it. Yeah, quirk it out, baby!
9:41 p.m. Cut to commercial and a preview for the new Zac Efron movie where he is sincerely crying. Talk about changing emotional gears! My neurons are not prepared for this complex maneuvering.
9:45 p.m. Robinson is so happy the show is still on the air! Nick Cobb considers this a high stakes game. He got dumped while he was stoned. All this relationship material is making me reconsider my own. Relationships, I mean. Not material. He gets a nice big applause break. Kindler saw some ups and downs, but liked Cobb’s original minds. Leggero and Giraldo both had higher expectations though, and Cobb admits he did some material that is a bit newer. They still complimented him though in their own well-meaning ways. He takes it all in stride.
9:49 p.m. Mike Vecchione is Catholic and his confirmation street name was P-Squared. Finally, someone is cracking into the religion bucket up in this piece. All things are possible with Christ, even checks bouncing! He’s getting out a lot of jokes, son son, and the audience is lapping them up! Leggero finds him really original and deeper than the cover of his face. Giraldo agrees. A double compliment pimped out in backhand form, because Vecchione rolls with it.
9:55 p.m. A commercial for America’s Got Talent makes joke telling look so blah. Dancing fire eaters and synchronized rock climbers?! With a Vegas chaser? We’ve truly become an over-understimulated society. And on that unrelated downer note, Cristela Alonzo is up! She was raised by piñatas. She was also incidentally the guinea pig in her house for expiration dates. Her jokes tend to have a great payoff, but with a patient buildup. Kindler feels like she’s funnier than her material. Leggero asks how she felt about her set, and agrees with her. Giraldo echoes what I said, but with more experience behind it. She’s happy with her set though, and rightly so.
10:00 p.m. Kurt Metzger wants us to reconsider Tiger Woods’ official apology press statement. He’s also talking about Tiger’s endorsements not meeting his ethnic beard needs. All of his set is basically derived from the same topic, which seems to hint he’s got a load of material to back it up. I’m thinking the judges will have a positive outlook.
Kindler, Leggero, and Giraldo all like him, though Giraldo takes a potshot at his sweater and Metzger takes a potshot at his own face.
10:03 p.m. Laurie Kilmartin takes note of her inner Sally Field before taking the stage. She’s a seasoned pro at comedy, but rather new to the mothering thing. She’s slaying the crowd with material about her son and her Russian boyfriend. Her writing is sharp. Kindler appreciates the Count Chocula references, Leggero gives her a joke compliment and the audience takes it literally (they seem to be out for Leggero blood), and Giraldo gives her the sincere praise of a longtime colleague. Uh oh, Craig Robinson’s on his period. I’ll be right back. I have to maxi pad my TV and remote.
10:08 p.m. Tommy Johnagin is back on the show after visiting it in the past (so did Glaser, by the way). He is uncle to a fat baby, and rattling off jokes at lightning speed. The laughs are coming at nearly the same pace! Somebody screeches when he says he’s single. He’s explaining the ins and outs of kissing. More spit, less face. And never any teeth-touching. He had one amazing set, by all appearances.
Kindler compliments his way through a recap of Johnagin’s set. Leggero gets zinged by Johnagin’s remark on being in a contest (this moment has been in all the previews). Giraldo “stuns” the crowd with a compliment with a gooey cringe center! Johnagin is game and keeps asking if every positive remark means he’s passed through. Now that’s a hopeful hopeful!
10:20 p.m. Robinson is bringing out Claudia Cogan! I am a big fan of her stuff. She’s hoping for big things from this experience. She’s talking about white vans and temping. Her joke about Houdini Staffing has the magic touch. The crowd is quite enthused about her. Kindler thinks she’s better than her set; Leggero is similarly not blown away, and said she was lost at points; and Giraldo agrees. I don’t know. Maybe they are tired. I am also tired, but her set looked and sounded great to me, and I am accounting for my bias.
10:24 p.m. Maronzio Vance is up and talking about the credit check he had to go through to get a job. Isn’t that a Catch-22? He’s in control the whole time though. Kindler loves listening to him though; Leggero says he’s grown on her; and Giraldo is similarly smitten with his appearance and storytelling abilities. Robinson lurks in the shadows as the straight man to this banter.
10:29 p.m. The 11 o’clock news promises how one man’s pizza diet worked for him and a myriad of fireworks accidents. Eesh, national news: the original standard in reality TV programming. Bring me another America’s Got Talent preview and we’ll call it a wash.
10:31 p.m. We’re winding down to the last few semifinalists, though I know for a fact that some of the original semifinalists didn’t get any airtime, period. I want to support them in my own misguided way. Jason Nash is not K.D. Lang, thank you very much. His voice is distinctive and his delivery is fast. He’s a little wacky, and a father! The stream of laughter is a constant. He calls LA Boston in closing and jumps up and down. Like a punch to the gut where the belly laughter is created!
Kindler and Leggero are smitten. Leggero even drops an anecdote. Giraldo describes him as silly-happy, but also creepy-sad. We all know what the word is that captures all of that: a clown! A clown sans make up.
10:36 p.m. James Adomian has a tiny moustache, and has not seen all of Lost. He also has that screwball energy that Nash was peddling. I know he does a lot of characters and voices, but hasn’t done any yet. Oh, Gary Busey! Here it comes! It’s pretty amazing how much a crowd can lose it over a hardhitting impression.
But not just the crowd. Robinson asks him to do Jesse Ventura. Leggero asks him to do George Bush, and appreciates how his impressions have a point-of-view behind them. Giraldo asks for Silvio Berlusconi, but I think gets a Giraldo impression instead. Bing bong! Zinger’s here!
10:43 p.m. Carmen Lynch has no idea what is going to happen, but hopes for no accidental pratfalls. She’s talking about how she’s a Hispanic Snow White with several dwarf suitors. Newborns also look like burritos with heads. She’s educating me on the crocodile tears of newborn human babies. She’ll give ’em something to cry about! Kindler found her originality great, but her material a little underdeveloped; and Giraldo and Leggero agreed with the unique compliment.
10:46 p.m. Brian McKim of Shecky Magazine is up next, and has bee in the comedy game a long time. He’s got some evolved ideas about edible panties, and travels quite a bit. His voice has a film noir detective quality to it. I like it. The crowd is making some freaking noise!
Kindler leans into the microphone to say how much he liked McKim’s glasses. Leggero thinks he’s the bee’s knees and Giraldo likes his cadence. And that wraps up our performances. Let’s see who gets the golden tickets.
10:53 p.m. It’s nervewracking bakstage. That’s what he said! (Tommy Johnagin, I mean.) Guy Torry keeps popping up everywhere too. Jason Nash didn’t expect people to be so good. That’s what he said!
10:54 p.m. Group 1 steps forward, including Adomian, Cogan, and Torry. James Adomian steps forward! He is honored and wearing a fedora. Torry has no hard feelings.
Group 2 includes Nash, Metzger, Lynch, and Roy Wood Jr. Roy Wood Jr. is moving forward, but he feels bittersweet about it. Nash is bummed.
Group 3 includes Kilmartin, Feimster, Cobb, and Alonzo. And Laurie Kilmartin makes it through! She’s glad she didn’t quit within the past few years.
Group 4 is Johnagin, Glaser, Williamson, and McKim. Tommy Johnagin is moving on! He’s excited about this big deal for his career. Glaser is weepy and honest!
Group 5 is Maronzio Vance and Mike Vecchione. And Maronzio Vance makes it through! Vecchione is disappointed, but happy for Vance.
10:58 p.m. So our ten finalists are Felipe Esparza, Mike DeStefano, Jonathan Thymius, Myq Kaplan, Rachel Feinstein, James Adomian, Roy Wood Jr., Tommy Johnagin, Laurie Kilmartin, and Maronzio Vance.
10:59 p.m. Next week promises ten finalists showing us the goods. Be there, or DVR it. It’s the 21st century, people! But don’t tell the Nielsen raters that; it pisses ’em off.
11:00 p.m. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to learn up on the pizza diet.