9:01 p.m. Craig Robinson is so happy to be back another week that he is moved to tears. He does know that as host, he is safe, right? Or maybe the tears are because he knows that three other eliminations are in store for us.
But first, here come the top ten comics you saw last week: Johnagin, Kilmartin, Esparza, Wood Jr., Thymius, Adomian, Kaplan, DeStefano, Vance, and Feinstein. I’ll only use last names like they’re athletes of wit. Plus our judges are back and strip miming: Greg Giraldo, Natasha Leggero, and Andy Kindle! They get full names since they’re basically in these roles for life. This is like the Supreme Court of Comedy, no?
9:04 p.m. And we keep James Adomian, Roy Wood Jr., Mike DeStefano, and Myq Kaplan onstage for some kind of announcement (I wonder what). DeStefano and Wood are safe so far. This is painfully nervewracking, but Adomian laughs to break the tension. I’m glad other people laugh at nailbiting moments. And oh no, he’s going home, as Kaplan is deemed safe! An in memoriam montage rolls, and I take it that everyone already taped their goodbye speeches sometime this week, if not earlier.
9:06 p.m. Mike DeStefano is up for the first set of the night. He bought some new soap recently, which reminds him of his rough childhood because how do you clean shame? Deep inside he’s also hungry though. He holds his mom accountable for his blaming issues, and she wants connection from therapy, which is an apt time to show the number to vote DeStefano through another week. A phone connection would be mighty helpful. The crowd seems a little more somber tonight, but he’s doing well. He appreciates the time and getting to perform again.
Kindler gives him 5 Ha’s, Leggero quips that though she’s a woman, she would still offer that she liked him plenty, and Giraldo also gives him an adulatory sweep of the hand. 1-877-5-KEEP-01. Oh, and after the break? Mel Gibson will join us straight from the Internet. This season definitely has a livelier feel to it, and by that, I mostly mean it feels more live, which it is.
9:14 p.m. Roy Wood Jr. is up next. He just did a show in South Dakota and he was in a bar there, and everyone was watching soccer. Hey! This reminds me of his joke about the Gators the other week. He hangs out in bars where sports are an issue frequently, it seems. The Lakers warrants an Al-Qaeda reference. He is never going to repay his student loans. Latinos are winning the population game, which makes some blacks upset. He is solid all the way through.
Leggero deems him extremely likeable and gives him some financial advice. Giraldo likes everything except his pro-Mexican stance, and Kindler is a big fan of his voice. So far, the judges have been nothing but complimentary. 1-877-5-KEEP-02. The voting lines open at the end of the show, including for jailbirds.
9:18 p.m. Here comes Myq Kaplan! He hopes people’s ears are ready and willing for words, and he plays off of Wood’s black/Mexican joke. He gets an applause break for his story confirmation joke, but don’t stop him now. He’s addressing gay versus straight. He’s got a speedy ratio of punchlines per minute so the short sets play up to his strengths.
Giraldo is impressed with how Kaplan worked with the applause and incorporated him into his rhythm. Kindler believes in comedy dictatorships, but he would still vote for Myq to him if he could. Leggero is blown away by how Kaplan’s jokes speak for themselves. 1-877-5-KEEP-03. Time for commercial, but another elimination when we come back. I guess Mel Gibson was just a topical teaser. Quit playing trainwreck games with my heart, Mr. Robinson!
9:27 p.m. We’re back for more results and a one-two jab at Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser notoriety. The next comic eliminated is Laurie Kilmartin, oh dear, one of the comics who’s been in it way longer. She wishes the other comics the best. Meanwhie, with another set for tonight is Rachel Feinstein. Wow, I guess you’re not going to know if you’re going up until the last second.
Feinstein smelt a douche in Vegas, and he was a real live wire. She’s channeling a simpler time with her doe-eyed lass who thought Vegas was about unconditional love. Oh, but(t), douches like to offer liquor by the buttload. She ends on a Deepak Chopra bit. Kindler was very impressed with her voices and characters. Leggero thinks Rachel’s comedy has legs, but questioned her last bit choice. Giraldo thinks her characters are original and standouts. 1-877-5-KEEP-04. And stay tuned.
9:36 p.m. Tommy Johnagin is up next, and freshly single. Don’t just talk to hot girls, everybody! He had his heart broken last year, but there’s always the fun break up outcrazying game. His ex would like him to know that he saved a very specific amount of money, which is a segue to his car needing repairs. I almost expected a quick Geico shout out. He gets a smattering of applause breaks, and wow, there are some wannabe stars in this audience. All Crest White Strip smiles and great posture.
Leggero didn’t love the set, but she agrees the audience did. Giraldo thinks it was good. Kindler gives him 3 Giggles and 2 Why Not’s. Not the most rousing acclaim, but I thought the set was solid based on crowd reaction. I imagine it is stressful not knowing for sure if you are still even in the competition or not until just minutes before your set. 1-877-5-KEEP-05.
9:45 p.m. Felipe Esparza comes out to wild applause. His regular stage presence seems like a sketch character. Everyone seems a little more lowkey tonight, even him! He’s talking about real life: gated communities (windows and doors); fast food places getting robbed and “holding up” his order (good one, me); and hardware store reality programming. For some reason, the crowd seems a little slow to get some of his lines. Whoa, some of the front row gives him a standing O.
Giraldo thought he crushed and admires his signature style (homeless); Kindler thought the crowd loved him, but is fighting with his own opinion (but undoubtedly a fan of the haunted gang house); and Leggero finds his jokes easy, but agrees they are crowdpleasers. Eesh. Someone’s been practicing their backhands! His assessment reminded me of how some comics pretty much always do well, and you might not care for them, but you can’t deny that they know how to work it. 1-877-5-KEEP-06.
9:53 p.m. In case you forgot, this top prize is about money. A mere fraction of a billion dollars, but still. At least you’re not Mel Gibson. Between Jonathan Thymius and Maronzio Vance, it’s the end of the road for Vance. Roll the tape! He looks even-keeled, and yet disappointed.
Here’s the last set of the night: Jonathan Thymius! And he’s had more than his share of good news lately. For example, he’s not the Devil. That’s always a relief. His homeschooling led to a lot of field trips including to his new school, Grandma’s house! Some massage parlor trickery and teabaggery in toilet water. An inside joke impression! The best kind. And the crowd ate it up.
Kindler thought his jokes were all over the place, but proclaims him “great!”; Leggero finds him silly, gross, and weird; and Giraldo couldn’t agree more. 1-877-5-KEEP-07.
And now for your soundbite reel. Those editors have been thanklessly chipping away all this time! Here are your seven remaining finalists: Mike DeStefano, Tommy Johnagin, Felipe Esparza, Roy Wood Jr., Myq Kaplan, Rachel Feinstein, and Jonathan Thymius. Full names this time. They earned it!
Vote your hearts out, “America” or whatever you’re going by now. I can’t keep up! See you next week!! Remember, you can vote here or by phone.