Last Comic Standing FINALE: It’s Winner Time

By | August 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm | 5 comments | News, TV/Movies | Tags: ,

Last Comic Standing9:00 p.m. Well, we’ve arrived at tonight’s season finale, this one’s for all the clams. Clam, bam, thank you, ma’am. Here we are montaging through the season up until this point. Semifinalists turned into ten finalists, who scientifically morphed into the FINAL FIVE. Now that the suspense is set, let’s announce tonight’s special guests: Kathy Griffin, Tom Papa, and Fred Willard.

9:02 p.m. The top five are brought out (Felipe Esparza, Mike DeStefano, Myq Kaplan, Tommy Johnagin, and Roy Wood Jr.) all suited up (though not Armageddon-style). Craig Robinson is tuxed out, and the judges are presiding.

9:03 p.m. Time to give some thanks to our judges: Andy Kindler (pink shirted and rocking it), Natasha Leggero (Golden Gloves lady champ), and Greg Giraldo (with a little less facial hair). Time to eliminate a comic…after the commercial. Is my suspense now that of disbelief, or is my disbelief suspended? We’ll never know.

9:08 p.m. Alright, but seriously, time for the first elimination. Fifth place (still extremely respectable) goes to MYQ KAPLAN. Aw! Craig Robinson draws him to his breast to comfort him. Kaplan thanks his fans for existing, but suggests they invest in more phones. I can’t imagine how much would be running through your brain right after getting that news, but NBC demands he say a few words on the spot. That’s comedy?!

9:10 p.m. Now for Iliza Shlesinger, reigning champ, all decked out in a dress and heels. Which nicely segues to her first topic, girls in heels. Men are hunters and women are gatherers, except when it comes to shopping. Commence shopping jokes! Still relevant, everyone, for the record (I was at a mall recently). Making a good kill on a pair of shoes can be equivalent to a bear hunt. Also, short girls don’t know that they’re little. As a short girl, sure. I’ll spring for the bait. GIRL FIGHTTTTTTT. Oh no, Shlesinger took the hit, and she’s down. Cue Snooki reference. Applause break cuts to a telling shot of Jonathan Thymius sitting near the front. Short gratitude speech from Shlesinger and “may the best girl win.” I can get behind that.

9:18 p.m. Now the judges are onstage, proving they weren’t just puppet torsos being controlled the whole season by network executives. And now for a little Craig Robinson montage. He plays the keyboard, he dances, he can amplify his voice, he deadpans, he can hype a crowd, and he makes a wonderful Santa. He also has great vocal range and he’s a Reverend. Can ya dig it?! Now for a little performance from him.

9:20 p.m. He opens up with some light piano bar music dedicated to the four comedians left standing. Uh oh, he’s having a moment, and the spirit of Gloria Gaynor just manifested onstage. Nope, it’s totally really her, in the motherfriggin’ flesh and blood, y’all. Standing ovation, and she’s taking it slow. I guess she’s mellowed out since the song first debuted. Oh no, here we go, drop a beat! I wish there were deadpan one-liners that got everyone on their feet and rhythmically clapping, but there are limits to every art form, I suppose.

9:24 p.m. If I could tell you how much Gloria Gaynor has done for the empowerment of stand ups everywhere. Survival is key in this dog-eat-dog, Dog Bites Man world. And when we return, none other than the Honorable Judge Kindler waxing barely legal riffs.

9:29 p.m. Welcome back, willing viewers. But first to return to our roots, neuroticism in Jew form. Kindler will be judging himself internally during his performance. He’s talking about a reality show where scientists would be eliminated. America should decide on the validity of string theory or the multiverse, for that matter. Cut to Rachel Feinstein, Maronzio Vance, and Laurie Kilmartin in the audience. I wonder if everyone will come onstage at the end. I hope so. They’re already here. Kindler used to be in the deconstruction business. His jokes are so smart, they all wear glasses. I can’t even slightly compete. On Demand movies are not really ones that are in demand. Kinder demands a refund. You can’t teach Old Dogs new tricks or box office success. He’s a fan of applause, but not so much Wife Swap as written. Why not family medication swap since we’ve already gone crazy?! And scene.

9:33 p.m. And now for the history of Last Comic Standing. I wish it was another episode of the Funny or Die Drunk History series. Ooh, Naked Cowboy. A few words from Executive Producer Peter Engel (of Saved By the Bell producing fame), and a smattering of jokes. I guess they’re chalking up most of the eliminations for the very end. I can’t say I agree with their radical methods, but onward, brave voyeurs!

9:39 p.m. The static is messing with Robinson’s weave, and time for another elimination. MIKE DESTEFANO is out next! Yikes, all the Michael derivations are getting the can. He curses out everyone who didn’t vote for him, staying true to himself. Attaboy. Attaman? That sounds like ottoman. Man, time for some Tom Papa! And he’s talking about marriage. I think he was the host on The Marriage Ref. Everyone is staying true to their careers, but not necessarily their life partners. He doesn’t have time to be polite to his wife, but sometimes a growly “I love you” does the trick. He and his wife zing each other, and might sit on a potential hit for three years. This specific episode’s theme is men and women are different! They are though; let us count the ways. Small talk gets even smaller when Papa breaks it down. But kids say the darndest things, thank goodness, and you don’t even have to involve drugs. Women are smooth and clean; conversely, men are dirty and scummy, literally! He might be in love with his GPS, but that doesn’t mean he listens to her.

9:47 p.m. More history lessons involving Condoleezza Rice and Peter Engel, and featuring global comedians from Mozambique, Panama, and Poland. Hmm, methinks I spot some writers of the show all decked out in traditional garb. I definitely recognize Hugh Moore as the Panamaniac! Leggero is up to bat next, plus the top three, and we haven’t even gotten to Kathy Griffin.

9:52 p.m. Bring it in, team, it’s time to get close and personal with one Miss Natasha Leggero! She’s joking about diamonds and oily birds. Nothing is sacred with this classy broad. Rich execs write Oopsie checks like babies oopsie poopsie their diapers. Babies, gross. Leggero’s brother raps; she doesn’t get rapping. Sex with prostitutes is like getting Doritos from a vending machine. Fergie: what’s her deal?! And please don’t confuse Natasha Leggero with Paula Abdul; so many less pills involved.

10:01 p.m. A winner will be crowned soon enough; patience, my biddies. But first a tribute to hosts of yore: Jay Mohr, Anthony Clark, and Bill Bellamy. And time for Craig Robinson to “bear” his soul. That’s right; he saved Peter Engel’s life from some belligerent costumed extras that Robinson paid off in money, honey. Welcome to showbiz, don’t stay too long, you’ll eat your own soul. And now for a little night music, character-style. Robinson has really aged since the season began…and someone just got out of their wheelchair. Miracles are happening at every moment. Just ask the Juggalos. Everyone’s arms are waving. This is turning into an episode of America’s Got Talent.

10:07 p.m. Let’s roll the Five Top Best Jokes excluding the top 10 finalists. The first one is Kyle Grooms talking about the reputation of New Jersey. Number four is Paula Bell talking about Lifetime television for women. Number three is Taylor Williamson talking about C-humps. C is for Camel. Number two is Fortune Feimster talking about going on dates with “friends,” and Kurt Metzger is talking about how he found out about Michael Jackson’s funeral. He was already at a funeral, y’see. The judges are here to present him with the prize, a Golden Rubber Chicken! He’s very tall and takes us to break and an Eat, Pray, Love trailer. Do A-list Hollywood starlets do any of those things, really? Let’s be honest. Kabbalah doesn’t count.

10:14 p.m. Oh, $250,000 is riding on tonight’s winner. Gamblers, take note. But first, Greg Giraldo up in this house. He’s talking about that big event with the oily animals. The World Cup, hellloooo. Or try the Times Square car bomber on for size; he should be OnStar’s new spokesman. Giraldo’s impression of his son’s innocent naivete is so puppy-eyed, but the kid is 18. Grow up mentally already! Giraldo thinks people shouldn’t judge homeless people so harshly, especially if they are wearing their underwear on the outside of their clothes. Also, how do homeless a cappella groups get together? Crack Attack. Speaking of which, Giraldo helping his wife with her food management can turn into a battle as heavy as drug addiction. P.S. Cleveland is still a punchline! So is diabetes! And on that dark note, Giraldo wraps it up just in time for ANOTHER ELIMINATION.

10:20 p.m. Down to three, and the 3rd place finisher is ROY WOOD JR.! Robinson just lost 400 smacks, and meanwhile, Wood Jr. gets pensive for a moment. He wants to thank America, his mom, and wants to dedicate his journey to all the road comics doing it the real way. And we’re down to Felipe Esparza and Tommy Johnagin, chomp chomp chomp (nail-biting).

10:26 p.m. Time for the D-list in the form of one Ms. Kathy Griffin!!! Snap snap snap snap. She’s in a bikini, now she’s in a sailor outfit, calling some babies ugly, and with Levi Johnston. Nice long promo for her show, I see. She got the Gay Mafia involved, I’m sure. She’s here to talk Lohan jail sentence. Lindsay had three costume changes in court. A girl after everybody’s fashion designer heart. With nails that aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Which tails beautifully into bringing up Mel Gibson, or Darth Vader as he’s known to his friends and family. Griffin doesn’t know Oksana personally, but everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their “dental work.” Griffin’s implant jokes seem to be lost on some perky girls in the audience. JK, lolz. Jersey Shore needs more Jersey showers. That’s the only Situation going on there. Would the Real Shady Housewives please stand up? And get some speech lessons while they’re at it. She packed it in! Up next, the final two perform and then the Grandmaster is crowned or belted or medaled. You decide! No, actually, your turn to decide is over, but thanks for voting.

10:39 p.m. It’s Felipe Esparza time! He would donate some of his winnings to Homeboy Industries. Tru! He’s come out for a set and his signature hand on stomach is in place. Once he had sex with a girl who called out the wrong name, but hey, “many were called, but few were chosen.” He likes how gay guys knows how to treat a man. He can’t afford cologne; he uses the magazine samples. He’s wearing page 5. His best friend is worth more than him. He went to Spring Break with a friend, and they ended up making out with the same secret. The secret was the gender! The judges still have plenty to say. Kindler finds Esparza amazing; Leggero notices people love screaming his name and tells him to quit his day job; and Giraldo proclaims him awesome and completely specific and unique. Warm fuzzies all around, cuties.

10:45 p.m. Tommy Johnagin has found Last Comic Standing to be life-changing. He’ll probably spend some of the money on booze and ladies. Honesty is still a virtue last time I checked. And he’s taking the mic. He would like to buy a round of applause on the house for the other nine finalists. He once met a girl with a lots of tats and piercings, and she offered to drive him home. But then held him hostage for the next 24 hours. During some romping around, she bites him on the shoulder, which leads him to the safety word. Which leads to some scratching and almost being choked out. Needless to say via text, he didn’t pursue the relationship OR filing charges. Leggero thinks he’ll meet a nice girl one day and thinks he’s a killer joke writer. Giraldo thinks he’s an amazing storyteller with tons of punchlines. And Kindler thinks, unlike his own act, Johnagin got stronger and stronger every week. Hooray! Upon return, a winner is named!

Live blogger and Last Comic Standing alumnus Aparna Nancherla is a DC-based comedian. You can check her out at twitter.com/aparnapkin

Live blogger and Last Comic Standing alumnus Aparna Nancherla is a DC-based comedian. You can check her out at twitter.com/aparnapkin

10:55 p.m. This is it. The bro-ment we’ve all been waiting for, chest bump. Fred Willard and Doug Benson are tallying votes. Oddly, Crystal Bowersocks could take the title, against all odds. GULP. Alright, here we go. Music and lights for real this time, puhleeze. Two nervous gents and I think this taping ended a few hours ago according to Twitter.

And the winner is…stalling. Nope, it’s FELIPE ESPARZA. He looks shellshocked, dumbstruck. “God Bless America!” His family’s happy. Confetti is swarming the stage. Thanks to everyone and everything! Peace and soundbites to everyone. Goodbye children! Believe in your dreams and movies about dreams (Inception plug)! It’s been live and bloggy.

About the Author

Aparna Nancherla

  • Tom Hanafee

    First thing, Ms. Nancherla, thank you for your live blog. It has consistently been much better than the actual program.

    Next, the results of LCS simply demonstrate why people such as Sarah Palin remain in the Americana spotlight. Our nation embraces the mediocre and the lowest common denominator. And at all costs don’t make us think.

    I would love to see the actual vote totals. I have a suspicion that the producers of LCS rigged this season’s show just as they did during season 2 of the show. (see here under “controversy” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Comic_Standing )

    The final 5 were all fine comedians. They were obviously seasoned comedy pros. But I suspect that Filipe was chosen by the producers more for his persona than his comedy. Only about 3/4 of his jokes worked and of the ones that did they relied on the “kid getting out of el barrio” cliché. But can’t you just picture him as the wacky Mexican neighbor in a shitty network sitcom. ( And when it comes to shitty sitcoms the letters are NBC) Again he had some funny jokes but we’ve seen this character on TV since “Pepino” on the “Real McCoys” in the 1950s. During the judging whenever Greg Giraldo told Filipe he was “an original” all I could think was ,”well maybe compared to Carlos Mencia. At least Filipe’s material is his own.”

    That said, at least the final 5 got national exposure for their acts. Like American Idol where the runner ups always have more successful careers than the winners, I predict that in the long run the 4 runner ups will have more successful careers than Filipe.

    As far as the finale goes, they took a good 30 minute show and stretched it out to a boring 2 hours.

    In no special order:
    Craig Robinson’s spots were all pure filler dreck.

    As well as Gloria Gaynor can sing ( and boy she can!) the show is about comedy. Judging by the rest of the questionable choices made by the producers on this show I can only assume that the producers included her because in their minds she is a current reference.

    The sets by the judges showcased the primary weakness of this seasons shows, even the pros couldn’t get any momentum going in the brief time allotted them. Natasha Leggero at least acknowledged that she was this show’s Paula Abdul. IMO to get this show she must of have to do both oral and anal.

    Speaking of female comedians, Iliza Shlesinger hit a home run with her set. And her legs! WOW! She had my Little Comic Standing if you know what I mean.

    Kathy Griffin: The sound quality of the laughs during her set had a distinctively different sound quality as the rest of the show. They obviously had to dub laughs into her set during post production to make her seem funny. Your reference to the audience members who didn’t seem to get the jokes was probably the real audience reaction to her set.

    The history lessons with the producer were pure waste of time padding. Producer Peter Engel was shown as a talking head because I’m sure he was stroking his ego below camera.

    If this show limps into another season, eliminate the judges after the final 10 are chosen, give more time to the contestants to do their sets. And show us the actual vote totals for each contestant after every vote. I still think Peter Engel is the Katherine Harris of LCS.

  • Greg Cat

    To me, the only logical reason for Felipe winning is, Spanish people are more interactive with reality shows than anyone else. Tommy was robbed, flat out.
    I realize it doesn’t mean a world of difference to come in 2nd in a prime time shows like these, Tommy will get a ton of publicity and tons of bookings and will no doubt leave one trick jokester Felipe in the success wake. Tommy has so much material and is so quick and cerebral that the only 2 others, in my mind, that should’ve been up there with him were Myq and Roy.
    The judges were fine, they picked some great comics,had the quick, forced shoehorn jokes and criticisms, not really coming into play as much as the awful MC Craig Robinson. I can honestly say, by the 3rd episode I’d mute the volume while he was yelling his obvious, self written, garbage into the mic. I just don’t get the guy, I thought he sucked on The Office as well.
    I thought the season was one of the funniest and entertaining yet but Tommy Johnigan was raped by a pack of Mexicans.

  • SpockShock

    I feel like Felipe is just another lame Carlos Mencia. “Hey look at me, I’m Mexican! I am going to rehash racial stereotypes!” Yawn.

    I agree with you, Greg. I had a suspicion a few episodes earlier that Felipe kept getting votes because of the overwhelming number of Mexicans in this country. It certainly could not be the act.

  • Mick

    There are so many awesome female comedians out there right now and it’s sickening to see them NOT get their fair share of the attention. I’d even go as far as saying that the current batch of female comics is BETTER than the male.

    Here’s the 4 TOP CURRENT COMEDIENNES:
    http://www.digitallizardproductions.com/daily-fournication-08.16.10–top-4-current-comediennes.html

  • Tom Hanafee

    For what it’s worth: I posted my above summation of the finale of LCS on the NBC LCS forum ( with the profanity asterisk out). It was removed from the forum and I received a notice that I violated the TOS. On the forum, every other poster’s posts were negative about the show and the finale. But mine was the only one that mentioned anything about the past season’s “contest” being rigged and suggesting that this seasons “contest” was fixed too. hmmm…Interesting.

    So my question to you dear Miss Nancherla is this: How do stand up comedy tours work in the matter of how the comedians get paid?
    The top five comedians on LCS are going to tour together as part of their deal with LCS. I do not want to support LCS but I want to support live comedy. If the comedians are being paid a fixed sum to tour and don’t receive a percentage of the gate then I do not plan to see them. But if they are paid based on ticket sales then as a supporter of live comedy I will see them.
    Can you offer any insight, Miss Nancherla? ( or any other working comedian) Thanks.