It’s hard out there for a comic– at least on NBC’s talent show, America’s Got Talent. On a show with sword swallowers and child opera singers, comedians, historically do not last long. (Melissa Villasenor made the semi-finals last year; Doogie Horner & Chips Cooney were only quarter-finalists the year before that). And why is that? Well, for one, it’s difficult to captivate a crowd by talking to them when you just followed a guy who shoots his girlfriend with a flaming bow and arrow.
Acts only get 90 seconds for each performance which is usually not enough time for a stand-up to build a relationship with the audience. However, New York City-based comedian Tom Cotter was voted into the final round of the very long and very confusing competition Wednesday night by doing just that. A traditional stand-up comedian, with no bells, whistles, instruments, puppets, or other alt-ey toys, has been on-point throughout the season. He delivers quick, concise, well-written jokes week in and week out. His choice of material has been perfect every time he’s taken the stage, focusing on a high Laughs Per Minute rate. He squeezes in three times the jokes most comics tell in the same time frame.
For his semi-finals performance (see video below), Cotter left the choice of material in judge (and fellow comedian) Howie Mandel’s well-sanitized hands by presenting a board of eight topics; he performed a 90-second set based on which topic Mandel chose (which turned out to be a very funny bit about college kids). Judge Howard Stern could not believe that the comedian had eight different sets prepared for the night and picked a different topic and asked to hear a joke from it. Cotter told a joke about homeless people that proved his “comedy on demand” presentation paid off!
It’s exciting to see the country give some respect to stand-up comedy and showing that it’s still a form of entertainment in high demand. We at Laughspin wish Tom Cotter the best of luck in the final round of competition and urge you all to tune in (and vote!) to America’s Got Talent on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 pm.
And here’s a video of his original audition which i really liked: