NBC is reviving their stand-up comedy competition show Last Comic Standing for an 8th season, Variety just reported. Although no host as yet been announced, the network has slated the show for a summer 2014 return.
The show last aired int he summer of 2010 when comedian Felipe Esparza won. Due to less-than-exciting ratings, the network opted to not renew it for an eighth season that year. LCS was originally cancelled in 2004 after airing back-to-back seasons that year, one of which being a ‘Best of’ style featuring finalists from the first two seasons. It was brought back in 2006.
If you don’t remember the format of the show, that’s okay. It tended to vary from season to season but was not completely unlike ‘amateur’ audition shows. A comic walks onto a stage at a comedy club in front of three judges and no audience and does a short set. They get some critiques, then are either sent home or invited to perform on a showcase that night in front of a live audience. Several comedians were selected from these showcases to advance to a semi-final round. This would be done in several cities around the country (and sometimes even around the world). Those who advanced to the finals were to live in a house with the other comics for the duration of their stay on the show and go through immunity challenges, transitioning the show into a funny Survivor meets The Real World show. One time, the “house” was actually a cruise ship, where many working comics make a living. They would periodically perform in front of large theater audiences as they are systematically eliminated until there was one last comic left, standing.
The show was an exciting new credit for stand-up comedians to put on their resume and thousands of amateur comics would stand in line for hours (and in some cities, days) for the chance to be seen by celebrity judges. Both seasoned veterans and rising talents were featured on the summer competition show, marketed as the American Idol for stand-up comedy. However, rarely did the show discover “new talent” as much as it pushed established acts and popular young names into the mainstream. Previous seasons have included veterans Rich Vos, Gabriel Iglesias, Kathleen Madigan and Todd Glass, to name a few. Several comics had already had half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials under their belts or were already touring comics. Past winners include Dat Phan, Iliza Shlesinger, John Heffron and Josh Blue.
No announcement has been made as to what form the reboot will take. But we do know that it will be executive produced by Wanda Skyes through her and her partner Page Hurwitz’s Push It Productions. Stay tuned for more news on who will host, what the show will look like, where auditions will take place and more!