Die-hard Last Comic Standing fans had to bottle up their excitement for the second episode of the season till the second hour of the show. Monday's episode surprisingly began with a highlight hour of last week’s episode, leaving us surprised and feeling like we'd been “punked.”
But lo and behold the second hour rolled around and the New York Auditions began. Host Craig Robinson serenaded his way into the introduction of the show as usual with a jazzy tune to get things started. Comedy, acting, music -- is there anything this man can’t do?
Alycia Cooper started off the night with some jokes about her hometown Washington D.C., which she says has no good sports teams. The sports references left female judge Natasha Leggero behind on this one, so Cooper snagged two thumbs up from the male judges and Leggero's no. The audience loved her in the showcase and she was passed on to the semifinals.
Next came Mike DeStefano, a comic from the Bronx who looked like he was pulled straight out of the “The Sopranos.” DeStefano wowed the judges with his bit on a talent scout asking for his comedic resume. During his intro he promised his buddies that he would buy the whole neighborhood pizza if he takes the ultimate title -- all we have to say is “Are we invited, too?”
DeStefano was followed by a couple more comics who made it to the semis; Jamie Lissow and Claudia Cogan of San Antonio, TX.
But just when you thought things were peaches and cream, along came an image that ruins the appetite of the judges and everyone having dinner across America; a stark naked middle-aged man. He got an immediate “no” from the judges who cringed every second he was still on stage.
Kurt Metzger’s joke about “cash for gold” was interesting; but apparently not as interesting as Leggero’s over-sized turquoise ring. Sorry, Metz, the judges might have been a tad bit distracted, but at least you made it to the semis.
Of course you can’t go to New York and not expect to see a lineup of Italian New Yorker comics -- they came and represented by the dozens. But just when you think you’re at the auditions for Godfather 4: The Return of Vito, in comes one of our own; a bright and bubbly young comedian from Dallas, TX. Jamie Lee quit her corporate job in hopes of making it big as a comedian and she’s off to a great start. Lee made it to the semifinals and is one of the first Texans to make it to the next round this season.
Roy Wood Jr. was the realist of the bunch; making the point that if it took two years to get his girlfriend out of his apartment, it will take even longer to get our troops home. The judges and the audience loved him in the showcase and he advanced.
Last week in Los Angeles we saw a lot of clown acts; but this week’s freak show theme was the “ventriloquists.” Puppets and their masters traveled far and wide to audition and they all got the stink eye from the judges. Just a reminder folks, the competition is for real people -- come back when Pinocchio is a real boy.
So far this season, if you throw in a Hitler reference in your joke, you get an automatic pass into the showcase. This was demonstrated last week in L.A. and again here in New York by Flavia Masson, a beautiful redhead whose Hitler reference got her to the nighttime showcase, though she did not get the golden ticket to Hollywood.
We saw some good comics on Monday. Looking forward to round two of New York next week!