So, previously on Last Comic Standing -- well, that's not going to be a problem. Since NBC has apparently decided their ideal audience for this series is people with the attention span of sports radio talk show hosts -- those who don't find the punchline funny because they've already forgotten the setup -- anyone who never got past 'previously' in the first sentence because they have to keep going back to reread 'So' and then ask someone what the comma is for -- your basic presidential material -- they reran the first hour of the premiere before the new episode came on. So if you want to know what previously happened on LCS, just wait another week and they'll tell you again. In fact, they'll rerun this episode too. Actually, if this thing gets to a double-dozen of episodes, it'll be a full day of programming and FOX will sue, although they'll settle out of court for their very own series rip-off. Again. So we wait through sixty minutes of pointless recapping, which would have broken Donald's old record if they'd only gone on for an extra nine days and finally, we're punished by getting to the new material. The fresh stuff. The chance to see people destroy what used to be their careers. And isn't that why we all came?
You came to laugh? Really?
I have absolutely no idea what you're doing here. Roll opening credits.
(Hey, look! In the opening credits, the Mohrpet is listed as a 'Consultant'! I wonder which part of his rear they were trying to elicit wisdom from?)
Our host, whoever he is, tells us that we're at the historic Alex theater in Los Angeles, and if you've never heard of it, that's because it's kind of like the historic Chevy Chase theater in Hollywood, and if you have no idea what that means, you've effectively gotten the joke. According to him, twenty of the best comedians in the country will be performing here tonight: three minutes each, microphone cut off at the time limit, as much as forty seconds may actually be shown, and the five who best fit the network's needs for sex appeal, sob stories, regional demographics, and angry personalities who will kick up fights on the ship and increase the ratings with every punch they throw -- why, those five will become half of our official cast. You may be wondering what all of those qualities have to do with being one of the best comedians in the country, much less being able to win this show. And the answer is 'absolutely nothing'. We are not here to pick the best comedian in the Forty. We are looking for the maximum drama among the Ten. These are two completely different sets of priorities, and they are not on speaking terms. If you want to laugh, go to a comedy club. If you want pointless manufactured drama, watch NBC. Fortunately, we're on a reality site, so pointless manufactured drama is pretty much the order of the day. Let's find out who has no real right to be here!
Of course, this is still pretending to be a competition show, much the same way American Idol pretends to be a popularity contest instead of a hacker's paradise -- 'Hey, I rigged up sixty-four million votes last night!' -- and that means all of our twenty have to go through the motions of performing. Some of them will be funny. Some will be awful. None of this will have anything to do with whether they get picked -- well, mostly. As our host informs us, one of the five will not be picked by the network. The audience will choose their favorite by popular vote in the Still Not Mentioning The Sponsor Thing, and even though the network has rigged the deck so strongly that the entire trick has come down to 'Pick my card. Pick my one and only card', they could still go off the board and choose someone of their own free will if they really wanted to. Sure they could. By the way, do you know what the historic Alex theater is historically known for? Electroshock seats.
And if we're getting into the no-real-choice portion of our program, this must be the time for the host to introduce the 'celebrity talent scouts'. These are not judges, even though they conform to the legal requirements of one white male, one white female, and one black male. (No idea where they got that from.) They have no actual power to choose anyone for the show. Unlike Season #2, they're not even under the delusion that they have that kind of power. They're just here because they like to be on television and this gig pays $8.25 an hour. The network will choose the contestants based on drama potential. The 'celebrity talent scouts' will sit down and shut up. And if anyone invokes Drew Carey -- well, what's the Alex theater historically known for? You remembered? Are you sure you're part of NBC's ideal viewing audience?
So who are the people who are there to pick up some extra beer money and a few all-important seconds of exposure before we forget who they are, too? They happen to be:
Garry Marshall: Responsible for both Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, which means he almost destroyed American comedy once, and now he's back to see if he can do it right the second time, except that he has no actual power to do so and -- are we all together on this? -- is only here for the beer money. And for those of you who think those two series represent the best of what America ever put on television, please consider that neither one would ever make the air today without drawing a million protest letters generated from three sending addresses. A biker who uses his supernatural powers to impress teenagers and two women living together in an apartment? Satanism and homosexuality. You never figured that out? See how easy it is to corrupt you? Go throw your television out the window before it happens again! Remember, a rain of electronics from the sky is officially recognized as a miracle! Go forth and cast your hi-def into the hands of God! And if it wouldn't be too much trouble, aim for that mattress there. Oooh, free flat-screen...
Kathy Griffin: The so-called star of the so-called reality series My Life On The D-List, which airs on the Bravo so-called network, which just happens to be where the winner of LCS will have their so-called comedy special (no, 'special' doesn't even rate a so-called...) aired. What a coincidence! May be the biggest reality fan among celebrities as well as the biggest reason to put quotes around 'celebrities', and so knows that nothing she does here tonight matters. But she's getting the $8.25 an hour plus a plug for her own series, which actually aired against this episode in most media markets, and do you know what that makes her? D-List. If it was Brangelina, the network would have created an eight-day week and aired the premiere on the bonus day, twenty-four hours straight, live coverage, and breaking headline: the baby just spit up! Kathy, however, gets the privilege of drawing ratings away from herself. Way to go, Kathy! By the way, we made you a special gift bag just for the occasion. Look! Free lint!
Tim Meadows: Apparently he was on Saturday Night Live, plus he was in The Ladies' Man and Benchwarmers. Do you know what this means? It means I have no idea who he is three times over. But he's an essential element of this show. He has no power to influence the network's casting choices. He has no ability to make any kind of difference whatsoever. But he is a black male, and by all the laws of reality fake competition shows, there must be one of him sitting behind a long desk while pretending to pay attention. And here he is. We are now in full compliance with FCC standards. Let's get to the contestants!