Okay -- five contestants who were pre-picked by the judges before the comedy portion of the evening ever began down, five to go. Once again, we're going to watch twenty semifinalists perform. And once again, the amount of talent, skill, timing, and the quality of the material they display during their performance will have absolutely nothing to do with whether they get picked or not. I repeat for the naive: they are not looking for comedy. They are looking for drama. Our so-called 'celebrity talent scouts', who are the exact same three as the previous show, and if you want to know who they are, there's an episode summary around here somewhere -- they have nothing to do with who gets onto the ship and who goes home. Everyone getting onto the ship was picked before they ever reached this stage. All the 'celebrity talent scouts' have to do is ask dumb questions, embarrass themselves in public, and have another round of booze.
And yet, we're going to summarize Travesty, Part II anyway.
Why? Because demographics are dangerous. Because when you're running a competition that's supposed to be based on talent, saying 'We need one of these, two of those, three sob stories, one person people have vaguely heard of, two complete jerks, a lot of VH1 commentators, and don't forget the minority guy' is a crime. But mostly, because some of these people are funny. And most of those will be the ones who don't reach the ship. As such, you should be told their names and a little about their performances, so you can see why they're funny. Why they should have made it to the next stage. And, most of all, why you should go out and see them the next time they're near your town, because at the rate this thing is going, local support is all the best have to look forward to. Unless they go through extensive plastic surgery, because the ship really needs a transgender. They won't even have to perform if the auditions take place while they're recovering. All they have to do is show up...
One more time: the skill of the comedian has nothing to do with whether they were pre-chosen or not. The skin color, age, region of birth, descent lines, gender, relative appearance, and demographic appeal does.
Are we ready? Has the point been brought home? Has an element of reality been introduced into 'reality'? Do you think you can still laugh after getting that little truth stuck in your head?
Well, now you know why a fourth season was a really bad idea. Roll opening credits.
And we're back at the historical Alex theater in Los Angeles, which is historically known for ruining halfway-decent reality shows forever and ever until new producers do arrive, although historically, we're talking about 'last week'. Here is our host, and I still don't really know who he is, nor do I care. However, I was recently informed that he was one of the judges -- when the show still thought it could get away with calling them 'judges' -- for the running joke that was the selection of the Season #2 cast, so he really should have known better than to get involved again. Do you see Drew Carey here? No. Do you see Brett Butler here? No. Why? Because Drew hasn't sold out and Brett is far too busy slipping into a coma at a poker table in New Orleans, and by the way, Doug E. Doug just folded A-Q offsuit pre-flop again. But this guy is back, because you can have him for the price of a movie rental and it's really fun to fold him back into the envelope afterwards. He has sold out, and he did it through the dollar store. Plus you got change, so he's really a bargain, or feels like one until you realize he isn't worth anything and you just got totally ripped off. But at least he doesn't eat much. He certainly doesn't think or speak on his own. Dance, parrot. Dance.
Our 'celebrity talent scouts' have not sold out. Garry has not sold out because Garry does not know where he is. Tim has not sold out because Tim is aware of his current market value after a failed SNL movie and he didn't actually charge anything. And Kathy has not sold out because she's a reality TV addict and she just wants to be on another show. You can't blame the disease, right?
Our comedians have not sold out, either. They didn't know they'd been precast or pre-eliminated before they got onto the stage, right? They're just here to try and be funny and win their place. They don't know funny has nothing to do with that goal -- right?
Well, there is the one who's basically been playing the 'old broad' demographics card since the second she first saw Bob & Ross...
Okay, some of them have sold out. And now we doubly know who's gonna make the ship.
The host engages in mindless blabber for a while, none of which is worth listening to, much less repeating. We get the idea, okay? Five comedians per segment, and then the unseen network executives will reveal who they decided would round out the Ten well before we got here. And then we go to the ship, a few other summarizers take over from there, and I never have to deal with this farce again. Whee. Let's just get to the performances already, shall we? When your parole date finally comes around, the last thing you want to do is stall on the packing. (Oh, look! It's my first shiv! I remember when Willie showed me how to make this out of a roll of toilet paper...)
Gabriel Iglesias: The First Comic Chosen at the first audition session is also the first comic out on stage, and is probably going to be the first one boarding the ship tonight because he fulfills two demographic needs at once: minority male and overweight. It's like getting Dat and Ralphie together in one convenient package that wouldn't be trying to constantly suicide out of self-loathing! It helps that his routine is mildly amusing, although it heavily relies on stereotypes -- his favorite people to kid are cops because he's a minority male in Los Angeles who apparently suffers from a death wish. He got pulled over for making a wrong turn out of Krispy Kreme, spent his time waiting for the officer to arrive at the driver's door by essentially giving his donuts extensive foreplay -- this is a PG-13 site and I can't go any further than that for the imagery here -- then, when the officer asked if he knew why he'd been pulled over, invoked The Rule Of Calories. He made a cop-donut joke. Oh. Gee. How -- original. And then in a confessional-tell filmed just offstage, he said he wanted to get on the ship because his mother wouldn't have to steal cable to see him -- followed by an imitation of his mother, using a heavy accent. Apparently we stirred in just a little too much Dat.
Kristin Key: Not as good as her initial audition: she makes fun of her own figure (tall and thin) by openly wishing for a rear that she can shake at the dance club 'like a baby that won't -- stop -- crying!', then says that sleeping with her is like being with a bag of coat hangers, although there is a chance that the hangers would be quieter. Garry, who still doesn't know where he is, decides to advise Kristin on her performance style by telling her to give the coat hanger line to a boyfriend. Kristin tells him that's where it originated, plus that same person told her that nude, she looked like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons. Garry laughs and laughs and laughs while trying to cover up that he has no idea what The Simpsonsis, but he will ask his good friends OJ and Nicole when he gets home. Kristin gets off the stage before Garry can come up with even more constructive advice, like 'jump over a shark on a motorcycle'. We all know how well that one worked!
Moody McCarthy: Nothing special. He ran into a record store to escape an L.A. monsoon, saw a guy buying a 'Sounds Of Rain' CD, and told him that if he liked that, he should go outside and see the band live. He recently got a phone that can download music, but the only tunes he ever hears are when the thing breaks and he gets put on hold with the service rep. (And what is he calling them with? We don't know. We -- don't -- know.) Plus it worries him when he downloads a program and his computer asks him what he wants to open it with. A computer asking the user computer-related questions: very worrisome. We've heard all this before, and we've heard it with better timing. Given the tendencies displayed so far by our hidden network executives, this would seem to make Moody an absolute lock, but which demographic need does he fit? He's male, and -- and -- well, that's it. So long, Moody. But remember: forty thousand dollars in surgery, and Season #5 is yours!
Ty Barnett: Very short exert: the U.S. government should have known that Hurricane Katrina was possible and how to deal with it because they should have been watching more movies. Also, the way Social Security currently works -- give them some money now and you'll probably never see it again -- reminds him of a pimp taking cash from a prostitute. No Security, it's just Social. 'Good luck, be-yotch!' The audience seems to appreciate this. The network executives appreciate the fact that they have two whole black males to choose from. While it means they have to actually make a choice instead of saying 'Okay, that's the only one we could bring ourselves to find: cast him', it also means their chances of being sued for discrimination just dropped by twenty percent. Sadly, funny people are not recognized as their own race, except by people who never get the jokes and want them all exterminated. For further details, please see your aunt. You know which one I mean.
Nikki Payne: In c-t, our professional lisper tells us she's willing to hurt herself to get onto the ship. (This is actually an amazing coincidence, because having watched her audition routine, I'm willing to hurt myself if she gets onto the ship.) She's certainly willing to demonstrate for the cameras, because she brings a roll of duct tape out to the stage. She doesn't use it immediately. She starts by talking about losing a job as a phone sex operator because of her lisp (and while there's probably a lisp fetish out there, good luck finding the one office staffing those lines), plus she doesn't like Jerry Springer because she's trailer trash and she's sick of him showing women who display their breasts when they get mad as a means of resolving the argument. She then demonstrates why this doesn't work. And sure enough, it doesn't work. And then the duct tape comes into play. Apparently she read that you're supposed to use it to shift the position of your breasts under your clothes. (Um... no. You use strong clear with an option for double-sided in certain areas, and you use something with low removal residue, which duct tape does not have. The last thing you want to be stuck doing (so to speak) is taking a sixteen-hour shower after you get home, with the strategically-placed assistance of sandpaper. In fact, here's a really helpful hint: get a better bra.) She demonstrates on top of her demented Catholic-schoolgirl uniform. She then goes on to reason that if this works in one place, it would be ideal for crows' feet and double chins. Following this logic, she wraps the tape around her head. And poses. While I am now very afraid that Nikki will get onto the ship and women everywhere will be stuck with skin abrasions and missing patches of hair, Kathy partially saves the day by asking how Nikki gets the tape out of her hair, and Nikki provides the answer: yank. (OW!) Garry, who thinks he's floating through the air on a bed of morphine, notes that Nikki really seems to have a lisp. Also that she took all the things that were wrong with her and, instead of fixing them, went into comedy. And Garry took all the things that were wrong with him and, sadly, became a 'celebrity talent scout'. But it could be worse. He could have the power to pick who's moving on in this show. The network executives are bad enough, but can you imagine who Garry would select? We'd probably be stuck with the shark.