'Last Comic Standing' reveals Top 5, cuts Doug Benson, Matt Kirshen
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 08/16/2007
Matt Kirshen and Doug Benson were revealed to be the fourth and fifth Top 10 finalists eliminated from Last Comic Standing's fifth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
Last night's Last Comic Standing 5 episode began with the Top 7 finalists venturing to the Hollywood Social Club for their final immunity challenge -- "Speed Laughing" -- which required them to make several Deal or No Deal models laugh as much as possible. However what the finalists didn't know was that they wouldn't be telling jokes to just the models, but also a drag queen, a nun, and a clown.
After the finalists spent one minute each in a secluded booth with two models, the nun, the drag queen and the clown -- who then voted for their favorite comics -- it was revealed Amy Schumer was the winner, giving her immunity during the upcoming head-to-head showdown and a guaranteed spot in the Top 5.
"I was feeling really proud of myself," said Amy. "And I turn to my left and everybody gives me a big hug and they're genuinely excited for me, and then I turn to my right, and [fellow finalists Ralph Harris and Lavell Crawford] who are supposed to be my friends are just kind of staring at me."
The Top 7 then traveled to the Santa Monica Pier to vote on who would compete in the final head-to-head showdown that would determine the other four members of Last Comic Standing 5's Top 5. Amy voted for Ralph; Ralph voted for Doug, who in turn voted for Ralph; Matt voted for Gerry Dee; Lavell voted for Jon Reep; Jon voted for Matt; and Gerry voted for Lavell.
The voting results meant Ralph would be participating in the head-to-head showdown. However although he had received the most votes, Ralph had actually only received two votes -- and one of them was from Amy, who had just won immunity from the elimination challenge.
As a result, instead of being allowed to decide which two comedians that voted for him he wanted to face off against, Ralph and Doug teamed-up and decided that although he hadn't actually voted for either of them, they would face-off against Matt. Ralph and Doug meant that Gerry, Jon and Lavell automatically joined Amy as members of the season's Top 5.
"Ralph and Doug both have experience of 20 years doing comedy," said Matt before the final head-to-head showdown that would determine the last spot in the Top 5. "I don't think may people are expecting me to come back from this one. If I don't, I still gone out with dignity because I've been knocked out by a 20-year veteran."
"This is an important head-to-head for me to win," Doug deadpanned. "Because if I don't, I'm not in the Top 5."
After spending the next day fine-tuning their stand-up sets, Matt, Doug and Ralph faced off at the Last Comic Theatre. When the audience votes were counted, Last Comic Standing host Bill Bellamy revealed that the head-to-head had resulted in "the closest head-to-head we've ever had in Last Comic history." With a margin of victory of "just 3%," Ralph had defeated Matt and Doug and joined the Top 5.
With the season's Top 5 now revealed, Last Comic Standing will now dump its studio audience head-to-head format and switch to a format in which all the remaining finalists will perform weekly and home viewers will determine which comedian should be eliminated each week. Although only one international finalist (Gerry) still remains in the competition, the show will also -- for the first time ever -- allow viewers in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada to participate in each week's home viewer voting.
Last Comic Standing 5's next episode will air on Wednesday, August 22 at 9PM ET/PT. The show's two-hour live season finale will air on Wednesday, September 19 at 9PM ET/PT. The winner will receive a grand prize package that includes a talent contract deal with NBC, a Bravo half-hour comedy special and $250,000.