So, it’s my job and everything to report on the happenings on Wednesday’s final Last Comic Standing performance show. But it’s awfully hard to be excited about it.
Let me just paraphrase Kent Brockman here: Sometimes, democracy simply doesn’t work. (Spoilers right around bend, folks.)
How it is that, among the final three comics, Gerry Dee didn’t make it through to next week’s finals is something that I really just don’t understand. I went back and looked at last week’s performances, just to make sure I wasn’t imagining that Gerry was easily the best of the bunch. I wasn’t remembering it wrong: He had funnier material, at least to my ears, than either Jon Reep or Lavell Crawford.
And yet, when host Bill Bellamy announced — about 40 minutes in to the show, by my clock — that one of the two finalists would be Lavell Crawford, I wrote this in my notes: "Oof."
Actually, I wrote that earlier too, when Jon was revealed as the first finalist. Lavell, I don’t have a problem with. He’s been a little inconsistent in the final rounds, but as he showed in the one-liner challenge at the top of the show, he’s capable of thinking on his feet and coming up with good material (although I heard the bowling joke he was telling at the end of the challenge from another comic, Warren Hutcherson, quite a while back.)
But Reep has been just so … average throughout these last few rounds. I just haven’t heard anything at all memorable from him.
That streak continued when LCS finally got around to letting Reep and Crawford perform one last time. The man from Hickory went first, and spent his entire time on a bit about his dad snoring. I used to laugh with my brothers about our dad doing the same thing, but I don’t think any of us ever thought it would play to a crowd.
So your potential Last Comic Standing-winning performance, then, was one more bit from Crawford about his weight. And actually, it wasn’t bad, as he riffed on people’s perceptions about his size, doing his best carnival-barker voice as he related the tale of buying an oversized bucket of chicken.
If it’s me — and I’ve been running against the grain for most of this season, so who knows — I’m giving the $250,000 and the Bravo special and the NBC deal to Crawford. I doubt we’ll be seeing Lavell! on the air in the 2008-09 season (no LCS winner has so much as sniffed an NBC pilot), but he seems like a good guy, and I can accept him winning.
I just don’t think he was the funniest comic on the show this year — nor, for that matter, did anyone from this year’s crop stand up against some of the past winners. Kathleen Madigan finished, what, sixth on her season, and she didn’t have all her best material during her time Wednesday. But she was easily better than any of the three guys vying for the crown this time.
I’ll be back next week to report on the finale. But I’m not expecting to be amused.
Faced with this choice, who ya got? Lavell or Jon?