June 05, 2008 11:06 PM by Lisa Stauber
Bill Bellamy and Fearne Cotton head to San Francisco and even out of the country this week in search of America’s funniest comics, and it looks like they found the crazies instead. The two hour episode will air the auditions in San Francisco and Canada, and they’ll keep us watching by showing us the worst moments ever. Last Comic Standing knows Americans love to rubberneck!
San Francisco Auditions
Josh Gomez and French Stewart will be vetting the hopefuls and sending a few onto Vegas. “What we’re looking for,” French says, “is someone doing something we haven’t seen a thousand times.”
All week, NBC has been promising to show us the most controversial audition, and surprisingly they front load the program with it. Shashi Bhatia starts out with some bad lines about rapping, and the scouts try to send her away – but she won’t go. She tries to get into it with French Stewart, but she’s way out of her league. It’s actually not all that controversial, and I’m disappointed.
Shashi’s followed by a guy in black makeup and colanders on his head, and French has to say no. “The San Francisco comedy scene is a mixed bag”, he says. Josh has some good advice as well. “Avoid balloon comedy,” he says, and I think he should just include all costumed acts as well.
One guy sets his feet on fire, and Josh just sits, stupefied. There’s singing (badly), dancing (badly), and puppetry (is that ever done well)?
The Meehan Brothers might break the dry spell – please tell me they have a decent joke at least! The trio hits the right notes and they get a big yes from French. Iliza Schlesinger follows and French decides to bring her back. Jesse Case is from Tennessee, but is auditioning in San Francisco, and he’s a hit as well.
The Funny room is back, but despite Bill’s attempt to infuse it with funny, it once again serves as a showcase of duds. Drennon Davis is singing, but he’s got funny lyrics and will be coming back for the Showcase of talent.
The Best of the Worst Countdown #10 arrives, and it’s Dick Dynamo who terrifies Kathy Najimy by running, stomping, and screaming in Tempe, AZ. He’s branded “Way Over The Top”.
Bill and Fearne hit up a crab shack, and then we are treated to the Ninja of Comedy. He accidentally hits himself in the head with his sword before getting down with a break dance, but Josh and French are laughing. He sadly gets a no, despite the teddy bear shoved in his pants. At least he was entertaining!
The Best of the Worst Countdown continues with #9, and it’s the dancing breast girl from last week’s Houston auditions. Alfonso still enjoys it, and she still gets a no.
The #8 worst audition was previewed by Richard Belzer, and featured Dan McRitchie with a striptease in a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. Did I mention he was an overweight middle aged man?
San Francisco Showcase
Jesse Case talks about quitting his job and cars, while Scott and Nancy Collins make us glad we’re not a member of a country club. Fearne keeps up the good work backstage, cheering the comics on. Jonathan Thymius has a puppet act – without the puppet- and it’s hilarious. Yes, it was a talking foot, but the audience loved it.
Whitney Cummings is slightly bitter but has an original fart joke, and Larry “Bubbles” Brown is a whiner. Jeff Dye has trendy humor, throwing around text message lingo.
Best of the Worst #7 dances for scouts Angela and Oscar, trying to conjure up virgins and monsters. She’s got props and a costume she stole from an ice skater, and it’s all bad.
Will the Meehan Brothers, next up on the Showcase, save us from watching anymore unfunny performers? There are three of them, so the odds are good. They’re act is almost performance art, but it’s funny! Jason Downs jokes about cruises, and Andy Haynes hates his teeth. Joe Klocek is up now, talking about stupid people and the homeless.
The Best of the Worst Countdown continues with Edward Malone at #6 in Houston. He’s boxing, but he’s not even remotely funny. He’s labeled a “Chump.” Fearne continues chatting up the comics backstage, but doesn’t add too much to the goings on.
Iliza Shlesinger is up now, talking about eating and dirty phone calls. Tony Dijamco makes pedophiles funny, and Mike E. Winfield is scared of buying pregnancy tests. Candy Churilla is joking about sex offender, and it’s too bad she followed Tony! Fearne is still braving the backstage scene, and Drennon Davis shows up with his guitar, and the same song he auditioned with. He’s got some new lyrics and he’s bitter – and hilarious.
Who’s going to the semifinals in Las Vegas? Drennon Davis, Iliza Shlesinger, The Meehan brothers, and Jeff Dye will all be competing in Nevada.
The funniest bit of the night comes when Iliza tries to explain she won -sort of- to her mom via cell phone.
Toronto native Dave Foley and character actor Richard Kind are going to be scouting up north tonight. “I wouldn’t wish stand up comedy on my worst enemy,” Richard reveals. Way to bring us down! They get the usual assortment of puppets, wigs, and scantily clad men. Dave and Richard are proud to be dream crushers, but I think they’re just looking for a good joke.
Chris Gordon might have them with some bar jokes. They’re new and fresh, and Dave encourages him while denying him a pass to the Showcase. It must be cold backstage, because Bill Bellamy is sporting a cap and scarf and you can see his breath. Hey, NBC, spring for some heat!
Winston Spear has goose jokes and hand gestures, and will be heading to the Showcase. Brian Lazanik is good, and so is Kate Davis. Dave and Richard are passing several along to tonight’s performance, while Bill and Fearne try to warm up the crowd, literally.
Sean Gullen has a petting zoo, and a great sense of humor. He’ll be back.
Best of the Worst #5 involves an alien, complete with rubber mask, and he’s making jokes about sex and immigrants. Could it get any worse?
Richard Kind says no to Pete Zedlacher, but he promises to bust up a room. Richard wants to see him to make the audience laugh and he gets a surprise pass. “I dare you to be great tonight,” Richard challenges.
More time viewing Funny Room footage, another three minutes wasted. Why can’t anyone make a good joke in that place?
A musical act is up next, and they’ll be at the Showcase too. Derek Forgie is loud and over the top, and Dave wants to give him a pass. Richard wonders how many jokes are original, but decides to bring him back tonight.
Best of the Worst #4 includes bad makeup and a scantily clad man. At least he’s not obese. He’s just weirt. The #3 Worst audition has a paper bag puppet and some serious girlfriend issues. He’s sticky and scary, but he’s not the worst they’ve seen!
Sean Cullen’s talking about movies, and Sabrina Jelees makes fun of her dad. Darrin Rose laughs at weird food, and the Williamsons have a deadpan down to an art. Derek Forgie’s up, and he’s still had way too much caffeine. Johnny Gardhouse hates marriage, but is a crackup doing it. Kate Davis talks about her kids and marriage, and Brian Lazanik takes on salesmen. Fearne grabs a hug from him backstage.
The Best of the Worst #2 arrives, and it’s the Ninja of Comedy. The scouts laughed, though, so how bad could he be?
Winston Spears uses his whole body in his routine. Chuck Byrn is up next, joking about marriage. Scott Faulconbridge is awkward but funny. Now Pete’s up, but can he deliver? He’s making jokes about Down Under – the U.S., that is. His act is better than it seemed at the audition.
Who’s going to Vegas? Winston Spear and Sean Cullins will be heading to the desert to compete.
Finally, it’s time to see the #1 Worst audition. Bill Bellamy claims it’s the most unbelievable moment in comedy history, and it probably comes close. The absolute worst is Sam Meneshan and his Armenian magic act in Miami. I can’t believe they didn’t include the giant puppet lady or the girl with the birds!
Photos courtesy NBC