Over the last few weeks, I’ve made my grievances with Last Coming Standing pretty clear, so today I thought I’d try something a bit different. Instead of hiding behind my computer screen and taking potshots at the judges like the coward I am, in this review I’ll be following that honored schoolyard aphorism, “If it’s so easy, then you do it.” Below are my own rulings from the bench, handed out in the form of special awards I’m calling Hudson’s Special Last Comic Standing Comedy Awards for Comedians.
Most Sage Advice from a Comedy God:
This one goes to Wanda Sykes for her great “you’re better than that” response to Zainab Johnson’s weak rape joke. An all too common mistake among “edgy” comedians is repeating tired cliches instead of presenting a legitimately original (or, y’know, edgy) perspective, a lesson Wanda handed down in the most compelling way possible. The closest thing to a counterexample last night was D.C. Benny, who somehow managed to transcend the supreme wackness of his racial voices by having the material to back it up. In all other cases the answer is a simple “unh-uh.”
Weirdest Moment of the Night:
The weirdest moment in the episode by a mile was when Roseanne grumpily dismissed one of the night’s most solid sets because she didn’t get the joke. Even after half the audience just about stood up to explain it to her, Barr stuck to her guns, and it’s easy to believe that this incomprehension alone got the fantastic Dave Landau dismissed. Second weirdest was when the NBC censors bleeped out the word “aborted”* from Dana Eagle’s joke about annoying kids, which made it sound like she thought the kids should either be “fucked,” “shitted” or possibly even “assholed” (which I’m not totally clear on mechanically but it sounds pretty unpleasant).
Best Act of the Night:
Rod Man wins this one by a hair, followed closely, in order, by Lachlan Patterson, Zainab Johnson and Dave Landau. While Man might not have the same polish as someone like Patterson (who could probably carry his own one-hour special today), his DUI bit was an absolute killer, made only more compelling by his off-kilter delivery. With the aforementioned exclusion of Landau, the judges actually did a good job sending the best acts forward again. Man, Lachlan, Johnson, D.C. Benny and Rocky LaPorte will be going into the finals. These apparently consist of several wacky challenges, ones that will doubtlessly inspire a whole new set of superlatives from your faithful reviewer.
*UPDATE: NBC has now uploaded an uncensored version of Eagle’s set showing her punchline to be “that one should have been a hummer.” This makes the network’s decision even more bizarre and disappointing, given how much better of a joke that is.