I’ve been pretty (okay, very) critical of Last Comic Standing in the past, but I’m more than happy to give credit where credit is due and say Thursday’s episode was some quality television. Of this season’s challenges, the tram guide competition was the one I was most apprehensive about—completely mistakenly, it turns out.
Running a Universal Studios tour ended up being perfect reality show fodder for the comic competition, showcasing the contestants’ talents while also putting them out of their comfort zone. Additionally, it gave us something interesting to look at, the theme park being a nice change of pace for a show mostly filmed inside claustrophobic comedy venues.
From home, the consistently impressive Rod Man seemed like he should have won the challenge, but given how well every comedian performed it’s difficult to say. Even the only allegedly funny Howie Mandel did a good job, offering solid (albeit repetitive) advice on improvisation.
However, as enjoyable as the tram tour portion of the show was, it couldn’t compare to the amazing the stand-up face-off between Monroe Martin and Joe Machi. Even after the tiebreaker-breaker it was almost impossible to call a clear winner. Both comics were at the top of their game, with Martin showcasing some extremely tightly-written material and Machi using his bizarre stage persona to maximum effect.
Ultimately, it seemed like Martin ran out of jokes before Machi did in the war of comic attrition, leading to his eventual elimination. But if anyone deserves to be brought back it has to be Martin, if for no reason other than helping make the best episode of Last Comic Standing’s season yet.