Love to Interrupt
Who is the funniest person in
America? Is it a seasoned professional or a person with just a
funny story to tell? Find out as Jay Mohr invites some of the
funniest people to take the stage in competition for a
contract with NBC and a special on Comedy Central.
Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host: Jay Mohr
Scouts: Bob Read and Ross Mark
EP: Peter Engel, Barry Katz, Jay Mohr, Dan Cutforth,
Packager: Peter Engel Productions, Giraffe Productions,
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:00pm ET on NBC
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Episode 2.1 - June 8
This show has had so many questions to it long before
the show actually has aired. Last year's winner, Dat
Phan, has had virtually no press whatsoever (except
performing at business parties in the corporate world)
while contenders Ralphie May, Rich Vos and Corey Kahaney
and Dave Mordal have toured the country and have gotten
strong fan bases. Will we actually see a comedian (vs. a
likeable person who doesn't come close in terms of
comedic talent) win this edition?
Then there's this - comedians Drew Carey and Brett
Butler have accused NBC of using nepotism to get the
comedians that they wanted into the final house -
instead of the ones who they and the audience thought
were funny. That specific episode will be airing later
on this season - and we can be our own judge there.
So just from the press alone, this looks to be a
fascinating season. Let's see if this happens to be a
We start with Dat Phan, who says that he's been touring
around the country - which he has been (for the
corporate world). We see some segments as he says that
he has done work for The West Wing, and shooting the
movie "Cellular" with Kim Basinger - which isn't bad
considering that we really haven't seen him for the past
Jay reminds us what's as stake - a developmental
contract with NBC, a special on Comedy Central, and the
ability to "walk through doors only reserved for the
truly talented... and Paris Hilton."
Bob Read and Ross Mark, the nepotism...I mean talent
scouts, are the people who determine who gets on the Jay
Leno show. They also determine which 40 comics get past
the first episode, where we do the traditional American
Idol-esque funny and not funny route.
Starting us off is Las Angeles, where you would expect
to find a lot of comics. You would also expect to find a
lot of bad ones, which include Nick Dao, 'The Vietnamese
Cowboy.' If we get yet another Dat Phan, I'm going to
scream. Fortunately, we don't. "Nick, I hope you don't
take this the wrong way - you were so bad, you were
Bob and Ross tell people that the auditioners have to be
ready - and sure enough, we get a montage of people
reading notes and being... well... awful. Buck Star
talks about puberty, and promptly gets booted. Joe
Hursley has been sleeping in his van - and inexplicably,
the first comedian who gets a callback is incredibly
unfunny. This isn't looking too good...
...until Monty Hoffman shows up. "I came to do
interpretive dancing - am I at the wrong audition?...
Last time I was in front of this many people, I was
found guilty." He gets a callback and he was pretty
Bob and Ross say that this time around, the bar has been
raised because there are many 'A' list comedians that
they have booked that will also be in this year's
competition. Gee, I wonder how THAT happened? One of
those people, Todd Glass, talks about a vibrating horse
for his niece. He's decidedly unfunny, but Bob and Ross
want him back and I am getting a very sick feeling about
this show already only 8 minutes in...
Kathleen Madigan, who talks about Suzy Colbert (and who
is also not very funny) gets in, but Joe and JR get
stopped when the ventriloquist moves his mouth while the
dummy is talking. Well, I am glad that there is some
sort of line between having everyone come back for a
Trianna Gamaza is a stripper - and she talks about porn.
The judges don't know if she's funny, but they invite
her down. Sigh. Then there's ANT, who was on the show
last year and who was decisively awful. He starts his
shtick and he is awful again, ad the judges decide to
let him back in anyway. This is simply not a good start
and it's real easy to understand why the 'A' level
talent were invited... I mean decided to enter the
With that being said, we go to the callback stage, where
the comedians have to perform in front of a live
audience. We start with ANT, who calls himself the Susan
Lucci of Last Comic standing. He uses the EXACT same
sketch that he used last year ("I can put a lisp in the
word cracker..." if you want to see exactly what he did,
go to LCS season one) and look at it and he was just as
awful now as he was then. How are you saying that you
are raising the bar when you are profiling someone who
didn't even get into the house last year?
There were some good comedians - Bonnie McFarlane had a
good cop joke, and Todd Glass and Monty Hoffman (who
looks like the guy on the Operation game) were also
good. Pablo Francisco busts on Latin DJ's, and he was
good. Jay London, who did shtick, wasn't as funny - and
the crowd seems to be happy Kathleen Madigan accuses
Oprah of being a shape shifter and Alonzo Boden talks
about white men - who are good because they have breed
white women. Eh.
Tammy Pescatelly is 100% Sicilian, and she is funny. "If
you're a whore, we call you my brother's wife." Corey
Holcomb - "This is the ghetto portion of the show... I
have two 6 year olds, and they ain't twins."
Joe Hursley, who was living in the van, will be sent
back to the van after his dynamic - yet unfunny - act.
Jimmy Dore equates comedy to riding a bike - hard to
make a living. Jimmy fell off the bike. Trianna the
stripper is looking not to fall off anything - and she
was pretty good. "I hear the same thing from people who
break up from me... I love my wife, I don't want to
traumatize my kids, I can't lose this election." That
was pretty good, actually.
Mark Cohen pumps up his microphone in order to have sex,
while Retha Jones talks about infidelity with a joke
I've heard before - but the punch line is good.
The comedians are done, and it's time to see which
comics move on. The first one is...ANT. Groooooan.
Joining him is Monty Hoffman, Alonzo Boden, Todd Glass,
Bonnie McFarlane, Kathleen Madigan, Jimmy Dore, Jay
London, Pablo Francisco, Tammy Pescatelly, Corey
Holcomb, Retha Jones, and.... Trianna the stripper! "The
15 hours that I spent outside all of a sudden didn't
seem like that big of a deal."
So what did I think of the choices? Well, I can't really
complain. I do think that ANT, Jay and Alonzo shouldn't
have gotten a call back, but there was no one there that
got left out that shouldn't have, so I will give Bob and
Ross the thumbs up for this round.
Next up - the place where ANT really should have been
auditioning from - San Francisco. It's a little chillier
here, as we see shivering comedians. Roger Blair
does...an auction skit. No. Earle Monroe joins him in
the Suck Pond, as does Neil. Mother Divine wins a church
skit, and she thinks she's good at comedy... uh... .no.
"Mother Divine, the ambulance is here to take you." Also
ready for the ambulance is Buck Star, who did come from
the L.A. auditions, and who is going to get cut here
Vladimir Khylynn is the Russian Dat Phan, who lives with
a single mom with 5 kids. He gets the call back and I
can only tremble.
That's all we get before we see the call backs in San
Francisco, and opening the evening is political comedian
Will Durst. Should the name sound familiar to you? Well,
he is a friend of Dave Mordal - but he also cost a NYC
comedian $500,000 in Millionaire. Well, it's his turn to
face the TV set, and the judges seem to like him.
Next up - Scott Capurro, who goes after a drunk black
guy in the audience. "Don't worry, I can't turn anybody
gay...but you're not just anybody, are you?" Chris Voth
is looking to improve his waiter career - and he will
with his sketch on young teenage girls. Creepy.
Yayne Aebba is from Ethiopia - and the full-bodied woman
has a cute weight sketch. "Apparently my metabolism was
only meant to handle a cupful of water and a handful of
Vladimir tells the audience that his mom tells him that
he is just like his dad - so he slapped her and found a
new woman. He can team up with Chris Voth and be the
creepy/crawly hour. He's ok - but not ready yet.
Will the judges agree with me? They invite back Will
Durst, Chris Voth... and Vladimir Khylynn. That's it.
They didn't really do much here, so I can't argue, but
why bring Vladimir and leave Yayne, who was not only
good, but who brought some multiculturalism with her?
So we leave the comedians in San Francisco and now move
over to Dallas. We start with a half naked Fred Bothwell,
an overweight man who needs to put some clothes. Next up
is Paul Verghese, who talks about his father collecting
crosses - even the burning ones from the KKK. Eh. They
bring him back - with a promise that he will bring more
material with him.
Chris Dowell, Joel Decker, Jared Keith and Lewis
Chambers all go in a group together to audition - and
only Lewis gets in due to the strength of the joke of
his wife being like Pamela Anderson - fake boobs and
full of hepatitis.
Also returning is Buck Star - who doesn't get in but
can't wait to see them in New York. Is that a promise or
a threat? The half naked Bothwell is back talking about
Baby Jesus - and he gets a pass to the call backs.
Klaus is doing a German/Nazi impersonation - which is as
funny as it sounds - but he does give a cute "I don't
want to pay $40 for 50 Cent." Then we get a usual
montage of bad Dallas comedians who don't even get a
name tag attached to them.
Tommy Drake uses his head and gives his impression of
the people leaving the audition. "Of course I froze up.
I didn't want to do anything dirty so I gave my
impression of fat chicks, which they didn't like at
all." He gets in - and so does Leah Chaney, who's not a
fat chick but who has a cute skit in majoring in
procrastination and procreation.
It's call back time - Paul Varghese talks about his dad
being more afraid of the monsters in the closet than he
is. Lewis Chambers was also good "They say that Syphilis
lasts forever - now that's good news to me, because I'm
glad to see that something in my first marriage is going
to last forever." Tommy Drake sort of falls flat, while
Leah does deliver stuff well - but I've heard it before.
Jon Wessling, who we didn't see earlier, talks about
spanking and scars. 'I will never forget to not sneak up
behind a Vietnamese Veteran'. Bothwell is back, and
talks about building a wall to divide Texas and Arkansas
and having Mexican people build the wall. He is funny -
Apparently, Bob and Ross weren't as impressed, because
they only bring in 2 people - John Wessling and Paul
Varghese. NOW you will be getting me on the soapbox,
because Lewis Chambers and Fred Bothwell should have
been joining them. They cut them and kept ANT, Jay
London and Corey Holcomb? Wha?
Next up - NYC. Jodi Tucker is the first person in the
line of shivering comedians in the sub 20 degree weather
- and she will go back there after Ross and Mark tell
her that she doesn't have an act. Ouch. Kenny Ortega
freezes up as he is told to get some funny jokes. Sugar
comes in, and if you can imagine a 200 + pound woman in
a pink string bikini, well there you go. Paul Ravitz has
a TV set on a guy and is speaking through the TV. Uhhh....
We have a montage of ridiculously bad comedians - and a
set of bad Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger
montage. William Dziekanowski starts off well - until he
does an Arnold impression and is shows the door. Right
after him is Buck Star, who gets a montage who gets $40
Jessica Kirson is pretty good with voice impersonations
and facial impersonations - she reminds me of a female
Sam Kinison (C-Note: Obviously she hasn't changed much
since her "Can You Tell" days). Ross and Mark are on the
fence - but they invite her back. "I'll give you a lap
dance you will never forget - I'll break all of your
knees." Also joining her is Dan Ahdoot, who is part
Lebanese and part Jewish. "The thing that was missing
from (LCS 1) was a member of the Axis of Evil. I think
it would be important for a little Axis of Evil action."
Will he advance to the next round? Sounds like it, as he
rants about how his dad hates him. Robert Kelly does an
ok skit that really doesn't do anything for me. Terri
Louise and Tom Kotter are husband and wife comedians.
Terri does an okay sketch - but Tom was good with a
politically correct impression of the homeless -
Sue Costello does a cute sketch on love and aging. We
get some one liners from Tim Young and a cute facial
sketch from Marina Franklin, we get DC Benny, who's a
Jew with a German Shepherd. "He's always thinking about
the good old days." Eddie Ift does a sketch on staying
Jessica Kirson is ready for the next level - and she
does a cute kid screaming skit. Dan Naturman does an ok
Chicago skit on pop and pot and coke - and that wraps up
the NYC Comedians.
Who gets to move on? The judges decide that Louis
Raines, DC Benny, Tim Young, Sue Costello, Tom Kotter
(who's happy but wants to see if the wife gets in), Dan
Naturman, Dan Ahdoot, Marina Franklin, Eddie Ifft,
Jessica Kirson and.... Kerri Louise. So the husband and
wife gets in - as well as the two Jews. Go Jews!
I'll say the same thing here as I did in CA - no
complaints on who they didn't pick - but maybe they
picked too many people here and not enough in the
smaller areas. Robert Kelly has his own opinion, as he
curses around 8 or 9 times into the camera.
Next up - Boston, where it's been a comedy rich city,
but Jimmy Sullivan starts us up on a sour note as he
curses off the show. Ross - "I'm not going to tell him
he's hot." Thanks for sharing, Ross.
Domenic Fig thinks that they want him - but not as much
as he wants himself. We get an incontinent rap on top of
this, but Mary Beth Cowen steers us out of this with
some cute secretary jokes. 'On a good day, I type 95
words per minute, on a bad day I show up drunk in my
William Ford gets in by relating an acid hit with
singing "Stairway to Heaven" to a raccoon. On the other
end of the spectrum, Buck Star is back. The critics
reaction - "Ever been to Tennessee?"
Justin McKinney has been a cop in Maine for 7 years -
and he leads off the callback competition. He was good -
and so was Mary Beth, who talks about her boyfriend and
speed dialing. Frank Santorelli, who's been a comedy
fixture since 1981, does a cute thing with a crazy
William Ford does a bizarre skit with refrigerator
hunting for a new Jeffrey Dahmer movie, while Gary
Guhlmer does a funny routine with 'The Pill'.
Some of the skits were too bizarre, because Mark and
Ross only invite 3 people. The first one is Justin
McKinney, the second one is Gary Gulman and the third
one is... Frank Santorelli. He feels like it's his time
to win, which is all well and good, but Mary Beth and
Frank should have come too...
...and maybe taken some less people from Nashville,
which they say that they now know why it's called the
home of music. Ryan Archer and Steve Armstead lead off
the montage of misery.
John Heffron is the first person to make them laugh -
but with him doing with his 16 year old kid kinking up
his air hose, that spells trouble. This could be so bad
that even Buck Star would have a shot to
advance...uh....not with body humor. 'You ever been to
Tanyalee Davis is a short person who makes money off of
comedy - and she advances without us seeing any part of
her. Bert Kreischer makes $13,000 a year - and he starts
off the callbacks by talking about white power in a
subway full of black people. John does a turning 30 skit
and Tanyalee does a cute ephedra skit. Cute - but not
funny. Buck may have had a shot here.
Two comics advance here. Those two are Bert Kreischer
and John Heffron. Tanyalee goes out to have drinks while
John, to celebrate his soon to be famousness, decides to
go out and get a drug addiction. Of course, they have
the 2 comedian minimum quota, but this could have been
one of those cities where Bob and Ross say, sorry, you
all suck, and just walked out.
That certainly won't happen in Chicago, one of the major
comedian metropolitans, right? Not when an act consists
of people cutting their hair and paste it on their face
and we have comedians talk so much that their head could
explode. We get a montage of Ross saying "I've seen
He has certainly seen enough of Buck Star - but Ross
hasn't because he wants him to come down to Florida (and
we get a bleeped f#ck from Buck). Bob Blevins is a
senior high school student who wants to prove himself
and he does a sort-of lame kissing disease segment - but
he gets in. On the other side of the spectrum, there's
62 year old Jim Wiggins, who is happy that he won't die
in his 50's. He does his bar stool act and I like him -
and so do Mark and Ross.
Bob continues his scene - and he's better this time.
'The last time I made contact with a vagina I was
sliding feet first out of your sister's crotch.'. Jason
McNeil talks about how shaving your chest defines muscle
and fat, while Mr. Wiggins talks about his wife in a
pretty cute segment.
Despite the three comedians, only one person gets the
invite - which is too bad, because there should be two
people going. The person going is...Jim Wiggins, who
would have been who I picked, but Bob should be going,
The last stand for the remaining comics is Tampa,
Florida, and that will also be the last stand for Buck
Star. But before him, we go to Jim Norton, "We talked
about our romantic problems. She gave me Viagra, I got
her a tread mill." He was good, Brian Imson-Brandon
wasn't... "My New Year's resolution - I thought I could
go one year without being..." Mark - "Funny?"
'Grandma' Lee Strong had a new concept to Time Out -
Sudden Death. She gets in - and following her is Buck
Star."The best thing about having sex with a homeless
woman is that afterwards, you can drop her off anywhere
- and she doesn't care." Ross and Mark still don't like
him - but they do change their mind and let him perform
on stage that night. Regardless of what happens, it's
the right thing to do. He calls his dad and thanks for
supporting him, and he says that he has a great dad and
starts welling up. AwwwwBarf.
It's the final callbacks. Happy Cole starts first. "My
kids are mixed. My ex-wife is from... Hell. My kids are
half black and half possessed." Jim says that he has the
sex appeal of leukemia, while 'Grandma' says that she'd
do the contestants - again. "I'd ride them like a bunch
of wild ponies." We finally get to see Buck - and he
wasn't half bad. "I've chased them further than I've
chased the finest piece of ass...that makes me wonder if
I'm gay, and if so, do I like the little guy - or the
big guy." Buck, who thinks that he's not getting in,
says "It was totally an amazing experience."
This time around, there is only room for one person -
and that person is... Jim Norton. Grandma was
disappointed, but happy she got this far, while Buck
Star says that he will go out of his way to be a great
comic. I'm really glad for Buck, I think he should keep
So my take? Well, they gave out too many invites in NY
and CA, and not enough anywhere else. There should be
much more of an equal balance. Why so many? Well, you
could say that there were plenty of Superstars, or you
could say that some of those people had, ahem... byes to
get in. Let's play the angel care and say that it was a
legit selection. So far, I can't disagree with the
choices, based on what was there.
Will I feel that way after the second set of auditions?
We'll find that out in 24 hours...