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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


FACT FILE:
Host:
Jay Mohr
Scouts: Bob Read, Ross Mark, Colin Quinn, Kim Coles, Rich Vos
EP: Peter Engel, Barry Katz, Jay Mohr, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz
Packager: Peter Engel Productions, Giraffe Productions, NBC Studios
Airs: Tuesdays at 9:00pm ET on NBC


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Episode 2.2 - June 9

Yesterday, we went from thousands of people to 40. Tonight, we chop that in half once again as we have 2 hours of competition. The 20 people will move on to Vegas for the final elimination. We get a montage of yesterday's action on it and we get prepped for the action...

...but before that, we get some of the contestants in the bus's reaction. ANT immediately gets on people's nerves when he says that a drag queen threw up on the bus - and then gets into it with a bunch of comedians who joke about keeping it real - while ANT doesn't understand that the joke is on him. Please keep him out of the house.

Jay tells them all that they are all funny and deserve their 15 minutes of fame - and the only people that can screw this up are the comedians themselves (or a bunch of bigwigs upstairs with their own personal agenda...oh, did I say that?).

Jay tells the screaming people in the Hudson Theater in NYC that the comedians are grouped in packs of 20. Ten of them in each group will advance to Vegas. As for the judges, Bob and Ross are back, as well as Colin Quinn (from Tough Crowd), Kim Coles and Rich Vos (also from Tough Crowd). Gee, no nepotism here...

"If I don't make it to the next round, then I've failed." This comes from Alonzo Boden, who starts it off. I don't think he will fail when he talks about being ripped off at Bed Bath and Beyond. "They sold me a duvet cover, and I don't have a duvet... at least I don't think so." Much funnier than the first episode.

Colin: When you work the black clubs, wouldn't it be hard to do the opening Bath Bed and Beyond joke?
Alonzo: Yeah Colin, because black people don't use sheets... I'm just trying to be a comic
Colin: That's the point that I was trying to make
Alonzo: You were getting there in a slow, white way.

I don't see how he isn't a lock to advance.

Contestant #2 - Jessica Kirson. She does her voice changing routine and she does a cute Thanksgiving balloon sketch. I like her, but the audience doesn't seem to be as into her and I don't know.

Contestant #3 - Pablo Francisco, who goes back to bashing the radio station DJ's. Now let's talk about repetition of material - it will get you through a few rounds, but doing it continuously won't get you in the Vegas house. If he gets past this round, he better get a new shtick...

Contestant #4 - Ant, who was devastated that he didn't get to the finals last year. "I'm going to let G-d - and talent - decide how far I go." Jay calls him the Susan Lucci that ANT used, and I will be annoyed if doesn't use new material. He doesn't - he uses new stuff about how the gay people don't claim the ugly stars. "'You will never hear a gay guy go - Danny Devito - Gay. Al Roker - Had him. Jay Mohr - Queer!" He does do a used gay joke, but he is much better than last time and I have to grudgingly give him his props - and probably an advancement.

Contestant #5 - Frank Santorelli. He wants to have his own Friday night show and he got so drunk that he weighed his head on the scale. 22 pounds. He gets his 3 minutes and I think he will have a Friday slot - because no one watches on Friday.

Contestant #6 - Will Durst. He does a sketch on Bush being Rainman. "I'm a warmonger - just ask my dad." It's cute, and I laughed, and he would be in my Top Ten - but I don't think he would connect on a national level and I don't know about him.

Contestant #7 - Vladimir Khylynn. He talks about peeing - and then he goes back to old material that he used in the auditions. That is a definite no-no - and that plus unfunny new material should spell the end of the road for him.

Contestant #8 - Kathleen Madigan. She talks about the American Idol voting - and how more people do that than voting for the presidency. It's a cool sketch and I would put her right on the borderline.

Contestant #9 - Todd Glass. He does a cute sketch about him accidentally comparing his mom to a pig. "She laughed so hard that she punched me in the uterus." Its a single joke, but it's fun and cute. He also was asked about being difficult to live with. "Difficult enough to be fun in the house," replies Todd, and that probably cemented the deal for him.

Contestant #10 - Sue Costello. She had her own sitcom - and she wants another shot at the big time. She talks about guys being jerks and how girls ignore that. "He says I don't have a job and you say 'No problem, I'll work three!" She's cute and she could get in.

Contestant #11 - Jimmy Dore. "I could have been in a frat if I held that egg in my ass for 8 seconds longer." It's stereotypical, and even though it's nothing new, he delivered the material well. I don't know how well...

Contestant #12 - Paul Varghese. I loved his material from the first episode - and he repeats it again for this show. It's all well and good, but when you audition for the same judges, you better have new stuff, so this spells trouble...

Contestant #13 - Jon Wessling. "I like my women like I like my scotch - 12 years old and mixed with coke." That got the audience in shock and I don't see how he advances in an 8pm family show. Then again, Tess did get on the stage in the finals and talked about prostitution.

Contestant #14 - DC Benny. Now this is what I'm talking about. Three different shows, three different sets of material - this time about the taxi's not picking him up and his adventures on the subway. 'I see a guy in the subway with his bike. What are you doing - cheating in a race?' He should advance.

Contestant #15 - Corey Holcomb. He talks about talking bad about women - and that allows him to stare at them. He continues the ghetto shtick and I don't find it amusing. Eh.

Contestant #16 - Bonnie McFarlane. She talks about a thrift store in a small town. The scene was funny - but what cements it is Rich Vos asking her to spend some time at his place - and Bonnie responding that she'd rather be homeless.

Contestant #17 - Bert Kreischer. He's got a baby mouth that needs food, so he's doing it for the kid. "Cops hate it when you touch their faces." Wha? He talks about white guys and black guys getting pulled over - and he does an ok job - though I've seen it done before - and better.

Contestant #18 - Tony Woods. Who? He talks about touring around and smoking weed in Amsterdam. Eh. Does nothing for me.

Contestant #19 - Jim Norton. He trashes Aspen, Colorado for closing at 10pm - and decides to order an escort service. "Maybe she has some lunch in her purse... $3,000 is pricey, can I buy a deformed girl for $50?" Very racy, but probably a keeper.

Contestant #20 - Louis Ramey. He's been pulled over 8 times. "You know why you was pulled over? Cause I was speeding? No, Cause you're black." Yes, he's the guy that has been in the commercials.

Contestant #21 - Juston McKinney. He has the same shtick that he used earlier, though he mixes it up. "You know why I stopped you? My car was overheating." It's a cute touche to Louis and Tony, and he seems like someone advancing, too.

Well, let's see. We have 21 contestants instead of 20, and both Tony Woods and Louis Ramey seem to come from nowhere - but there's no fix. Noooooooo. Let's see if either of them advance. My predictions are - Alonzo, Jessica, ANT, Kathleen, Todd, Sue, DC, Bonnie, Jim and Juston.

How accurate am I? Last year, I got 8's and 9's. This year, the first finalists are... DC, Bonnie, Alonzo, Kathleen, ANT, Todd, Jessica, Jim, Corey and.... Sue. That's 9 out of ten for the first round, and although I am not a fan of Corey, I can see why he got in.

But with 10 happy people, there are sour grapes. Frank says he had the best set (he didn't), while Brian didn't think he did that well, but Vladimir took it honorably and it seemed like him and Alonzo bonded. AwwwwBarf.

Well that's 20 (or 21) comics down - and another 20 (or 19) to go. We start with...

Contestant #1 - Dan Ahdoot. He also recycles his first day shtick and it's funny. He does add the timeline as new material and the audience eats him up. He should easily move on.

Contestant #2 - Chris Voth. He does hand signals to tell the crowd one thing and he says something else - like having someone with Parkinson's create a martini. I don't know about this one...

Interlude - Tom and Kerri are husband and wife - and they have twins. Kerri hopes that she gets in so that Tom has to look after the kids. Heh. Tom says that Kerri would push him in front of the subway.

Contestant #3 - Tom Kotter. "I woke up today and felt tension mounting. Tension was my dog." He talks about kids speech and he was pretty good.

Contestant #4 - Kerri Louise. She talks about job woes. "I was a lifeguard. No one drowned.. well this one person did but I couldn't save her because I just ate." She was good too - better than the husband.

Contestant #5 - Kevin Brown. He talks about how Dikembe Mutombo sounds like the Cookie Monster. He was hysterical and the facial expressions are great - but it's NYC humor and I don't know how well that translates to a national audience.

Contestant #6 - John Heffron. He talks about the younger generation vs. the older generation. He does new material on talking while playing sports and he was decent. Decent, so far, may be good enough...

Contestant #10 - Marina Franklin. She talks about everyday life and about raising someone else's kid. Eh. The audience liked it though, so she could sneak in.

Contestant #11 - Gary Gulman. "I am 6'6", My father is 5'7", my women is 5'3", so when people came over to me, they ask how old is the milkman?" It's cute, but not a knockout. Another passable effort.

Contestant #12 - Monty Hoffman. He got through drugs, booze and cancer to be here today. "I had this one woman live with me for 14 days - then she chewed through the ropes and got free." He was good - and the quote from Ross. "I had prostate cancer - and I haven't touched like that in a while" should seal the deal for him to advance.

Contestant #13 - Tammy Pescatelly's dad just had a heart attack - so she's doing this set for him. She talks to Monty about it - then she talks to the audience about mobsters. "I say, Pop, I shot a pilot, he says don't talk about that over the phone." She was ok - but I'm guessing based on what she has to deal with, she gets in.

Contestant #14 - Ty Barnett. He does a scene about black preacher and talking which does absolutely nothing for me.

Contestant #15 - Eddie Ifft. "I know what you're all saying - why is Clay Aiken auditioning for Last Comic Standing?" He talks about strolling around in Amsterdam looking for his baby. Eh.

Contestant #16 - Sharon Houston. Who? She used a performance the night before to set up her material - and it seems like she should have used different material. She thought that it sucked - and based on the judges reactions, she isn't going anywhere. Eddie consoles her and offers to make out with him that night.

Contestant #17 - Dan Naturman. Dan wants to know why you have to pay a dollar to hear a song and why everyone else gets to listen for free. He is much better than yesterday and as he is in a field of relatively mediocre performances, he should get in.

Contestant #18 - Jim Wiggins. "We were concerned about having kids. We read that one out of every five kids born out there is Chinese. Our oldest son has 10 kids - two of them Chinese." Jim tells Colin that if he gets into the house, he'll be the Last Comic Breathing. He's a lock.

Contestant #19 - Jay London. He has pages and pages of the group of jokes that he will be doing (very similar to Dat Phan). "You may recognize me - I'm the fourth guy from the left on the evolutionary chart... I went to a music store, asked for 50 Cent and they threw me out for panhandling." I liked him, but the audience sort of fell flat so I'm not too sure on him.

Contestant #20 - Retha Jones. "Janet Jackson is getting old too...she didn't pop out - she flopped out." As she goes after reality TV, I feel that she was MUCH better than the first show - but will her x-rated content keep her out of the finals?

Contestant #21 - Rick Kunkler. Who? He talks about Wheel of Fortune and pot smoking - which does absolutely nothing for me.

Contestant #22 - Trianna the stripper. "At least when I'm stripping I'm seeing monetary results." She keeps the stripper shtick going into training school. "The real good strippers can pick up a dollar bill and make change." She was ok, but I don't know if OK is going to be good enough here.

Contestant #23 - Tim Young. He talks about cell phones ad compares that to a relationship. "So Tim do you believe in the Pope? Well don't you have to, he's a real guy?" The audience loved him - even if he did nothing for me.

We are done with the 20 (23) contestants, and it's time to figure out the Top Ten. Here are mine - Dan A., Kerri, John, Monty, Tammy, Dan N., Jim, Marina, Tim, and Gary. Here are the actual judges - Tim, Marina, Monty, John, Gary, Kerri, Dan A., Dan N., Tammy and... Jay. Whoa. I did get 9 of them right, and I'm glad that Jay got in - but I'm wondering how Jim Wiggins got left out.

Rick realized that he didn't do his best, while Trianna realizes that she can now be a famous stripper. Retha is frustrated that she isn't getting anywhere - but Jim is happy that he got this far.

More reactions - Tom, though disappointed, was thrilled that his wife got in. Dan is thrilled that his dad got to see him succeed. Monty and his family was just as thrilled. As we see the credits , we notice that some of the judges have has experience with some of the contestants - and that the judging was based on the past interactions as well as the current ones. Well, that absolves them of legal responsibility, but how will that hold up when they get to the finals?

That happens next week. We'll see if Drew and Brett have anything to legitimately complain about when we see what they saw in 6 days.

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