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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 2.4 - June 16

Last night, 5 people got into the house - and all was good. Tonight promises to be a bit nastier as ten more people audition - but only 5 get in. This should be the Drew Carey temper tantrum episode - we'll see if it is warranted.

We start off with frenetic comics - and Jay London doesn't know what he's going to do in terms of his act. Jim Norton wants to get into the house, while Alonzo Boden is ready to go...

...but one of those people isn't going. Jim Norton has a contract conflict and he is told that he can't continue. Mr. Norton gets the boot - but he is told that he can try next year. He doesn't get to go on, which leaves 9 comedians. They then go to the first alternate contestant... Jim Wiggins. Jim will get another shot at the house, but first he has to get there. Jim has a problem of his own - he is in Topeka, Kansas and he has to get to Vegas. Jim says that he will be there, adding that he is 'stunningly lovely.'

Brett Butler seems stunningly lovely tonight - and he joins Drew, Tess and Anthony as the judges. Jay sits besides them, and away we go with...

Comedian #1 - John Heffron. He repeats his hair cutting mommy jokes. He does add some material with the kid in the supermarket who wants to go home. It's cute, but I don't know if it's good enough, though the standing ovation tells me that it is.

Comedian #2 - Marina Franklin. She goes to the Haitian jokes and the comedians without sass. It's cute and all, but it's regional humor, and that (which did in earlier comedians) will probably be her undoing too.

Comedian #3 - Dan Naturman. He calls his apartment "Early American Crackhouse"' as he talks about gift certificates. "I never understood the idea of gift certificates, because instead of giving me a $50 gift certificate, he could have given me - 50 bucks." He talks about prison and he also gets a standing ovation. The material was funny, and he should also get in.

Comedian #4 - Sue Costello, who turns to comedy after splitting with her boyfriend of 7 years. "I never want to get so old that I can't pluck that one billy goat hair on my chin." She talks about Latino women vs. Irish women's sexuality, which is funny, but it doesn't seem like she will match the very strong caliber of the acts so far.

Comedian #5 - Todd Glass. We get a 5 minute synopsis about him annoying everyone, which means that he gets into the house regardless of how bad he is on stage. This is a good thing for him, because he is truly awful. He tells the audience to shut up and he completely bombs. He talks about using roller blades to get on the treadmill and he repeats the uterus joke. I am in pain - but not from laughing. I am guessing that he gets in and the controversy starts when replaces someone who should have gotten in.

I am hoping that Comedian #6 - Jay London - is better than he has been, because I also think that he gets in the house regardless. He starts off with repeated material - but this audience seems to enjoy it more than the previous audience. Drew and Brett go nuts, and he also gets a standing ovation. He is an absolute lock to get into the house.

Jim Wiggins update - he's now in the airport. Fortunately for him, this was around 90 minutes before the show started, so he'll get there in time. He's happy that he gets a second chance. Will he get it? Or will he also be part of the controversy?

Comedian #7 - Tammy Pescatelli. Her mom and dad are still at home as mom ells her that dad will be ok from his heart surgery. She talks about how they got kicked off the happiest place on Earth and repeats the family relations joke. "Kobe Bryant, after getting caught cheating, got his wife a 4 million dollar ring. You cheat on me and buy me a 4 million dollar diamond ring, I'll be looking for women for you... Give it up, girlie, I need a house in Cabo." The audience also liked her shtick better, and she is looking good to get in.

Comedian #8 - Alonzo Boden has come back from alcohol and crack to get into the house. He busts on camping ("I'm going to work all year and now pretend I'm homeless.") and transportation ("Black people don't feel comfortable coming to work by boat - you got us there once before." He also does stereotypes, and even though he got bleeped at the end, he was hysterical. Jay even commented that he used a completely different set and he has to be a lock too.

Comedian #9 - DC Benny, who has had dreams that he forgot his act. I hope not, because he's pretty funny. Well, he was, before the shtick. He talks about the homeless and people on drugs and Indian rap - but he didn't do his homework and although that stuff works well in NYC, it doesn't in Vegas. "That was brutal... I may have sabotaged myself." Bye, Benny.

Comedian #10 - Jim Wiggins. He repeats his old material, but it hits well with the audience. He also gets a standing ovation and you have to think that he would be a sentimental favorite. Still, he did repeat his material - did it cost him a second chance?

This is really tough, because the talent was clearly here and I think some people who would have been in the first group would have made it. My favorites are Dan, Jay, Tammy, Alonzo and Jim, but I can't see the annoying Todd not coming back to annoy the comedians, so I'll say that Todd gets in at the expense of Jim, who repeated his whole set and who was on the outside looking in, anyways.

Jay is back to tell us who the last 5 people to get into the house are. Those people are - Alonzo, Tammy (who immediately runs and hugs ANT), Todd (and you could hear a huge silence from the audience), John (who also hugs ANT) and Jay. Both Dan and Jim (who both blew Todd out of the water) are out, and a very stunned Brett and Drew are mystified. Brett asks "What's going on?" and immediately leaves the judging area. Drew is just laughing - but in a uneasy "what the f#ck" sort of laugh.

The other comics who were watching were just as stunned, as Kerri and Jessica both cursed and wondered how Dan didn't get in and Todd did. Peter Engel, the executive producer, says that the judges thought that their votes didn't count. That apparently was whet Brett thought, as she went down to the comics and told them that the people who they voted for didn't make the cut and their votes were thrown out. She told Dan that she and Drew voted for him, which left an enraged Dan Naturman telling the cameras that he was done and he wasn't going to participate in the show any more.

Drew comes over and tells the camera people that 3 out of the 4 judges did not vote for people who got into the show. "I call bullsh#t... I don't understand how they were going to call any of us out here, if they weren't going to use our votes." Drew was told that there were actually 8 people voting, not 4 - and that calmed Drew down.

My take? That info directly contradicts the info that Jay said on the next day in the press release, which said that the executive producers only voted when names weren't on all 4 judges cards. The fact that no one has given as of now a clear explanation of the rules leads me to believe that something fishy was going on - and that certain people (ie. Todd) were getting in the house based on abrasive personality, and not on what should have gotten them there - talent. Even Tim Young, one of the people who didn't get in, concedes that they took people who weren't as funny, but who were quirkier than the other contestants.

"It's a shame that this misunderstanding took place, because it was a great, great night of comedy. We have ten terrific comedians," says Engel. Maybe, but do you have the ten best?

Here is who is in the house - Todd Glass, ANT, Bonnie McFarland

Here is who is not in the house - Dan Naturman, Jim Wiggins, Tim Young

The ten best comics are in the house? I think not. Not by a longshot.

We'll see if there is any fallout from this on the next episode - and if any of the people who I don't think should be in the house get ejected rather quickly.

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