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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

Jay Mohr
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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Week One - August 31

In this corner... LCS1!!!! And in this corner... LCS2!!!! Who will reign victorious? Who's cuisine reigns supreme?

Well, maybe not cuisine, unless comedy be the food of kings. The ten comics in the house from LCS1 will be going up the 10 comics in the house from LCS2 - winner take all.

Well, make that the 9 comics from LCS2. Bonnie McFarland has decided that she doesn't want to partake in another competition. Read: After getting destroyed by the public, she figures that she's not sticking around for long anyways, and she really doesn't want to spend a week with a bunch of people that she spent months trashing. That now means that the comics will be bringing in a replacement comic, and that person will be... Jessica Kirson!

Wha? I don't see how that is a comics decision, as if it was, Jim Wiggins would certainly be there instead. It turns out that they could only pick a woman, which explains why Wiggins and Dan Naturman are cursing at the screen. I'm also guessing they didn't want anyone upstaging the comics up there and were looking for someone who would be making an early exit.

And how do the comics make an entrance or exit? Think Star Search combined with the Road Rules/Real World competition. The comedians will be divided into two groups. After the performances, the audience will be calling in for two reasons - #1. The team with the most votes wins $50,000, while the comic in each group with the least amount of votes is eliminated. At the end, the last person from LCS1 goes up against the last person from LCS2 for the championship.

I would go into the review of the comics, but you should all know them by now, and I will give you a quick reference point to each person as we quickly bring back the comics for a refresher...

Dat Phan - Vietnamese winner who wasn't very funny
Ralphie May - Big fat guy who was funny and who should have won
Rich Vos - Wisecracking guy who is divorced - my personal favorite
Cory Kahaney - the 'good' female in the group
Tess Drake - African American who can be funny if she lays off the dirty material
Dave Mordal - Very funny guy who lost bizarrely to Dat Phan
Rob Cantrell - He was the inexperienced comic - can he do better now?
Tere Joyce - Blonde spikey hair woman who fell to Cory
Geoff Brown - Not really funny African American comic who also lost to Dat Phan
Sean Kent - Angry Texan who was recovering from cancer - first comic eliminated

John Heffron - The second winner who was funnier than Dat - but who shouldn't have won and shouldn't have even been here if not for being the nepotistic godson of the producers and Heffron's ex-talent agents.
Alonzo Bodden - He should have won, but the bald African American came in second
Gary Gulman - How did he get into the Top Three?
Kathleen Madigan - The 'good' female here in this group
Tammy Pescatelli - has the Italian schtick down to a 'T'
Jay London - He's in the Beyond department. Thank You.
Corey Holcomb - The ghetto portion of the show
ANT - It doesn't take Scooby Doo to figure out this mystery of this openly gay comic
Todd Glass - Why is he here? Oh yeah, he knows everyone connected to the show
Jessica Kirson - Seems like a nice girl - seems like cannon fodder.

The comics have to go to the 'War Room', as they select five comics of the 'opposing' team to compete. The other 5 will compete on the next show. The five selected by LCS 1 are Jessica, Todd, Alonzo, John and Tammy, while LCS2 selects Rich, Dave, Tess, Cory and Ralphie.

I would say that Jessica would be toast right now, except that she is grouped with Todd and she may have a chance. Meanwhile, LCS2 is smart by sticking the 5 powerhouse comics together, forcing one of the good ones off immediately.

After a Jay intro, Jessica starts off, and we see a traditional Jessica making noises and doing silly faces skit before her mike turns off. We get reminded by Jay that you only get 2 minutes, and then the microphones gets turned off on you. She gets countered by Corey Kahaney, who talks about having a baby and her husband, who is a lawyer. They were both decent, but with the levels being ratcheted up, I don't know if decent is good enough.

John Heffron starts us off by talking about video games. He repeated material from his earlier audition, which to me is a major no-no. It was good stuff, but still, a repeat about running up hills and getting schooled by his nephew is still a repeat (though nice original material about cheat codes for women). Tess talks about Janet Jackson and pulling a wardrobe malfunction, which I would find funny if I haven't heard the same material repeated (by Bonnie McFarland, nonetheless) 75,000 times already. Tammy comes out being Sicilian - this time going after their fashions and clothing sense. She is actually pretty funny and her stuff is solid.

None of that, however, holds a candle to Ralphie May's set. He talks about the passing of his father, and his set is all about the jokes his dad told him when he was a kid. Wow. His set blew me and the audience away - not because it was funny (which it wasn't), but because of all of the raw emotion that went into it. The audience gave him a standing ovation - and rightly so.

Going after Ralphie? Todd. He is his traditionally annoying self with his jokes. I am guessing that he does have a following, but still, this is painful to watch. Someone who is in that same vein - but who is funny, is Richard Vos, as he goes into what happened to him after the show and how life still stinks. Now THAT'S the sort of stuff that is funny - to me, anyways.

We finish LCS2 with Alonzo Bodden, who trashes the Olympics. A lot of his stuff recently has been in the sports skein, and even though it may hurt him later, it won't hurt him now, and using an NBC property is very clever. Also almost as clever? Dave Mordal, who talks about cows and electric cars. He reminds me a lot of Dave Barry - and I love his material.

My rankings?

Top Ranked - Dave, Alonzo, Ralphie, Rich
Good - Tammy, John
Eh - Tess, Cory
14:59 - Todd, Jessica

Team that should win the first round - LCS 1
Gone - Jessica, Cory

We get another episode this week, so we'll see what happens... and we'll see the other 10 comics.

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