Tonight marks the end of the invitationals, which means that next week, we'll focus on the group of superstars that are in the running for the grand prize. Anthony Jeselnik starts by telling a lame joke about how he only cares about whose hosting (him!) before introducing our judges -- Roseanne, Norm, and Keenen.
From there, he dives right into our first comedian tonight, Lavar Walker. "I earned a doctorate degree in pharmacy," he starts. "Yet every morning I found myself behind a cash register ringing up cookies and juice... It's rough working the cash register, since often times, old men come to the register and don't know how to check out." He jokes about how the elderly often look at the debit machines like they're flying saucers. The joke is completed with a little physical comedy as well -- Lavar really has the "old man hunch" down.
Roseanne thinks he knows what he's doing, and found his characterizations to be perfect. Keenen felt some nervous energy, but found the jokes to be solid. "Norm, finish him off!" Anthony says, which leads to some chuckles from the audience. "It was a perfect old man," Norm comments. Lavar mentions that he's still a pharmacist, and Norm responds with "My advice would be to resign immediately."
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From Wabash, Indiana, Michael Palascak is up next. He started doing stand-up in Chicago, and got a bunch of parking tickets. "I learned it's 50 dollars cheaper sometimes to park on the sidewalk. I didn't even know that was an option. How did they figure out that pricing system?" He continues on by talking about his girlfriend, who always asks him what he's thinking about. "I think things, and the things I want to say, I say, and the things I think will hurt your feelings I won't say."
Keenen liked his "dude-ish humor", and Roseanne loved his set construction. She did admit that the set needed a bit of tightening. Norm thinks the "what am I thinking?" set-up has been done a billion times, but admits that Michael handled it well.
The Funny Harvard Grad
Anthony does an unfunny little riff about documentaries, which (somehow) introduces Harvard student Sierra Katow. She's a girl gamer, who refers to herself as being "isolated and nerdy." She's President of The Lampoon, and friends vouch for her sense of humor.
"I'm a college student, actually. I did like high school better though.. I was valedictorian, star athlete, not to brag... but those were some of the perks of being home-schooled," she jokes up front. In her set, she mentions that she's half Chinese and half Japanese, but grew up speaking English, which is tough when she finds herself in Asian restaurants. (You guys, I want this girl to be my cool best friend.)
Norm finds Sierra to be sweet and engaging, and thinks she'd be an amazing opening act. Roseanne asks her how old she is, and she admits she's only 20. "With a little more work, you're going to be great," Roseanne states. Keenen thinks she's the perfect representation of her generation. "It's the snarky, little bitchy ... but very funny."
And Now, 900 Other Comedians
Comedy montage time! Angelo Tsarouchas is up next, who discusses Greek culture. He auditioned for the sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and was bummed that he didn't make it, since he's big, fat, and Greek. "I'm three words in the freakin' title!" He's followed by Natalie Jose, who says she has been single she's so long that she is like a house that's been on the market for so long, that it's assumed that it is probably haunted. Melanie Comarcho is next, who jokes about "kids today." Noah Gardenswartz talks about a questionable tattoo he saw. The T on his acronym tattoo was unnecessary, but I credit him for using an umlaut." Next, he jokes about how some people don't know the difference between melatonin and melanin.
The SNL Fan
Amir K. is up next. What's the K stand for? (Maybe Karen! My name!)
Amir is Iranian, but doesn't like the negative stigma being attached to it. "Now I just learned how to have fun with it. Like if I get really drunk, I walk by a group of people... stare at them a little bit... October 13th..." Looks like racial humor is his thing.
He mentions that he has taken one-night-stands to Starbucks just to learn their name when they wrote it on the cup. Eh.
Amir requests Norm to "judge me as Burt Reynolds" (which, as an SNL fan, I appreciate.) Norm blandly mentions Turd Ferguson, and then kind of cuts it off. Roseanne thinks he can dig a little bit deeper, and Keenen thinks that Amir feels like "a guy who is way-ready, but was doing his first set."
Do Vegans Eat Egg Salad?
Our next comic is Harrison Greenbaum, and he's absolutely adorable. His grandfather helped him get into comedy, and is a member of the Friars Club. "So many of my heroes have been through these halls.. plus, they have an amazing egg salad."
Harrison says he has an "in" with Gilbert Gottfried and appears to calls to him for advice. Wait -- wasn't he a guest mentor last season? That's like nepotism, kind of!
Harrison's first joke is about New York. "I actually got into an argument on the subway, and the guy quoted the Bible at me. That is not fair." If Harrison could quote from his favorite book, it'd be Harry Potter.
"I was vegan for awhile, you know? When you give up meat, and dairy, and friendship?" (I like this.) Next, he discusses weight, which is why he tried to change his diet in the first place.
Roseanne loves him, and thinks he's fantastic. "And you're real brave. I mean, Bible jokes? That's some brave sh*t!"
Norm doesn't think the Bible joke was brave, and thinks that Harrison should do his research. He mentions that J.K. Rowling is a Christian, and talks nonsense that nobody seems to understand. Anthony tries to cut quickly to Keenen, to avoid further awkwardness. And like a pro, Keenen lightens up the room.
Mia Jackson is up next, and talks about how people want to hook her up with someone. "I enjoy white people as a race, I do, but I do not enjoy you as matchmakers for me, okay? Because you're all trying to introduce me to the one other black person you know." From there, she talks about how white people can't tell the age of black people. "His eyes have cataracts, mine have hope," she claims. "I am not going to date anybody who had to fight for rights."
Norm thinks that comedy is best when it's truthful, but not necessarily when it's factual -- and thinks that Mia should have actually dated the old guy. Come on, Norm. Don't be another white matchmaker.
Roseanne likes her, but Keenen thinks she should have edged a bit up on the stage. "I thought I was going to fall off the stage," Mia admits.
The Second Montage
Ricarlo Flanagan is next, and talks about being rejected by women. Emmett Montgomery talks about how he glows after he holds his wife Kate's hand in public and imagines that people say "look at the hypnotist and his child bride!" Jackie Fabulous is a dating aficionado, who has 2k in student debt and isn't afraid to broadcast it. Jessi Campbell talks about going to Guantanamo Bay, as a guest. "I was sitting behind the pilot like 'How's the flying going? Can you feel my breath on your neck? Can I fly the plane?"
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Our Last Comic
We're reaching the end, guys. Who'll make it? Maybe it'll be our next comic, Clayton English. He's done comedy for ten years, and realized he was funny when he made a kid crack up during a sleepover. He used to work at a cell phone kiosk in the mall, and used comedy to make some mad sales.
In fact, he did group comedy with his best coworker -- it's Karlous Miller! From last year! Since I loved Karlous, let's hope I love Clayton.
"Weed's almost legal out here. It's not legal where I'm from, I'm from Georgia," he jokes. "I can't think when I'm being yelled at. ROLL YOUR WINDOW DOWN, RIGHT NOW! Are the child locks on?" He jokes about how he'd never go to jail for weed. If he got pulled over, he'd mix it with something, like applesauce. Nobody would suspect someone eating something with a spoon.
Keenen claims he hated it, but "just wanted to mess with y'all!" (Uh -- that's not what the "coming up next" previews made us believe. Come on, show. I thought there'd be some controversy here.) Roseanne claims he had the best set of the night, and Norm, somewhat sleepy, agrees.
And that's it! Who'll make it? The judges smash together with binders, to make us think that it's some kind of scientific process.
Who's Moving Forward?
The first comic moving on is Clayton English. Best of the night! Noah Gardenswartz, Mia Jackson, Michael Palascak, Ricarlo Flanagan, Melanie Comarcho, Angelo Tsarouchas, Lavar Walker, Amir K, and ... Harrison Greenbaum are moving forward. No Sierra?! I'm kind of disappointed.
Last Comic Standing airs Wednesdays at 10pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)