'Last Comic Standing' Recap: The Last Round of Invitationals
'Last Comic Standing' Recap: The Last Round of Invitationals
Karen Belz
Karen Belz
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Last week, seven fresh comedians earned a spot as finalists in Last Comic Standing. Tonight, we'll meet the final contenders who'll get $250,000, a deal with NBC, and the sweet title of - you guessed it! Last Comic Standing.

JB Smoove announces our three hosts -- Keenen Ivory Wayans, Russell Peters, and Roseanne. Then he announces Karlous Miller. He's a real life firefighter! Actually, wait -- he's more of a firefighter groupie. He was a firefighter until he saw a real fire, and got scared because fire is hot. Eh, his family is proud anyway.

Karlous gets on stage, and compliments ladies going back to their natural hair. "A weave has turned into a whole hairstyle," he said. "I was talking to a girl at the mall, she scratched her head, and her hair came off." Karlous has a foot fetish, unless your toes look like smoked cigarettes. He likes California, since they have pretty entertaining homeless people -- and the crowd digs every word that comes out of his mouth. "You're fantastic in every possible way," Roseanne states. And she's right! This guy is good. Or as Keenen says, "It was hot." (I guess that statement was the basis around the whole fireman bit. Such continuity!) 

Joe Zimmerman follows, and says how he's afraid of snakes. He can't believe that so many people own snakes, when there are fluffier options out there. "It's the opposite of a rescue, it's an attack" he says, imitating a pet store employee. "It's actually what we rescued the rescue from!" "Oh, you want more info on the limbless serpent? Well it has infrared vision like the predator monster, and has been the symbol of evil since the beginning of time." He's unique, and Russell loves his sarcastic undertone. "Despite your last name you're doing great things," he noted. One thing that's not great? He's a bit awkward with his microphone. Leave him alone, Keenen -- he's nervous!

Next up are married comedians Tim Harmsten and Mary Mack. Mary Mack is not dressed in black, and has no silver buttons down her back. Wait -- despite the lengthy couple intro, it's only Tim who is invited on stage. Such a shame. I was hoping for some quality bantering about married life.

"People always say, wow! It must be so much fun at your house! And I'm like -- well, she's still a woman," Tim says about his fellow comedian wife. (Yes! Banter!) "... Compassionate and understanding, if you'd let me finish!" (Aw man!)

Tim mentions how coloring your hair is a degrading activity for men. "You open the box up, and you strip down naked.. or at least, that's how I do it." The finished product always looks like a "pants-less chocolate sundae!" Good way to end it, Tim. Keenen finds him to be likable, yet inconsistent. 

First Comedy Montage

The awkward scenes backstage means it's time for an awkward comedy montage! But if we've learned anything from previous weeks, we know that limited screen time doesn't mean these contestants are out of the finals. First up is Yamaneika Saunders, who complains how she wants to be a damsel in distress, but often comes off looking intimidating. A married Pete Lee is upset about his friends hooking up with casual acquaintances. Instead of going to the strip club, he's at home celebrating his cat's birthday. Either way, he'll "have a little tail on my lap." (Funny stuff, Pete -- but that just sounds gross.) Luis J. Gomez looks different with and without a hat on. Chip Pope was too poor to come out of the closet -- instead, he had to come out of a curtain. Deanne Smith claims that this isn't the weirdest gig she's performed -- she once did stand-up at an Atheist Convention. "I had been praying for an opportunity like that," she said. To build confidence, especially around her male coworkers, she claimed that her newest catch-phrase should be "Tell it to my balls!" 

Nikki Carr is up next, and she's super happy that this isn't a show she has to "be sexy" to be on. "I've been this same size since I was 7 years old," she said. In her school pictures, she said that it looked like her class had two teachers. "Every picture, I'm the biggest one standing next to the flag," she said. For Nikki, dieting is out of the question. Why? Well -- food is delicious, of course. "I don't even want to know how you make turkey bacon, I don't even like interracial breakfast meat!" she says, about the so-called healthier option.

Nikki had a great energy, and her confidence is through the roof. Keenen thinks her attitude is a reminder of the late great Bernie Mac, and Roseanne absolutely agrees. 

Billy Wayne Davis takes the stage, and claims that he's a small town boy that only visits his hometown to see his family and a few friends who never left town. "You can tell who they are right away, since they've gained 400 pounds, and their kids never graduated high school," he said. They are also quick to use terms that are pretty darn racist. "Rednecks and gay dudes hate each other.  You can Google that, a bunch of stuff pops up. What they hate more than each other? Sleeves." 

Roseanne thinks he connected well with his audience, and had a well-written set. Russell agrees that the writing was top notch. Personally, I think he'd have a hard time measuring up with the other semifinalists if he made the cut.

Mike Gaffney awkwardly strides up to the stage next, and immediately yells about how he doesn't want kids. Even though he already has two. Whoops. "Girls have a lot going on!" he complains. "My son has nothing going on. He's like a coma patient!" Mike is a fast talker. Fast, loud, and like an uncomfortable uncle who is on the verge of a breakdown during your obligatory family Christmas party. He reveals that he's a recovering drug addict, and has been clean for awhile -- which gets a bunch of genuine applause. "It's not fun, I'm not celebrating! I have to take everything my kids say right in the face!" Keenen has daughters, so he totally understood Mike's comedy. Russell also thought that he had a fresh take, but needed to work a bit on his rhythm. 

Looks Like It's Time For That Second Comedy Montage!

Backstage scene? Phew. Get ready for some fast comedy, you guys. JC Coccoli is up, and has an enthusiastic start. She notes that based on the economic crisis, she traded her perfectly fine automobile for a Vespa. A Vespa has 37 miles to the gallon, but it can only carry one gallon. If you need her, look for a gas station. Roseanne likes her energy, but absolutely hates when people start up their act with "Hey, how ya doing?" It's a pet peeve that Roseanne herself used to do, but she learned to stop after Rodney Dangerfield made note of it. Interesting! Take note: Based on the dramatic previews, I was really expecting a massive on-stage brawl between JC and Roseanne, so I was somewhat disappointed. Well played, editors. Sean Donnelly is next in the montage, and he discusses the thug barbershop, where the barber makes fun of your haircut right after he cut it. "You look like Bobby from King of the Hill, son!" Kellye Howard talks about her enthusiastic friend, and Kurt Metzger jokes about quitting smoking. Tommy Ryman mentioned his new puppy, and his friends who gave him a hard time for not getting a rescue. Roseanne finds him to be absolutely original.

Monroe Martin comes on stage next, and introduces himself as a foster care kid. He explains the system: they take kids who were in an abused situation, and place them right back in the same environment. His first foster parent was an older lady who liked "her gin with her Jesus." When learning that his foster parents made $750 a month to take care of him, he said his punishments were less threatening. "I can't watch TV? Woman, I pay the cable bill!" When he was a teenager, he learned his Dad was in prison. Prior to, people sugarcoated it for him and said he "lived in a gated community". 

Monroe had a solid set, and Keenen thinks he's "what comedy is supposed to be," especially since he found humor in a dark world. If this guy doesn't make it, I'll be shocked. Monroe admitted that he almost cried over the positive criticism that the judges dished out.

Now it's time for the deliberations! Who'll make it onto the semifinals?

The Final Seven

JB announces the best of the best: Karlous Miller moves forward, as well as Deanne "Tell It To My Balls" Smith.  Nikki Carr, Tommy Ryman, and Yamaneika Saunders are the next to be announced. Quick-Paced Mike Gaffney is next, and finally? Monroe Martin. This rounds out the 28 contestants who will battle it out next week. It's about to get serious. 

Next Week: You'll see a bunch of familiar faces of the contenders who'll move forward, and also -- Wanda Sykes will give some quality advice. 

Watch an all new Last Comic Standing next Thursday at 10pm on NBC.

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(Image courtesy of NBC)