This week, our fearless comedians will be competing in a challenge that seems kind of easy. They'll be roasting none other than the legendary Gilbert Gottfried. I say easy, because --come on. That guy has both purposely and accidentally created so much roast material throughout his career. I seriously hope someone mentions his stint as Iago in the Aladdin films.
There are only six comics left this week, and the contestants are under pressure. JB Smoove starts out by discussing the idea behind a roast. It's about "honoring and ribbing at the same time," he says. Then he breaks the news that the honored guest will be Gilbert. And in case the comics (and the viewing audience) are unfamiliar with Gilbert, JB rolls a montage of memorable Gilbert moments and trivia. For over 40 years, Gilbert's squint and voice helped him "succeed in everything!" his video states. "If masturbation is a crime, I should be on death row!" Gilbert squeaks in a talk show clip.
Jeff Ross will be helping mentor this week, and Karlous Miller is quick to make a quip about him right off the bat. He's already in roast mode! None of the comedians have participated in a roast before. Jeff will judge the performances and pick the winner, and the winner will automatically advance into the title round.
Rod Man knows Gilbert Gottfried, but doesn't know him, so he makes sure to study the biography pretty heavily. Jeff makes sure to remind him that there's no fact checking during a roast, so everything is fair game. Karlous plans on using the joke that someone is like a "penis, with less personality." Ooh boy. I'm going to file that one in my mental Rolodex, when I'm truly, truly mad at someone and want to pretend I'm 14 again.
Once again, my man Lachlan Patterson seems totally blank during his mentor session, while Jeff seems to dig Rocky LaPorte's "roasty style". Nikki Carr thinks that Jeff looks a lot like Barbra Streisand, and Joe Machi seems super nervous when the crew laughs at a joke Jeff makes at his expense.
The comics are sweating backstage, pre-roast. (Or should I say, they're "roasting" backstage. I'm here all night, folks!) Gilbert is introduced, as well as Jeff Ross, and JB screams about getting the roast started. Joe Machi is up first, and looks adorably wide-eyed in his tux.
The Start Of The Roast
"Jeff looks like he smells really bad. But doesn't smell bad, he smells really good, vote for me!" Joe states. He then acknowledges the people who aren't here tonight --the 94 comedians who didn't advance this far. "The audience is here tonight. Hey audience, nice shirts! Of course I meant that sarcastically. You all look stupid! Do you know why you're all in the audience? Because you all don't have talent. If you had the slightest bit of talent and no shame, you would be Gilbert Gottfried right now." And --yes! Joe mentions Iago, and the Aflac duck! Well, all of my dreams have come true.
Karlous Miller takes the stage next, and introduces a few people. Joe Machi is the one of the "nicest serial killers I've ever been around," JB Smoove, who "looks just like the mascot for Planters Peanuts," Nikki Carr who "has been famous for a long time, I know you've seen her on Good Times. She was the Mom." Next is Rocky LaPorte, who "was one of Roseanne's ex husbands." After the funny intros, Karlous pretends to completely forget who the roast is for. "You haven't made it to the black community yet," he says after telling Gilbert he doesn't recognize him. "Ladies, if your monthly cycle had a voice, it'd be the voice of Gilbert Gottfried."
Lachlan Patterson starts by asking for another round of applause for Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and launches right into the jokes. "Joe, you have the face of a beautiful child who just found out he has leukemia," he says. He asks Karlous if his ankle bracelet is too tight for him, and thinks Nikki looks like the black guy from Ghostbusters. Rocky has been doing comedy for awhile, and performed for the troops in World War II. "Can you hear me, Rocky?" he asks. Then he moves onto Gilbert. "I loved you in something, I'm sure" he says. "I was hoping Aladdin's first wish would be, 'kill the parrot'". Yes! Iago again!
Rod Man follows up, and I predict he's going to nail this challenge. He's an unstoppable force, that Rod Man. "Nobody loves Lachlan more than Lachlan," he claims. He doesn't want to say anything about Nikki, since she's a big black woman. And based on Gilbert, "he's been fired from every job he's had. He's like a black man, really. He was the Aflac duck, he got fired from that too." He compares Gilbert to a baby, and claims he just wants to put him in a car seat. Think about that one, Rod Man. Do you really want to take a long roadtrip with man-baby Gottfried?
Rocky LaPorte also looks pretty dashing in a tux, and starts off by saying that him and Karlous were good friends. "Just the other day he asked me to pee in a cup for him," he jokes with a bit of glee. He says that people compare Lachlan to Cloris Leachman, and then realizes that not many people in the audience would get the reference. Finally, he introduces the guest of honor -- Melissa Gilbert! "I just realized that me and Gilbert were neighbors when he had to register with the police department," he says. Then, Rocky starts getting a little gushy over Gilbert, and ends a somewhat disappointing set.
Nikki Carr closes out the roast, by claiming she is -- again -- the last female standing! "And I'm black; there should be some scholarship in the top five." She roasts Joe Machi by calling him a lesbian (but she's kidding, since "lesbians get girls!") and moves right onto Gilbert. "Your voice is so annoying, my grandmother stands up and turns off the closed caption when you're on!" she claims. Gilbert seems to enjoy this loving insult greatly. "They say you're the dirtiest comedian ever! Your mouth is like a toilet! I don't know if it's because of your material, or all the butt you have to kiss to get out of trouble all of your jokes get you into." Gilbert does his materials with his eyes shut since he doesn't want to be at his own show, but if he opened his eyes, he'd realize the audience has their eyes closed anyway. Solid set there, Nikki.
Uh oh. Gilbert is fighting back! "Look at these six comics! How sad is it that Nikki Carr is the best looking guy among them? Nikki Carr. Shouldn't your name be more like Nikki Minivan?" Oooh. Low blow there, Gottfried.
Gilbert gets Lachlan's name incorrectly, but that's okay --since he has no memory of him whatsoever. "You're tall, you're a comedian, and you're boring." "Karlous spells his name K-A-R-L-O-U-S. Only someone from Mississippi could misspell his own name." Rod Man's name is perfect, since after this competition, he'll be "hanging drapes!" And Joe Machi? Well, Gilbert looks at him and just wants to punch him in the face. And that was after Gilbert referred to him as being mentally challenged. Uh oh -- Rocky is next. Gilbert states that his family probably doesn't want to spend additional time with him. That's probably the kindest insult of the bunch. Regardless of the loving diss, Rocky admits he was super happy to be part of the roast.
Jeff's decision is the only one that matters. He admits that there were no bombs, but his decision would come down to Nikki and Lachlan. Not only is Nikki a roaster, but she's a closer. I kind of expected Jeff to hand her a mug, because we all know that coffee is for closers.
And The Winner Is...
The winner of the roast challenge? Nikki Carr! You guys know I love Lachlan, but Nikki dominated this challenge. And Gilbert actually remembered her, so -- that's a plus.
Now it's time to vote! Nikki is happy, since it's the last elimination and she won't have to walk up the stairs to the voting booth any more. She votes for Joe Machi. Rod Man thinks he's funnier than "Lack-lan Peterson," mimicking Gilbert's mistake. Lachlan votes for the best: Rod Man. Joe puts Karlous in the ring, and Rocky votes for Joe. The last vote? Karlous, against Joe. Looks like he's going to be back on stage tonight. He can choose against Rocky and Karlous -- as they voted against him -- and ends up choosing Karlous. The rest of them have successfully made the final five.
The Comics Battle
Both nervous comedians get a pep talk from Russell Peters, who admits that Joe probably burned out of material based on last week. If Joe loses, it's all because the judges made him perform 90,000 jokes in his endless battle against Monroe Martin.
Karlous is up first. "I'm from Mississippi, the home of racism and struggle!" he states. He moved to California to get away, and then the Clippers coach said he didn't want black people at his games. "That'll be just like me owning a dog park in LA and saying 'I don't want any white people to come'." He then discusses a homeless druggie musician who licks shoes, and how people who invite you over "cover stink." "Is anybody here with their musty friend?" he asks the audience. "I see a few people looking at me weird. Shout out to all the ladies who got facial hair." Eh. This set is all over the place.
Russell thinks his material is current, and had a good set. Keenen Ivory Wayans -- who looks ravishing in a Grimace-purple shirt -- missed his energy, and Karlous blames the California weed. "I don't know if weed worked in your favor," Keenen says. Roseanne admits that she has facial hair, and thinks that a lot of his jokes are a bit generic. "Saying you're high is funny in a bar, but we're talking about going into television stardom," she states. Right on, Roseanne!
Joe takes the stage next. He quips about voting, saying that Americans only get to choose between two bad choices. It's "like the choice you have going through airport security. Hey --this guy can take a picture of your penis. But if you don't like that, this other guy can grab your penis... What was the first one again?" He jokes that you don't persuade other people against insults -- especially sluts. After that joke, he talks about his bad luck with ladies, especially the one who'd rather kill herself than go out with him. Especially after the slut joke.
The judges think he's a great writer and comic. Keenen wants to hold his comments, and just say "good job." I think he's got this one locked.
A Quick Deliberation
The judges have made their decisions! Compared to last week, their deliberation was completed with lightning speed. The three offer pretty standard advice to the two contestants left standing, similar to the "reach for the stars!" advice that you got at your high school or college graduation. JB opens his envelope, and --no surprise, Joe Machi is staying another week!
Karlous is bummed about losing, but is proud that he made it this far. You can still vote for Karlous to come back for the finale -- he'll be competing against the hilarious Alignon Mitra, who has been absolutely kicking butt in the online polls.
Next Week: We start the Title Round! And, oh my gosh. Jay Leno is mentoring. That's kind of amazing.
Catch an all new episode of Last Comic Standing next Thursday at 10pm on NBC.
(image courtesy of NBC)