Though she may seem young, this wasn’t Esther Ku’s first time trying out for Last Comic Standing. She actually first auditioned during season 1 but the talent scouts felt that she didn’t have enough experience to land a spot on the show. Season 6 proved be the lucky one for Ku and she made the final 12, getting to showcase her standup on national television for millions of viewers. Unfortunately, she only lasted a week and was knocked out early by fellow comedian Iliza Schlesinger. After her elimination, Esther sat down to talk with BuddyTV in an exclusive interview and spilled some dirt about her competitors, God’s Pottery!
Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV, and today I’m talking to Esther Ku from Last Comic Standing. When did your interest in comedy first begin? Is this something you always wanted to do since you were a little girl?
Yeah, comedy is something that I always wanted to do. My whole family is just really funny, so I feel like I’ve always been the funny one in class and stuff. I had a crush on Jim Carrey when I was in high school and I would imagine being with him, so I always kind of looked up to big comedians and stuff. It was cool being on the show.
Was this your first year trying out for Last Comic Standing?
I actually tried out for Last Comic Standing four years ago in Boston, but when I first started they were like, “You’re too green. Come back next year.”
So what was this experience like trying out now after having a few years under your belt? Was it less stressful?
Yeah. Being under the pressure of auditioning in front of important industry people can be stressful, and kind of psyches you out a little bit. Having gone through some auditions in New York I felt a little bit more prepared to do Last Comic Standing.
How do you feel about the competitions that they incorporate into the show, like having to do the “your mama” jokes? Are you good at those things, or do you just want to get on stage and do the comedy?
I was not looking forward to any of the challenges, because the “your mama” jokes, real comedians don’t ever do “your mama” jokes. That’s something you see on like MTV or something. It was kind of weird that they threw us into that, but I knew ahead of time that they were going to ask us to do weird things like that anyway. Yeah, it felt weird being in a boxing ring telling jokes.
Were you surprised how many people called you out, saying, “I’m funnier than Esther Ku”?
I was surprised. Did I look surprised?
Yeah. As it went on it just seemed like a lot of people were trying to get you out early. Yeah, I guess they all ganged up on me. They all formed an alliance, maybe when I was taking a bubble bath or something. I didn’t hear anybody talking about who are we gonna vote against, so maybe I should have known. I was a little surprised, but then hearing what everybody said about my laugh I wasn’t that surprised. I’m used to people making fun of me about my laugh my whole life.
Do you think that the older comedians are going to try to get rid of the younger comedians first? Like it’s a rite of passage to have more years under your belt?
I think they are gonna try to get the younger comedians out, because I was one of the youngest comedians on the show and they wanted me out. I think there’s a lot of ego in this business, and I think their egos are a little like, “What is she doing on this show? I’ve been doing comedy for 15 years.” It’s natural. That’s probably what I would do if I were them too.
When you got to select your opponents what made you choose the two that you did?
Okay, well I picked Iliza. I felt a little betrayed. Iliza and I, I felt like we got along fine in the house, and then behind closed doors and in the interviews she said all these mean things about me, so I felt like I wanted to get her back a little bit. I also chose God’s Pottery, because they were always in character when the cameras were on, but then when the cameras were off they were just out of character. When the cameras were off they were like drinking beers with the rest of us, so I thought that was a little strange for them to even be in the house.
Were you surprised by the numbers from the votes? Eliza walked away with two-thirds of the votes in the audience. Did that surprise you at all?
She had 68 percent of the audience vote in L.A. That doesn’t surprise me, because I did do a joke that makes fun of Mexican people in my act. I felt like being in L.A. there’s probably a lot of Latino people in the audience who might have been offended or something, so I wasn’t that surprised. Plus she’s an L.A. comedian, so she knows how to cater to that sort of audience.
What’s the plan for you now that you’ve been on the show? Do you hope to do more stand-up comedy? Do you want to get into television and sitcoms? What do you want to do?
My plans now, I want to just keep on performing. I know I’m still a very young comedian, and I just want to become a better performer, write more material, and kind of branch off into becoming more of a professional comedian instead of sticking to the Asian stereotype stuff. I’m looking into writing, and my brother and I are writing a movie script. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens with that.
Will you tour with your comedy as well, or do you stick locally to where you are?
I tour all over the country and stuff. I’m looking to do colleges and comedy clubs all around the country. I have fans who are also in the UK, because I guess the show aired over there too. It would be amazing to go overseas also.
I’m sorry that you went out so early, but I hope to catch you on the road. I just wanted to thank you, Esther. I appreciate it.
Thank you. Thanks for having me on.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)