If you love to discover hilarious comedians, you should definitely check out Last Comic Standing when season 8 premieres on Thursday, May 22 with a two-hour opener at 9pm. The series will continue every Thursday at 10pm for a total of 13 episodes.
NBC has announced the new judges and host of the revival that’s executive produced by Wanda Sykes: Roseanne Barr, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters. The host is JB Smoove. It should be noted that the network didn’t take any of my 15 suggestions into consideration.
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“We are ready to bring back the funny with this relaunch of Last Comic Standing, and can’t wait to discover the next great stand-up,” said Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late Night Programming at NBC, in a statement. “With Keenan, Roseanne and Russell set as our new judges, JB as host and Wanda, Page [Hurwitz] and Javier [Winnik] at the helm, there will be plenty of laughter all summer.”
Barr is the most well-known of the group. The outspoken comedienne is best known for her starring role on the sitcom Roseanne, for which she won an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for hosting her talk show, The Roseanne Show. And more recently, she starred in her own reality show called Roseanne’s Nuts.
She entered the world of politics in 2012 by running for president as part of the Green Party, ultimately coming in second for the nomination. She then ran and became the nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party, receiving 0.1% of the popular vote and coming in sixth place in the general election.
Wayans is a multi-hyphenate talent, having written, directed, produced and starred in a whole host of projects, including In Living Color. He also directed Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2 and White Chicks.
Considered an international comedy sensation, Peters has performed at sold-out arenas around the world. Forbes ranked him as one of the top 10 highest-grossing comics, with $21 million earned in 2013.
And the new LCS host is JB Smoove, who you might recognize from playing Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He’s currently on the CBS sitcom The Millers. Smoove has acted in countless movies, including Pootie Tang, Mr. Deeds, Date Night, Hall Pass and We Bought a Zoo, and even was a writer on Saturday Night Live.
Last Comic Standing has had various format changes over the years, and this season is no different. Here’s how it’ll work this time: season 8 will kick of with the audition rounds as usual, but this time it’s not an open casting call. The comedians trying out have been invited to audition.
Following the auditions, the top 100 will vie for 20 spots. Once the Top 20 are selected, those comedians will move on to the semifinals, where half will be eliminated. The Top 10 will then compete in different comedic challenges in the areas of sketch, improv and stand-up. They will compete both individually and in teams. At the end of the season, one will be declared the funniest person in America and claim the title of “Last Comic Standing.” The grand prize is an NBC talent deal and a half-hour scripted project that’ll be developed by Universal Television.
Last Comic Standing has been cancelled and revived a handful of times over the years. Its previous season aired in 2010. The reality series has helped introduce America to (and boosted the careers of) Ralphie May, Gabriel Iglesias and Amy Schumer, among others — Amy has her own sketch show on Comedy Central called Inside Amy Schumer, which returns for season 2 on April 1.
What do you think of the new judges and host? Are you more excited to watch LCS this year? Or were you hoping for bigger stars?
Last Comic Standing season 8 premieres Thursday, May 22 at 9pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of WENN)