Well I have watched my very last Last Comic Standing. Ever.
Last night was the absolute final straw.
It’s pretty common knowledge that reality shows are far more controlled and scripted than they would have you believe, and Last Comic Standing is generally considered one of the worst. The auditions are a sham, you have to be invited by the producers to be taken seriously. Your act is edited to make it appear how they want you to, the judges are basically set dressing, and most of the acts that make it through are on the roster of executive producer/manager Barry Katz. They favour personality over talent (or if you look at the previous winner, they are also keen on a magnificent rack)
They are after all casting a show, not running an ACTUAL talent contest. There have been lots of blogs written about this very subject, here’s one of them if you are interested.
I knew all this going in, and I still watched it. I avoided it at first out of resentment, as I pitched a stand up reality show, only to be told a) I wasn’t attractive enough to host it, and b) it didn’t matter anyway, because there was no market for it. Seven months later, Last Comic Standing. To be clear, I’m not suggesting they stole it, I’m suggesting the producer I pitched it to was very wrong about there not being a market for it.
But despite this I found that I did end up watching it sporadically, because I am a stand up comedian and curiosity got the better of me. Plus I often spotted friends and acquaintances in the audition reel, so it was kind of fun to watch it for that.
I stuck with it when the brilliant and talented Sean Lecomber didn’t make it through.
I stuck through it when the laid back and also quite brilliant Sean Cullen was voted off
I stuck through it when I saw people I knew get only HALF of their joke out , then to have the camera cut away to a “judge “ rolling their eyes in the “These people suck” montage.
This season I even stuck it out through the annoying stick thin judge and her braying laugh washing over terribly unfunny jokes.
In spite of EVERYTHING I still watched the show.
Until last night.
The auditioner was a guy in a mascot costume. I recognized it right away as one of the one eyed creature things from the Despicable Me ads I had seen traipsing across the bottom of my screen.
He said nothing, and the judges pretended to be confused, not knowing what was going on..then Skinny McAnnoyinglaugh picks up a sheet of paper and says
“It says here you are a Minion from…”
Turned the channel. Never to return.
It’s not bad enough there is far more ad time than show to begin with, plus whatever it is they scroll across the screen at the bottom, now they have to make THE ACTUAL CONTENT ADVERTISING?
Despicable you indeed.
It is just greedy corporate thinking and an absolute insult to my intelligence as a viewer. I can totally picture someone devoid of a soul or a sense of humor in a boardroom pitching this saying “Yeah, the judges can riff for a little bit, make it funny, we’ll get some promo, it’ll be great. Tell em to do it.”
No. No No No. Are they even TRYING anymore? I don’t expect a “reality” show not to be a corrupt, fixed, corporate entity…but I DO expect them to make a little effort to HIDE it better!
If you don’t HIDE it…you are saying to me the viewer “Fuck you, you are an idiot anyway. Just take the product placement and LIKE it, Bitches. By the way, we already know who is going to win, these people outside are only here so we can get a shot of them lined up.”
I turned immediately to Craig Ferguson who was interviewing a “Miss Normal Girl” pageant winner with a foul mouthed bunny puppet. It was ten times more intelligent and twenty times funnier.
Do you hear that Last Comic Standing? A guy with 1/10th your budget, WINGING it with a HAND PUPPET he probably bought at the fucking MALL was way more entertaining than you.
Hamlet has a quote in it about lust sating itself in a celestial bed and preying on garbage. That’s what we are doing. Reality TV, Pop music, tabloid journalism, it’s all garbage and we continue to eat it up. I’m not saying everyone should be watching Masterpiece Theatre (although every once in awhile wouldn’t hurt) but the more we let them insult our intelligence the more they will do it.
The line will be drawn here.
I’m starting with no more Last Comic Standing… who’s with me?