We want to give all of the contenders on “Last Comic Standing” their due, and it is hard in some ways to do with with an article covering individually the two-hour premiere. So instead, we’re going to break this down by episode, and give you our own personal ranking of some of the people that advanced. While some of the comics sent home had funny moments (and we’re actually rather familiar with Chris Fairbanks already), we didn’t get enough screen time with many of them to have an informed opinion. We’ve ranked the comics below in terms of who are our own personal favorites.
First, let’s give a little bit of props to host Anthony Jeselnik. We’ve listened to him on podcasts and seen him on roasts before, so we probably understand his comic character better than anyone. We’ve always found him funny and edgy, and he had about as many jokes in here as one is going to have while also having to do this job. Does he have that sort of attitude of “I’m too good for these chumps”? Yes, and that is is kind of the appeal since someone has to be there to cut away from some of the silly idealism that really competitions can present. We’re not sure we are feeling the chemistry yet from the judging panel (including Norm MacDonald, who had nary a bad thing to say about the first eight advancing performers), but we’ve always found it somewhat awkward listening to people critique something this subjective.
Granted, we guess someone has to tell us something to justify why the decisions were made to advance some comics over others. Let’s just get to our ranking.
8. K-Von – We’re writing this the day after watching the sets, and if there is nothing that stands out to us about the person in retrospect, it’s probably not a good thing. He just doesn’t stand out to us; maybe we wanted to actually hear more of his Owen Wilson or something.
7. Taylor Tomlinson – We’ll give her credit for being a “church comic” who actually still has at least a little bit of an edge. Given how there are some comics out there who are obscene just for the sake of doing so, we like that she has to be a little more creative to avoid going blue on stage. We wish some of her jokes popped more, but she’s also the youngest comic of the group should get better with experience.
6. Moses Storm – Moses has the edit of someone who could go far and even win the competition, and we chucked a couple of times during the set. We just don’t feel like he delivered a knockout punch, and we’ve heard so many different takes on Uber at this point that as someone who has never used it, we’re getting a little tired of it.
5. Mehran Khaghani – By the same token, we’re a little tired of jokes about people going through security checkpoints at the airport. Yet he freshened it up with his character as this gay Iranian who dresses up intentionally in the most over-the-top outfit possible to avoid suspicion. So much about comedy is relatability and being able to picture the situation in your head. Mehran was a great storyteller in addition to being a funny comic.
4. DC Ervin – Like Mehran, a really good storyteller. What we liked especially about his material with the ATM is that he made you rethink common stereotypes for a minute, and he touched on what are at times sociological issues, but in a funny way. So often race-related humor is just so obvious and frustrating that it feels almost set 20 years in the past. DC’s current, refreshing, and really someone who could go pretty far.
3. Ian Bagg – He is somewhat staccato and unnerving in his delivery, and sometimes what he says are not jokes so much as statements just said in a funny way. Yet, it somehow works for him, and we don’t have many other comics this brash in the competition so far. Really funny stuff.
2. Ryan Conner – He was really early in the show and therefore is a little easier to forget, but we don’t want to diminish what he did up there. Some of his jokes about growing up in a large, multicultural family were completely unlike any that we have heard before on the show or really in any comedy. People with unique lives do sometimes benefit on stage, and Ryan clearly does.
1. Ms. Pat – Hysterical. Her entire bit about the dump truck made us laugh immediately in the promos, but her entire set was packed full of great moments and also character quips that established who she is. Plus, she created wonderful visuals with words, including her plowing over a fence as a teenager.
Let us know below who you enjoyed the most from the premiere. Also, you can sign up to get some more TV updates on just about all we cover, courtesy of our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)