NBC’s Last Comic Standing Brings Five Semifinalists to the Britt
Make ‘Em Laugh to Make it Big (That’s What She Said?)
In 2007, Amy Schumer took fourth place in the Last Comic Standing TV show. After performing on multiple shows and on Comedy Central, her own sketch show Inside Amy Schumer launched in 2013. Now she has taken the comedy world by storm with Trainwreck, which she starred in and wrote, grossing a tidy $102 million in its first month. Who is the next comedian to make it to fame and fortune? That may just be decided at the Britt Festival hosting the five finalists of the ninth season of the Emmy-nominated Last Comic Standing on September 12.
Last Wednesday, the field was narrowed to ten contestants and then to five this past Wednesday. The final round will take place and the winner will be crowned on the Wednesday before the Britt performance. (The majority of these comedians are from the East Coast, so be prepared for a few hillbilly jabs and probably more than a few weed references.)
The show started with 100 contestants chosen by an NBC panel, and 95 of them have been whittled away through cutthroat “stand-up standoffs” and comedic challenges over the weeks including standup performances in random public places, being placed in odd jobs or even given a radio spot with a specific topic at the last minute. The challenges sure seem worth it when a $250,000 prize package including a cash prize, a talent deal and a development deal for your own TV show is on the line.
The show itself has had its ups and downs. In Season Two, four celebrity judges (including Drew Carey and Brett Butler) appeared to be narrowing the original field of 40 down to the top ten, but when the finalists were announced, the hidden rule came out that if the celebrity judges’ votes didn’t agree, four backstage producers who were in agreement could override their decisions. This didn’t sit well with Carey and Butler, and it was also later discovered that some of the finalists were clients or employees of some of the show’s producers and/or directors. Now that the show is all grown up and in its ninth season, one can only hope the controversial bugs have been worked out.
This season, Anthony Jeselnik is the host, and the judges are Keenen Ivory Wayans, Roseanne Barr and Norm Macdonald. Last season’s winner “Rod Man” is currently preparing a pilot for NBC with comedienne extraordinaire Wanda Sykes, who appeared as a mentor on the August 19 episode of the current season.
Last Comic Standing
8 pm, Saturday, September 12
Britt Festival Gardens, 350 First Street, Jacksonville