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June 11, 2008
Norm and Cliff Make Last Comic Standing Rise to New
It’s been a long time
since I’ve looked forward to an episode of a reality competition show.
Dancing with the Stars? My husband and I actually turned our car around and
drove away from a nice downtown restaurant – where we had reservations –
the day that tour came to our city. We simply couldn’t bear the sight of
all the people standing in line outside the arena across the street,
many of them donning their own “dancing outfits,” without laughing our
expensive steaks right out of our noses.
American Idol? I used to love it. But I got over it when they started
accepting candidates who’d already had (and blown) professional record
Not to mention, Paula
went from slightly off her rocker to completely clearancing her rocker
at a yard sale and losing all touch with it. A few times this past
season, I found myself – show playing on my TV – doing exactly what my
eldest son does when his little brother screams.
He plugs his ears with
his fingers and says, “I can’t hear you!” The baby’s scream is about as
pleasant as Paula saying (approximately 10 times per episode), “you
really connected with the audience” I think she forgot that the word
“judge” means discerning, not disoriented.
Thankfully, I am sure
that this upcoming Thursday’s episode of Last Comic Standing will
redeem all similar shows for me.
Really, I’m not sure
what more a girl could ask for. John Ratzenberger and George Wendt –
a.k.a. Cliff Claven and Norm Peterson from Cheers – are this
week’s talent scouts. Two of the funniest people ever born, both from my
second favorite sitcom of all time.
In fact, I nearly
sacrificed my closest friendship just to watch the series finale back in
1993. My college roommate’s boyfriend was on a field operation for the
Army, and when he called that night, I was supposed to answer, and keep
him on the phone until she got home from class.
I forgot. I let the
phone ring. And ring. I was watching Cheers. Oops.
She couldn’t speak with
him for another three weeks. In turn, I’m pretty sure she waited about
that long to speak with me again, too. And as I’d walk into that dorm
room of deafening silence each day, I’d have to remind myself that it
was worth it.
Cliff and Norm. Sitting
there together. Making small talk about future funnymen. I can’t wait.
It almost makes me wish
that I’d had enough guts to try out myself. Granted, I have no material.
But Nashville’s only a 10-hour drive, and I can make a sock puppet along
with the best of the losers that show up. I could make him dance. Dress
him in a tube top. Call him I.P. Freeley and go from there.
Alas, I’ll have to
stick to watching the duo sit behind the judge’s table.
Yep. This week is going
to be great. They’ve already shown the top “Best of the Worst” tryouts,
and they’re wrapping things up before the semifinals. So, I’m hoping to
see mostly good comedy, and less fluff. They’re also making the season
interesting by sending through more “group acts” than ever before, a few
of which remind me of classic troupes from Best in Show and
Waiting for Guffman.
They’re also sending
through more people that are, as I say to my husband, “funny at first
sight.” To me, that’s the same as love at first sight. These guys walk
up on the stage, and they simply look like they can make you laugh
before they even open their mouths. Then, they do.
So, kudos to Last
Comic Standing for what looks to be a summer of great Thursdays. And
to John Ratzenberger and George Wendt, who I know have impeccable comic
taste and won’t let me down. And to Dave Foley, who still cracks me up
and is still completely adorable.
And to all the comics
who are much, much braver than I am. May you get a chance to live my
dream of bellying up to the bar with Norm and Cliff, and may you be
funnier on Thursday than you’ve ever been before.
© 2008 North Star Writers
Group. May not be republished without permission.
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