Last Friday night, Oct. 29th, Goodnight’s Comedy Club and Broadway Series South brought NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” Live Tour came to Raleigh for one night only. Hosted by comedian Myq Kaplan, the tour featured mostly fledgling comics who got in a few good laughs, but failed to really entertain.
After a few forgettable jokes from Kaplan, such as “My wife is gay. Well, she’s half-gay, half-Jewish, so my parents are happy,” somber Jonathan Thymius, who finished sixth on Season 7 of “Last Comic Standing,” wandered onto the stage, looking purposefully lost and aimless. His act started strong with enjoyable self-deprecating humor, such as “Coming in sixth on ‘Last Comic Standing’ has been everything I ever dreamed it would be. Minus 5,” but quickly dwindled into the kind of jokes that can be read on a popsicle stick. He actually quipped, “I found out I wasn’t the devil. I was reading the tag on my underpants wrong. It said ‘satin.'”
The crowd roared to life, however, when foul-mouthed Mike DeStefano took the stage. Although most of his jokes were so dirty that they can’t be repeated here (yes, he actually used the dreaded C-word), he also had some surprisingly insightful and funny comments, such as how everyone will get to heaven one day and realize, “The right religion was chocolate milk.” Though he called two Triangle Arts and Entertainment reporters “the [expletive] pricks from the newspaper,” he was one of the best comics of the night.
Comic Tommy Johnagin took the stage next. He referred to Raleigh as “a little Southern New York,” and commented on the small crowd gathered in Meymandi Concert Hall. Even though there was nothing truly memorable or original about his act, he did have a few nice moments.
Season 7 “Last Comic Standing” winner Felipe Esparza proved to be the event’s saving grace. With his disheveled hair, adorable accent, and constant little-boy snickering, Esparza was simply impossible not to like. His jokes centered mostly on his self-described “ghetto” upbringing, the perils of being fat, and what it’s like to be a Latino in America. Highlights included “I don’t like the stereotypes about Latinos. We’re not all hard workers,” and an interesting story about a ghetto stripper who brought her baby to work.
The tour will continue through February 2011. While there are no more stops in North Carolina, those willing to travel can purchase tickets and view tour dates at http://www.nbc.com/last-comic-standing/tour-schedule/.
SECOND OPINION: To read Triangle Arts & Entertainment’s online version of the Oct. 29th Triangle Theater Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2010/10/nbcs-last-comic-standing-live-tour-stars-felipe-esparza-mike-destefano-tommy-johnagin-myq-kaplan-and-jonathan-thymius/.
Goodnight’s Comedy Club: http://www.goodnightscomedy.com/.
Broadway Series South: http://www.broadwayseriessouth.com/.
VENUE: http://www.progressenergycenter.com/page.php?mode=privateview&pageID=23. O
Felipe Esparza: http://www.felipesworld.com/ (official website).
Mike DeStefano: http://www.mikedestefano.com/ (official website).
Tommy Johnagin: http://www.tommyjcomedy.com/ (official website).
Myq Kaplan: http://www.myqkaplan.com/ (official website).
Jonathan Thymius: http://www.jonathanthymius.com/ (official website).
To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts & Entertainment reviews online, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/.