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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Last Comic Standing Returns to NBC

Written by Jon Williams

Do you need a laugh? Of course you do—who doesn’t? Well, you’re in luck, as tomorrow night marks the Season 8 premiere of Last Comic Standing on NBC. The reality series pits a number of up-and-coming standup comedians against each other in challenges and head-to-head competition to see who is the funniest of them all. This will be the show’s first season since 2010.

The first season featured Jay Mohr as host and included appearances from a number of famous comics who served as judges, including Mo’Nique, Colin Quinn, and Phyllis Diller. That season, Dat Phan won the title of Last Comic Standing, winning the audience vote over Ralphie May. In the second season, John Heffron was the winner over Alonzo Bodden and Gary Gulman. Bodden won the third season, which featured the best performers from the first two seasons. Other comics to compete included Kathleen Madigan, Sean Kent, and Ant.

Last Comic Standing was cancelled after the third season, but came back after a one-year hiatus for a fourth in 2006. That year Josh Blue, one of the most memorable contestants due to his cerebral palsy, beat out a field that included Gabriel Iglesias, among others. The fifth season was hosted by Bill Bellamy and featured a fantastic cast that included international comics for the first time. Jon Reep took out Lavell Crawford for the win; other notable names from that season include Doug Benson and Amy Schumer, currently starring in the hilarious Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer, not to mention Gerry Dee of the very popular Mr. D on CBC.

The sixth season brought Bellamy back as host. History was made that season, as Iliza Shlesinger became the first female comic to win the title. The seventh season featured Craig Robinson as host with Greg Giraldo, Natasha Leggero, and Andy Kindler serving as judges; Felipe Esparza won the competition. The new season that begins tomorrow night will be hosted by JB Smoove and judged by comedy legends Roseanne Barr, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Russell Peters.

So give your patrons a laugh! Check out the comedy specials above, or SmartBrowse any of these names for even more standup specials, CDs, movies, and audiobooks from these very funny performers.

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