Sometimes, being funny is no laughing matter.
After a gauntlet of eliminations and many rounds of knock-down, drag-out, stand-up comedy, this year’s “Last Comic Standing” was declared.
After all that hard work, however, the real winners are the people of New Orleans, who will get to see all five of the top contestants from the show at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Tuesday.
The eighth season of the NBC reality series drew from a wide pool of hopeful comedians and paired them up with (and sometimes against) big-name stars like Ellen Degeneres, Wanda Sykes and Roseanne.
In the end, Georgia native Rod Man emerged victorious, but as any fan of comedy knows, you’re only as funny as your last set, and “NBC’s Last Comic Standing Tour” has a lot of them.
Rod Man got his start in the Atlanta comedy scene, and his “Last Comic Standing” victory is the culmination of years of hard work.
He’s brought his Southern charm to performances at The Apollo, on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” in Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and in the Judd Apatow comedy “Funny People,” which starred Seth Rogan and Adam Sandler.
He also thinks that self-checkout aisles at grocery stores are just a sneaky way to trick you into doing the cashiers’ job for them.
Rocky LaPorte started off as a very funny truck driver and dock worker, and might have stayed just that if a store manager hadn’t suggested he try stand-up comedy.
For the past 26 years, this Chicago native and grandfather of 10 has toured the country and appeared on “Cheers,” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and VH1’s “Stand-Up Spotlight,” and has opened for Tim Allen, Drew Carey and many more.
Nikki Carr brings her experiences as a woman, mother, grandmother, lesbian and former KFC employee to the stage and has gotten big laughs at clubs, colleges and military bases in the U.S. and abroad.
Her calling card is “The Fat Girl’s National Anthem,” and she has appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo” as well as BET’s “Comic View” and “Martin Lawrence Presents 1st Amendment Stand-Up.”
She is often given unsolicited advice about her size, such as that she should give up eating bacon (something she says would require a support group and a “pork patch”).
Pennsylvania native Joe Machi may look like a spooked deer onstage, but he’s a savvy performer who transforms stilted and awkward delivery into big laughs.
In the eight years he’s been at it, he’s appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” and he took first prize at New York’s Funniest Stand-Up competition at the New York Comedy Fest last year.
He also appears on Fox News’ “Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld,” where he plays an eternally frightened news correspondent who warns of such terrifying but true news stories such as herpes-infected library books and the massive volcano hidden beneath Yellowstone Park that is poised to wipe us all out at any moment.
Has someone ever told you that you have a face for comedy? Too-handsome-for-his-own-good Vancouver native Lachlan Patterson has probably never heard that.
In fact, in his first appearance on the show, one of the judges compared his looks to a store mannequin (the handsome kind, not the creepy kind).
Despite his unfortunate mug, Patterson has managed to succeed in the traditionally non-handsome field of comedy, appearing on Jay Leno’s show, FX’s “Legit” and “Tosh.O,” as well as releasing a hit comedy album called “Jokes to Make Love To.”
So whenever you look in the mirror and feel discouraged, remind yourself that anyone can succeed with enough hard work, even if they are unusually attractive.
Though the judges have already picked their winner for this season, these contestants are all in for the long haul.
Will the reigning champ bring down the house at the Mahalia Jackson?
Or will one of the runners-up get the last laugh?
In the end, what really matters isn’t who’s left standing, but that they leave us in stitches.