I have a love/hate relationship with stand-up comedy. Most comics are mediocre, with one or two jokes in a half hour set that make me roll on the floor, where the rest mostly bore me. The only counterexamples I can think of right now are Demetri Martin and the late Mitch Hedberg, who hit me with 80 or 90 percent of their material.
On the other hand, I can’t stand Chris Rock and those like him (George Carlin somewhat included in this category), who ostentatiously vomit political and ethical opinions which sound like they’re edgy but everyone agrees with. I didn’t go to a comedy show to hear a liberal sermon (I, too, agree with most of said opinions).
Anyway, where I’m going with this: I just watched Last Comic Standing on Hulu. I was thoroughly impressed: about 80% of the jokes made me laugh out loud (possibly to the extent of waking up my roommate). However, I completely disliked the presentation. It was presented like American Idol: they showed bad comics telling bad jokes and getting rejected by the judges, they showed the good comics boringly telling the camera about themselves (but two of them were quite hillarious in this process), they even did the “who will go on to the next round” needlessly long dramatic pauses with nary a single amusing moment.
I’m watching a comedy show, I don’t want to get to know the comics as people and cheer when they are selected and feel bad for them when they are rejected. It’s a comedy show, I want to laugh my ass off!
So: skip the two semi-final nomination segments, there is nothing good there. The rest has spatterings of pretty funny stuff, and the two live show segments are hillarious. And NBC, stop with the mindless filler!