Twitter is not a comic’s best friend, the producers and judges of NBC’s exhumed Last Comic Standing said today at NBC Press Day. “I want to see you on stage with that mike, then I’m going to get it,” judge Keenen Ivory Wayans said. “I don’t know where the jokes come from when they’re online. It’s not real to me unless I see you with a microphone.”
“I enjoy it, because I like to provoke people and get them pissed off,” judge Roseanne Barr jumped in. “The whole heckler thing is why I got into it. I like being fast with the retort…I like to block people too.”
Next month, NBC returns Last Comic Standing, with new judges Barr, Wayans, and Russell Peters, new host JB Smoove , new format, new celebrity guests, and invitation-only auditions. This reality television talent show aired its first seven seasons from 2003 to 2010. Last November, NBC announced the show’s latest 13-episode order. Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz of Push It Prods. executive produce for Universal Television through their deal with the studio, along with The Marriage Ref‘s Javier Winnik.
Serious students of TV will remember this show achieved “mired in controversy” status in its second season when judges Drew Carey and Brett Butler discovered a panel of four producers also was casting votes in the comic-culling process. Carey called the situation “crooked and dishonest” when it also came to light some of the finalists that season were connected to some of the producers and/or directors, pretty much summing up viewer reaction too. Today, exec producer Page Hurwitz thanked NBC for “letting us retool the format,” promising “the judges exclusively are making the decisions about who moves forward” and that she and Skyes personally auditioned and chose the 100 people competing in this edition. “We think ultimately we are going to have a much better show,” Hurwitz said.
And it wouldn’t be a Q&A with a panel of comics unless some reporter asked them their thoughts about people who say women just aren’t funny. “That’s just something stupid people say,” Roseanne shot back. “Change ‘women’ to an ethnic word and they would not be allowed to get away with saying stuff like that….next time say ‘Jews’.”