For the past two weeks, we've been on the edge of our seats, anxiously waiting to see the Twin Cities comedy scene represented on NBC's Last Comic Standing. We've had a few quick glimpses, like local comedian Pat Susmilch appearing in week one, along with Tracey Ashley, who began her career at Acme Comedy Co.'s open-mic night, but last night the reality competition got all the Midwest flavor it could handle.
About 15 minutes in, we were treated to an extended video package spotlighting Minnesota's First Couple of Comedy, Tim Harmston and Mary Mack. For those who aren't familiar, the two first met during Acme's Funniest Person Contest back in 2003, which Harmston ultimately won. Since then, they've gone on to become two of the most consistently funny headliners in town, and when it was first announced that both would be competing on LCS, anyone who has seen them live knew they had a good shot to go all the way.
Not only were we treated to the story of their relationship ("He asked me out and I said no, and then six months later he presented me with a cheese box," Mack shared), but Acme itself got some play when cameras followed the couple into the bar area for their video sign-off.
Sadly, that was the last we saw of Mary Mack on the show, as her performance wasn't aired during last night's program (nor was local comedian Nate Abshire, who was also chopped due to time restraints). Harmston, however, was given the spotlight and had one of the best jokes of the night, talking about the humiliating experience of dying his own hair. While he didn't advance to the next round, the judges gave him props for his performance.
(NOTE: We don't want it to seem like we're picking on him, but Russell Peters needs to do something. Anything. Like, anything at all. At least this week Keenan Ivory Wayans gave some constructive feedback to the contestants, while all Peters seems to do is be Roseanne's hype man, repeating her thoughts and feelings like a more well-spoken Flavor Flav. GET IT TOGETHER, PETERS.)
Pete Lee, another veteran of the Twin Cities comedy scene, was also featured on last night's program, albeit as part of one of the show's multi-comic montages. Still, he was able to get off some solid bits about monogamy and his cat's birthday, while candidly sharing during a backstage segment that if he was to win the $250,000 grand prize, the first thing he would buy would be gold fronts for his teeth.
The most exciting moment of the night for Minnesotans, however, came near the end of the program when Tommy Ryman took the stage. Ryman, who was originally supposed to audition for the show years ago but was cut before he had the chance, gave one of the most unique, creative, and funny performances of the entire night. Anyone who has seen him perform around town knows that his style and brand of humor have been ready for the big show for quite some time, and last night he showed that to the world.
"I have never seen anything like you before in my whole life," Roseanne beamed immediately following his set. "You're one of a kind; a real original. I just loved it." Tommy, along with six other contestants from last night's episode, moved on to the semi-finals, bringing the grand total to 28. Next week, the competition moves on to the next phase, and will feature appearances by celebrity coaches Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, who is also the show's executive producer.