The fifth season finale of Last Comic Standing was an hour and a half of fluff, but enjoyable fluff. The producers went for an Olympics coverage homage/parody, with a liberal dash of last century’s variety shows mixed in. Mix well, add a pinch of stand-up from the last two finalists, a dash of presidential candidate humor, and we’ve got ourselves a nice little evening, boys and girls.
A rabid sports fan friend of mine is vehement in his dismissal of feel-good athletic stories, and usually I tend to agree with him–just tell me how the game ended up, I don’t care about the quarterback’s mom’s childhood best friend. But in the case of the Olympics I make an exception. Maybe it’s because I was a child figure skater, and the back story is our bread and butter, or maybe it’s because I was a college track and field athlete, and we only get major press every four years, so this is what I’ve come to expect. Probably a combination of both.
Regardless, I love the Olympics profiles. They fill the time between events. The Comic spoofs were spot on. I have never seen anyone fight with an exercise ball quite like Jeff Dye, although I have jumped to the side of a vaulting horse the way Iliza Schlesinger did (but definitely not on purpose). I looked forward to each comic’s take on the heartfelt meme after each of the early commercial breaks.
Senator McCain told a joke, Senator Obama told a joke, guest star Jon Lovitz roasted both of them, and the show went on. I thought the finale as a whole hit a pretty neat pitch of patriotism blended with careful mockery, as we enter the last few months of a presidential campaign and the first few days of a new Olympiad.
If you can’t laugh at us, well, what is freedom for? Or something similarly endearing like that.