Andrew Orvedahl of Denver is next up. He slept on the sidewalk for two nights. He tells a not very good joke about getting into a car accident, and Ant gives his patented smitten-laugh. He extends the joke to make it a little funnier, and the scouts are won over.
Robin Reiser of L.A. comes to the stage. Gratuitous shot of Kathleen brightening up at the sight of a lady comedian. Waking-up-to-NPR bad news joke. It's pretty good. All three scouts laugh. Alonzo says he's not sold, but they're giving her a chance. Robin says she's happy to be here. That is awesome.
Chris Bennett of Tempe (hotbed of comedy) does a joke about nursing-home bingo that sounds way too familiar. Ant calls him out on it, saying he's heard these jokes at Drag Queen Bingo. Chris, taken aback says, "I haven't spent...much time...there." Rejected!
Large man Lavell Crawford of L.A. (originally from St. Louis) jokes about being a big guy in an image-conscious city. He does a great bit about dying and becoming a fat angel with tiny wings and, despite laughing at his own joke halfway through, he pulls off the punchline perfectly and I laugh out loud. So do the talent scouts. He's in, of course.
The last of the auditions. Outside in the line, a tiny, white, balding guy named Rusta Rhymes from Albuquerque -- standing, appropriately, next to a bagel sign -- says he's there for the M.C. battle. He raps about Josh Blue. He's got a giant "R" chained around his neck. It looks like he got it at Home Depot. Inside, Greg Warren from Kirkwood, Missouri, is up next. He's been doing comedy for ten years, but he's still nervous. He makes it in with some eye makeup and a bit equating buying fatty foods at the grocery store with buying hard drugs. The scouts like it. Welcome to the showcase.
Then it's the guy who taught your Physics For Non-Majors class, "Hippieman" from Boulder, Colorado, He's wearing a suit. Dude says he's into love, especially girl-on-girl. Alonzo likes Hippieman, but feels no love for the stale jokes, which he says could be better. See ya, Hippieman. Cut yer hair! Ant, whose hairpiece is growing, says he expects that people who've been waiting this long to audition will blow the roof off the place. A.J. Fowler of Centennial, Colorado and Kevin Davidson, of Phoenix, separately but equally do not make it further. Matt Peterson of Albuquerque makes the same joke as Ryan Hamilton about being the love child of two celebrities that we'll hear later, but does it with less aplomb. Kathleen mocks him. Big-bearded Chuck Roy of Denver goes up. Funny Alabama joke with regard to his hair. Chuck Roy is proud to represent Denver. Next: John Caparulo of Studio City. He has a whiny everyman thing going that cracks up the scouts up. He's in. Night sets in. That's it for the open calls. It's time for the Tempe showcase! Tempeeeeee!