Alonzo Bodden is in a unique position to be a talent scout on Last Comic Standing. As a former contestant on the show, he knows what he's putting people through. Actually, it's not that unique. His two cohorts, Kathleen Madigan and Ant, have the same experience.
Alonzo Bodden on Last Comic Standing
"Since the three of us were on the show, every step that these comics go through, we've already done it," said Bodden. "We went through the two-minute audition, the three-minute, and so on and so forth. So we can kind of pick up who can do it when we're watching them try out. And that makes it a little more interesting, the fact we've experienced what they're trying to do."
For the scouts, anything goes. Something could be edited from the televised show, but Bodden is not easily offended. "I don't mind tasteless, but I shut them down for unfunny. I mean, you say whatever you want as long as it's funny. We know the lines, and we let them go but the main thing is it's funny. The Michael Richards and Don Imus thing, that just wasn't funny. So yeah, it's great when a comic pushes the edge and goes, and you're like, 'Whoa, he got away with that' or 'She got away with that.' They got away with it because it's funny."
Perhaps even more than obscenity, contestants should be mindful of who pays the bills. "Back when we did the show, what Dan [Cutforth] told us was, 'No sponsor jokes. You can make fun of black people, but don't make fun of Cadillac.'"
Host Bill Bellamy does not let scouts like Bodden forget what it means to be rejected. "Bill makes us the bad guys. Whenever a comic walks out, Bill just says, 'You know, I would have put you on the show. I would have picked you, but they're tough.'"
Once the competition heats up, Bodden may face a conflict of interest if some of his buddies make it to later rounds. "I've had some friends ask me, like, 'What do you think I should do?' I can't tell you what to do because of my position. We give general advice. 'You're on TV. Work quick, get to the joke,' things like that that you can tell anybody. But even if I know you and I know your set, I can't say like, 'Do the car joke and the joke about your mom and the joke about when you were in school.' We can't be that specific. That's unfair."
Last Comic Standing airs on NBC.
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