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Jay Mohr (2003–2004)
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Anthony Jeselnik (2015)
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NBC: 6/1/2003 – 8/7/2010
5/22/2014 – 9/9/2015
Giraffe Productions
Peter Engel Productions
NBC Universal Television

Last Comic Standing was an off-again/on-again stand-up comedic reality competition that mixed elements of American Idol and Survivor as contestants shared a house and chose their opponents in head-to-head competitions decided by the audience, with the winner copping an NBC talent deal, among other prizes.


In the early rounds of the competition, NBC talent scouts Ross Mark and Bob Reid held open casting calls in various locations around the United States. At each casting call, Mark and Reid identified comics to participate in callback auditions in front of live audience. Mark and Reid then selected a predetermined number of comics from each callback, who were invited participate in a semifinal qualifying round.

The comics who advance to the semifinal qualifying round were divided into two groups. In Season Four, 40 comics were divided into two groups of 20; these comics performed and competed against each other at the Alex Theatre in Los Angeles. During the semifinal qualifying rounds, a panel of celebrity judges, a the show's producers, select the comics who would move forward to the final qualifying rounds. The determined who among the comics would be "in the house". While the remaining comics are vulnerable to elimination through a "head-to-head" standup challenge.

As the conclusion of each television week drew near, each comic selected one other comic whom they believed they could defeat in a head-to-head challenge. Thee comics were sent off individually to a secluded booth, and named the person using the phrase "I know I'm funnier than _____!" The comic who received the most notorious participated in that evening's head-to-head competition and selected their opponents from any comics who had challenge them.

The head-to-head competition occurred in front of a live studio audience. The comics performed for an equal amount of time, and the studio audience voted electronically for their preferred performed. The winning comic remained "in the house" for at least one more television week, and the losing comics was eliminated from the competition.

When only five comics remained, the format changed again. All remaining comics performed for a large theatre audience as before, but now the decision-making power shifted from the studio audience to the television audience. Viewers cast their votes for their favorite comic by phoning a specific number, by voting online at the network's website or both. Unlike some other "audience-vote reality" programs, the programs imposed a maximum number of eligible votes per originating phone number and email address, The comic who received the lowest number of votes each week was eliminated from the competition, until the was one "Last Comic Standing".

The "In the House" concept was dropped for season 7, and each week consisted of all remaining comics performing in front of a theater audience and being voted on by the television viewers to determine who leaves and who remains. It was essential identical to the "final five" format used previously.

List of Winners from past seasons[]

Dat Phan
John Heffron
Alozon Bodden
Josh Blue
Jon Reep
Iliza Shlesinger
Felipe Esparza
Rod Man
Clayton English


Peter Engel


  • Inventor Peter Engel is also credited for creating the successful NBC Saturday morning teen sitcom, Saved by the Bell.
  • Season 6 winner Iliza Shlesinger went on to host the short-lived syndicated reality dating show Excused from 2011 until 2013.
  • Season 5 contestant Debra DiGiovanni went on to become one of the panelists for The Comedy Network's Canadian English-Language version of Match Game since 2012.
  • After a four year hiatus, the series returned on NBC along with a new sixth host of the franchise JB Smoove on May 22, 2014. In addition, Smoove was later proceeded by Anthony Jeselnik for the show's ninth (and final) season in 2015.
  • On August 16, 2016 NBC announced that it had cancelled the revived series after nine seasons.

See Also[]

Funniest Wins


Official Site (via Internet Archive)
Last Comic Standing Cancelled by NBC - No Season 10