NBC’s Last Comic Standing added an innovative wrinkle to the well-worn talent show format on Thursday night. For its big two-hour finale, the Last Comic judges got out of their comfortable seats and put their talent where the opinions are. It’s a rare and brilliant move that other talent shows should follow. For example, you never saw Michael Kors on Project Runway have to design and sew a dress in 17 minutes using just bones from leftover chicken–or some other such “challenge.” Jennifer Lopez just sits there and opines on American Idol–no singing or fly girl dancing.
But the guy who selected Lopez for his fly girl team back in the day on In Living Color? That’s Keenen Ivory Wayans, one of the three judges on Last Comic Standing who got up and demonstrated why he deserves to sit in the judge’s chair. Legendary comic Roseanne Barr doesn’t have to prove her comedy chops to anybody–but she spat out a routine too, just to show the kids. And Russell Peters, the other judge, put on a smooth suit and did a lively set also. It was a classy move all around. They get to judge. But this night they showed how they’d walked in the contestants’ shoes.