By Gary Murray 

Starring Lachlan Patterson, Nikki Carr, Rocky LaPorte, Joe Machi and Rod Man

The Last Comic Standing tour rolled into Dallas on Thursday, November 20, at the Windsmear Opera House.  This year was one of the most successful editions of the show and the talent was unparalleled. Some of the funniest comics working today appeared on the show.

The stage was simple.  It consisted of a mike & stand, a chair with a water bottle.  It was going to be stand-up in its purest form—a person with his thoughts on stage. 

The show started with Lachlan Patterson, one of the finalists.  He began with the idea of giving directions and segued into water and watermelons.  His stories weaved and bobbed from topic to topic and in the end, he tied the set together.  Doing the cold opening is the hardest job in stand-up and Lachlan handled it like a pro.

Nikki Carr was one of the runners up for the competition.  As the only female on stage, she had her work cut out for her.  During the television show, she came out as a lesbian which was a big part of her set.  She told stories of being on the show, pushing new material. Some of it didn’t work.  She was self-deprecating and dirty.  It was the weakest set of the five acts and her 20 minutes dragged. 

Rocky LaPorte was first up on the second part of the show.  This venerable stand-up hit it out of the park and easily had the best set of the night.  He took his time and delivered material on camping and different aspects of life.  He worked the crowd and was the most comfortable performer on stage.  It was a master comic doing a masterful job of comedy. 

Joe Machi writes the most cleaver jokes of all the comics on the show.  The comic grew from a mousy wall flower to a fierce beast in the course of the program.  The latter was on display this night.  He took over the stage, pacing back and forth delivering a long bit about America’s problems. It was funny but more ironic than humorous.   

In many ways, the night belonged to Ron Man.  The winner of the competition was also the headlining act.  Many in the audience gave him a standing ovation before he uttered a word.  His scattershot delivery was a bit hard to understand but the comic was on fire.   At times, audience members yelled out bit tags as if the show was some kind of rock concert and they wanted the greatest hits. 

Some of his set consisted of bits he did on the show, including the chunk on shopping and using the self checkout.  He ended his set with a bit of very blue material about keeping the marriage going by doing different sex acts.  He almost lost the audience with material that was just a bit too far removed from the act he performed on television.  Few expected him to go that blue.

After the show, the comics were in the lobby.  They signed autographs and took pictures with the fans.  For some, this is the next step to their career and for others; this will be their apex of stardom.  Only time will tell who makes it to the next level. 

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