The laughter finally died on Last Comic Standing when self-declared spastic stand-up Josh Blue was named the winner. Still, everyone involved with the show is smiling, as the fourth edition of NBC's comedic contest has earned solid ratings and has already been renewed for a fifth round, to air in the summer of 2007. Blue himself is elated (if still stunned) about his victory. (Even competitor Ty Barnett is fine with his runner-up status.) TVGuide.com called the competitive cutups to joke around about their respective runs.
TVGuide.com: Let me begin by posing a question I'm sure no one else has had the guts to ask you. How's it feel to be the Last Comic Standing?
Josh Blue: It's beyond words. It hasn't sunk in yet really.
TVGuide.com: Ty was convinced you were going to win from Day 1. Did you feel the same way?
Josh: Everyone was telling me that it would be me, but I didn't know. It's so weird. I knew I was doing well and that I had a good shot at it. But it's a game show, and it's up to people to vote. Initially I was hesitant even to audition for the show.
TVGuide.com: How come?
Josh: Because I had been rejected the first time I tried out for [the second season of] Last Comic Standing. I waited in line in 15-below weather in Chicago for six hours. When I got in there, I did about one and a half jokes before they were like, "Thanks." It was frustrating because I knew I was funny. I may be a better comic now, but I was funny then, too.
TVGuide.com: I guess you had a better experience at the second audition.
Josh: Well, there was a little bit of buzz about me. They knew who I was that time. It worked out great.
TVGuide.com: Is your live act any different than what we saw on TV?
Josh: I like to swear.
Josh: F--k, yeah. It's like a condiment. It adds a little flavor to the jokes. But I'm never vulgar or over the top. As you've seen, I'm very self-deprecating. I only really make fun of myself.
TVGuide.com: What's up next for you?
Josh: I plan on hitting the road very hard and performing as many shows as I can around the country. It's going to be funny. I'll be able to razz other comics: How bad at standing are you that I was named the Last Comic Standing? You got beat by a cripple. I definitely wasn't the first comic standing. I didn't walk until I was 15.
And now, Ty....
TVGuide.com: At the beginning of your very last set, you said, "I don't know how this night is going to turn out... but I'll be happy to wish Josh congratulations." Were you that sure he was going to win?
Ty Barnett: There were unborn children who knew that Josh was going to win.
TVGuide.com: Well I must be dumber than an embryo because I really thought you'd snag the crown. I always saw you as the contest's dark horse.
Ty: [Laughs] That's a racist statement, by the way.
TVGuide.com: OK, so when did you first realize that Josh would be the victor?
Ty: I knew when he made it into the house. How can people not vote for the guy who is funny and has cerebral palsy? The only person who could have beaten him was Stephen Hawking and even that would have been close.
TVGuide.com: All that said, you must have been a little bummed when you lost.
Ty: Honestly, I never had any intention of winning. I just wanted to leave my mark on comedy. I wanted people to watch me and say, "That Ty Barnett dude is hilarious." When I woke up the day after the finale, I thought, "Man, it would have been cool to win." But then I went down my checklist: Did I have fun? Yes. Did my act improve? Yes. Did I leave people with a lasting impression? Absolutely. I still have people e-mailing me about jokes that I did a month ago.
TVGuide.com: So what's your next move?
Ty: Now everything falls on my agent and manager. I got on the phone with them after the show and said, "I've given you guys tons of TV exposure, I look good on camera, I take care of myself.... Do not f--k this up."
TVGuide.com: Are they racist?
Ty: Maybe, but the biggest color they're worried about is green.
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