<EM>Last Comic Standing</EM>'s Chris Porter and Michele Balan Last Comic Standing's Chris Porter and Michele Balan

They say dying is easy, comedy is hard. But dying while doing comedy? This quintet of Last Comic Standing cutups wouldn't know, since they've all aced their sets so far. The five funny finalists from the NBC series (new episodes air Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET) took time out to joke around with TV Guide before yukking their way toward the season finale, airing Aug. 8. 

Name: Chris Porter
Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
Age: 27
Years in the biz: Eight
Brand of comedy: Rock and roll
On getting into stand-up: "I went to see my friend at an open-mike night and was like, I'm funnier than half these people. A month later I tried it, and it was like crack  I wanted to do it all the time."
On how the show has changed his life: "The other day I was walking down the street and some dude drove by, stuck his fist out the window and screamed, "Willy Wonka!" That was cool.
On bombing: "I ask the audience, 'Hey, what's your problem? These jokes worked for the last four years, so I don't think it's me. It must be you people.'"
On what he'll do if he wins: "Buy a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar and enough amplification equipment to annoy people three area codes away."

Name: Josh Blue
St. Paul, Minn.
Age: 27
Years in the biz: Eight 
Brand of comedy: Spastic
On getting into stand-up: "People were always staring at me because of my disability [cerebral palsy], so I figured I might as well start getting paid for it."
On how the show has changed his life: "Now that people recognize me, I have to allow myself more time to get to places because it takes me 45 minutes to sign one autograph."
On how his disability informs his act: "I was riding my bike, and I went over my handlebars and cut my head open. Sure enough, the drunk tank was the first to arrive. It took a lot to convince them that I had cerebral palsy."
On what he'll do if he wins: "Get that operation I need."

Name: Michele Balan
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Age: Over 40 
Years in the biz: Over 20 years
Brand of comedy: A female George Burns
On getting into stand-up: "I used to be a Bette Midler impersonator, and people kept saying I should try stand-up. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Now I want to kill them."
On her fan base: "I have a great gay following. In the lesbian community, if you sleep around a lot, you get enough exes to have a fan base. It's sort of like I'm a hooker: I perform, I get paid."
On almost getting the boot multiple times: "The other comics were looking at me like, 'Get the old broad off.' 'How hard will she be? She'll probably nap during her set.'"
On what she'll do if she wins: "Pay off my credit cards."

Name: Roz
Hometown: Orange, N.J.
Age: 42
Years in the biz: Eight
Brand of comedy: Crossover-edgy
On getting into stand-up: "I'd go out to restaurants with friends, and other people would stop eating their food and listen to me talk. I finally tried an open-mike night."
On bad romances: "Have you ever been in a relationship past the expiration date? My husband broke up with me two years back, but I just ended the relationship three weeks ago."
On the heckling challenge: "When [fellow competitor] Rebecca Corry called me 'Mo'Nique,' I wanted to literally sit on her and fart consecutively 20 times."
On what she'll do if she wins: "Send my mom on a nice vacation."

Name: Ty Barnett
Hometown: Chicago, Ill. (but he launched his career in Seattle, Wash.)
Age: 30
Years in the biz: Nine
Brand of comedy: Chris Rock-ish
On getting into stand-up: "In high school, my friend and I used to crack on each other in art class, and kids from other classes would come by to watch us go at it. That was my first taste of performing."
On bombing: "One night, after fighting with the audience, I kept trying to plow through my set, but at some point I felt my spirit leave my body, go to the other end of the room, order a drink, and sit there watching me bomb."
On critics: "My daughter lets me know when something isn't funny."
On what he'll do if he wins: "That's the last thing I'm concerned with. I've already gotten a lot of good stuff from being on the show, careerwise. I don't need to win."

Send in your comments about this article to letters@tvguide.com.