"Last Comic Standing" finalists bring their routines to Hawaii
Everyone is a winner on "Last Comic Standing." The fourth season of the NBC reality show may have ended last month, but September marks the start of a whole new slate of appearances for all the finalists, including Chris Porter and Roslane "Roz" Gholston.
'Last comic standing'
Featuring Roslane "Roz" Gholston and Chris Porter, with opening act Shawn Felipe
On stage: 8 p.m. Sept. 26 and 27; doors open at 7
Place: Pipeline Café, 805 Pohukaina St.
Tickets: $24; $55 VIP
Call: (877) 750-4400 or visit ticketmaster.com
The two comics, who finished in third and fifth places, respectively, fly to Hawaii for two shows -- after wrapping up seven club dates in Boston last weekend.
"Things have been crazy," said the Kansas City-born-and-bred Porter, via
phone from Boston. "We've actually been touring since July."
Porter said he is more than happy to leave the television show set behind -- most of the fourth season was filmed aboard the ship Queen Mary.
"That boat," Porter said. "I hope never to relive that. I never realized how much I like to indulge myself and how much I like to be alone. There would be a camera in your face when you wake up; it was all work and very little play. It was like detox."
Gholston, for her part, added that the show was cast with an eye for memorable people who would stick in the public's mind -- at least for a season.
"They looked for funny," she said. "They wanted to know what you brought to the show as a character. And that character (seen on the show) is me."
Roslane "Roz" Gholston says her "double minority" -- being black and a woman -- may have worked against her.
THEIR TIME in the spotlight continues. Porter and Gholston have played a mix of billings with other finalists from the show, including winner Josh Blue. Their thoughts on the contestant voted "Last Comic Standing"?
"The best man won," Porter said. "There's no denying that. He is the one that America voted for. In the past, there's been talk about the results, but not this year."
Gholston was torn between throwing her loyalty to Blue and another contestant, Ty Barnett -- that is, after she regrouped from being the first finalist voted off the "Last Comic" stage by the public.
She's still processing whether variables such as race, gender and public perception subconsciously factored into her going home early.
"It was definitely a great experience, but I do feel like I got robbed. ... I had a strong set, strong laughs, and then to be voted off -- I thought, 'What is America' thinking?' ... I am a double minority, and I have to share jokes with women and black men. I don't know what America wanted."
Despite the mixed feelings, Gholston is a faithful fan of the series, having tuned in since Season 1. She applied to be on the show every season, while Porter said he was initially reluctant to try out.
"The people that handle me talked me into doing an audition," Porter said. "Now I'm a big proponent of the show."
Both are pragmatic about the experience and what it will mean to their futures: "Use the show for what it is," Porter said. "It is a competition, but ... in the end we were all such great friends. ... We would each go out on stage and do our best material and want to do our best."
"Last Comic Standing" returns to NBC next summer, and Gholston plans to watch -- but she won't be sitting back and waiting for the next cast to catch up with her. She will use her new level of fame to launch the next phase of her career: the Los Angeles television pilot season.
Gholston -- born in a hard-scrabble area of Newark, N.J., then raised in an affluent part of Orange, N.J. -- has been saving half of what she earns so she can shop around her "three classic ideas" for future work: reality shows, comedy shows and talk shows.
But she is aware the clock is ticking in terms of public exposure. Careers of former "Last Comic" contestants have run a pattern -- hot for awhile, cooling off as their time away from the show grew longer.
"The comedians in the past have done well in short-term waves, and the next six months are really important. Now I have an agent, different managers. I'm ready for a change. I want to cross over into the mainstream market and be more universal. America might have voted me off, but which character do you think would do well in a show? ... Sometimes people don't get big, black chicks, but they're about to learn."
Porter also appeared over the summer in Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham" series and is working on a DVD of new material. "This is only the beginning."