Last Comic Standing

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
Last Comic Standing TV Poster Image
Comedians compete in so-so reality show. Teens OK.

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age 9+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Comedians make fun of themselves a lot, including making jokes about their physical appearance, disability, sexual orientation, race, etc. Stereotypes are common joke material. Judges can be harsh and insulting.


Plenty of sexually themed jokes, though not graphic.


Major swearing is bleeped. "Bitch," "whore," "hell," etc. make occasional appearances.


Capital One sponsors part of the show and is mentioned regularly.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jokes about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco occur sporadically. Some comedians may drink and smoke in the periphery.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality show features comedians competing against one another through stand-up routines. The comedians' material is generally tame, though some of it contains sexual, racial, homophobic, and body-size humor. The judges are occasionally harsh and insulting. In general, the humor is aimed at adults, though most teens will find an occasional laugh.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byfoxmalmage13 June 4, 2015

Last Comic Standing

It can be pretty funny, but get pretty raunchy.

What's the story?

Take American Idol, mix it with Survivor, and cast it with amateur and circuit comedians and you have LAST COMIC STANDING. This reality competition series proposes to find the funniest person in America (and sometimes even further afield than that) by holding open talent calls and bringing the best candidates back to Hollywood to live together while competing against each another in challenges. Ultimately, the finalists vie for a cash prize, a development deal, and a TV special.

Is it any good?

Overall, the judges tend to be kinder than those on Idol, though some of their comments veer toward the nasty side. Unfortunately, they're not as entertaining as the folks on Idol, either. But luckily, the comedians have a little something to offer to make up for what the judges lack. And thanks to careful editing, viewers are spared many of the groan-inducing moments and treated to only the best jokes.

The comics' material is generally clean, although sexual, racial, mildly homophobic, and fat jokes do pop up. On the downside, many of the jokes tread familiar territory, with only the rare original personality or perspective making an appearance. Occasionally there's some very bad material, but, like Idol, that's sometimes why we watch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about humor. What makes a joke funny? What purpose do comedians serve in our culture? Aside from jokes, what makes a comedian funny? Why are race, sex, homosexuality, and body size common topics in comedy?

TV details

  • Premiere date: June 10, 2003
  • Network: NBC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

Our editors recommend

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