Interview with Page Hurwitz and Roseanne Barr from "Last Comic Standing" on NBC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Page Hurwitz, Executive Producer, Wanda Sykes, Executive Producer, Russell Peters, Roseanne Barr, JB Smoove, Keenen Ivory Wayans

Interview with Page Hurwitzh and Roseanne Barr of "Last Comic Standing" on NBC 5/13/14

I don't usually watch many non-fiction shows, but I enjoy this one because it's really funny. It was great to speak with Roseanne because I've always loved her humor, and her show "Roseanne" was fantastic. I watched every last episode, even when it got really bad towards the last season. This exchange here between she and myself sounds really awkward, but it wasn't that way on the call. Sometimes the written word doesn't translate the spoken word very well.

Moderator: Jill Carmen
May 13, 2014
1:00 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Last Comic Standing Press and Media Conference Call.

During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session.

At that time, if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, please Star 0.

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded, Tuesday, May 13, 2014. I would now like to turn the conference over to Jill Carmen. Please go ahead, maíam.

Jill Carmen: Thank you everybody for joining us today to talk about Last Comic Standing - which is premiering May 22 from 9:00 to 11:00 pm Eastern on NBC.

And a big thank you to Roseanne and Page for taking the time to do the call today - Iíd like to ask that we please limit questions to two per outlet - until everyone has had a chance to ask their questions - and that questions please be kept to the topic of Last Comic Standing.

Thank you and Roseanne and Page are ready to take your questions now.

Operator: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. If you would like to register a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

You will hear a three tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and youíd like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3.

If you are using a speaker phone, please lift your handset, before entering your request.

Our first question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with SciFi Vision. Please proceed with your question.

Jamie Ruby: Hi, guys. Thanks so much for doing the call.

Woman: Yes.

Jamie Ruby: Well, my first question is for Roseanne. Can you just talk about why you decided to do the show this season?

Roseanne Barr: I just thought it would be really fun. And when I heard that Keenen Ivory Wayans was one of the judges, you know, I really love him.

And, you know, I like Wanda a lot too. And, you know, so I thought it would be fun to work with some really, you know, great comics and get right in the middle of stuff that has to do with standup comedy.

Jamie Ruby: Okay, great, thanks. And then, for both of you, can you kind of talk about how the formats going to be this year. Because I know it seems like itís going to be a lot different.

Page Hurwitz: Sure, I can answer that.

Roseanne Barr: Thatís you, Page.

Page Hurwitz: Yes, Roseanneís an expert on the format.

Roseanne Barr: Yes, I know all about...

Page Hurwitz: Roseanne is often quoted as saying, ďI have no idea how this show works.Ē

Roseanne Barr: I kind of donít. But itís good, though.

Page Hurwitz: It is. The biggest, I mean, the biggest change the viewers will notice - right out of the gate - is we didnít do open call auditions year.

In previous seasons they went around and did open calls in various cities. And people off the street would come in and audition.

This season, Wanda Sykes and I did the casting in advance of the show. We picked 100 top comics from around the country. And then we had them come to L.A.

And they performed in a big theater venue - for what we call our invitational round. And they performed for the judges. And then it was up to Roseanne, Keenen and Russell Peters to decide who would advance in the competition.

So that is the biggest change. So we have a new invitational round to the competition. Then the second thing is that we brought back doing challenges which had been done in previous seasons.

However, we did the challenges this season in a way that they were really focused on comedy and in stretching the comedians, in terms of their skillsets - having them try their hand at sketch comedy - - do a little improv.

They did a roast. They did things that they would probably do in their careers as they progress. So instead of putting comedians into whacky situations, we really wanted to put them into situations that they might face as comics going forward.

And we think that theyíre really terrific. So that, also, is a change this season. And beyond that, the other big changes that the judges are making all of the decisions this year, in terms of who keeps moving forward in the competition.

In the past, America would vote - - through a phone vote or a text vote. This season the judges have made all the decisions. And we think theyíve done a great job.

Roseanne Barr: Well thanks.

Page Hurwitz: Youíre welcome.

Roseanne Barr: I think weíve done a great job too.

Page Hurwitz: You really have.

Roseanne Barr: Itís just been really hard because thereís just so many good comics.

Page Hurwitz: Thatís true. And weíre very pleased with everyone thatís in...

Roseanne Barr: Yes.

Page Hurwitz: ...the competition. So I think viewers will really find that thereís something for everyone.

Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Amy Harrington with Pop Culture Passionistas. Please proceed with your question.

Amy Harrington: Hi, thank both so much for your time today. So Roseanne, we were wondering, you know, on reality shows, theyíre kind of become a variety of types of judges.

Thereís kind of a supportive judge and a tough love judge. And we were just wondering, whatís your judging style on the show.

Roseanne Barr: Intelligent.

Page Hurwitz: Thatís true.


Amy Harrington: Excellent.

Roseanne Barr: You know, Iím just me - I didnít like, try to copy somebody else. Iím just me. And Iím a big fan of comics and comedy, as you may know and writing.

And, you know, itís a - I just give my honest opinion, as I have done for, you know, all these many years - when it comes to writing and comedy.

So, you know, Iím not - I donít think I fit into your paradigm there.

Amy Harrington: Thanks, fair enough. And we were wondering how you think you would have fared on a show like this - when you were starting out - in standup.

Roseanne Barr: I wouldíve won. I did, in fact, win the Denver...

Page Hurwitz: She wouldíve.

Roseanne Barr: ...laugh off. And that is what, kind of, propelled my career.

And I, you know, did a number of other untelevised comedy contests. But I think I wouldíve really worked really hard. And - or else I wouldnít have - you know, thatís what I like about these comics because theyíre prepared.

And had I - you know, if I - I wouldnít, you know become part of any contest unless I was really prepared and thought I could win.

And thatís what I think we have here. We have, you know - well, weíre seeing whoís prepared and who isnít prepared.

And thatís like the most exciting part to me. But, of course, I have to say I wouldíve won. Because, I mean, you have to have that kind of self-confidence being a standup comic.

Page Hurwitz: True.

Roseanne Barr: You have to really believe in what you do and that youíre the best at doing what you do. And so weíve seen a lot of people on this show, you know, come in like that but - and falter.

And, you know, but the ones who want it the most, are the ones who make it.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Bill Harris with Sun Media, please proceed.

Bill Harris: Hey, Roseanne, I know that - like sometimes when weíll watch, you know, comics from old TV shows - say, in the Ď50ís or the early Ď60ís. You know, sometimes the humor translates - sometimes it, kind of, doesnít.

I just - because times change. I just wonder - over the time that you have been involved in standup - totally, do you think things have changed?

Does a standup now, have to do something different totally - then they did in past year or how has it changed over the - say, the past 20 years, or so.

Roseanne Barr: What are you talking about - - standup on TV?

Bill Harris: Or just standup in general, you know, as we know it - as it translates to standup on TV - through this show. But standup, in generally, has the tone of it changed? Do you think?

Roseanne Barr: Well, you know, thereís so many different kinds of standup and so many different kinds of clubs - and people like that.

I was thinking that it was pretty static and kind of boring, actually, over these last few years. But becoming a judge - - on this show - - and seeing people who are actually saying - you know, theyíre actually writing jokes that Iíve never heard before.

Itís kind of exciting. Iíve never heard these premises in so many of my favorite comics - who are competing.

Iíve never heard this, particular, kind of writing. And itís very brave. And itís cool. So that brought me back into comedy.

And I went to - I went to the comedy store. And, also - and I saw these incredible comedians. I have never seen anything like it. I feel really old. Itís a whole different world.

Itís like that when I need my computer fixed; I call my 13 year-old grandson. Itís a whole other world. And, you know, itís exciting just to watch it. Iíve been seeing. You know, and Keenen and I were talking about it.

Itís like; this is like comedy coming back. Itís like a re-birth of comedy. Not just on this show - but certainly including this show - but all over the place. Yes, thereís a whole different everything.

Itís exciting. Itís kind of like punk-rock.

Bill Harris: Okay, thanks very much.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Sean Daly with the TVPage. Please proceed.

Roseanne Barr: Has every - is everyone able to hear the other people? Iím sorry. I had a question.

Sean Daly: Yes, we can all hear all the questions.

Roseanne Barr: Oh okay.

Sean Daly: Good day - nice to talk to you, again, Roseanne.

Roseanne Barr: And hi.

Sean Daly: Two things; first of all, about six months or so ago, you sort of - very publicly - said that you were through with television. And you werenít going to do it anymore.

Iím wondering, is this show an exception to that rule or have you reconsidered...


Roseanne Barr: Well, this isnít a sitcom. You know, I meant like, you know - I meant developed scripted stuff, you know.

Sean Daly: Okay, but thereís something different that appeals to you about doing this judging thing.

Roseanne Barr: Yes, itís like Iím, you know, watching, you know, some really incredibly talented people. And, you know, so thatís easy. And I get - you know, Iím not having my brains racked over the coals.

And, you know, Iím laughing. And Iím getting awesome craft service and nice outfits. And the companyís fantastic.

Sean Daly: Great, thatís right. Well, often times when we see people become first time judges on shows like this and Iím thinking about Howard Stern, for example. We get a whole different side of them.

And we learn something new about their personality. And, maybe, understand them in a way that we never had before.

What are we going to learn or understand from seeing you in this role?

Roseanne Barr: That Iím a mouthy bitch. People may not have known that.

Page Hurwitz: I would just like to say, having watched a lot of the footage that we shot, I think one thing that is so great - and there are so many things that are great.

But one of things thatís really great is seeing how passionate Roseanne is about standup.

And I donít know if people - or certainly now a days - if people know how passionate she is. And that comes through in her criticism and her advice. And thatís been really great for us to see.

So I think that might be something new. I mean everyone knows Roseanneís one of the best comedians of all time. But I think...

Roseanne Barr: Well, thanks, gees.

Page Hurwitz: Well that is true. And itís seeing, though, how passionate you are about it - as a craft - is really something great to see. We love that.

Roseanne Barr: Well, Iím passionate about writers and talents. And especially, when you combine those two things and you get a standup comic with a real voice of, you know social criticism.

I mean we havenít seen that for 100 years. Itís awesome.

Page Hurwitz: Yes, itís true.

Operator: And ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder; to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

Our next question comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine. Please proceed.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi, itís such an honor to speak with you.

Roseanne Barr: Oh thanks.

Jamie Steinberg: What do think is...

Roseanne Barr: I donít know what to say when people say stuff like that.

Page Hurwitz: I think that was directed to me.

Roseanne Barr: Oh yes, Iím sorry. It probably was.

Jamie Steinberg: How presumptuous of you.

Roseanne Barr: Really.

Jamie Steinberg: Are you looking forward, Roseanne - now that youíre on social media - to getting the instant feedback after this show airs - of the comics - that they get to see on TV.

Roseanne Barr: I donít understand what youíre asking me. Iím sorry.

Jamie Steinberg: If people on Twitter are going to respond to you, immediately - when theyíre watching the show - and tell you if they liked the comic - or they didnít like a comic that you liked.

Roseanne Barr: Oh, they might. Yes, you never know whatís going to happen on Twitter. You never know.

Jamie Steinberg: Are you looking forward to hearing what their opinions are - based on the comics theyíll see.

Roseanne Barr: Am I interested in what people on Twitter are going to think of the comics, Iím seeing. Is that what youíre asking?

Jamie Steinberg: Sure, or fans of comedy.

Roseanne Barr: Well I just - you know, I - you know, I donít know. I donít really know if, you know, theyíre qualified to be judges of it. But I hope it makes them laugh.

And I hope they appreciate the art form, you know. But, you know, I donít - I guess I - I donít know - canít answer it.

Page Hurwitz: Well I think - yes, I think us having the judges make the selections - this season - has been really terrific. And so, I love that what Roseanne just said about, ďHopefully, weíll make people laugh.Ē But I think...

Roseanne Barr: Oh I think theyíre going to have a lot of laughs. I think theyíre going to see a really good show. And then I think theyíre going to see some, you know, some good - sometimes brutal feedback.

And, you know, Iíve never seen anything like it on TV. So I hope theyíll enjoy it. You know, but theyíre not part of the judging process - if thatís what you meant.

Jamie Steinberg: Oh no, I just meant like, do you like hearing fan feedback from people? Are you looking...

Roseanne Barr: Oh yes, I like when they enjoy what I do, yes.

Jamie Steinberg: And we know that youíre a fan of politics. Do we get to see a number of comedians on the show - this - season that have political humor?

Roseanne Barr: Yes, itís pretty amazing.

Page Hurwitz: Yes, when Roseanne mentioned, already, you know, we do have a lot of comics who are making social commentary - so have something to say and that just...


Roseanne Barr: I mean these are like - some of them are legitimate, social critics. That youíd think, ďOh my god, this person needs to go on, you know, for CNN - or something.

I mean theyíre funny and measured. But like I say, I am very impressed with the writing - so impressed. Arenít you, Page?

Page Hurwitz: I am. And weíve seen some of them whoíve performed several times - and already in the competition. And every time, they deliver.

And itís something unexpected. And theyíre brave. Theyíre not afraid to walk the edge - to sometimes cross over that edge. Itís pretty good stuff.

I think that also is different - I think - this season. As said, we have...


Roseanne Barr: Well Page, you want Wanda have totally redefined this show. And youíre really helping to, you know, support the great art and craft of standup comedy.

And thatís really, you know - Iím really happy to be - Iím happy that you asked me to be on here.

Page Hurwitz: Well we are thrilled that you said, yes because when - I mean, not to have a public love fest, but it really is true. You know, Wanda and I wanted to do this and do it differently because we are passionate about it.

And we thought that the timing was right. And we couldnít imagine doing the show without you, Roseanne.

Roseanne Barr: Well youíre sweet. But I have to say, Iím blown away, every week. Iím sitting next to a bodhisattva. Iím sitting next to Keenen Ivory Wayans.

That guy, heís like a...

Page Hurwitz: Heís amazing. Heís brilliant.

Roseanne Barr: His commentary and the way he sees - I mean, of course, discovered a lot of great performers and comic on his shows and movies.

Page Hurwitz: In Living Color, yes.

Roseanne Barr: And I discovered a lot of talent too. But, man, his feedback is like - Iím always like, let Keenen go first. And then I go, I agree with Keenen. Heís just a brilliant - his systematic - the way he - you know, itís just amazing.

Page Hurwitz: Itís like professorial, you know.

Roseanne Bar: And also, itís so funny. I mean Russell Peters - we need to mention him too because I never even heard of the guy, to be honest.

And theyíre like; this guy is like the Beatles. And so I went on YouTube to - I mean heís playing on like 70,000 seat arenas. And, you know, is right now, like, kind of in a Russell Brand thing.

Heís real new to the United States. And that guy is so funny. Itís like non-stop. Heís feedback is - he gives feedback like a standup comic - - joke, joke, joke.

And I mean thereís nothing on earth that he doesnít have a joke for. Itís amazing. And it made me like - go, ďOh this is so cool to be back in this arena.Ē

Page Hurwitz: Itís a great panel for those reasons. Itís like everyone brings something different to the table. And itís such a nice combination.


Roseanne Barr: But youíre doing all this other stuff. Like, I mean, youíre doing like these packages on the comics, themselves. Kind of reminds me of American Idol, a little bit.

But then, youíre putting them in other arenas - besides the standup arena.

Page Hurwitz: Yes.

Rosanna Barr: Itís just like, you know, youíre putting them in other arenas - which is cool.

Page Hurwitz: Yes, because we wanted for them to be, you know, a step toward, you know, a big career. And so we want to try and challenge them by giving them, you know, opportunities to do some of these things.

Like, you know, do a roast. Be on a talk show. Do sketch comedy - stuff that theyíre going to have to do, as they progress.

And itís been awesome. The comics have loved it. You know, theyíve all said, this has been so much fun. We never wouldíve had a chance to do this.

So that makes us proud. Weíre really happy about that.

Woman: Yes.

Operator: Our question comes from the line of Jerry Nunn with the Chicago Pride. Please proceed.

Jerry Nunn: Hi, I just wanted to say to Page, youíve got such a wide variety of diversity on the judges and working with Wanda - and everything. How is that? And it just seems like a great team.

Page Hurwitz: Well I think, you know, itís funny. People always talk about, you know, diversity and striving toward, you know, diversity.

For, you know, Wanda and I donít even think about it. You know, itís just comes naturally to us.

You know, we like working with really talented people. We like working with really funny people. And those people come in all different forms. So, you know, for us...

Roseanne Barr: But I do think that because Wanda is an African American woman, she has a different definition of things than just the average television producer. And I think itís very needed and very exciting.

Page Hurwitz: Yes, I mean, thatís true. Yes, I think thatís very true. I mean, you know, she brings a different life experience to the table. And I think as a producer that thatís really important.

But what I meant is really, itís not like a chore for us. Like, oh, weíve got to go find different voices. Thatís how we produce everything we do.

And it makes for a better show. And we love it. Like, we love...

Roseanne Barr: Certainly.

Page Hurwitz: ...that - you know, itís just - itís a much more enriching process.

And the product that we feel is always better. So weíre thrilled because we have such a great cast of judges and a diverse group of judges and our host, of course, J.B. Smoove - whoís hilariously funny.

And also his style of comedy is...


Roseanne Barr: I never heard of him either. Thatís how isolated Iíve been. But when I saw that guy doing his MC stuff, I was amazed. Iíve never seen anybody doing that much physical...

Page Hurwitz: I know.

Roseanne Barr: ...comedy. Itís just amazing. Heís - itís like a (woo). I never saw anything like it. Itís great.

Page Hurwitz: It is. Heís got such great energy. And he also, you know - thereís also diversity in style. Like heís, you know, heís very good at improv and off the cuff.

Like, heís really terrific. And so I think. And all three judges too - have very different comedy styles. So itís really nice. Itís just, sort of, an embarrassment of riches.

Jerry Nunn: Great, well, I look forward to seeing it. It looks really great.

Page Hurwitz: Well thank you.

Roseanne Barr: Thanks.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of (Elemi Aminokus) with TV Guide Canada. Please proceed.

Roseanne Barr: Canada?

Woman: Yes.

Roseanne Barr: Oh, hi.

Elemi Aminokus: Hi, is that okay?

Page Hurwitz: Yes.

Roseanne Barr: Yes, I just didnít know if Iíd heard correctly.

Elemi Aminokus: Yes, I guess I was just wondering - because you mentioned that you had moved over to an invite only format with the comics.

And I was wondering why you decided to do that for this season.

Page Hurwitz: Honestly, to cut to the chase. You know, we can go around the country. And we can have people come in off the street and do that for hours and hours.

But really, we have three terrific judges who - you know, the best of the best. Itís like why are we going to waste their time with people that are walking in that have never done standup before - done it for a minute.

We wanted this competition to be the best. So we, you know, we spent a lot of time looking at thousands of comedians - literally, just me and Wanda - and wanted to get the best people in and in front of these judges.

And we think that itís elevated the level of performance and competition and makes for a better show - unless, of course you...


Roseanne Barr: I think that next - I think that your next year is going to be fantastic. I think youíve lit a - youíve plugged something in. And itís just going to keep rolling. I really think that.

Page Hurwitz: I hope so. We hope so. I mean sure. Iím sure there are people that, you know, are going to say, ďOh we miss seeing, you know, the guy in the chicken suite or, you know - that kind of - the train wreck stuff.

But we just didnít want to make that show. We wanted to, you know, this to be the best examples of standup.

Elemi Aminokus: Thanks...

Roseanne Barr: Well, a guy in a chicken suite - that can be really funny. But, you know, I think that it, you know, it just depends. It depends.

Page Hurwitz: It can. It can, youíre right.

Roseanne Barr: Yes.

Page Hurwitz: But it, you know, we feel like - for us - for this season, we just wanted to shoot for the highest we could. But - and thatís not to say, if there was a guy in a chicken suite who was hilarious, maybe we would of picked the guy in a chicken suite.

But you know what I mean. It, like, just sort that like, you know, train wreck - spectacle stuff.

Roseanne Barr: I like that some of the comics that, you know - of course, weíve filmed a few shows. Can I say that?

Page Hurwitz: Yes.

Roseanne Barr: Or not, Page.

Page Hurwitz: Saying, specific comics - you mean.

Roseanne Barr: Well, I think that I wanted to say that some of the comics that didnít - have made the cut. Can I talk about those? I think that some of - no, okay?

Page Hurwitz: You can talk about them in general, yes.

Roseanne Barr: I Just want to say, some of them are going - some of them are, you know, so good that with a little more work they can come back next year and blow the roof off.

Page Hurwitz: I agree. And there are already a lot of the comics who didnít - who havenít progressed in the competition - have said, ďYou know what? I just got priceless advice. Iíd be an idiot if I didnít take it.Ē

And so we hope that they do and that they come back.

Roseanne Barr: Yes.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Earl Dittman with Digital Journal. Please proceed.

Earl Dittman: Hi guys, thanks for doing this today. I have...

Roseanne Barr: Yes.

Earl Dittman: ...a question for both of you. Iíll start with Page first. Now Iíve always thought that with reality shows that the audience participation really, kind of, helps propel the show.

Of course, you have stuff like Project Runway - where the judges make all the decisions. But then you have, like, American Idol - as Roseanne mentioned. Where, you know, the audience gets to be part of it.

Was that a tough decision to make the judges - on this time - make all the decisions and just make sure there was no audience participation? Was that a tough decision?

Page Hurwitz: No, sorry. It really wasnít. You know, and yes. You mentioned shows like Runway. Thereís Top Chief. There are a lot of shows where itís the judges making all the decisions.

For us, itís like; look weíve got Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters. We think that they pretty much know what theyíre talking about - when it comes to comedy.

So why not let the experts decide. And I think part what viewers will see this season is weíre pulling back that curtain. So that people can really see this as a craft and understand what goes into it. And why something is good.

Roseanne Barr: But you know what, can I interrupt for a minute Page.

Page Hurwitz: No go right ahead.

Roseanne Barr: Of course I can.

Page Hurwitz: Yes.

Roseanne Barr: But, you know, they win because they kill the audience. So the audience is part of it. Itís the laughs theyíre getting from the audience, thatís, you know, thatís how we judge.

So they are part of it. Itís just that, you know...

Page Hurwitz: That was a good point.

Roseanne Barr: expert opinions are needed - no non-expert opinions - are needed. You want, you know, people whoíve never acted to vote on the Academy Awards, you know.

Earl Dittman: Although some...


Roseanne Barr: Its people who know the craft who should be voting on it, you know.

Earl Dittman: Yes.

Page Hurwitz: Exactly.

Earl Dittman: Well, speaking of experts, Roseanne.

Roseanne Barr: But it is about if theyíre getting over and making that audience, you know, come out of their seats then. You know, theyíre going to win.

Earl Dittman: Yes.

Roseanne Barr: Right?

Page Hurwitz: Yes, thatís a great point, Roseanne.

Roseanne Barr: Yes.

Earl Dittman: But these days Roseanne, itís being tallied as a new - another golden age of television - especially, for drama scripted shows.

You know, youíve got stuff like the Blacklist, you know, (Cable) America. You know, you have so many great shows.

Do you think the same can be said about...

Roseanne Barr: I wouldnít know because Iím unable to turn my TV on unless I call my grandkids. But I donít know about that. I donít know what night anythingís on or how to get the guide.

Earl Dittman: Well, what I was going though, do you think that could be seen famous? Even though youíre not seeing a lot, do you think that could be said for scripted comedy and (unintelligible)?

Roseanne Barr: Right, yes.

Earl Dittman: That itís another golden egg - like when you...

Roseanne Barr: Oh, I hope so. But, you know, I think itís coming. It has to or, you know - I donít know. Thatís another question though that Iím not supposed to talk about.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Sean McCarthy with the Comicís - the Comicís Comic. Please proceed.

Sean McCarthy: Yes, thanks. Roseanne, I know Page mentioned earlier in this call that the show is really trying to launch a comedianís career.

And I know that theyíre plenty of veteran headliner comedians who auditioned this year - as well, as people who America doesnít know anything about.

How are - how did you and Keenen and Russell kind of compare the veterans and the newbies.

Roseanne Barr: Weíre just comparing it like - you know, itís whoís hungriest, who wants it most, whoís got the balls to get out there and deliver the mail.

And, you know, itís a lot of different things go into it. But some of the professionals - some of them - a few of them havenít made it because theyíre kind of arrogant.

And theyíre not really wanting it. So, you know, weíll take somebody who infects the audience with enthusiasm over, you know, somebody whoís kind of bored.

Sean McCarthy: Okay and I know one of your first big breaks came courtesy of Rodney Dangerfield. Did you - with this show, do you feel any kind of compulsion to pay it forward and give somebody their own big break.

And say, ďI helped - I helped make this person.Ē

Roseanne Barr: Yes, I like to support standup comedy as a craft and an art form and to find stars among, you know, the people who do it - so, yes. I donít know if that answers your question.

Sean McCarthy: How important was - well, just - how important was Rodney putting you on his special as his wife?

Roseanne Barr: In my life.

Sean McCarthy: No as - because you played his wife in one of his specials, how...

Roseanne Barr: Oh his wife.

Sean McCarthy: Yes.

Roseanne Barr: Meeting Rodney Dangerfield was just one of the biggest thrills in my life. And being his friend was another one. And, you know, the one special - I was on - had Sam Kinison.

Oh, I canít remember anybodyís name. Iím too old anymore. But, I mean, he gave everybody their starts - - everybody from me, to Dice, to Sam.

I mean, he had a young comedian special. And he gave us all our start - as did Mitzi Shore and Budd Friedman, I mean. You know, so I kind of feel like, maybe, Iím playing forward, yes.

Operator: And our last question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Please proceed.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, you mentioned before - you mentioned before about how it was great seeing all these young comedians with this unusual perspectives - that you werenít used to.

And you were also talking about todayís humor. And I was wondering if - there are, definitely, a lot of great standups out there - that we can see on TV.

And I was wondering if you know - or if you have an opinion - as to why itís not - it doesnít seem to be translating as much as it use to - into really funny sitcoms - like, with Roseanne and Seinfeld and so many other great shows?

Roseanne Barr: I donít know.

Suzanne Lanoue: Do you think that the network TV is just not allowing it to happen as much, I mean?

Roseanne Barr: I donít know.

Suzanne Lanoue: Or maybe Iím just too old, like you - to like the...


Roseanne Barr: I just - I donít know about any that. But I do know thereís some really - some really good comics in this competition.

And I canít wait until people see them. Because I think theyíre really, you know, going to see something new and funny and edgy and different.

And, you know, like I said, I think our judging styles - theyíre not like other judges youíve ever seen. So, you know, itís every - itís like so board. Theyíre like, ďOh, sheís Simon. And heís Paula.

I mean this is something else. And, you know, it kind of is like, hey watch this. I think itís really good. Good TV is good TV. And TV that makes people laugh and want to come back is like, you know - hopefully, thatís you know...

Woman: Itís the best.

Roseanne Barr: Yes, that is the best.

Suzanne Lanoue: Thatís great. Well, Iíll look forward to it - then thanks.

Roseanne Barr: Thanks.

Page Hurwitz: Thank you.

Roseanne Barr: Is that it?

Operator: And there are no further questions at this time. Iíll turn the call back over to Jill Carmen. Please go ahead.

Jill Carmen: Thanks everybody for dialing in today. And thanks, again, Roseanne and...


Roseanne Barr: Thank you for your (unintelligible) too, thank you.

Jill Carmen: We appreciate it.

Page Hurwitz: Youíre welcome. And thanks for setting it up.

Jill Carmen: Yes, thank you and hope everybody has a great day and that youíll all tune in on May 22 for the premier of Last Comic Standing, bye, bye.

Roseanne Barr: And I have good outfits. Tell them Page.

Page Hurwitz: She does. She looks amazing. Sheís actually the hottest judge that we have. She really is sexy - wait until you see it.

Roseanne Barr: Wow, thanks honey.

Page Hurwitz: You are. You look great.

Roseanne Barr: Thanks, Page. The checkís in the mail, okay - bye, everybody.

Page Hurwitz: All right, see you soon.

Jill Carmen: Bye everybody - bye, bye.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, it does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for your participation. And ask that you please disconnect your line.

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