POPULAR PAST AND PRESENT NBC COMEDY STARS FROM HIT SHOWS LIKE "THE OFFICE," "30 ROCK," "MAD ABOUT YOU" AND "CHEERS" JOIN NBC'S "LAST COMIC STANDING" AS TALENT SCOUTS WHEN THE HIT SUMMER SERIES JOINS THURSDAY'S COMEDY NIGHT LINE-UP ON MAY 22 (9:30-11:00 P.M. ET)
BURBANK, CA � April 7, 2008 � When NBC's Emmy-nominated series "Last Comic Standing" returns for a sixth season on May 22 and joins Thursday's comedy night line-up, a parade of NBC comedy stars from past and present hit shows will come too for the first time ever � serving as talent scouts in lively audition shows that will air as the first five episodes. Bill Bellamy ("Def Comedy Jam," "Any Given Sunday") returns as host of the series, which will air in its regular timeslot of Thursdays from 8:30-10 p.m. ET following the Thursday, May 22 premiere from 9:30-11:00 p.m.
Helping to "find the funny" this season are talent scouts Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner and Kate Flannery ("The Office"), Dave Foley ("Thank God You're Here!" "Newsradio"), Neil Flynn ("Scrubs"), George Wendt and John Ratzenberger ("Cheers"), Richard Belzer ("Law & Order: SVU"), Steve Schirripa ("The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"), Kathy Najimy ("Veronica's Closet") and French Stewart ("Third Rock From the Sun"). Josh Gomez ("Chuck"), Lonny Ross and Keith Powell ("30 Rock") also serve as talent scouts, along with Richard Kind and Fred Willard ("Mad About You") and Alfonso Ribeiro ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air").
Top comedians from more than 20 countries � including England, Australia, Scotland, Sweden, South Africa, India, New Zealand, Norway, Japan and Israel � audition during the international search, which will take talent scouts to LA, NY, Toronto, Minneapolis, Houston, Tempe, San Francisco, Nashville and Miami. Plus, for the first time ever on the show, Bill Bellamy goes to eight additional cities on his own � including Boston, Denver, Seattle, Detroit, Honolulu and Atlanta � surprising the best comics at local venues with a direct pass to perform for the scouts in the closest audition city.
Popular UK personality Fearne Cotton (NBC's "The Guinness Book of World Records � Live!," ITV2's "The Xtra Factor") also joins the show as a special correspondent, spicing up the search for the best aspiring and professional comedians around the world.
After the audition search is over, the best of the best will come to Las Vegas to perform for a huge crowd at the Paris Las Vegas, where the top 12 comedy acts will be chosen as finalists. They'll move on to the challenge rounds for a comedy showdown week by week, until the funniest comics return to the Paris Las Vegas for the finals and finale.
Then America will vote to decide who will be the "Last Comic Standing" and win a $250,000 grand prize including an exclusive talent deal with NBC, a brand new Honda, and a starring appearance in Jubilee! at Bally's Las Vegas.
"Last Comic Standing" is produced by Peter Engel Productions and Universal Media Studios. The executive producers are Peter Engel ("Saved By the Bell," "The Next Best Thing"), David Friedman (NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly," "NBC's New Years Eve with Carson Daly") and Barry Katz ("Action," "Dane Cook's Tourgasm"). Javier Winnik (NBC's "The Singing Bee"), Page Hurwitz ("Last Comic Standing 4 & 5") and Noel Guerra (Bravo's "Project Runway") are co-executive producers.