"LAST COMIC STANDING" RETURNS IN SUMMER WITH JUDGES ROSEANNE BARR, KEENEN IVORY WAYANS AND NEW JUDGE NORM MACDONALD
New Host Anthony Jeselnik Joins Series as Wanda Sykes Returns as Executive Producer
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - March 12, 2015 - America's most compelling comedy competition is back this summer when NBC's Emmy Award-nominated series "Last Comic Standing" returns with new judge Norm Macdonald alongside current judges and comedy icons Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans.
Comedy Central roast veteran Anthony Jeselnik will join the fun as the new host of the season.
Emmy Award winner Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz, producing partners at Push It Productions, will once again executive produce, along with Javier Winnik ("Peter Pan Live!").
"Last Comic Standing" resumes its search for the funniest comic in the country with its most accomplished panel of judges to date, surprise celebrity guests and a new riveting head-to-head phase of the competition. The new eight-episode season will open up with hilarious auditions by invitation only. The top 100 comics in America will vie for 40 spots. These 40 will then compete in a semifinal round and the best of the best will emerge, with the top 10 moving into the compelling new head to head round. In this phase, they will be paired in a high stakes single-elimination round of stand-up stand offs.
The top five comedians will move on to the finals, where the funniest of all will take the coveted title of "Last Comic Standing," winning an incredible prize package worth $250,000, including a development deal for their own television show.
"We are excited that Norm is joining Roseanne and Keenen in helping us find America's newest comedy star," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. "This is a hugely talented and iconic panel. Anthony will add his unique quick-witted humor as the host of the show."
"Last Comic Standing" has a history of showcasing aspiring comics who go on to highly successful careers. Previous "LCS" contestants include Amy Schumer, who currently has her own series on Comedy Central, has a huge stand-up following and a burgeoning film career; Cristela Alonzo, who has a self-titled sitcom at ABC; Iliza Shlesinger, whose "Freezing Hot" Netflix special recently premiered; Gabriel Iglesias, who consistently sells out venues across the country; "Late Show with David Letterman" favorite Tommy Johnagin, who will write and star in his own CBS pilot; and Fortune Feimster, a longtime writer for "Chelsea Lately" who will star in the ABC pilot "Family Fortune" from executive producer Tina Fey.
Norm Macdonald is perhaps best known for his five seasons as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" where he was known for anchoring "Weekend Update" and his several impressions, including Burt Reynolds, Bob Dole and David Letterman. Macdonald also wrote for the popular ABC sitcom "Roseanne" and starred in "The Norm Show," which ran four seasons. He recently has a recurring arc on ABC's "The Middle." In 1998, Macdonald co-wrote and starred in the cult-classic film "Dirty Work." Macdonald also played the voice of Lucky the dog in all three of Eddy Murphy's "Dr. Doolittle" films and is famous for playing Death in the comedy series "Family Guy." Macdonald is a favorite of Oscar-winning director Milos Forman, who cast him in "The People vs. Larry Flint" as well as the Andy Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon."
In 2000, Macdonald starred alongside fellow comedian Dave Chappelle in the film "Screwed." In 2010, Macdonald rejoined Adam Sandler to appear in the hit comedy "Grown Ups." In 2008, Macdonald returned to television to appear on the "Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget." In 2011, Macdonald hosted the critically acclaimed Comedy Central series "Sports Show." That same year, Macdonald debuted his widely lauded one-hour stand-up special, "Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up." Throughout his entire career, Macdonald has never stopped doing stand-up and remains at the top of his game.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, stand-up comedian Anthony Jeselnik first received national attention with his stand-out performances on the Comedy Central roasts of Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen and Roseanne Barr. He was named one of Variety's 10 Comics to Watch in 2008 and one of Comedy Central's Hot Comics in 2009. Subsequently, Jeselnik starred in and created his own critically acclaimed Comedy Central series, "The Jeselnik Offensive." In addition, Jeselnik has performed on "The Tonight Show," "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "Conan," and was the first stand-up comic to appear on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," for which he was also a writer. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on "A Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education." In 2010, he released his critically acclaimed debut comedy album, "Shakespeare," and followed it up in 2013 with "Caligula" to rave reviews.
Roseanne Barr began her career in stand-up comedy, turning her experiences as a wife and mother into a "domestic goddess" act that audiences couldn't resist. She went on to star in, write, and produce her own hit sitcom, "Roseanne," which ran for nine seasons and averaged approximately 30 million viewers each week. The role earned Barr an Emmy Award as well as a Golden Globe, a Kids' Choice Award and multiple American Comedy Awards. In recent years, she guest-starred on "Cristela," "The Office" and "Portlandia." Her earlier TV credits include "My Name Is Earl," "Futurama," "The Nanny," "Third Rock from the Sun" and "The Larry Sanders Show."
Barr also had her own talk show, "The Roseanne Show," which earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination as outstanding talk show host. Her big-screen credits include "She Devil," "Freddy's Dead," "Blue in the Face" and "Meet Wally Sparks," and she voiced characters in "Look Who's Talking Too" and "Home on the Range." She has written three books: "Roseanne: My Life as a Woman," "My Lives" and, most recently, "Roseannearchy: Dispatches From the Nut Farm." The series "Roseanne's Nuts," which she also executive produced, followed Barr as she ran a nut farm in Hawaii. At Full Moon and High Tide Studio (FMHT), which is Barr's family-run production company, she is currently spearheading numerous projects. The studio produced her first DVD for children, titled "Rockin' with Roseanne: Calling All Kids!," which was inspired by Barr's grandchildren. Her documentary film "Roseanne for President" which chronicles her impassioned 2012 presidential campaign will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. Inspired by her work on "Last Comic Standing" Roseanne returned to live performance, touring select cities around the country to sold out crowds and is part of the ongoing lineup in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel and Casino.
Keenen Ivory Wayans is a multi-talented writer, director, producer and entertainer, perhaps best known for his groundbreaking series "In Living Color." His uncanny eye for talent was proven with "In Living Color," where he helped launch the careers of Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez and members of Wayans own talented family, including Kim, Damon, Shawn and Marlon Wayans.
Before collaborating with comedian Eddie Murphy and earning producing credit on the star's concert film "Eddie Murphy Raw," Wayans partnered with actor/director Robert Townsend and had his first hit film with "Hollywood Shuffle." He made his directorial debut with "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," in which he also starred, followed by "A Low Down Dirty Shame," which Wayans wrote, directed and starred. He went on to direct the record-breaking blockbusters "Scary Movie" and its sequel, "Scary Movie 2," as well as directing "White Chicks" and serving as producer, writer and director of "Little Man." Additional movie credits include "Dance Flick," "The Glimmer Man" and "Most Wanted." Wayans is currently set to write and executive produce a single half-hour comedy pilot.
Emmy Award winner Wanda Sykes ranks among Entertainment Weekly's "25 Funniest People in America." Her stand-up specials include the Emmy-nominated programs "I'ma Be Me" and "Wanda Sykes: Sick and Tired." Her big-screen credits include "Evan Almighty," "Monster-in-Law," "Over the Hedge," "Ice Age: Continental Drift," "Rio," "Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps" and "Pootie Tang." She can currently be seen on the Amazon Prime show "Alpha House," created by Gary Trudeau, about a group of Republican senators who share the same D.C. rental house. For five years she co-starred on the comedy "The New Adventures of Old Christine." Additional credits include "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Crank Yankers" and her late-night talk show "The Wanda Sykes Show."
Sykes spent five years as a performer and writer on the critically acclaimed "The Chris Rock Show," for which she won an Emmy. She also won three Sports Emmys in 2002, '04 and '05 for her work on "Inside the NFL" for outstanding weekly studio show. In 2012, Sykes joined forces with veteran producer Page Hurwitz to form Push It Productions. In addition to successfully reviving the "Last Comic Standing" franchise in 2014, the company has a diverse slate of scripted and unscripted comedy projects in development. Push It's series of comedy specials, "Herlarious," (OWN) was the recipient of a 2014 Gracie Award. Push It has a first-look production deal with NBC.
"Last Comic Standing" is produced by Universal Television and Push It Productions.
For more information on "Last Comic Standing" please visit: http://www.nbc.com/last-comic-standing
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