'Last Comic Standing' in serious standoff with editors guild

The NBC contest show "Last Comic Standing" isn't generating many laughs from the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

The guild, Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said more than a dozen workers employed by NBC Studios in Glendale walked off the job late Monday morning, weeks before the show's debut.

The workers are seeking a union contract, including health insurance and pension benefits, the guild said.

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“This is an experienced, top-notch crew, putting together a primetime series for broadcast on NBC,” editors guild President Alan Heim said in a statement. “For generations, the guild has fought to establish standards for this kind of employment so that talented post-production craftspeople can enjoy certain basic safeguards, including health and retirement benefits. NBC Studios apparently doesn’t think that this show’s editors and assistants deserve such baseline respect, and we don’t find that in the least bit funny.”

A representative for NBC was not immediately available for comment.

The reality show, a reboot of the series that ran on NBC from 2003 to 2010,  will be hosted by J.B. Smoove and is to feature comedians Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters as judges. "Last Comic Standing" is set to debut May 22.

Established in 1937, Local 700 represents more than 7,300 post-production professionals working nationwide in television, features, and new media.

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Twitter: @rverrier

richard.verrier@latimes.com

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