'Last Comic Standing' Mines NBC Talent


NBC is enlisting cast members from some of its past and present comedy series -- along with one from "Law & Order: SVU" -- to help choose the "Last Comic Standing" this summer.

The showcase for stand-up comics begins its sixth season Thursday, May 22. Bill Bellamy returns as host, and he'll be joined in the early rounds by the likes of "Office" workers Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Oscar Nunez and Kate Flannery; former "NewsRadio" star Dave Foley; "Cheers" barflies George Wendt and John Ratzenberger; "Scrubs" regular Neil Flynn; and even "SVU's" Richard Belzer, who cut his teeth as a stand-up in the 1970s.

The actors will serve as talent scouts in the audition rounds, which will take place in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Toronto, Houston, San Francisco, Nashville, Miami and Tempe, Ariz. Bellamy will also fly solo in a handful of other cities, giving comics at local venues in Boston, Detroit, Atlanta and elsewhere a chance to perform in front of the talent scouts.

British TV presenter Fearne Cotton will also join the show as a "special correspondent" aiding in the search for comedians from other countries.

The semifinalists will perform in front of a live audience at the Paris Las Vegas casino, from which the 12 finalists will be chosen. Following a series of challenge rounds, the finals will also be staged at Paris Las Vegas.

The winner gets $250,000 in cash, a talent deal with NBC and a starring spot in the "Jubilee!" show at Paris' sister casino, Bally's Las Vegas.

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