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Among the Comedians, It's Trailer Trash vs. Tourette's in the 'America's Got Talent' Finals

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 19, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 19, 2018 |


I don’t actually watch American’s Got Talent — not really, anyway — but confession: About a year and a half ago, before bed, I decided to show the twins one of my favorite YouTube videos. It’s a video of David Letterman, Jack Hannah, and a Cobra snake. I freak out every time I see it (because I don’t like snakes), and the girls love it when I lose my sh-t, and somehow, a YouTube video got incorporated in with a bedtime story as part of the nighttime ritual. But there are only so many Jack Hannah and Letterman videos, so over the course of the last year, we’ve watched all of Dave’s “Stupid Human Tricks” and “Stupid Pet Tricks,” we’ve watched all of the Kimmel videos where parents steal the Halloween candy, we’ve seen a lot of magic tricks on Fallon, etc. etc.

One night, in a crutch, we decided to watch a Golden Buzzer video from American’s Got Talent. When someone auditions for the show, and they are exceptionally good, the judges — who are allotted one Golden Buzzer per season, I think — can advance the contestants to the finale. These are actually hugely crowd-pleasing videos, and the girls flip, and I am the Dad who is way too eager to please.

So, we’ve seen a lot of these, as well as some other notable performances from America’s Got Talent, like this huge choir singing Toto’s “Africa,” which we watched last night.

Pretty great, right?

Anyway, through that process, I’ve gained some passing familiarity with some of the contestants, though not the comedians, because I don’t show the comedians to the kids. But I saw that they were trending this morning, and it’s a really slow news morning, so I thought I’d check out the two comedians who are still left in the competition.

One is Vicki Barbolak, and she is sort of a knock-off Roseanne Barr, a sort of Trumpmerica icon whose entire schtick is about being trailer trash. Here’s one of her more popular sets.

As someone who grew up trailer trash, I find Barbolak egregiously unfunny. Not in an offensive way, but in an “In 5 years she’s going to have a horrible laugh-track sitcom that I will loathe” sort of way. I don’t mind the trailer trash stereotypes — they’re not wrong — it’s just that the jokes are painfully hacky.

The other comedian still in the competition is a guy named Samuel J. Comroe, and he has Tourette’s, and it’s the source of most of his comedy. Comroe I actually found fairly amusing, though he still has some work to do on fine-tuning that delivery.

Ultimately, however, neither one will win this year’s America’s Got Talent, because a quiet 14-year-old Janis Joplin by the name of Courtney Hadwin has this one wrapped up.

You see why these Golden Buzzers are so appealing, right?

Anyway, here she is in the finals.

Holy sh-t, right? (Note that magician Shin Lim is probably going to take the #2 spot. He’s also terrific.)

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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