I am a huge fan of reality television, with Big Brother and Survivor among my favourites. When I saw the previews for LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, it gave me real Big Brother vibes, and throwing a bunch of stand-up comedians into one room for six-hours can only be good, right? Right, but not for the reason you’d think.
There are some big-name comedians here. Hosted by Jay Baruchel, the cast consists of Tom Green, Debra DiGiovanni, Caroline Rhea, Jonathan Lajoie, Andrew Phung, Dave Foley, Colin Mochrie, Mae Martin, K. Trevor Wilson, and Brandon Ash Mohammed. It felt very reminiscent of an episode of Hollywood Squares, we were just missing Tom Bergeron.
This is the Canadian version of Prime Video’s successful reality TV show of the same name, which has its own versions in Japan, Mexico, Australia, India, Brazil and more. The concept is ten comedians are locked up in a house for six-hours, and they cannot laugh, or they will be evicted. This can be a chuckle, a chortle or even a cackle. Canada’s season brought in some sport references with yellow and red cards, yellow as a warning, and red for eviction. Each celebrity is playing for a charity of their choice.
“When I saw the previews for LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, it gave me real Big Brother vibes…”
I thought I’d be coming out of LOL: Last One Laughing Canada laughing hysterically. Instead, there were a lot of your typical LOL’s…a slight burst of air from a huff when something interesting happened. Turns out, when you cage comedians and demand laughter, you get a lot of B-material, and sometimes C and D. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t look badly on the show. LOL: Last One Laughing Canada brings a lot of great things to the table, and some of that is watching comedians desperate to break each other.
The vast array of comedy styles brought to the table is interesting to say the least. From prop comedy, music, repetition and complete chaos, the comedians go to any length to make another celebrity laugh. It sounds like a good time, but at moments, it’s quite desperate, gaining little more than a cringe from me when watching.
“LOL: Last One Laughing Canada brings a lot of great things to the table, and some of that is watching comedians desperate to break each other.”
Listening to the asides from each contestant was my favourite part. Getting insight into what is going through their heads when they’re caught laughing, or why they thought screaming “grilled cheese sandwiches” for 20 minutes would be successful probably gained the most laughs from me. Seeing what goes into each joke, and how a comedian examines a situation was really interesting.
Watching each joke land or flop was an even better time. That is part of the draw of reality TV, especially in LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, the balance of good and bad. The laughs and the uncomfortable moments are what make viewers stick around. Watching some of Canada’s top comedians outright fail, or be unable to control themselves when someone else’s joke lands well, is surprisingly addictive, even if I’m not laughing alongside them. Sometimes the fail is the funniest part.
Though LOL: Last One Laughing Canada isn’t the stand-up comedy type hilarity I was hoping for, it was absolutely entertaining. The series is sure to make you laugh and cringe, bringing you back for more in each of its six episodes. You can find LOL: Last One Laughing Canada on Prime Video on February 18th.