• When “Lopez Tonight” got axed, so did comedian Auggie Smith’s big break

    “I was supposed to be famous tonight.”

    Those were the words of comedian Auggie Smith, while performing at Comedy Palace, an independent comedy show ran in the upstairs room of Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles. That very night, Smith was slated to perform on Lopez Tonight as his late night television debut, but as TBS brought down the axe the day before, Auggie was bumped from the show. As the cancellation was so sudden, Smith actually got the news while on a plane to LA. On the bill included comedian Arsenio Hall and one of the world’s biggest comedy stars, Russell Peters, and yet, the only person to perform as a stand-up comedian on the final show was the Lakers Ron Artest, who recently changed his name to Metta World Peace. You can watch how that went below; his stand-up starts at the 6:20 mark.

    As it was the final episode of Lopez Tonight and there could be no further consequences, one could see how George Lopez would truly have his show operate. Despite featuring several very talented up-and-coming comedians (James Adomian, Eric Andre and Jarrod Harris, just to name a few), Lopez decided to have World Peace perform a poorly written and performed set in his final minutes on TBS. Arsenio Hall was just a guest and Russell Peters, one of the top 10 earning comedians of 2010, was stationed at a DJ booth.

    Artest’s Ultimate Comedy Tour has been well documented, but there was very little indication that World Peace would actually try his hand at being a real comedian. Last week, it was rumored that he tried to drop-in on one of LA’s most popular stand-up shows, Comedy Bang Bang at the UCB Theatre. Still, outside of “performing” at the Hollywood Improv, Artest hasn’t been to a single open mic or bar show unlike actual comedian Bill Burr who has spotted at both over the last few months in Los Angeles.

    Though getting “bumped” is certainly part of being in the comedy business, Auggie Smith, a veteran comic of more than 20 years and winner of both the Seattle and San Francisco Comedy competitions in the same year, getting bumped for Artest is criminal. During his set at the Palace Restaurant in Los Feliz, Auggie got big laughs riffing with the crowd and doing his crafted Lopez set. Yet, in a moment of poignancy, he told a story about his penis not being able to erect itself, then getting it seen by a doctor, at which point he had the option to get it erect by having a needle injection in his penis or have the doctor go away for a few minutes and “make something happen.” Neither method worked and Smith then took a beat and said, “I want you all to think of this as a metaphor for life in comedy. Sometimes, there is no good ending,” after which he just left the stage.

    George Lopez says farewell, below.

    After the show, Auggie and the rest of the crowd went to a dingy bar down the street and watched Lopez Tonight to actually find that Auggie didn’t even get the crowd shot that Lopez claimed was a gesture of how inclusive he was in running his show. Sitting at that raucous bar and seeing Artest in a stupid outfit of short purple shorts and a yellow tank top with Smith watching intently, the parting message of his story really sunk in. While this article is also absent of an uplifting ending, hopefully, this will only be a bump in the road for Smith because he’s one damn funny comedian. Let’s check him out in action, below. Also, check out our review of Auggie’s album Smell The Thunder, which you should purchase immediately.

    Jake Kroeger

    Jake Kroeger has dedicated his life, for better or probably worse, to comedy. Starting and continually running the Comedy Bureau, a voice for LA comedy, by himself, he also writes and performs stand-up comedy in LA and watches more live comedy than is probably humanly tolerable. He's been a daily contributor to Punchline Magazine, now Laughspin.com because he loves and believes in comedy so much. Said of Kroeger, "...without his dangerously insane, unhealthy work ethic, certain comics would not have any press at all."

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