This season of “America’s Got Talent” hasn’t been easy for the stand-up comics hoping to go all the way, and Tuesday’s fourth and final live quarterfinals episode was no exception. Insult comic Alex Hooper came to roast the judges, but his barbs may have been a little too sharp for some.
Hooper hit the stage in his over-the-top furry coat and took a seat on a golden throne to read a “bedtime story” he titled “As the World Burns” to the three judges and the virtual audience.
The cartoon burn book, written in rhyming verse, contained roast-worthy insults for each of the judges and host Terry Crews. It seemed everyone but Howie Mandel felt pretty uncomfortable getting mocked — no matter how good the jokes actually were.
Starting with Crews, Hooper began his set, sharing, “He acts, he paints, plays the flute and much more. It makes me wonder what he’s compensating for. Now that Regis is dead, you’re my second favourite host. Tyra, if you’re watching, I still love you the most.”
He also targeted Mandel, who he compared to Mr. Clean, and joked, “A 40-year career, that really takes drive. When you look like a turtle who has been burned alive.”
Hooper then turned his attention to Heidi Klum and he poked fun at her parenting, joking, “Heidi, you’re a wonderful mother, it’s easy to see — at least that’s what your six nannies were paid to tell me.”
Taking the joke in stride, Klum gestured from the judges table that she actually has eight nannies.
However, his jokes seemed to get even more biting when it came to Sofia Vergara.
“Sofia Vergara, how lovely you are. I don’t know what’s more supportive, your family or your bra,” Hooper quipped. “It takes you hours to get ready, so I’m not trying to be mean, but who did your makeup, a drunk drag queen? When Hollywood kicks you out, don’t let it get you down. You’ll always have work as a rodeo clown.”
“May your recovery as speedy as that electric bike you had no business riding,” Hooper said, before getting into the meat of his joke, which revolved around Cowell becoming a father for the first time six years ago, when he was 54.
“Simon, you have a young son. Wow. Your life took a turn. When he graduates you’ll be front row — in a beautiful urn,” Hooper said with a beaming smile as the judges and virtual audience let out a palpable mix of groans and laughs.
Mandel was effusive in his praise for Hooper, declaring, “You are brilliant! You worked the room, I think it’s funny, I love this kind of comedy. I was a huge Don Rickles fan, you’re the new, young Don Rickles.”
“And I love the book!” Mandel added. “We should sell it online. Congratulations!”
Vergara joked that her problem wasn’t with Hooper as much as it was with Mandel celebrating and laughing at all the jokes.
“The whole night, he’s been so negative, suddenly this guy comes on, destroys us, and he’s clapping!” Vergara said.
Turning to Hooper, the actress joked, “I have to say, it is funny. You are horrific! I want to push this thing for you,” before slamming the red button and buzzing the comic, after his set.
“Yes! Yeah, I love for that! Buzz me again! Buzz me again!” Hooper yelled in glee.
Klum, meanwhile had her own poem ready for the acid-tongued comic: “Roses are red, violets are blue, some people are funny. Not sure about you.”
ET’s Kevin Frazier spoke with Mandel and Vergara after Tuesday’s show, and the “Modern Family” actress reiterated that she was more annoyed with Mandel’s enthusiastic response than she was with the comic himself.
“It was not the guy who was bothering me, it was that Howie was enjoying it!” Vergara said. “He was in a bad mood the whole night and suddenly this guy attacks us and he is bright and smiling and excited like it was a [breath of] fresh air!”
“Sofia does not enjoy if I am enjoying myself,” Mandel joked. “The only time she is happy is when I was having a rough time!”
While playfully offended by Hooper’s routine, Klum clearly had a better time with his material than she did with comedian Usama Siddiquee during last-week’s quarterfinals. Siqqiquee told a joke that, at least in Klum’s opinion, revolved around calling her a “tramp” and she made it clear she didn’t appreciate it.
Check out the video below to see the awkward “AGT” moment.
Fans will find out Hooper’s fate when the “America’s Got Talent” results show kicks off on Wednesday, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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