First Look at Comedy Bang! Bang!

After Friday's season finale of Portlandia (can't believe it's already over!), we were treated to a preview of a new comedy talk show, Comedy Bang Bang. For those of you that are not quite the connoisseur of the comedic arts like I am, allow me to explain to you why you should care.

The show is based on the highly regarded Comedy Bang Bang podcast, the flagship show of the Earwolf podcast network. Comedy Bang Bang is hosted by Scott Aukerman, former writer for Mr. Show. The great thing about Aukerman is that he is a talented curator of comedy; by himself, he may not be the most hilarious, but he brings together the perfect people in the perfect situation to create a perfectly hilarious situation. The podcast has no set format. Aukerman will have notable guests from the world of alternative comedy (frequent guests are Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman) play the "straight man" (are you keeping up with my comedy terms?) to another comedian who will come in and interact with them as a brilliantly over-the-top character. Notable characters are impressions of Andrew Lloyd Weber (as seen in the clip below played by the ubiquitous Paul F. Tompkins), Gary Busey, Dov Charney (smarmy American Apparel owner), Bill Cosby Bukowski (my personal fave), as well as other quirky characters like a man auditioning for Sha Na Na and a perverted theater directors (played by the comedic genius Andy Daly).

The appeal of the podcast is not only is it downright hilrious, but people who come in character stay completely committed, which is essential to great improvisation (are you okay with me throwing out these advanced comedy concepts?). For a good place to start, two standout episodes are when Adam Scott talks with "Alan Rickman" and this gem with Jason Mantzoukas talking with a man who is campaigning to be mayor of Hollywood. Trust me, just go with it.

I am thrilled that the podcast has been developed into a television show to give some of the alternative comics the exposure they deserve. From the preview, it looks as if the television show will take on the format of the podcast, with Aukerman hosting guests, with what I am assuming will be the same "host talks with guests" format. It also looks as if there is some scripted parts as well as improvised guest banter.

The show premieres this June, and I am officially endorsing it as something to watch.


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