Monday, July 15, 2013


Article first published as COMEDY BANG! BANG! Returns on TheTVKing.

IFC's bizarre talk / sketch show Comedy Bang! Bang! returns for a second season this week with the episode "Andy Samberg Wears a Plaid Shirt and Glasses." After host Scott Auckerman convinces his doctor in the insane asylum to be bandleader Reggie Watts, the two escape the institution and begin the second season of the show for the first time. Confusing? Perhaps, especially when the scenario is called back at the end in a different way. But much of Comedy Bang! Bang! refuses to make sense, which is part of its charm.

Auckerman has a very interesting and unique sense of humor. He takes normal things and moves them into very strange arenas. He routinely interrupts his interviews with tangents, or inserts gags in places you don't expect them to be. The talk show portion begins with Auckerman receiveing a LOT of prunes dumped onto his studio floor by a trio of delivery persons. Why? Who knows?

Auckerman's style blends well with Watts, who almost feels like a partner, rather than a sidekick, even though his part is smaller. Watts makes an impression every time we seem him, and he is a invaluable element to the series, more for his presence and deliveries than the occasional music he plays. I love when he interjects when Auckerman and Samberg begin whispering this week and he can't hear what is being said.

The interviews do not go the same on Comedy Bang! Bang! as they do on any other series. Samberg and Auckerman discuss numbers, have a gun / knife fight and discuss wounds, and viewers will never actually get to learn anything about Samberg or what he does. They stop the question and answer session at one point to explore alternate timeline possibilities. Which means this is far more an atypical series of scripted bits than it is an actual talk show, no matter what its format appears to be, which is in keeping with the aforementioned tone of the host.

There are also random guest stars who pop in at weird times. Fringe's Lance Reddick drops into Reggie's Tron-like virtual reality game, as does Selma Blair (Anger Management). Adam Pally from Happy Endings is a delivery man. Comedians Chelsea Peretti (Kroll Show) and Doug Benson (The Benson Interruption) put in tiny appearances. And Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) plays a turbaned psychic.

There's no telling what zaniness might happen in future episodes, which will feature personalities such as Aziz Ansari, Anna Kendrick, and Zoe Saldana, though admittedly the two leads matter far more to the success of each week than those who drop in. I'll be watching to find out.

Comedy Bang! Bang! airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on IFC.

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