Saturday, 26 May 2012

Comedy Bang Bang TV Show Preview - Recap

So the Comedy Bang Bang TV series has now been shown online at IFC.

I first heard the podcast two and a half years ago, but it was a year before I become a regular listener. The time I spent catching up to it, listening to two sometimes three episodes a day was a joyful time. When host Scott Aukerman described what the series would be like, he said it would be similar but different from the podcast. He also cited a short lived Letterman daytime show as being an inspiration.

The result is best described as a warped take on the Talk show/Sketch show format. It seems to follow the podcast format of having a regular guest followed by a character guest. It’d be senseless to expect the character work to have the same strengths of the podcast. This is after all a twenty minute show, not an hour and twenty minutes. There might be some room for improvisation, but it’s obviously going to be far more scripted. Characters don’t have time to develop so much. A difference is also that the real guests aren’t there to have serious conversations. They’re scripted bits rather than loose conversations, and Aukerman is straight into his weird/awkward persona Reggie Watts is to Aukerman what Paul Shaffer is to David Letterman, and adds some strange banter between the two of them.

Amy Poehler is the regular guest in this episode, and Don Dimello - theatrical director - played by Andy Daly is the character. Brian Huskey also has a brief appearance. The weaker spot in the episode is probably Dimello as it does just feel like a very brief, sanitized version of the character from the podcast, and the show seems best when it’s doing its own thing, rather than trying capture the spirit of the podcast. The strength of the show is in the sketches, with Aukerman’s monologues and bits to the camera. There’s some very amusingly bad wordplay with Scott talking to his ‘bookie’ the sketches are also strong. There’s a film trailer parody and something about Reggie Watts is very funny in sketches. He’s actually quite a capable sketch actor, but of course his hair and beard undercuts everything he says.

The guests are also given something interesting to do when Scott has to leave and a substitute host is introduced. Adults’ acting like school children is an obvious trope, but something about Amy Poehler, Reggie Watts, and Andy Daly as Don Dimello acting like school children makes it work really well.

So it’s a promising start, very much looking forward to the series. I hope the characters can work better and are less predictable in other episodes, but it’s still fun to see them introduced visually.

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