“Comedy Bang! Bang!” Podcast
BY MATTHEW HOANG STAFF WRITER
Scott Aukerman’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!” is a comedy podcast featuring a variety of guests who engage in improvised conversations with Aukerman. Most of the guests are notable comedians, including Nick Kroll, Sarah Silverman and Patton Oswalt. Aukerman was a writer and performer on the sketch series “Mr. Show,” as well as the co-founder of the Earwolf podcast network.
Right off the bat, the conversations of this podcast stand out from other podcasts with long-form interviews. While the first 40 minutes are always a genuine and funny conversation usually discussing something the guest is there to promote or about their personal lives, the last hour is nothing but comedy.
In this hour Aukerman will bring out two other guests. Rather than celebrities, these guests are ordinary people who are also there to promote something — the twist is that they are actually characters played by two performers who work for the podcast. Aukerman, his main guest and the performers will then improvise a mock interview, acting as if the product or business the characters have come to promote is real.
For example, in an episode featuring Conan O’Brien, the two characters are a brother and sister team who run a motel (which is really just their childhood home they never moved out of) until it is revealed that one of them is a ghost.
The comedians performing these characters are always on point. They never break character and their performances are appropriately hilarious.
My personal favorite episode is the aforementioned Conan episode; being an experienced comedian himself, O’Brien was able to improvise skillfully enough that for a moment, I thought the characters were real — but that was probably because it was the first episode I had ever listened to.
Another guest highlight is Claudia O’Doherty of Netflix’s “Love” fame, who plays an exaggerated version of herself, appearing on the podcast because she won a bunch of competitions created by her mother. She is able to improvise extremely well with the other guests, all while maintaining her comedic persona.
While the podcast’s comedy is strong, the one criticism I have is the interviews. Due to the focus on comedy, the interviews never go anywhere. The guests never reveal anything substantive about themselves — so if you came here looking for real, meaningful conversations with interesting public figures that might touch on personal issues, then this is not the podcast for you. Still, that is not necessarily a fault of the podcast itself, as it prides itself on being silly and having fun.
This podcast is not my favorite, but it does offer top-notch comedy and silliness that is perfect for a rainy day. If you are sad or depressed, give this podcast a listen — it might put a smile on your face.