Saturday, December 28, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2 (2013) **½

TV-14, 20 25-min. episodes
Creator: Scott Aukerman
Director: Benjamin Berman

Writers: Scott Aukerman, Eva Anderson, Neil Campbell, David Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Erin Keating, Dan Pasternack, Seth Reiss, Paul Rust

Starring: Scott Aukerman, Reggie Watts

Special guest starring: Andy Samberg, Aziz Ansari, Anna Kendrick, David Cross, Zoe Saldana, Gillian Jacobs, Andy Richter, Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader, Casey Wilson, Rainn Wilson, Paul Reubens, Jessica Alba, Rashida Jones, Jim Gaffigan, Andy Dick, Clark Gregg, Jason Schwartzman, Cobie Smoulders, Zach Galifianakis

Guest starring: Jordan Peele, Nick Kroll, Ben Schwartz, Will Forte, Tim Meadows, Paul F. Tompkins, John Carroll Lynch, Jason Mantzoukas, Joe Lo Truglio, Adam DeVine, Bobby Moynihan, Thomas Lennon, Andrew Daly, Nat Faxon, Tony Hale, Dave Foley, Matt Besser, Phil LaMarr, Zach Woods

I really don’t know how much this show will appeal to people who aren’t really into the comedy or comedy podcast circuit. If you’ve heard of “Comedy Bang! Bang!” in any of its forms—I think it started out as a stage improv show, then became a podcast, then this IFC television show—then it may be something you’d like to check out. If not, it might just be a little too strange.

It’s a fake talk show, but it often doesn’t even resemble that. The first season of the show pretty much stuck to that format, the second has loosened up a bit and there are some episodes that only nod to its talk show format, like the musical show from season two. It always has a somewhat well known guest, and usually has other lesser-known comedy faces come in to play fake characters who are usually quite preposterous. Even the people appearing as themselves appear as pretty preposterous versions of themselves.

Although I enjoyed season two better than season one, I’m still not entirely sold on this show. A great deal of the jokes never find their wings. Much of what is going on performance wise is close to workshop type of material rather than a finished project. There are some great moments here and there, however. Paul Ruebens had some great fun on the show as his PeeWee Herman character. I usually like most of the bits involving Reggie Watts, the show’s one-man bandleader. But, this one is a tough sell, and I’m not going to over sell it.

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