10 Essential Comedy Bang! Bang! Podcast Episodes

With Comedy Bang! Bang! fast approaching 100 episodes on IFC, we thought it was time to look back at the podcast that launched it all. A madcap mishmash of ridiculous characters, fake celebrity interviews and game breaking improv, the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast is a dense universe unto itself, full of callbacks and inside jokes that reward hardcore fans. If you’re new to the series, the best bet would be to start on the first episode and listen to all 430 (and counting!) episodes. But for those of us who don’t have hundreds of hours of free time to kill, here are a few of the very best episodes in CB!B! podcast history.

10. Amy Poehler’s Rap (Episode 123)

It’s no secret that America’s sweetheart, Amy Poehler, can spit verse. (She famously rapped about Sarah Palin on SNL while nine months pregnant!) But never has her brilliance been more evident than this classic CB!B! episode. While host Scott Aukerman often likes to goad his guests into rapping just to watch them crash and burn, Amy rises to the occasion, and puts together a classic little ditty about her home schoolin’ curriculum that involves teaching youngsters that the moon is made of cheese.


9.  Time Bobby (Episode 150)

Paul F. Tompkins is more than a guest in the world of CB!B!. As it stands, he’s appeared more on the show than anyone, outside of Scott himself. With a bevy of classic characters like Cake Boss and J.W. Stillwater, he’s a key player in the show’s evolution. In this classic episode, he plays Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber as he weighs whether to adopt murderous orphan Fourvel, played with eerie innocence by SNL‘s Bobby Moynihan.


8. 2012 Holiday Spectacular (Episode 191)

Paul F. Tompkins appears again in this Holiday Spectacular, playing everyone’s favorite former pimp turned TV show cop, Ice-T. One of the funniest spots in the show’s history, T talks about his Keith Haring advent calendar, his disappointment with the “We Are The World” video, and his Santa Claus (or Santer Klantz, as he’s known in The Maldives Islands) costume.


7. Shanghaied by Irene (Episode 122)

And, because we’re on a roll with PFT characters, we can’t leave out Werner Herzog, the crusty German filmmaker who views life as a bleak battle between man and nature. This was his first appearance on the show, although he would go on to appear many more times.


6. Oh, Hello (Episode 107)

Nick Kroll has also been a go-to improviser for CB!B!, repeatedly bringing his menagerie of characters to life in the studio. Still, it took over a hundred episodes for Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland — his and comedian John Mulaney’s tuna loving, Upper West Side living, Alan Alda worshiping comedic creations — to stop by. Judging by the befuddled reaction of fellow guest Lizzy Caplan, the wait was worth it.


5. Ching Chong Matinee (Episode 161)

Tim and Eric‘s Tim Heidecker got the opportunity to share some big news on the show. He’d been cast in the new Woody Allen movie — a blatantly racist, black-and-white silent film called “Ching Chong Matinee,” about a group of artists doing an opera based on Kung-Fu Panda. Sadly, with stars like Jason Alexander, Jackie Chan and the great Howie Mandel filling out the cast, Heidecker’s Chinese stagehand character barely made the final film.


4. Zap! (Episode 131)

Andy Daly is another mainstay of the show. Here he plays Chip, the gregarious Honorary Mayor of Hollywood, whose chipper personality masks a dark, deeply disturbing history. Throughout the episode Scott, guest Jason Mantzoukas and Chip dig deep into his past, uncovering awful stories about his dead wife, his history of street fighting, a disfiguring Jeep accident and a “Satanic Voltron” of child soldiers from his game show “Zap.”


3. Scott Pays Tribute to Harris Wittels (Episode 336)

A departure from the loose improv games that precede it on the list, this episode contains one of the most genuine and sad moments in CB!B! history. Harris Wittels — a Parks and Recreation writer, author of Humblebrag and frequent guest on the show — passed away from a drug overdose in 2015. This episode finds Scott trying to come to terms with his friend’s sudden death in real time. It’s raw and real and moving, and unlike anything before or since on CB!B!.


2. iBrain (Episode 35)

Deeply NSFW, Brett Gelman’s reading of his short story, “iBrain,” is one of the funniest bits of filthy madness you’ll ever hear. While the story starts out as a hackneyed attempt at satire, much to Scott’s chagrin, it quickly takes a turn in a very unexpected direction. Have the kids leave the room before giving this one a listen.


1. Farts and Procreation (Episode 120)

Probably as close to a consensus pick as this list could have, “Farts and Procreation” is considered a high water mark of lowbrow humor on the show. While fan reaction can be divided about F&P, everyone has an opinion, making it one of the most famous episodes in the podcast’s history. Having spawned numerous sequels, the story of Jack Sjunior and Bryan Pieces, two lumberjacks with a deeply disturbing history, seems destined to define this series for better or worse. A must listen for anyone wanting to know how far this show can take things when the rules get thrown out the window.

Check out 100 Scott Aukerman Nicknames in honor of CB!B!’s 100th episode! 

Listen to Marc Maron Celebrate 700 WTF Episodes With Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Louis CK

Marc Maron is an undeniable podcasting juggernaut, regularly appearing on “Top Downloads” and “Best of” lists for his emotionally raw and revelatory WTF with Marc Maron podcast. Everyone from a relaxed President Obama to a disgruntled Gallagher have appeared as guests and swapped stories with the host. And to celebrate a whopping 700 episodes over the course of almost seven years, Maron invited Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and comedian and pal Louis C.K. to appear in a two-part episode.

In part one, Marc talks with Julia about her time on SNL, working with Woody Allen, Seinfeld and much more. Louis returns for part two, chatting with Marc about the process of making his self-released series Horace and Pete. Check out the complete Episode #700 in two parts in the videos below. (You can stream the episode here.) And be sure to catch Maron Wednesdays at 9P on IFC.

10 Essential WTF With Marc Maron Podcast Episodes

Hey all you “What the F–kers” and “What the F–kniks.” You may think you know everything there is to know about WTF, the comedy podcast that helped turn Marc Maron into an institution, but everyone has their blind spots. Have you listened to all 697 (and counting) episodes? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Maybe you missed one or two of the quintessential interviews. Or maybe you’re new to the podcast and are looking for some episodes to start with. With the entire WTF archive available on the Howl Premium app, now is a great time to get caught up on one of the best podcasts out there. We gathered together 10 episodes that define what WTF is all about, in all its cat-loving, Nicorette-chewing, Lorne Michaels-obsessing glory. Strap on those ear buds and give them a listen.

10. Steve Rannazzisi

Dmitri Von Klein
Dmitri Von Klein/WTF with Marc Maron

At first listen, there didn’t seem to be anything exceptional about Steve Rannazzisi’s episode of WTF. He mainly talked about growing up Catholic, and his life as a stand-up and sitcom star on FX’s The League. The one truly memorable moment was his recounting of working at Merrill Lynch on 9/11, and his narrow escape from the collapsing Twin Towers. It was an emotional story, and one he was clearly uncomfortable recounting. It’s only in hindsight that his reticence begins to make a bit more sense, because the story turns out to be complete fiction. As revealed by The New York Times, Rannazzisi never worked for Merrill Lynch and was actually in Midtown Manhattan on that fateful day. Before the story broke Rannazzisi called Marc to apologize for using his show to perpetuate a lie. Addressing the controversy on his podcast, Maron said, “I need you guys [the listeners] to know that this is not 60 Minutes. If someone comes on this show and tells a story about their life, I will take what they’re saying at face value. If people come on here and make stuff up, that’s on them.” It’s only now, with hindsight, that the episode becomes a fascinating look at self-delusion. (Click here to listen.)


9. Robin Williams

@marcmaron
@marcmaron

After Robin Williams took his own life in 2014, Maron reposted his 2010 interview with the comedian, saying, “It changed my life and it changed many people’s perception of Robin Williams.” Williams tackled his battles with depression and addiction head on in the episode, saying at one point that his drinking was “trying to fill the hole.” It was an incredibly revealing, raw interview with a comedy legend, and sadly helps frame the hows and whys of Robin Williams’ untimely death. (Click here to listen to the episode.)


8. Louis C.K. Two-Parter

FX Productions
FX Productions

As young comics, Louis C.K. and Marc were close friends. They came up together in the late ’80s, playing the same clubs, hitting on the same girls, and sharing a unique bond. But as their careers diverged, and jealousies bubbled up, they grew apart. At one point, Maron even asked Louis to stop calling him, because all he ever did was talk about himself. That is the backstory to this emotionally raw, and yet still funny two-part episode of WTF, in which two old friends (who happen to be world class comedians) confront their relationship and start anew as we listen in. It’s one of the most relatable and human episodes of a podcast filled with them. (Click here to listen.) 


7. Lorne Michaels

JP Spence
J.P Spence/YouTube

Lorne Michaels was always Marc Maron’s great white whale. Twenty some years ago, Maron met Michaels to talk about taking over the Weekend Update desk on SNL. It did not go well (at least in Marc’s mind), and had haunted the neurotic comedian for years. Fast forward a couple decades and Maron began his podcast, grilling every guest with a connection to Michaels in an attempt to understand the man behind his greatest career regret. But somehow, it was never enough. He wanted the comedy guru himself. It took years of trying, fighting through unreturned calls and scheduling hang-ups, but he finally landed the interview, and it terrified him. As he walked into Michaels’ 30 Rock office, the SNL creator can be heard saying, “This is the scene of the crime.” The stage set, Maron and Michaels dug into what really happened, unpacking the moment, their relationship, and Michaels’ impact on comedy and pop culture. Still not satisfied at the conclusion of the interview, Maron set up a follow-up for the next day, and kept on unpacking. A fascinating look at both the legendary Michaels, and what happens when you finally let go of regret. (Click here to listen.)


6. President Barack Obama

@marcmaron
Marc Maron/Instagram

“I didn’t sleep great because the President of the United States is on the show today.” That’s how the episode begins. Anytime you have the leader of the free world sit down for an interview in your garage, you know you may be on to something. The whole thing feels so hyped, the fact that it’s actually a fascinating interview is almost an afterthought. Sitting Presidents don’t often engage in such intimate conversations, where free flowing topics relate more to the man than the policies he espouses. Maron, a former talk radio host on liberal leaning Air America, certainly knows how to talk politics, saying at one point, “I used to be more politically involved. I ran the country from my couch for a couple of years.” But it’s when he approaches the President as just another guy in his garage that the conversation really comes to life. Obama gets a chance to talk about racism, his childhood and his favorite comedians, while Maron gets to ask the President “how are you crazy?” Frankly, the only thing missing is Maron getting to ask Obama his thoughts on Lorne. Maybe next time. (Click here to listen.)


5. Norm Macdonald

@marcmaron
Marc Maron/Instagram

Maron has stated that this is one of his all-time favorite WTF episodes, even if he doesn’t know exactly why. He says it may be because, based on his public persona, Macdonald doesn’t seem like much of a talker. In fact, Marc was worried how the show would go, and yet when the sardonic comedian showed up, he was incredible game, really digging into his battles with drinking and gambling. And frankly, that’s what makes WTF such a special show. It’s a forum for comedians (or Presidents or musicians or filmmakers…) to reveal another side of themselves underneath the showbiz facade. Macdonald’s raw honesty was such a revelation, Maron skipped his usual post-production process, and threw the episode up almost immediately. All these years later, it’s a perfect example of what WTF can be when Maron is on point and his guests are willing to go wherever he leads them. (Click here to listen.)


4. The Onion’s Todd Hanson

The Moth
The Moth

Todd Hanson, a long-running writer and editor for The Onion, may not be the most famous name on this list, but he’s certainly responsible for one of the most fascinatingly honest episodes in WTF history. The interview starts out ordinarily enough, with the two commiserating over the New York alt-comedy scene and their shared sensibilities. It’s only in a follow-up interview, taped months down the line, that Hanson really opens up about his deeply rooted depression. With detailed precision, he takes Maron through his 2009 suicide attempt, in which he checked into a New York hotel room, wrote two letters, and then downed 60 Xanax and a bottle of scotch. He woke up 24 hours later when a maid came into the room and stumbled home, only to be found by his roommate and taken to a detox. He says this was his “second birthday,” and has recommitted himself to getting help. Maron is one of the few interviewers who can get subjects to open up about such painful and taboo subjects, and the episode stands as a high-water mark for the more humane side of the podcast. (Click here to listen.)


3. Todd Glass

Dmitri Von Klein/WTF Podcast
Dmitri Von Klein/WTF Podcast

Todd Glass, a longtime stand-up, was 47 when he guested on WTF back in 2012. With years spent on the comedy circuit, most audiences felt like they had a handle on who he was. That’s what made his “announcement” so surprising. Saying he felt an obligation to kids having a hard time admitting who they truly were, he decided it was time to come out as gay. With intellect and compassion, Glass took Maron through why he’d kept his homosexuality private for so long, and what had changed for him, before talking about his frustrations with bullying in and out of the comedy world. The episode helped put WTF on the map as the place where comedians could dive past their well-honed material. (Click here to listen.)


2. Gallagher

@FCTN_LIFE
@FCTN_LIFE

If you’re looking for one episode that perfectly encapsulates the bizarre places WTF will go, look no further. Gallagher, a novelty comedian most famous for smashing watermelons with a mallet, is not a happy person. That much is clear from this brief interview, in which he expressed frustration that others had been more successful than him, despite his own brilliance. Johnny Carson was a jerk for not liking prop comics. Kenny Rogers was an assh*le for not laughing at his Iranian Hostage Crisis-themed dick jokes. Gallagher seems downright delusional, saying he was supposed to get a network talk show, but had to leave town to make money, allowing lesser talents like Jay Leno and David Letterman to steal what he was owed. The guiding principal of his career seems to be that he “wanted to make big money.” He desperately tries to make clear that he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of him, revealing a fractured, angry man underneath his watermelon soaked facade. He ardently defends himself against calls that he’s racist and homophobic by being racist and homophobic. And then, in the end, after saying all comedians dream of working the state fairs he tours, he storms out in a fury, Maron memorably calling “aw, come on Gallagher,” after him. Much like the stage after a Gallagher performance, the prop comic reveals himself to be a complete mess. (Click here to listen.)


1. Carlos Mencia Two-Parter

Comedy Central
Comedy Central

Perhaps the most famous episode in WTF history, Marc’s 2010 chat with Carlos Mencia helped put the podcast on the map. Maron has said he tried to keep an open mind when he first booked Mencia on his show. The comedian and star of the Comedy Central sketch show Mind of Mencia was reviled in the comedy community for his hack jokes and accusations of stealing material, but Maron was hoping to get to the truth beyond the rumors. Carlos was not. Instead, he revealed just enough about himself to satiate the inquisitive host, without really opening up. By the time the first interview had ended, Maron felt like he’d been used for some comedy community PR. He ended up going back to the comedian, to take another stab at things, and that’s when Mencia’s house of cards came crumbling down. Mencia tried to address the issues of propagating racism and stealing others jokes, but he just doesn’t get why it’s all so bad which ends up being his undoing. One of the more uncomfortable interviews you’ll ever hear, it’s a must listen for comedy fans and anyone interested in the lies we all tell ourselves. (Click here to listen.)

Watch David Cross Talk About the Genesis of Todd Margaret Season 3

Originally intended to be a two-season arc with a definitive end, IFC’s Todd Margaret concluded its second season with David Cross‘ character blowing up the world. Done and done, right? Well, at the request of the network, David and the writers were urged to produce a third season, leaving a bit of a logistical problem for the storyline. Luckily, as Cross told host Catie Lazarus in an interview for her podcast Employee of the Month, staff writer Mark Chappell devised a way to bring the show back with, as Cross puts it, “the most brilliant f***ing scenario” that just had to be done.

Watch David give the lowdown on how the new season of Todd Margaret came to be, and be sure to see the results when season 3 starts on IFC January 7th, 2016 at 10P.

David on his high school yearbook photo:  

David reveals his Hitler tattoo:

David talks about working with Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys:

Listen to David’s full appearance on Employee of the Month below.

David Cross Talks Scientologists and Hitler Tattoos on the Employee of the Month Podcast

Even with his shoulder in a post-surgery sling, actor-comedian David Cross continued his podcast circuit (of sorts) with another live on-stage interview. Sitting down with host Catie Lazarus for her fantastic show Employee of the Month, the Todd Margaret star talked about growing up Jewish amidst Southern Baptists in Atlanta, eventually realizing a coworker is a Scientologist, and the backstory to his “spanked and tearful Hitler” tattoo. (Hint: It’s not about turning a negative into a positive.) Cross also addressed his past drug use and how it doesn’t translate well to the stage, as well as resurrecting Todd Margaret after an ostensibly permanent season finale.

Watch Catie and David chew the fat on Employee of the Month below.

Visit Employee of the Month to subscribe and listen to more great interviews. For more Todd Margaret, check out the refresher video before the season 3 premiere on January 7th at 10P.

Listen to David Cross Talk Comedy on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

Actor-producer-raconteur David Cross sat with podcast maven Jesse Thorn for a live on-stage interview for his Bullseye podcast. A little worse for the wear after shoulder surgery, the Todd Margaret star related to the Brooklyn audience how the new sketch series W/ Bob and David came to be, and how he and comedy cohort Bob Odenkirk found the 16-year interim between the new show and the groundbreaking Mr. Show made the process that much smoother. Cross also talks about his experience living in New York and the changes in tone between his stand-up comedy specials.

Check out David Cross’ chat with Jesse Thorn below.

David Cross Is Coming to NYC’s Live Employee Of The Month Podcast

No one would ever accuse Todd Margaret of being a good employee. After being assigned to the London office of Thunder Muscle, he ended up blowing up the entire world. It’s safe to assume that Todd Margaret isn’t going to get a raise after those shenanigans, but David Cross, who plays Todd in the series, just got named Employee of the Month.

The comedian is appearing at the live talk show event on November 20th at NYC’s Joe’s Pub which will be recorded for an accompanying weekly podcast. Cross will be subjecting himself to host Catie Lazarus‘ trademark unorthodox line of questioning about how he created such an awesome career, including With Bob and David, Arrested Development, Todd Margaret and so much more.

David will be appearing alongside Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis and actress Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha, Mistress America) who finally managed to escape from Portlandia‘s Women & Women First bookstore.

Get tickets here. and be sure to catch the return of a very, very different Todd when the third season of Todd Margaret premieres January 7th at 10P ET/PT on IFC. Check out the trailer for more.

What’s Employee of the Month? Watch the video below. 

Fred Armisen Visited Marc Maron’s WTF Garage For a Revealing Interview

Like peanut butter and chocolate or bacon and everything, Fred Armisen and Marc Maron are two of our favorite things that are even better together. Which is why we’re excited that the Portlandia and Documentary Now! co-creator stopped by Marc’s garage for an in-depth conversation on the latest WTF podcast. Naturally, the lively conversation touched on their mutual love of music and comedy. And if you’re wondering whether Marc asked about SNL‘s Lorne Michaels, then you haven’t listened to enough WTFs.

You can listen to Fred and Marc’s chat right now over on the WTF with Marc Maron site, and check out the brand-new Howl APP for the complete WTF archives. And for more Fred, be sure to watch Portlandia and Documentary Now! on Netflix. Basically, you may never leave your house again.

Now You Can Get the Entire WTF with Marc Maron Archives on the New Howl App

If you’re like us, you treat Marc Maron’s WTF podcast like you do a bag of tasty chips — once you start, you can’t just consume one. No, you have to binge on his backlog of illuminating interviews with top comedians, actors, musicians and even the occasional sitting President while encased inside your own personal Cat Ranch. Well, you’re in luck Maron-heads: Howl, a podcast discovery and listening app, is relaunching with the enthusiastic support of podcasting pioneer Marc Maron himself.

Marc believes that Howl is critical for the continued expansion of the podcasting empire, saying:

“What’s exciting about Howl is that it’s going to really create a world and a platform and a place that is uniquely podcasting. It’s almost like a Netflix for podcasting.”

Maron also hinted that this new venture could open the doors for POSSIBLE EXCLUSIVE CONTENT. (Yes, we bolded that for emphasis because that is how much we love exclusive content.)

“It might be incentive for somebody like me to do a five-part piece on a subject that I might not want to do as part of my regular show,” says Maron.

Even better, Howl includes content from Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman’s Earwolf podcast network, as well as the WTF archives and more funny stuff for your earholes.

Howl is available for download in the iTunes store for free. And don’t forget to check out the entire WTF with Marc Maron archives to scratch your podcasting itch.

U2 Finally Talks to Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott on U Talkin’ U2 To Me Podcast

Let’s flashback to February 2014: Legendary rock band/soon-to-be-iPhone malware distributors U2 hadn’t released an album since 2009’s No Line on the Horizon, the reception of which was lukewarm… except for the head-scratching decision from Rolling Stone to declare it the year’s best album. U2 could release a two-hour recording of Bono eating a whole mess of Irish potatoes and Rolling Stone would give it a five-star rating, but Rolling Stone be damned: the music-starved masses wanted something more.

Adam Scott and Comedy Bang! Bang!’s Scott Aukerman did, at least, so they started a podcast, U Talkin’ U2 To Me?, on which they paid homage to the Irish four-piece and awaited the release of their next album. Today, about a year and a half since its inception, the two struck gold. Take a gander of the description of the podcast’s latest episode, which dropped today:

It finally happened. Scott and Scott traveled to the legendary Electric Ladyland Studios in New York City for a monumental bare all confessional interview with the lovable lads Bonobos, Thedge, Larry Mullen Sr.’s Son & Adam Clay 2000 Pounds.

They actually got to talk to U2 singer Bonobos and bassist Adam Clay 2000 Pounds! Listen to Scott and Adam’s chat with U2 below.