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A brief chat with Scott Aukerman of Comedy Bang! Bang!


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As we wait for Comedy Bang! Bang! to premiere on June 8th at 10 p.m. ET, we find ourselves constantly devising new ways to kill time until the show starts. We’ve watched Reggie Watts sing with Jon Hamm and Will Forte. We’ve watched a full episode online and, of course, watched Scott Aukerman and Amy Poehler talk about topical humor. Then we realized we still had over a week to kill, so we did the only logical thing for someone in our position to do: We made the host sit down for an interview. Yesterday we chatted to Scott Aukerman about what gets lost in translation, Adolf Hitler, the truth about Paul F. Tompkins, and what he really thinks of Zach Galifianakis.

Nice to speak with you again. I was planning on asking the exact same questions from our interview last year and just swapping the name Comedy Bang! Bang! for Comedy Death Ray.

Oh that would have been good. Just to see if I noticed. “There’s something about this interview…..”

Maybe next time. When you were working on Comedy Bang! Bang!, what didn’t translate well between the podcast and the show?

The big problem in translating is that we had to translate the language. People may not know that we record the podcast in Japanese, translate it to English and then actors play us on the podcast. I’m not actually Scott Aukerman, I’m the actor who plays his voice on the podcast. Unfortunately, it’s cost prohibitive on a television show.

There were other issues that came up, too. The podcast is an hour and the show is only half an hour. We considered taping for an hour and then speeding it up and just running the show in fast forward. People don’t balk at slow motion in a show, why not fast motion? We would be pioneers.

Which podcast guests are you sad didn’t get to be on the show?

Jesse the Mind Ventura or I guess his nickname is Jesse the heart Ventura now. I wish we could have had Jason Mantzoukas on, but he was filming “The Dictator” the entire time and we all know how that turned out. We know he regrets it too. It’s the biggest regret of his life. I would have liked to have Marissa Wompler on, but she was off appearing on BFF the entire time.

Who is your dream guest?

Any guest living or dead? I guess I would have Adolph Hitler, so I could assassinate him on air. After I got a couple of questions in. I actually have a gun underneath my seat cushion just in case any guest is going to be a dictator in the future. That way I can assassinate them immediately. That is the Comedy Bang! Bang! promise.

Oh is that where the “bang! bang!” in the title comes from?


Is working with Paul F Tompkins exhausting or fun?

Well, I’m always exhausted …from laughing so hard! One thing about Paul that you wouldn’t know because we cut it out of the show is that he’s great at making you laugh but also at making you cry. We edit it out of the show because he doesn’t want to be known for that. He’s really a nihilist. He just goes off about the inanity of life and how pointless everything is. He really goes off. But we cut that out of the show.

How much improv is used in the show?

It’s 150% improv. If that sounds impossible, it’s not. We just cram it in there.

That’s where the fast forwarding comes in?

No. It’s just that when we think we’ve finished, we’re not. We just keep going. Using the French art of improv until it reaches 150%.

The French art?

Yes, the French perfected it. Before they invented improv we would all just carry scripts around all day. When you woke up in the morning you would just Xerox — or in olden times mimeograph — your scripts and then people would read from scripts for every conversation. Then the French invented improvisation and a whole world or conversation was opened up. This show is an homage to that. That’s another French word “homage.” The French also invented homages. Before that there were no homages allowed. So this show is an homage to that.

How much more scripted is the TV show versus the podcast?

The television show is completely scripted. That may sound like the exact opposite of what I just said, and it is. I leave it up to the readers of your article to determine which answer is completely full of shit.

How hard is it to not laugh when you are filming the show?

I actually have someone pinch me if I look like I’m even going to start to crack a smile. One hint of a smile and I get a pinch on my bottom. I am quite black and blue down there and not black like you want to be down there, if you know what I mean.

I really don’t.

Oh. Well then I will give you hints throughout the course of this article. You can follow the clues Encyclopedia Brown style.

I look forward to finding the answer. In a recent article the New York Times called you a “curator of comedy.” Do you feel like that’s an apt title?

I would prefer they call me a king of comedy because they made a lot of money on that tour. I mean, Bernie Mac, rest in peace, but I could slip in there now with Cedric [the Entertainer] and who else? Oh of course Steve Harvey. I would like to consider myself the new slightly paler Steve Harvey. That’s what I wish the New York Times had called me, but you can’t control the media. You know that.

Yes, yes I do. In that same article Zach Galifianakis called you “a den mother.” Is that more appropriate?

I think he’s a very rude person. He knows I’m a man. I have proved to him that I am a man on more than one occasion. For him to call me a “mother” when he knows that is not true, is just rude. You know I don’t like him very much. He’s just not for me. I’m glad that there are some people who appreciate his look-at-what-I-grew-on-my-face thing, but he’s just not for me.

I asked CBB fans via Twitter and Facebook for some questions. At least one would like to know if there are any “Taint Magazines” still in circulation?

I gathered up all Taint Magazines in existence and have a secret stash in my basement. While many men have large collections of Playboy in their basement, I have Taint. I keep copies because the only way I can achieve orgasm is to look at pictures of myself.

Will “Harris’ Foam Corner” make its way onto the show?

Harris fans –if there are any — will be very very happy for one episode for about ten seconds.

I’m looking forward to the show. Thanks for chatting.

I will see you next year when I change the name of the show again and we have to do another interview.

Want the latest news from IFC? Like us on Facebook and follow us on @IFCtv. You can also like Bunk and Comedy Bang! Bang!.

Comedy Bang! Bang! premieres on IFC on Friday, June 8th at 10 p.m. ET

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.


IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.



IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….


IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.


IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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