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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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