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Pod Talkerman

10 Essential Comedy Bang! Bang! Podcast Episodes

Celebrate 100 episodes of Comedy Bang! Bang! on IFC this Friday starting at 11P.

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Photo Credit: Earwolf

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! 

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.