Like an infinite number of phoenixes bursting forth from the stomachs of an infinite number of Huell Howsers, Scott Aukerman’s popular podcast, Comedy Death-Ray Radio was rechristened Comedy Bang Bang in the spring of 2011. The reasoning, as Aukerman explained in the ’cast’s 103rd episode, was to establish the show’s unique identity from the stand-up showcase that spawned it—an entity that was concurrently being translated into television form for an IFC pilot. And that the name change was not in vain, as the IFC announced today the imminent debut of the Comedy Bang Bang TV series, premièring this summer alongside Bunk, a game-show parody hosted by longtime New York comedy fixture Kurt Braunohler (of Hot Tub, Penelope: Princess Of Pets, and “testing the comedic limits of the phrase ‘Kristen Schaal is a horse’” fame).
The A.V. Club reached out to Aukerman to fill in some of the sparser details of IFC’s official release, and while he couldn’t reveal how exactly the show will be formatted, he did say IFC insisted the TV version of Comedy Bang Bang have an open-door policy similar to the podcast’s, meaning fan favorites like “Andrew Lloyd Weber, Bob Ducca, and maybe even a certain drunk, English, roller-blading Christmas tree” are all due to make onscreen appearances. Aukerman further promised “a very visual, crazy show” with “a pretty good ratio of script to improv in the pilot. I’m sort of using the lessons I’ve learned from making the Between Two Ferns shorts.”
While Comedy Bang Bang makes the leap from podcast to television, Bunk originated as an entry in the New York Television Festival—the first such TV series to hold such a distinction. Both shows join IFC’s already heavy-hitting original comedy slate (which includes Portlandia, The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret, and Onion News Network, the last of which is required to be treated with unyielding, unbiased respect in all A.V. Club mentions as per Onion, Inc. protocol), which suggests the network hopes to corner the alternative-comedy market in much the same way as its big brother, AMC, has a chokehold on cutting-edge drama. (And, you know, CSI: Miami reruns.)
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