One aspect of Comedy Bang! Bang! that the show hasn’t explored much is the life of its inanimate objects. In what’s always felt like a clear Pee-Wee Herman homage, everything on the CBB set has a mind of its own: the couch, the books, the taxidermy on the walls, etc. They prove useful for cutaway gags but not much else. As the show goes on, it still hasn’t really explored the universe it exists within, and maybe it never will—that’s not essential. But there’s plenty of gags that can revolve around talking inanimate objects and tonight’s episode gave us a little parable with a big ladder and a little ladder.
Adam DeVine, whose manic energy on Workaholics and in Pitch Perfect means he’ll be filling guest “hyperactive villain” roles on our screens for years to come, played a nasty handyman who works with a Big Ladder and demands that Scott incinerate a useless Little Ladder who’s all cute and makes squeaky little noises! I liked the physical comedy that ensued (especially when Big Ladder rebels and attacks his evil overlords) but the gag was a simple one and very played out by the end of the episode, though.
Sarah Silverman is another podcast guest who pretty much always delivers. Her chemistry with Aukerman is nice and breezy but otherwise there isn’t a ton to her segment. The “telephone” bit is probably the strongest just because the line “your ass is like a tit” would be funny coming out of anyone’s mouth but particularly works on this show (which walks a weirdly clean line most of the time).
The sketches were the strongest portion of this episode. Reggie Watts’ Ferris Bueller spoof was simple but effective (I would have been furious if it didn’t end with a barf joke, but it did, so no complaints here). So was his discussion on tort reform with Scott. “I’VE READ THE ARTICLE.” Sometimes jokes like that, which play on how differently than normal the character is acting, can fall flat, but Watts is such a captivating, original performer he can even make tort reform talking points completely hilarious.
Joe Lo Truglio’s turn as fast-talking Stan Couples was a clever bit without a good twist. He apparently holds the fast-talking record, but just talks hurriedly, nervously, ineffectively, and provokes baffled screams from Scott and Sarah. Lo Truglio is a funny, funny dude and his panicky act is amusing enough to save the bit. The final gag, which sees him talking normally as Scott and Sarah react in super slow-mo, is a little too conceptual to really land, though. Plus, there’s a final gag that sees him talking quickly during the ladder attack, but not superhumanly quickly…I don’t know. Maybe I just didn’t get it.
This is the episode the show put online before premiering the second season, and I get the decision—it’s a pitch right down the middle for them, but it’s not nearly the box-busting masterpieces they’ve also aired this season. Next week: Bill Hader. I’m excited (even if he totally blew Would You Rather? in his podcast appearance).
- Scott’s onscreen credit: Crop Circleman.
- Pretty sure I saw Harris Wittels among the gang attacking the ladder at the end of the episode, but who else was in that crowd?
- “I want you to think of this show as a fine wine, made by Spaniards and sold by fatsos.”
- “I feel like Alec Baldwin: I'm cast in shadow.”
- Loved Scott’s bit in the makeup chair, especially when he had the giant head, and his Spock ears. “"I swore I would wear them until Chris Pine dies.”