So Rashida Jones is very funny. Hers is a dry wit, or at least that’s usually the way she’s employed, and it can get a little samey (I’m not too upset that she’s leaving Parks & Recreation this year) but she’s been funny for a decade now and she’s not getting the goddamn credit she deserves. Remember her on Chappelle’s Show? Remember her calling Sam Weir a pygmy geek on Freaks And Geeks? Remember how we were all Team Karen for season three of The Office? Or was that just me? Don’t stare at me like that!
There’s a few modes the Comedy Bang! Bang! guests can go for, and Jones is in a slightly hostile mood as Scott asks her the stupidest questions he can think of, pretending The Social Network was a documentary, and telling her to clean up all the real-life facts about her on the internet. “Like, Quincy Jones is your dad, just strange stuff. There's a prankster on the internet, I've found.”
Jones is weirded out and annoyed, which wouldn’t be enough to make for a strong guest segment, but I really enjoyed what came next, a creepy spin on “Hakuna Matata” that began with Scott and Reggie singing an adorable song about eating cartoon bugs and ended with them forcing Jones to eat a real-life bug. “I didn’t like that at all,” she says before barfing cartoon vomit. It was the turn I thought the segment would take, but it was done perfectly and that’s all I need to be happy.
This episode was structured around a Speed spoof where the episode had to come in at 30 minutes exactly or get blown up by madman Dave Foley. Dave Foley is the greatest dude alive and I support his every endeavor even if seeing him onscreen sometimes makes me a little sad and I have to calm down and think about Kids In The Hall and Newsradio for a while. At this point, spoofing Speed is beyond dated, so if you’re doing to do it, do it right, and Foley was a nice choice for the madman, nailing his line at the end (“Yes…somehow I got rich off of this.”)
We also have Horatio Sanz making his long-overdue debut on the show as a monster truck driver who has killed, by his estimation, some 30,000 people over his years crushing cars in the ring. The escalation of the sketch was perfectly done. “The way this started was very organic,” he explains, talking about the progression from killing people who sought euthanasia to just finding drifters and people with no families no one would miss. Again, once the twist was apparent, the sketch unfolded predictably, but it was well done and funny, so I have few complaints.
The other sketches were cute—Scott’s “Fornicators” show running into Kulap Vilaysack making out and turning into a “Voyeurs” show and then a “Prudes” show and then a “Location Permit Cops” show wasn’t quite on the level of some of the remote sketches we’ve seen this season, but was still solid. Scott’s “one problem” piece (a bit he did on the podcast once that I just love) was predictably awesome. I also always really enjoy the minute-long interstitials, which are great little mini-sketches, and this episode’s magic trick was a great example.
This episode was very solid, but not so spectacular, I suppose. There’s no sketch here that I’d immediately sit down and make my friends watch, but at the same time, absolutely no duds and a solid guest spot by Rashida Jones. Comedy Bang! Bang! had some problems with consistency in its first season that are pretty much over with by now.
- “As I said when I saw the bassist for the Pixies, it's a Deal.”
- Jack McBrayer’s guest spot as the mounted head was a nice twisted use of his sunny personality.
- “I didn't really like the part with the whale. I mean, you've got Captain Ahab, you've got Ishmael, you've even got a boat!”
- Explosion footage is used to pad time at the end of the episode. “You know what they say, explosion footage is cheap.”