Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ask not for whom the Comedy Bang! Bang!sit bang bangs for thee

Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins (Screenshot: IFC)
Scott Aukerman, Paul F. Tompkins (Screenshot: IFC)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, December 2, and Saturday, November 3. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 and 11:30 p.m., Friday): Since the waning days of this benighted year of 2016 continue to swallow up the last glimmers of joy and light from the world, tonight sees the enduringly dippy and delightful faux talk show/conceptual comedy machine Comedy Bang! Bang! come to an end. Naturally, host Scott Aukerman (a.k.a. Hot Saucerman, Yacht Rockerman, and lots more comedy aliases) isn’t going out without bringing one last double-shot of hilarity and guest-hilarity, bringing back beloved former bandleader Reggie Watts in the first of these two episodes, and fan favorites Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (Paul F. Tompkins) and craft services master Fabrice Fabrice (Nick Kroll) in the finale. LaToya Ferguson and Emily L. Stephens have been with the show from the beginning, and they’re holding hands and alternating tears of joy and sorrow as they review the series right to the end. How can they type while holding hands? They’re professionals, that’s how. And, hey, the original Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast is still going strong. Chin up—it’s gonna be okay. (Also, check out Erik Adams’ interview with Scott Aukerman about the end of the series.)

National Christmas Tree Lighting (Hallmark, 8 p.m., Friday): President Obama presides over his last—if not the last—tree lighting.

Pete Holmes: Faces And Sounds (HBO, 10 p.m., Saturday): It’s a new standup special from the host of the funny and illuminating You Made It Weird podcast and all-around amiable goofball Pete Holmes. Reviewer Dennis Perkins says the title accurately describes Holmes’ animated and very funny style.

Premieres and finales

Pacific Heat (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): In this animated Australian cop comedy series, a group of wisecracking, perhaps-not-bright elite police chase down baddies on the sunny Aussie coast. From the trailer, there’s a suspiciously Archer-esque vibe to the whole enterprise (along with a smattering of potentially iffy racial stereotyping), and Archer doesn’t come back until January. In his pre-air review, Will Hughes says… well, you should probably read it before you decide to watch.

Tracey Ullman’s Show (HBO, 11 p.m., Friday): Happy chameleon Ullman straps on the last of her wigs, prosthetics, and broad, booming accents one more time, as the first season of her most recent cavalcade of characters comes to a close.


Mr. Neighbor’s House (Adult Swim, 11:59 p.m., Friday): Always-funny character actor Brian Huskey (Childrens Hospital, Another Period, People Of Earth) stars as a Mr. Rogers-style children’s show host in this Adult Swim special. You know, Mr. Rogers if he were a repressed, insane, abusive weirdo and where human and puppet guests alike were emotionally scarred when Mr. Neighbor invites them to his birthday party. Co-created by certified funny people Huskey, Jason Mantzoukas, Rob Corddry, and Jesse Falcon, and with appearances from other funny people Nick Kroll, Mary Holland, Jon Daly, and Steve Agee. (And check out Erik Adams’ interview with Huskey, where the actor shares the sorts of things that make him laugh. There are puppets there, too—Nazi puppets.)

Regular coverage

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday)

Z Nation (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday)

Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD, 8:30 p.m., Saturday)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday)

Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday)

Streaming pick

Brett Gelman’s Dinner In America (Adult Swim): Now that professional go-to sleazy comedy husband Gelman has burnt every bridge with Adult Swim (over what he sees as the network’s history of misogyny and its pickup of a show a lot of people are calling racist), why not check out one of Gelman’s typically challenging Adult Swim projects. Ostensibly the actor’s attempt to solve racism in America by inviting distinguished black actors Loretta Devine, Joe Morton, Shareeka Epps, and Mack Wilds over for a night of dinner and conversation, things quickly go south, as Gelman’s signature self-obsessed “Brett Gelman” character proceeds to do and say every wrong thing humanly possible. If nothing else, it’s worth it to hear Morton’s sonorously riveting monologue about the crimes of white America, followed by Gelman’s abashed, “Wow. This evening has not gone the way that I’d hoped.”