Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2, Episode 13 Review: “Jessica Alba Wears a Jacket with Patent Leather Pumps”

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As best I understand it, the process of creating an episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!, in simplest terms, is as follows: The writers plan out sketch ideas and concepts for episodes, but the interviews are improvised on the spot. There can be upwards of ten to twenty minutes of discussion with each celebrity, but only the best five minutes or so make the cut. With past guests like Casey Wilson or Andy Samberg, their improv prowess is strong enough that ten to twenty minutes of jokes provide plenty of usable material. Then there are guests like Jessica Alba, who aren’t exactly weekly UCB performers, and merely can’t open their mouth and draw laughs. But to my surprise, what Alba lacks in outright funniness, she makes up for with a sense of loose fun.

“Jessica Alba Wears a Jacket with Patent Leather Pumps” could have easily pushed Alba to the sidelines and tried to mooch off her star power while turning to others for laughs, but to its credit it stuck with Alba as its guest and gave her the full Comedy Bang! Bang! experience. And for the most part she did well. She toed the line between acting like the experience disturbed her and fully taking part in weird, dark discussions, and I loved seeing how far Scott Aukerman pushed their interview.

I also enjoyed the episode’s other guest Kristen Schaal as Scout Leader Gina Guppies. Her appearance didn’t have as much to it as I would have liked, but it gave way to some good reactions shots. Plus it gave Kristen Schaal more work, and that’s always a good thing.

Ultimately the strength of this episode is also its weakness. Everything about it – Alba, the multiple cameos, the sweater sketch, Schaal – is all good and fine, but nothing besides the sweater sketch is truly great. This is a solid, enjoyable episode of a show that’s capable of far better things. But Comedy Bang! Bang! doesn’t have to be game-changing every week, which is why this episode doesn’t bug me. It’s good! It’s funny! But hopefully next week we’ll see it being great.

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