Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2, Episode 15 Review: “Jim Gaffigan Wears a Blue Jacket & Plum T-Shirt”

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It shouldn’t be surprising at this point that Comedy Bang! Bang! is as good as it is. Sure, the first season was hit-or-miss; but season two has been consistently brilliant and hilarious from its premiere leading up to it tonight’s episode, “Jim Gaffigan Wears a Blue Jacket & Plum T-Shirt.”

It’s hard to tell how much of this episode’s success comes from the writing, and how much comes from putting Scott Aukerman, Reggie Watts, Jim Gaffigan, Matt Walsh, and Matt Besser in a room together. Regardless, this was top-to-bottom funny. And like last week’s also great episode, “Jim Gaffigan Wears a Blue Jacket & Plum T-Shirt” had a palpable sense of loose fun that helped make this very packed episode not seem rushed.

Jim Gaffigan is mostly known as the “Hot Pocket”-guy (something Reggie comments on) and from his role on That 70’s Show, but he also has multiple funny stand-up specials, which he doesn’t get nearly enough praise for. Gaffigan takes well-trod comedic material like food, health, family, and marriage, and makes them funny. I make a point of mentioning all of that so it would be clear that I find Gaffigan funny, because he still impressed me with his work in this episode. His interview with Scott was less conversation and more punchline-to-punchline, making it the funniest of the season.

The rest of the episode maintained that high quality. Dr. Lloyd Fleen (The Birthday Boys’ Tim Kalpakis) briefly poked his head in, made me laugh ridiculously hard with his close-mindedness for the teleporter he invented, and then left. His appearance was the perfect length; it introduced the joke, got as many laughs from it as possible and then ended. But there wasn’t a way for him to have stayed longer since the episode had two other guests, comedy titans Matt Walsh and Matt Besser. Walsh was stuck playing the straight man so he didn’t get many opportunities to be funny (he was still good in the role), but his UCB co-founder Besser got enough laughs for the both of them. Besser popping up early then keeping a presence throughout the episode is something taken from Comedy Bang! Bang! the podcast, and due to how well it worked I hope it happens again.

I mentioned at the start that I shouldn’t continue to be surprised at how good Comedy Bang! Bang! is, but it’s hard not to after episodes like this. “Jim Gaffigan Wears a Blue Jacket & Plum T-Shirt” had so much funny packed in to twenty-two minutes it’s impressive. With only five episodes left this year, I’m looking forward to whatever is next.

The Birthday Boys Season 1

The Birthday Boys Mini-Review: “Cool Machine” was a definite improvement over last week’s lackluster “Rock and Roll,” but The Birthday Boys is still clearly finding itself, and as a result this was another hit-and-miss episode. Still, “Cool Machine”‘s final few minutes are so good that it guarantees I’ll keep watching the show. The Birthday Boys are capable of greatness; hopefully they’ll find it sooner than later. Score: 6.5