Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2, Episode 16 Review: “Andy Dick Wears a Black Suit Jacket and Skinny Tie”
There are two different motives behind homages. Either a show uses an homage in the Family Guy way of “hey, look at this thing you’ve seen before!,” or it takes an homage and uses it as groundwork to do something original and interesting. A show that does the latter quite a bit is Community, which will take Rankin & Bass stop-motion specials and use them to talk about depression; or war movies and subvert their cliches while producing genuinely entertaining action scenes. Now, another show is joining their ranks – Comedy Bang! Bang! With “Andy Dick Wears a Black Suit Jacket and Skinny Tie,” Comedy Bang! Bang! produced an episode-long homage to Sliding Doors, and used that film as a jumping off point for its most impressive episode yet.
I had heard Scott Aukerman say in an interview that there would be a Sliding Doors episode at some point this season, but I had no idea it was this episode until I began watching it. In retrospect, I’m glad it was done in this episode, because it would be hard to have Andy Dick as a guest for a more conventional episode. While he’s been involved in some funny stuff in the past, primarily The Ben Stiller Show, I would not consider myself a fan of his. But since I’m guessing this episode was more tightly scripted and produced than previous ones, Dick was reigned in, and I enjoyed his appearance quite a bit.
Though the episode’s technical aspects were impressive, the highlight was the mechanics comedy club short featured in lieu of a second guest. Besides Reggie’s Tron adventure earlier this season, Comedy Bang! Bang! hasn’t done any sketches or segments that don’t involve Scott. And that makes sense, because even though Comedy Bang! Bang! is many things, it’s primarily a deconstruction of a late-night show, so the host is front and center throughout. But I’m glad that as this show continues to grow it’s getting more experimental and more willing to try anything out, so I’m looking forward to more sketches like this. It was as clever and hilarious as anything else Comedy Bang! Bang! has done, and it gave supporting parts to Todd Glass and many of my other favorite comedians.
The Sliding Doors homage was done well throughout this episode, but never as well as in its ending. The constant multiplication of split-screens and alternate realities was a funny concept; and it was even funnier due to its fantastic execution. The final reveal of Scott getting hit by the bus, and an evil, alternate reality version of him taking his place was ridiculous in the best way possible.
I’d imagine “Andy Dick Wears a Black Suit Jacket and Skinny Tie” was fun to think up in the writer’s room, and even more fun to make. But as this season’s musical episode showed, sometimes the fun and quality can get lost in the production process. Thankfully that isn’t the case here, as “Andy Dick Wears a Black Suit Jacket and Skinny Tie” is an inventive and impressively made episode that shows Comedy Bang! Bang! at the top of its game.