Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2, Episode 18 Review: “Jason Schwartzman Wears a Striped Shirt & High Top Sneakers”

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I wrote in my review of last week’s episode – which I enjoyed quite a bit – how Comedy Bang! Bang!, in an attempt to cram in as many ideas as possible before the season ends, put a lot into “Clark Gregg Wears a Navy Blazer & White Collared Shirt.” So much so that it kept the episode from being great. This episode, likewise, was packed with material, from the Seinfeld opening, the interview with Jason Schwartzman, the sketch with Scott, and both Scott, Reggie, and Jason’s children. But unlike last week’s episode, the overflow of ideas in “Jason Schwartzman Wears a Striped Shirt & High Top Sneakers” worked wonderfully, making for one of the season’s funniest (and strangest) episodes.

Before I get into Schwartzman and the episode’s comedy, I want to touch on just how weird “Jason Schwartzman Wears a Striped Shirt & High Top Sneakers” was. Comedy Bang! Bang! has never shied away from being odd, and I’m thankful for it, but they pulled out all the stops here. The weirdness increased from the couch’s children, to Reggie’s children (the hilarious Sklar Brothers), to Jason Schwartzman’s nightmare baby, Justin, culminating with everyone hugging on a couch while Justin babbled about Satan. I can’t believe that there is a show that allows for me to write that previous sentence.

There can be a danger in shows like Comedy Bang! Bang!, where as weirdness increases, the comedy decreases. That doesn’t happen here; mostly because the weirdness is surrounded by plenty of straightforward laughs, and also because both Justin and Reggie’s children were hilarious. In fact, I wish there had been more of the Sklar Brothers, though I’m not sure how this episode could have made room for them.

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I’m happy to see Comedy Bang! Bang! ending this season with some inspired guest choices, like Clark Gregg, Schwartzman, and Colbie Smulders for next week. And so far those choices have led to great interviews. I wasn’t expecting Schwartzman to be the episode’s lone guest (not counting the Sklars and Scott’s daughter), but I’m glad it worked out that way, because he was one of my favorite guests of the season. Most guests either get to be laid-back or crazy; Schwartzman was lucky enough to be both, initially acting casual before eventually bringing out his fake, demon-possessed baby.

This was the antepenultimate episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! season two, meaning we’re reaching the end for this year’s adventures with Scott and Reggie. Even if the next two weeks are awful, this has been an incredible season of television, as “Jason Schwartzman Wears a Striped Shirt & High Top Sneakers” clearly shows.

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The Birthday Boys Mini-Review: The Birthday Boys has massively increased in quality with its past few episodes. Tonight’s episode, “All Your Favorite Shows Are Back,” is easily the season’s strongest, with every sketch but the shrink ray working. I still don’t know who three out of the seven Birthday Boys are, but I’m starting to think it’s purposeful, as they want to help out behind the camera rather than in front of it. Regardless, the four that are seen most often are funny, and The Birthday Boys has become something I look forward to watching each week. Score: 9/10