Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2, Episode 20 Review: “Zach Galifianakis Wears a Santa Suit”

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Before I watched tonight’s Comedy Bang! Bang! season finale, I had already written almost all of my Comedy Bang! Bang! season two review (which will post on Monday morning). That wouldn’t be possible for a drama like Homeland, or even a comedy like How I Met Your Mother. But since Comedy Bang! Bang! is modeled a talk show, there is no through-line, so I didn’t have to wait to see how plot developments would turn out or whether the season’s arc would be satisfying. And more importantly, even if this finale was terrible, the season’s other nineteen episodes were of such high quality that the season would still be an overwhelming success. Thankfully “Zach Galifianakis Wears a Santa Suit” wasn’t terrible. In fact, it was pretty good. It wasn’t as creative or funny as much of season two, but it served as a nice epilogue to a brilliant season of comedy.

After seeing Zach Galifianakis’ name in this episode’s title, I was interested as to which Zach Galifianakis we’d be getting. Would he be playing a disinterested, uncomfortable guest, or would he be the Zach Galifianakis America knows and loves (and Galifianakis seems to hate). It ended up being neither, as Galifianakis showed up as Santa Claus, and acted like he has on his numerous Comedy Bang! Bang! (the podcast) appearances – down to Earth, quiet, but ready with a great joke when he needs to be. I suspect this is close to Galifianakis in real life, and since him and Scott are such good friends (they are behind the popular Behind Two Ferns web videos), I’m sure this was a preferable taping experience to going on something like Late Night or Conan. Galifianakis didn’t have to play anything up; he just had to dress up like Santa and be funny. And he very much was.

I liked that the other two guests for this episode (which Scott was warned about by the ghost of Aidy Bryant’s returning segment producer) were Scott’s parents, especially since their appearances came with a funny, but kind of heartbreaking glimpse into Scott’s childhood. Comedy Bang! Bang! doesn’t divert from their cheerful, positive tone often, but instances like this when do are always effective.

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There wasn’t a gimmick to “Zach Galifianakis Wears a Santa Suit,” and the episode wasn’t packed with sketches and segments like most of this season, but I liked the brief claymation flashback, and hope that we’ll get a full episode done like that in a future season. I’m not disappointed that this was relatively tame because this finale didn’t have to be big or wildly inventive. The rest of the season has been that in spades, and all this episode wanted to do was be a low-key, enjoyable holiday episode that ends with Scott being punched in the face by Santa Claus, and an ATM machine puking up holiday bonuses. That’s the Comedy Bang! Bang! way – and thank goodness for it.

Look for my full review of Comedy Bang! Bang! season two on Monday morning right here at www.GeekBinge.com.