Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Patton Oswalt Wears a Black Blazer & Dress Shoes” Review

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Typically in their second and third seasons, shows grow more ambitious with their writing and production values. The shows usually look nicer and attempt larger set pieces, and their characters continue to evolve from the two-sentence descriptions from which they started. While this describes most shows, it doesn’t describe all of them. For some of the more joke-based shows, characters don’t evolve. The writing and production values can noticeably change, but anything done to the characters will reset at the end of each episode. All of that is to say there were certain things I knew would remain the same in Comedy Bang Bang’s third season, and many others I was excited to see change. Season three kicked off tonight with “Patton Oswalt Wears a Black Blazer and Dress Shoes,” and while Scott and Reggie were still Scott and Reggie, the show that surrounded them looked bigger, more confident, and thankfully, more bizarre than ever.

Even from the opening, Comedy Bang! Bang! made its ambitions clear as it pulled off a fight in a moving van straight out of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The opening was funny, but it was also well constructed. Effort wasn’t just put into the humor; the opening was staged and filmed as it would’ve been on most procedurals. Within minutes of the action scene, there was a sketch that ended with a mailman allowing himself to be decapitated, the result of which landed in a mailbag. Even before the first commercial break, Comedy Bang! Bang! had featured its biggest and darkest segments yet.

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Noting that all of this happened within minutes is important, because this premiere was stuffed more than any previous episode I can recall. There were three taped segments, two interviews, an in-house segment, and then all of the one-offs and tangents typically found in an episode. If this is any indication for the rest of the season, we’ll be getting an exhausting amount of material. For now, though, it wasn’t too much. Nearly all of the segments and interviews worked, with the weakest part of the episode being the still funny interview with Vanessa Bayer’s character. Patton Oswalt, a repeat guest on the podcast, comfortably fit in with the show’s format, especially when it came time to interract with Bayer.

Disregarding the late night format, I never know what I’m getting with an episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! With this premiere, I saw a show that knew exactly what it was attempting to push itself even further while never forgetting to be funny. I have high hopes for season three, and after “Patton Oswalt Wears a Black Blazer and Dress Shoes,” it seems that Comedy Bang! Bang! has them too.