Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume” Review

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Halloween is the perfect holiday for Comedy Bang! Bang!, as the mix of darkness and humor and tricks and treats are right up the show’s alley. Nevertheless, “Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume” wasn’t a graveyard smash. Though not a bad episode, this year’s Halloween spooktacular was more fun than funny (but certainly not devoid of laughs).

“Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume” started promisingly with the introduction of The Bookkeeper, who like his more famous brother is a pun-spewing grave dweller. His moments onscreen were the episode’s best, especially as his jokes became more desperate. His presence wasn’t just a nod to Tales of the Crypt, as the episode copied the comic’s structure and was told through four Edgar Allen Poe-inspired segments. However, segments is a loose term. This wasn’t a Treehouse of Horror situation where each part told a different story. This was just a “normal” episode with occasional interruptions from The Bookkeeper, meaning the segments can’t be individually watched or analyzed (or more precisely, shouldn’t be, as I’m not the boss of you).

Like last year’s Halloween episode where Pee-Wee Herman was the main attraction, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne was the only guest on the couch this week. My familiarity with Coyne and The Flaming Lips begins and ends with knowing the band’s name, so I had no expectations regarding his appearance. That’s probably for the best, because despite his eye-catching costume – a blood-soaked Carrie – Coyne was just kind of there. His story told through candy bars was good, but otherwise his appearance was forgettable. He was left on the couch when Scott and Reggie went to meet Scott’s prisoner (and head writer), and had nothing to do during the panic about the murderous couple. And that’s fine, because those moments worked without him. However, they also helped ensure he would tumble to the bottom of season three’s memorable guests.

Because there was only one real guest and he was mostly a non-entity, “Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume” rested on Scott and Reggie. While their chemistry kept the episode chugging along, unless next year’s Halloween episode has a lone guest on the level of Pee-Wee Herman, or ditches the talk show format entirely, I hope there are the usual number of guests. The segments were fine, but also completely unnecessary since so little was done with them. Had the talk show format been eschewed and the episode actually been like Tales of the Crypt or Treehouse of Horror, it would have been much better than this. The same can be said for a more straightforward guest-centered episode with Halloween surroundings. Still, there’s no point playing “what if,” especially when “Wayne Coyne Wears a Halloween Costume” was still mostly solid. It wasn’t a graveyard smash, but then again, so few things are.