Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Chris Hardwick Wears a Black Polo & Weathered Boots” Review

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I’ve said repeatedly over the course of these reviews that Comedy Bang! Bang! isn’t likely to produce a bad episode. And I still stand by that, even as Comedy Bang! Bang! is going through somewhat of a rough patch. These last few episodes, tonight’s included, are some of the weakest the show has aired in quite some time. But because this is Comedy Bang! Bang!, there are things to enjoy in “Chris Hardwick Wears a Black Polo & Weathered Boots,” even if it’s largely underwhelming.

I admire the many things Chris Hardwick is able to do simultaneously even though I rarely find him funny. Unfortunately, he isn’t playing to his strengths in his interview, as here he is the interviewee. Unlike The Nerdist, where the conversation is organic, Comedy Bang! Bang! is planned and quasi-scripted, and Hardwick’s delivery is flat. Most of his jokes don’t land, especially his bit about being a jock, not a nerd, and Scott isn’t able to squeeze in laughs and keep things clipping along. Hardwick is game throughout and shows some life when he reveals himself to be the host of another talk show, but that’s a brief moment in an interview that is a couple of minutes long.

Aside from Andy Daly’s appearance as Chip Gardner, the rest of “Chris Hardwick Wears a Black Polo & Weathered Boots” is also lacking. Comedy Bang! Bang! normally does well with enormously silly bits, but Reggie’s car commercial, while well shot, is just a collection of sound effects and French Stewart reaction shots. (Though it earns points for the end disclaimer and for featuring Shunt McGuppin.) And as nice as it is to see Lennon Parham making an appearance, her arc (which mirrors advancements in women’s rights) doesn’t get interesting or funny until its heightened conclusion.

Thankfully, Andy Daly is also on this episode as Chip Gardner, who is lobbying to become the honorary Mayor of Hollywood. Daly is truly one of the funniest people working today, which he effortlessly proves in his small but impactful appearance. Even though Chris Hardwick interjects a few too many times and it’s a slight rehashing of Daly’s podcast appearances, the interview is still one of the funniest character interviews Comedy Bang! Bang! has done.

Hopefully next week’s Thanksgiving episode (which I hear features an appearance from a stabby little orphan) will be a return to form for Comedy Bang! Bang!. Season three has been so strong that I’d hate for this lull to continue much longer. “Chris Hardwick Wears a Black Polo & Weathered Boots” isn’t a bad episode, but it also isn’t up to the quality I’ve come to expect from Comedy Bang! Bang!.