Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Amber Tamblyn Wears a Leather Jacket & Black Booties” Review

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After a few unmemorable episodes, “Amber Tamblyn Wears a Leather Jacket & Black Booties” was almost a Thanksgiving miracle. While not a total return to form for Comedy Bang! Bang!, tonight’s episode was still a welcome reminder of the show’s many virtues.

The problem with Comedy Bang! Bang! as of late has been its main guests. The show has widened its net and reached out to people other than funny film and television stars. While that’s a smart decision (and also a necessary one given this is season three), it hasn’t always paid off well in recent episodes. Dane Cook was surprisingly amiable but little else, Chris Hardwick was enthusiastic but largely unfunny, and Amber Tamblyn wasn’t much of an improvement. She certainly wasn’t a bad guest, and kept up with the show during her few minutes. She even took part in funny bits, like the reveal that the pants in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Parts I and II) were Scott’s. Still, the laughs didn’t come from her, so while she was a good scene partner, she wasn’t one of Comedy Bang! Bang!’s better guests.

But Tamblyn wasn’t alone on the couch, because “Amber Tamblyn Wears a Leather Jacket & Black Booties” also saw the return of little Fourvel (who, for the unfamiliar, is like Fievel but one less). Unlike most podcast characters who will appear regardless of the guests, Fourvel has only appeared on the podcast with Paul F. Tompkin’s Sir Andrew Lord Webber. That’s meant his appearances on the television show without Webber have felt fresher than those from other characters, because the dynamic is far different and there is minimal repetition. Bobby Moynihan remained a profane delight as Fourvel, whose return appearance was hilarious and possibly better than his first. Moynihan loses the ability to flesh out Fourvel on television like he does on the podcast; however, he gets to physically play Fourvel here. Seeing Moynihan shrunk down and playing with knives helps make up for the lack of Fryvault and K.N.I.F.E.G.R.A.B.

“Amber Tamblyn Wears a Leather Jacket & Black Booties” also made great use of Reggie and several guest stars with The Roast of Reggie Watts. It was a fun idea that earned laughs even before the meal with Reggie’s cluelessness and Scott’s House of Cards-style asides to the camera. The reveal that Jeff Ross, Whitney Cummings, and Anthony Jeselnik weren’t planning on roasting Reggie was predictable, but it was still funny to see them gather for a pleasant Thanksgiving dinner on the set of a roast.

Because everything except the main interview worked well in “Amber Tamblyn Wears a Leather Jacket & Black Booties,” I’m finding it easy to focus on all of the good. Still, hopefully we’ll get some wholly great episodes before season three wraps up next month.