Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Eric Andre Wears A Cat Collage Shirt & Sneakers” Review

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Not every episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! can be special. The show’s budget probably doesn’t allow for twenty special episodes, and even if it did, every episode being special could mean none of them were (at least that’s what The Incredibles taught me). Many of Comedy Bang! Bang!’s season three episodes have been standard ones, featuring interviews with a main guest and a character, and then additional in- and out-of-studio segments. There were usually garnishments, like an earthquake cluttering up the set or Giles Duggard spending an episode improving Comedy Bang! Bang!, but there were few special episodes (the countdown, the series finale, the excellent mid-season finale). And Comedy Bang! Bang! doesn’t need a high-concept to be good. A simple episode with two interviews and an in-studio bit can be just as funny as “Eric Andre Wears A Cat Collage Shirt & Sneakers,” which was the most intricately crafted episode the show has made. But while laughs are worthwhile, it’s nice to see something wildly inventive like tonight’s episode. There may have been funnier episodes this season, but none were more fun to watch.

A clear influence for “Eric Andre Wears A Cat Collage Shirt & Sneakers” was the Back to the Future series. Of course, those films are a clear influence for anything time travel-related, but Comedy Bang! Bang! learned the right lessons. The story was clear and simple, and it remained that way even when everything around it became complicated. Scott and Reggie wanted to fix a mistake in the episode they just taped, that lead to craziness. Also, when things became like Back to the Future II and there were multiple Scott’s and Reggie’s around the studio, the layout of everyone was similarly easy to follow. These sound like minor accomplishments, but they were a result of careful scripting, blocking, execution, and editing.

As the episode mentioned, Eric André is an agent of chaos, and it was no coincidence that this bull was placed in this china shop. Still, André never wrecked the carefully constructed proceedings and was fairly restrained in his interview, with his lone bit of anarchy being him setting the studio ablaze with CGI fire. Even though he didn’t set off fireworks or expose himself, André was still a strong guest. His interview was the only part of the episode within this episode we were able to fully see, and it was entertaining enough that I was glad there weren’t constant cuts to the surrounding Scott’s and Reggie’s and it was able to play out. Though we never got to see the second interview, there was plenty of Weird Al, and this served as a lesson (hopefully one nobody needed) that he is funny even without the songs.

That this also incorporated moments taped during the production of past episodes – and I believe Doctor Time made a separate appearance in the series finale – shows how long this was in the works, and thankfully the effort didn’t go to waste. “Eric Andre Wears A Cat Collage Shirt & Sneakers” would’ve been commendable even if the laughs weren’t there, but since they were, this was one of Comedy Bang! Bang!’s finest.