Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “The Lonely Island Wear Holiday Sweaters & White Pants” Review

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Given that Comedy Bang! Bang! doesn’t operate like a normal television show, it’s no surprise that its season finale wouldn’t operate like a normal season finale. Instead of wrapping up the season’s main storyline and completing the arcs of different characters, “The Lonely Island Wear Holiday Sweaters & White Pants” is just like every other episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!. There is no indication that this is the final episode of the season, with all the focus being on Christmas. And that’s a good thing, as a season finale is usually burdened with being a season finale. This episode didn’t have to deliver payoffs and give closure to anything; all it had to do was be funny and entertaining.

There will be people who are disappointed with The Lonely Island’s appearance on this episode, and even I was thrown at first. I was expecting the trio to come out acting like their musical personas, where they are energetic, confident, and cool. Instead, they played up the reality that the members of one of the most popular and celebrated hip hop/rap groups in recent memory are three dorky-looking white guys. Most of the humor came from their forced reactions and stilted responses, and Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone banded together to form one effective comedic entity. Even the much-hyped musical performance was of Taccone performing “I’m a Hustler,” a goofy track off of last year’s The Walk Album. The approach didn’t entirely work, but it produced a few big laughs, like the group’s response to current-day MTV and Schaffer’s choices in “Make Love, Marry, Kill.”

Trouble was afoot in the Bang! Bang! studios this week, as a hostage situation developed due to Victor Kahn, a father in need of a Sauerkraut Kids doll. The set-up allowed Comedy Bang! Bang! to spoof Die Hard, a holiday film that’s also the all-time greatest action film. Much like last week’s episode, which spoofed Back to the Future, “The Lonely Island Wear Holiday Sweaters & White Pants” tackled a film that had already been parodied endlessly. That didn’t really matter, however, as it was fun to see what James Urbaniak and Alan Tudyk did in their roles as villain and hero(?), respectively (especially since the two were completely oblivious of one another for almost all of the runtime). Urbaniak played things cool as the suit-wearing hostage taker and Tudyk hammed it up as Ray, the lethal repairman who eventually killed nearly everyone in the studio.

While I enjoyed the Die Hard-inspired parts of the episode, they weren’t very funny. That’s the only problem with this finale, which was otherwise a fine send-off for season three. The funniest part of the episode was the brief commercial for the Sauerkraut Kids doll, and that was a throwaway bit that aired during a break. “The Lonely Island Wear Holiday Sweaters & White Pants” was fun, and when the laughs hit, they hit hard, but it could’ve used more of them.

To listen to my interview with Scott Aukerman about the show, click here.