Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 4: Episodes 11-15 Review
Comedy Bang! Bang! was never the easiest show to review. But I’ve stuck with it, because it’s not a show enough people are writing or talking about. When it was announced that the show’s fourth season would contain forty episodes, I knew I wouldn’t be able to write forty individual reviews. Therefore, I’m reviewing Comedy Bang! Bang! season four five episodes at a time.
Below are my reviews for episodes eleven through fifteen.
“Joseph Gordon-Levitt Wears a Heart T-Shirt and Blue Jeans”
Comedy Bang! Bang! returns from a month-long break with a real winner. Commissioner Gordon-Levitt is characteristically enthusiastic during his time on the couch, and his cheerfulness is nicely subverted once he suddenly begins to abuse poor Reggie. Aside from Jo-Go-Lev threatening Reggie with a gun, “Joseph Gordon-Levitt Wears a Heart T-Shirt and Blue Jeans” is a fairly good-natured episode, with the Mommy’s Little Scotty trailer and “will-they or will-not-they” subplot between Scott and Diane making this something your mother could watch. Jon Gabrus’ appearance as Ronnie “Brew Dude” Haynes doesn’t add much to the episode – Gabrus is far better as intern Gino on the CBB podcast – but is still enjoyable due to Scott’s reactions to Haynes’ complicated life story. “Joseph Gordon-Levitt Wears a Heart T-Shirt and Blue Jeans” packs enough into twenty-something minutes that not everything had to work. That everything does work (to varying degrees) makes this one of the better episodes of season four so far.
“Jack Black Wears an Embroidered Cowboy Shirt and Ox Blood Sneakers”
“Jack Black Wears an Embroidered Cowboy Shirt and Ox Blood Sneakers” is Comedy Bang! Bang!’s stunt show, and after watching the episode, I get why it wasn’t named the stunt spectacular. Jack Black is a good guest and seems game for whatever is thrown at him, which is why I wish better bits had been prepared. Paul F. Tompkins’ appearance as J. W. Stillwater brings some laughs – how could it not? – but much of it is recycled from his podcast appearances, with the only notable original joke being Tompkins’ quick response, “What, ladies don’t get high?” And speaking of recycling, the “Nice Work, What a Jerk” segment is pretty much “Tsk-tsk, Attaboy” and “Winner or Sinner” done again with an admittedly killer The Cell joke. “Jack Black Wears an Embroidered Cowboy Shirt and Ox Blood Sneakers” is a solid episode, but considering the people involved it could’ve been an excellent one.
Oh, and seriously, please don’t flush sanitary napkins down the toilet.
“Joel McHale Wears a Navy Zip-up and High Tops”
Comedy Bang! Bang! has produced some excellent reality show parodies in the past, but Reality House might be the best one, and one of my favorite things the show has done. And the episode surrounding that parody is pretty strong, too. What starts out as a Terminator homage quickly becomes a showcase for Neil Campbell, whose naked time traveler keeps getting weirder as the episode progresses. James Adomian brings his take on Paul Giamatti from the podcast to the screen, and even though I knew Adomian was a wonder at doing voices, it is impressive to see him emulate Giamatti’s movements and posture. The character often fizzles out during podcast appearances, but remains funny – and deeply humiliated – during his transition from audio to video. Main guest Joel McHale adds little to the episode, though it doesn’t matter, since everything else in “Joel McHale Wears a Navy Zip-up and High Tops” is top-notch.
“Lil Jon Wears a Baseball Cap and Sunglasses”
Vince Gilligan plays a hot dog eating Police Commissioner in “Lil Jon Wears a Baseball Cap and Sunglasses,” and that’s not even the best thing about the episode. This Comedy Bang! Bang! is an homage to the 1960’s Batman series, and it’s a great deal of fun to watch Scott and Reggie’s take on the Caped Crusader and his young ward (and their extreme disinterest in their needy nemesis the Quizzler, played with desperation by Tom Green). Given what little I know about main guest Lil Jon, I was surprised by how good he is on the couch, and how entertained he seems by the weirdness surrounding him. Despite having enjoyed her as “herself” on the podcast, I didn’t get much out of Claudia O’Doherty’s character here, even though I’m still charmed by that wonderful Australian accent. Still, so much of “Lil Jon Wears a Baseball Cap and Sunglasses” is a delight that it’s easy to write off O’Doherty’s appearance and enjoy the episode’s many pleasures, just as the Commissioner enjoys that hot dog and Lil Jon enjoys shouting single words.
“Colin Hanks Wears a Denim Button Down and Black Sneakers”
Comedy Bang! Bang! takes a tour through the cosmos in “Colin Hanks Wears a Denim Button Down and Black Sneakers.” What should be an awe-inspiring trip turns out to be a horror show once an alien becomes loose on the ship. And what should be another excellent episode turns out to be a missed opportunity. The appearances of Colin Hanks and especially Chelsea Peretti are unmemorable and very brief, even though the episode never leaves the spaceship, and could easily give them more time in exchange for less alien carnage. I like some of what is done with the alien, including people’s incorrect assumptions about the alien and the end moments that detail its trial. But when Comedy Bang! Bang! travels to space and brings along Colin Hanks, Chelsea Peretti, Sinbad, and an alien, there’s potential for a much better episode that this.