TIME Television

5 Sketches to Get You Started on Comedy Bang! Bang!

Comedy Bang Bang
Scott Aukerman (L) and Reggie Watts (R) on 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' Chris Ragazzo / IFC

Where to start with every comedian's favorite show

UPDATED 4:45 p.m.

What does it mean that Comedy Bang! Bang! is a comedian’s comedy show?

For host Scott Aukerman, the talk show — which returns to IFC for its third season on May 8 — is “a comedy lover’s dream” for a few reasons: it’s packed with jokes, has lots of funny guests, and welcomes comedy icons and newcomers alike. In short, “it’s a show that answers the question,” he says, “‘What if you gave a comedian a show and let him do whatever he wanted?'”

In practice, however, Comedy Bang! Bang! isn’t quite so easy to define. Reggie Watts is the show’s “musical cohort.” The show’s sensibility can include wackiness and straight-up weirdness. There’s a podcast and webseries under the same umbrella. It doesn’t look or sound like any other talk show on TV.

So, for those who haven’t yet gotten into the hang of it, Aukerman — who’s also a creator of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis — has selected five sketches to get you started:

1. Scotty Scares Em

“One of my favorite examples of the “friendly comedy” that our show does so well. People getting along can be funny!”

2. Pee-wee Casts Spells

“It was a huge thrill to have one of my heroes, Pee-wee Herman, on the show, doing all new Pee-wee bits. Our show has been called a cross between Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Late Night with David Letterman, so to have one of the two of them appearing on the show was a huge honor.”


3. Cowboy Poetry by Dalton Wilcox

“This is one of the best examples of a comedian (in this case, Andy Daly, from Comedy Central’s Review) doing a character guest on the show. Rainn Wilson couldn’t help but crack up!”


4. Fourvel Gets Stabby

“Pay attention to SNL‘s Bobby Moynihan, performing as a tiny, homicidal orphan — Fourvel might return this season, and this will catch you up!”

5. Topher Grace Tries To Shoot Seth Rogen

“One thing Comedy Bang! Bang! does best is stuffing our show with great cameos from incredible people — and this is one of the best examples. Will Arnett & Topher Grace cameoing during a Seth Rogen interview? You’re not even seeing Bob Odenkirk and Casey Wilson, who also appear in this episode.”

This season, Aukerman says, the show will include a black-and-white ’60s-style episode with Josh Groban and a Zach Galifianakis episode that Aukerman says he thinks does something that’s never been done on TV before: it’s meant to be the series finale, but they’ll air it now and then the show will just keep going.

“This season I kind of have a motto,” says Aukerman. “Every episode a masterpiece.

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