IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! is one of the most unique shows on television… and also one of the funniest. Each week, host Scott Aukerman reinvents the traditional celebrity interview, peppering his guests with his off-kilter line of questioning. Scott spoke with DIRECTV to discuss the upcoming season, his bandleader Reggie Watts, and what podcasts we absolutely should be listening to.
IFC has taken the lead in presenting edgy comedy on television. How far do you push the envelope in the new season of Comedy Bang! Bang!?
We push it so far that it isn’t even an envelope anymore—it’s more like a piece of paper, folded, with sticky glue attached to an opening in it. We’re doing edgy stuff like “performing an homage to 1960’s television,” “making holiday episodes,” and “marrying two characters off.” MINDS WILL BE BLOWN after watching this season—I guarantee it.
Do the taxidermied animals on set have names? They sort of creep me out.
They definitely do. There’s “Deer Head,” “Squirrely,” and “Dr. Ram.” Dr. Ram is not a medical doctor, mind you—he has a PhD in Psychological Studies. Which comes in handy helping us deal with the childhood traumas that made us get into show business.
Your resume as a comedy writer is as amazing as your resume as an actor. (“Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” which you co-created, is one of our favorite Funny or Die series.) Do you prefer writing or acting?
Sometimes I feel like ANYTHING is preferable to acting. We do a lot of crazy stuff on Comedy Bang! Bang!, so acting usually means being soaking wet, running around the studio, getting hit by a car—I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to fall onto the pavement and pretend to hit my head. During the shooting days, the favorite thing our director, Ben Berman, says to me is, “You can’t complain—you wrote it.”
David Letterman, one of the all-time legends of American comedy, is retiring next year. As awesome as Stephen Colbert is, can anybody ever truly replace Letterman?
Our show is so influenced by early Late Night with David Letterman episodes—it seems inconceivable to me that he would retire. Why do it? He’s still the greatest interviewer on TV. I can understand not wanting to put on makeup and a lav mic every day, though. That’s the worst part about being on TV.
Does anybody have anything bad to say about Reggie Watts?
Well, here’s a start: Reggie Watts is a low-down, dirty-dealing, talented, friendly, inspirational—AW, WHO AM I KIDDING? I can’t say anything bad about ol’ Reg! He gives Comedy Bang! Bang! a burst of energy every time he’s on screen. That’s why I have a stipulation in my contract that, for every shot of Reggie, there are eight shots of me. People couldn’t handle any more than that.
Congratulations on celebrating five years of Comedy Bang Bang: The Podcast, and the success of the Earwolf podcasting network. What podcasts should we be listening to?
If people like my podcast, they definitely would like Improv4Humans, hosted by founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Matt Besser. Never Not Funny, hosted by Jimmy Pardo, is a delight every week. Adam Scott, from Parks and Recreation, and I, have a different podcast, U Talkin’ U2 To Me, during which we discuss the band U2 every week. Which is a weird way to spend our time, considering that we have busy lives, and Adam has a wife and children.
Season Two of Comedy Bang! Bang! premieres Thursday, May 8 at 10:30/9:30c on IFC (Ch. 564).