IFC has made a reputation for itself as a hip network, giving a home to some niche comedies with high nerd-cred while airing reruns of beloved cult shows. At any given time on IFC, you’ll probably see a re-run of Arrested Development or Freaks and Geeks. IFC’s programming is tailor-made for younger demographics, college students likely being a large part of that audience.
Before this starts to sound like a network pandering to the nostalgia-fueled population of young internet users, IFC isn’t afraid to take chances on some really out-there projects. Among them is the superb Comedy Bang! Bang!. CBB is a television adaptation of comedian Scott Aukerman’s uber popular podcast of the same name. Comedy Bang! Bang!, the podcast, is a wonderful free-form comedy podcast that always features amazing guests to bounce off of Aukerman’s persona.
The TV Comedy Bang! Bang! takes the comedic style of its podcast predecessor and inserts it into a structure. This half-hour comedy is a full-on meta talk show, sending up every aspect of the traditional live variety show. Aukerman is a bizarro Carson, every joke coming from a tongue-in-cheek tone. Alongside Aukerman is one of the best comedians working today, Reggie Watts. A frequent guest on the CBB podcast, Watts is one of the most versatile talents out there, combining music, improvisation, and comedy into something singularly hilarious. Reggie is the one-man band and partner in crime to Aukerman. He’s totally absurd and insanely talented—it works like gangbusters for the wacky tone of CBB.
Comedy Bang! Bang! is some really out-there comedy; it’s about as far as you can get from a network show and still be on television. At every turn, Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts are trying to undercut every convention of a TV show they can. When it works, it makes for some really great alternative comedy on par with any cult show on TV.