Comedy Wednesday: Comedy Bang Bang IFC Event (Los Angeles)

Today is a special Comedy Wednesday because this past weekend I attended Comedy Bang Bang‘s live podcast taping at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles. This event is part of a promo tour for Scott Aukerman’s IFC show, Comedy Bang Bang. It also began (and continues to exist) as a once a week stand up show at UCB. This week I had to skip it, but at least I have the podcast taping to share with you.

I arrived at the church around 6pm (7pm, doors open. 8pm show starts). Parking took forever, but at least I was in line around 6:30 and got a decent spot.

When we got in we snagged some good seats and payed a visit to the 2 stalled restroom. This made my decision not to drink very easy, because I could tell the restroom lines were going to get crazy long. They had wine and beer on sale in the courtyard. The venue was fine despite the bad parking and practically no bathrooms. The thing that was a challenge to get around was the smell. Inside the sanctuary, where the podcast taping was done, it did not smell pleasant. All of these things didn’t matter to me though, because the excitement of the night performance had me captivated.

To start off the evening, Kurt Braunohler, host of IFC’s Bunk, came out and did a bit of stand up as well as showed a clip from his show. He was hilarious, and while I’ve seen him on Bunk I’ve never seen him doing stand up. It was a great start to the show and had lots of energy.

Next up Scott Aukerman came out to set the stage for how the nights events would work. For part of his bit he brought up a potential Fire Safety leader (aka random member of the audience) to participate in a series of fire safety tests… which ultimately lead to the audience member dressed in a wig make-up and shirtless while on his knees pretending to be a cow. It was hilarious and the audience member was a good sport about it all. I mean, how cool to have that story to tell your friends.

After Scott finished up, he brought out James Adomian to do some stand-up. I used to see James all the time when he lived in Los Angeles, but a few years ago (?) he moved to New York so I haven’t seen him in a while. He’s always a good time and he does a lot of characters on the Comedy Bang Bang Podcast. It was nice to see him to stand-up as himself. He’s also an openly gay comedian, which I think is awesome, as he’s not afraid to talk about gay rights and other American issues in his set. He did a bit that basically calls out certain beer companies as being offensive to gays in their ad campaigns.

Once James finished up, Scott came back out to begin the podcast portion of the night. The first guest he brought out for this is my (and most of the listeners) favorite comedian, Harris Wittels. He and Scott talked for a while which was fun.

Scott then brought out Adam Scott (best dressed of the night) and the three of them did some character work. If you know the CBB podcast, you know that each episode different comedians come on as characters, which are often very well done. Harris and Adam had been on the podcast before as the two funny people they are. Scott tried to get them to do characters and it was hilariously bad. So bad that it’s insanely funny, because these two guys just don’t do characters. I’m not knocking them in any way, and they know that they characters they’ve created are just hilariously weird. In fact their episodes were ranked the highest because people enjoyed it so much. And this past Saturday they did not disappoint. They introduced two new characters who work together at the Raisin Bran Factory in the scooping department (see, hilarious!).

Andy Daly joined them on stage next as Chip Gardner, as his reoccurring character of a man trying to become the honorary mayor of West Hollywood. Andy Daly does his stand-up as characters so he’s amazing at committing to a character. His stand-up album Nine Sweaters is so great (and you can buy that here).

Nick Kroll came out next as El Chupacabra. He was excellent and kept the energy going, despite it being about two hours into the event.

Last up, James Adomian came out as Paul Giamatti. I’m glad that we got to see James do stand-up and as a character, since he’s really excellent at both. His Paul Giamatti character was a little tricky to hear based on the acoustics of the room. The louder a comedian spoke, the more it echoed, and James has a loud audience voice. Also, my favorite character that James does is Huell Howser, since it’s so dead-on.

Once everyone was on stage, they did a round of would you rather, which gave all the comedians a chance to interact which is really fun for the audience. Once it got to be close to 11p it wrapped up, and the show ended. It was such a great night and so worth he ticket. They are selling the recordings from their tour HERE.

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