Comedy Bang Bang Nativity Pageant 2012

Last week on December 4th it was the 500th live show of Comedy Bang Bang, as well as the last. Of course this was a funeral of sorts for the best comedy show in Los Angeles, but it was also a celebration of the last 500 weeks of shows. Comedy Wednesday here at Life Absorbed is based on this show, and it will be sadly missed. In a few weeks a new stand up comedy show will take its place at UCB, which Im sure will be hilarious and equally as fun, but I’m so sad to see it ending. When tickets went on sale for this event, there was no way I was going to miss it. I even bought the floor tickets to be as close to the comedians as possible. Here’s the tale of this epic comedy adventure.

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The usual venue for this event is the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, but since this was not only the last show but also the special Christmas Nativity Pageant (where proceeds go to the LA Food Bank), it was held at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. They had food trucks out front, free drinks and the place was crawling with comedians. Not just the ones performing, but other local comedians that came to see their friends (and heros) perform. While I was waiting for the show to start (and buying the limited edition event print), I saw Jake Fogelnest running around, Jason Woliner taking his seat, and Myq Kaplan when the show was letting out. I’m sure there were tons more that I didn’t even catch.

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I took this photo in the lobby of the theater, looking through the glass at the press line. After I took this photo I realized Kulap (comedian and wife of Scott Aukerman-pictured above), was taking a photo next to me. She seemed so proud of her husband and it was really sweet to see. She recently was on Parks and Recreation playing Adam Scott’s step mother. Scott is the host of Comedy Bang Bang (the podcast, tv show on IFC, and the live show in Los Angeles ending this night). I consider Scott to be the Ben Franklin of comedy. He’s done SO much for the comedy community starting with this stand up show, then growing the empire into a podcasting station (Earwolf) filled with hilarious comedy shows. He’s taken initiative and created an outlet for comedians to reach listeners all over the world. Comedy Bang Bang is a $5 ticket every week and the podcast is by donation, which makes the comedy affordable and accessible to everyone. As a comedy fan, I’m extremely grateful for all of his hard work as I have certainly reaped the benefits. Now, on to the show!

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Here is Scott Aukerman opening the show. Isn’t he handsome?

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Patton Oswalt was first up. I’ve gotten to meet him at his book signing (which you can buy here) and I’m lucky enough to see him occasionally at work (he’s on The Newsroom this season!).

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Scott came back out to introduce the next guest with the help of Weird Al. Check out his website link for his new music.

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Jimmy Pardo came out next. He’s the host of Never Not Funny, his comedy podcast and if your lucky enough to catch a live Conan taping, you’ll get to see Jimmy prepping the crowd. He’s thinks on his toes and is amazing at crowd work. I’ve seen him perform easily 25 times, and I’ve never seen him have a rough night. 

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Scott came back out and invited Andy Richter to come help him introduce the next comedian.

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Next up, the Nerdist‘s Chris Hardwick. You might know him from when he hosted Singled Out with Jenny McCarthy. Or maybe you know him as half of Hard N’ Phirm? Or maybe from his Web Soup (the Soup but all about web content for G4tv)?

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Scott came back out with Steve Agee carrying the sexy Jon Hamm. This comedic sequence was hilarious and ended with Jon carrying Steve off stage. See more pics below:

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Jenny Slate came out next. You probably know her from SNL or Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (check out the animation on youtube).

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Scott came back out and was joined by The Cake Boss (Paul F. Tompkins), a Comedy Bang Bang podcast favorite.

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Right when Scott came out and started to say “I often get asked why the name changed from Comedy Death Ray to Comedy Bang Bang, and it’s a funny story. It all started when…” and he gets cut off by Matt Besser as The Upstager. He was out in the audience causing a stir and interrupting Scott. Yes, he’s wearing an Osama Bin Laden tee shirt.

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Tim Heidecker (of Tim and Eric) came out next and did his whole set as if it was a stock holder speech and he was just made the chief editor of Rolling Stone Magazine. The photo above was taken when Tim presented Scott with one free online subscription to be donated to the LA Food Bank.

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Zach Galifinakis came out next. I felt like the crowd was most excited to see Zach perform, and although I’ve seen him perform at comedy shows all over LA I haven’t ever seen him do his tradition Purple-Onion one liners, until now. Although he came out telling the crowd not to expect much, he didn’t disappoint. Zach’s a very low-energy guy, but his set was fantastic.

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Kurt Braunohler (host of IFC’s Bunk) and Kristen Schall (30 Rock) came out to perform together next. They have a comedy show together called “Hot Tub“. The started the bit in the photo above, where they introduced their charity for polio where the go to schools performing to raise awareness for the disease. Then the hit the lights and perform a glow in the dark dance that ends when the lights come up and they are in a sexual position. Then they try to slowly sneak off stage (see below).

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David Cross came out next! I must say, he was who I was most excited to see. I’ve never seen him in person and yet I spent my childhood watching Mr. Show, then as an adult seeing Arrested Development and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and I own his comedy cds. He was number 1 on my “to see” list for the last 10 years, so this was big for me. And he was so funny- he lived up to the hype.

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Todd Glass came out next. You can’t not love Todd. He’s awesome and you should check out his podcast, The Todd Glass Show.

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Next up was Neil Hamburger. He dedicated his set to the late Whitney Houston. He performs a lot at the Satellite in Silver Lake, so check back and I’ll keep you posted on when he’s performing next.

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The lovely ladies of Garfunkel and Oates were up next. They sang the Fade Away song, about the crewl way girls break up with guys by just slowly disappearing. Then they sang The College Try, about a college bisexual experience that didn’t go well. The last song they sang was Loophole about anal sex.

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Doug Benson came out next. I see Doug Loves Movies all the time, but it was nice getting to see him do stand up. If you’re in Los Angeles you have to catch Doug Loves Movies or the Benson Interruption at the Silent Movie Theater.

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Up next was Chelsea Peretti. She’s a writer for Parks and Recreation and you may remember her from the Louie pilot where she and Louie CK go on the most painful date ever.

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Nick Kroll is probably most well known from the FX show The League. He does excellent character work on the CBB podcast. My favorite character Nick does is Fabrice Fabrice.

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Next up was “The Queen of Mean” as Scott introduced him. No, not Lisa Lampanelli, but Anthony Jeselnik. His comedy is really mean… but also really funny.

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Paul Scheer did a gift giving bit with help from the audience. He suggested movie screeners as gifts and then said he would give them to audience members at least until…

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Rob Huebel came out from the audience with a gun and saying he was with the FBI’s anti-screener division and what Paul was doing was illegal. This became a heated stand off… even audience members weren’t safe:

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It was later revealed that Paul was from Interpol, and was actually a reverse sting operation. Then it was revealed that they were both just acting out a scene. It was a roller coaster of emotion.

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Brian Posehn came out next and did a set. Brian also got his start on the Mr. Show with Bob and David. Did I mention that Scott was one of their writers? Or that Paul F. Tompkins also starred on the show? If Bob Odenkirk had come out this would have been a full fledged Mr. Show reunion.

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Last up for the night was Thomas Lennon. He donned his PSY suit and got the audience singing “bing-bong” to his Christmas song. This song was pretty dark and he went out into the audience having people sing “bing-bong” into the mic while he sang his lyrics.

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Not long after I took this photo (note Todd Glass standing in the background), Thomas Lennon came up to me and made me sing into the mic. It was awesome/terrifying. I’m terrible at keeping a beat (I’m the type to clap one off from everyone) so this was quite scary. Plus I could hear my out-of-tune voice from the sound system, which meant I must have been blaring. I kept moving my head back away from the mic but he kept shoving it closer and closer to my lips.

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Thomas Lennon finished his song on stage and Scott joined him for the final good bye. As heart breaking as this was, it meant the show had to end.

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Todd Glass jumped on stage after the show ended and continued “bing-bonging” for several mintues as the theater cleared out. Comedians came out from back stage to take pictures of him. I am crazy impressed that Todd was able to “bing-bong” to the beat, in key, for at least 5 solid minutes.

Well that concludes the final Comedy Bang Bang show. To see photos from previous years, check out THIS post and THIS post. To listen to the bag stage fun check out Scott and Kulap’s Comedy Bang Bang podcast.

Comedy Wednesday: David Cross

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Last night I attended the LAST Comedy Bang Bang ever. I know, I’m also really torn up about it. I took about 1000 photos (from the third row!), so I’ve got plenty to edit before I’ll be ready to share them all. Expect it in the next week, but know that it’s coming 🙂 In the meantime you’ll have to enjoy this teaser photo of David Cross!

Do This Today: Buy Comedy Bang Bang Tickets

Today is a big day for comedy fans! Your “Do This Today” is to buy Comedy Bang Bang Christmas Pageant tickets (here). While Im SO excited for this years pageant, I’m sad to announce that Scott Aukerman tweeted that he is no longer producing Comedy Bang Bang’s live show (which happens every Tuesday at UCB). Such a sad announcement, but I’m so grateful that he’s continued the show for as long as he has. Come to this last live show and celebrate with a crazy long list of comedians: Zach Galifinakis, Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, Kristen Schaal, Chris Hardwick, Thomas Lenon, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, Tim Heidecker, Doug Benson, Paul F Tompkins, Anthony Jeselnik, Chelsea Peretti, Neil Hamburger, Garfunkel & Oates, Matt Besser, Todd Glass, Jimmy Pardo, Kurt Braunohler, and TONS more! Hosted by Scott Aukerman, A World Dodgeball Society & ASpecialThing Records Production.

It takes place December 4th, 2012
Doors 6:30pm/Show 8pm
The Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Hollywood CA
$45- $75, get tickets HERE

Want to read about Comedy Bang Bang Christmas Pageant 2011 (and see TONS of photos)? What about Comedy Death Ray 2010?


Todd Glass, Jon Hamm, and Matt Bruanger @ CBB Christmas Pageant 2011


Scott Aukerman and Nick Thune @ Comedy Death Ray Christmas Show 2010

Comedy Bang Bang (October 9, 2012)

It’s Comedy Wednesday! If you want to go to Comedy Bang Bang, check out THIS website on Friday at noon when tickets go on sale. They sell out almost instantly so get’em if you can, and at $5 a ticket, it’s the best price in town.

Grant Lyon (his website) was this weeks host and I thought he was excellent. Sometimes the hosts seem under prepared or low energy (which could easily be nerves) but he was very prepared and a great start to the night. Check him out and follow him on twitter @grantlyon1.

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Natasha Leggero (her website) came out next looking lovely as usual. She’s such a fancy comedian. She did a mix of old and new (to me) material. She was also in high spirits, which was nice. I love her on Burning Love, and if you haven’t seen it, click that link! Follow her on twitter @natashaleggero.

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Andy Ritchie (his website) was up next and was also a “barrel of laughs”. The energy was really high last night and the crowd was loving the show. And as Andy pointed out, it was abortion night at UCB since most of the comedians talked about it. Follow him on twitter @_AndyRitchie.

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Kumail Nanjiani (his regular show website) was up next. His wife was in the audience, which was fun for me since he’s talked about her before. They look like an adorable, fun couple. Kumail had a cold but was a trooper and did a hilarious set. I would bet that Kumail has never had an “off night”. I’ve seen him perform maybe 30+ times in the last several years and he’s always been hilarious. Follow him on twitter @kumailn.

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Greg Behrendt  (his website) followed up next. He talked a lot about his family (specifically his daughters) and his dog Waffles. I love when comedians tell true family stories because it helps you get to know them, it makes them more human, and true stories are always the funniest. You can’t make this stuff up!

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Jay Chandrasekhar (his imdb) came out next. You probably know him best from acting in and directing Super Troopers and Beerfest. I’ve gotten to work with him before on Friends With Benefits (he directed an episode) and I love that he’s a successful director that still loves doing standup. Follow him on twitter @jaychandrasekha.

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Jenny Slate (her imdb) was last up. You probably know her from SNL (she infamously dropped the f-bomb during her first sketch). She looked adorable last night and revealed she recently got married. She’s so unique and tells incredible childhood stories. She’s very vulgar and not afraid to tell say what she’s thinking. Follow her on twitter @jennyslate25.

Comedy Bang Bang (September 11, 2012)

It’s Comedy Wednesday! If you want to go to Comedy Bang Bang, check out THIS website on Friday at noon when tickets go on sale. They sell out almost instantly so get’em if you can, and at $5 a ticket, it’s the best price in town.

Dave Stone (his website) was this weeks host. He was very funny and probably my favorite CBB host since Steve Agee. It was self deprecating comedy, which I normally don’t enjoy (I feel weird laughing at someone who’s calling himself fat) but he was so clever about it that I really appreciated the jokes. Check him out and follow him on twitter @davestonecomedy.

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Brendon Walsh (his website) was up next. It was so great seeing him, considering I read about him all the time but have never seen him in person. He read some letters he wrote to various companies about their products (for example Garden Burgers and Magic Scotch Tape). Genius. Especially funny where the responses to his letters from the companies themselves. Follow him on twitter @brandonwalsh.

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Nikki Glaser (her website) was the only female of the night and she rocked it. She broke all the rules by talking about periods and losing her virginity and other female-centered topics, and she was raunchy and hilarious. These are all typically taboo topics for female comedians but she rocked it. She wasn’t timid about it and was unapologetically gross about it. I loved it. Follow her on twitter @NikkiGlaser .

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Jim Hamilton (his website) was up next. I saw him not too long ago, so a lot of this was a repeat for me, but since Jim does a lot of one-liners they are easy to listen to again. Follow him on twitter @jim_hamilton .

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Hugh Moore (his website) followed up next. Having Jim go right before Hugh probably wasn’t the best idea, because Jim’s comedy is so fast (one-liners aren’t very long) and Hughs jokes involved longer set-ups which felt long compared to Jim. He had some great gems in there. Good stuff! Follow him on twitter @hugh_moore.

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Jay Larson (his website) came out next. I love Jay Larson. I saw him at CBB a few weeks ago and thought he was so funny and last night he did it again. He kept talking like he thought the crowd wasn’t into him, but I was dying laughing so hard. I could listen to him talk all day, and the Boston accent rocks. Follow him on twitter @jaylarson.

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Rory Scovel (his website) was the headliner of the night. He killed it. He started by doing his bits while dancing to the music on stage and then got political. It was all so funny. Rory makes it look so effortless. Follow him on twitter @roryscovel.

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.

Comedy Wednesday

Now I know it’s comedy Wednesday, and I’m supposed to be posting about all the comedy shows I’ve seen this past week but unfortunately I haven’t had the time to go. Not even Melgard Monday (I know, I’m disappointed in myself too!!)  Work has been chaotic this past week so I couldn’t commit to any comedy shows. But I promise I’ll have plenty to talk about next week (HINT HINT– Are you going?)

For this Comedy Wednesday I thought I’d share a video of two of my favorites, Paul F. Tompkins and Zach Galifanakis. I’m also including a trailer for Zach’s new movie- which I’m VERY excited for.