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.
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.
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!
Here is Scott Aukerman opening the show. Isn’t he handsome?
Scott came back out to introduce the next guest with the help of Weird Al. Check out his website link for his new music.
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.
Scott came back out and invited Andy Richter to come help him introduce the next comedian.
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)?
Scott came back out and was joined by The Cake Boss (Paul F. Tompkins), a Comedy Bang Bang podcast favorite.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.