Comedy Bang! Bang! Review: "Paul Rudd Wears A Red Lumberjack Flannel Shirt" (Episode 1.06)
If there’s been any problem with Comedy Bang! Bang! so far, it’s probably the way the various skits flow into each other. Usually only Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts connect them, but just barely, as the show goes in any direction it chooses without any connective tissue. In “Paul Rudd Wears A Red Lumberjack Flannel Shirt,” the show rights this, making each segment flow into the next, making the show much more of one unit, rather than a bunch of ideas thrown into a show regardless of how successful they are.
The theme for this episode is that Scott is recreating the talk show he’s always wanted since he was 11. That means breaking out the old acid-washed jean jacket, having a water fountain that dispenses Sullivans soda (a nice callback) and even getting the hottest girl in school, Sydney Linderman, played by Jenny Slate, to watch him host the show. Unfortunately, time has not been so kind to Linderman, who claims to have three boobs, gets Nicorette gum stuck in her hair and sniffs her nail file after using it.
After a quick visit from the show’s biggest fan, God, Scott shows his appearance on a show called Secret Agent Boss, a great parody of the real Undercover Boss show. In it, Scott gets a makeover that consists of nothing more than a mustache, takes acting lessons from a coach played by Paul Rust and gets cufflinks and belt buckle weapons from a scientist played by Todd Barry. He infiltrates the show, talks to Reggie for a while and then shoots him with a dart and runs away in fear.
Appearing on the couch this week is Paul Rudd, who gets meme and mime mixed up, as he and Scott do their own slightly disturbing mime routine. Once Rudd makes a Casablanca reference, Brody Stevens shows up as the referencee, who will call out every reference that Scott and Paul make. For example, saying “my wife” is a reference to Borat (another great reference to the podcast) and saying “Yesterday” is a reference to The Beatles song of the same name.
The introduction of Crowpoke might be the thing I’ve laughed at the most on this show, probably because I find that the darker things are, the funnier they are. As the animatronic Crowpoke breaks down, a professor played by Chris Parnell comes out to try to fix it, instead stabbing it to death when it turns out it is partially alive. It’s horrific, and Parnell’s spastic laughter brilliantly accentuates the weirdness.
This episode also brings out Huell Howser, another favorite from the podcast, portrayed by James Adomian. Howser always comes off to me like Will Ferrell’s Harry Caray impression, but Adomian’s dedication to the character here is what makes it work.
We also see footage of a new movie which Scott will be appearing in called The Assassin (which also stars Colin Hanks), where Scott plays a police officer who is insulted for almost no reason. Then when Reggie announces he is in the movie as well, film Reggie mentions how he knows Scott “in real life,” using his last name and further insulting him, even when they gladly find out that Scott’s character is dead. If that weren’t enough, CBB’s cameraman also has a part in the film as a medical examiner, who claims that Scott has the smallest human penis he’s ever seen.
The final guest is Matt Besser’s Darren Montaigne, who is missing his arm. Even though he was trapped in his car for three days, got lost in the woods and faced off with a serial killer, he lost his arm by going through a drive-thru window too fast.
The episode ends with Scott’s childhood bully coming out, who is still 11 and calls Scott “Snot Bawkerman.” Scott’s finally had enough after all these years though and threatens him with a gun. Inexplicably, we find out that the bully is Sydney Linderman’s kid. The fact that this makes no sense is shrugged off as the credits roll.
Aukerman’s Mr. Show roots really show in this episode in the way that bits are linked together; even if the connections may be ridiculous, they are still there. It’s a slight addition, but it does add something to an already hilarious episode.