How do you have a season finale for a show that is essentially a parody of talk shows? Talk shows never seem to have endings, unless you’re Conan O’Brien, and they seem like a never-ending stream of interviews and monologues if you’re Jay Leno. You never see The Late Show with David Letterman end on a cliffhanger or Real Time with Bill Maher have a twist ending; they just end each episode with the understanding that very soon, they will be back. That would be too easy a route for Comedy Bang! Bang!, a show whose regular episodes have ended with guests teleporting or by having the cast be chased on bicycles by a man trying to eat said bicycles. Comedy Bang! Bang! is absurd in the best way, and so is their season finale, which wraps up even crazier than you can imagine and becomes one of the show’s best episodes.
“’Weird Al’ Yankovic Wears a Hawaiian Shirt” begins with the acknowledgment that the entire set is green screen and that everything, from guests to music, is fake. As long as the giant switch next to Reggie remains on, everything looks normal to the viewer, but if the switch is off, the reality is shown.
Once the switch turns on, everything is like we’ve seen it before. Scott talks with Reggie about the summer films he has coming out, which clearly started off with a title and worked their way backwards. The first stars Scott as a man who has a perfect life, except he refuses to go to the doctor. A somewhat evil doctor, played by Paul Scheer, tells him he can keep the doctor away, as long as he eats an apple a day, in the horror film appropriately named An Apple A Day. The next involves a basketball team in which one of the players loses an eye (prompting the rest of the team to take out one of their eyes with a red hot poker), titled There’s No Eye In Team. The final one, entitled Don’t Lean On An Old Crone’s Wall Under the Light of the Northern Star, is exactly what the title explains as well.
After this comes the first guest, “Weird Al” Yankovic, who admits to being a vegan, except he cheats by eating veal or anything adorable and fuzzy. Scott states that he wants to get into the musical parody business, but can’t think of anything that rhymes with “Bawitdaba-dabang-dadang-diggy-diggy.”
Shortly after a commercial break, Reggie accidentally flips the switch, making everything green, as we see what is truly going on. A cooking segment with David Cross as Chef Bellini Pastafangu, leaves Scott and David miming making some payaya. The green screen stuff works brilliantly and never gets old. It also turns out that while Scott was interviewing Al, it was really just a guy in a green suit as well. When the guy takes off his green mask and turns out to be Jon Heder, it leaves Jon wondering why Scott didn’t just interview him instead, since as he puts it, you could argue he’s more popular than “Weird Al.” But Scott cleverly responds, “you could also argue the world is flat, but you’d look like some dumb idiot,” as Jon puts his mask back on. Reggie notices that he accidentally flipped the switch, so flips it back without anyone being the wiser.
Scott’s next guest, Meryl Hmmm, played by Kerri Kenney, arrives as a woman with a potato chip collection. She doesn’t bring the collection, but instead brings a fresh bag to look for more to add to her collection that consists of only four chips. Good call though, since this bag has a gigantic chip with the imagine of CHiPs star Erik Estrada, but she isn’t interested and gives the chip to Scott.
For the first time, Comedy Bang! Bang! presents a musical guest, Tenacious D performing their new song “Rock Is Dead” with some help from “Weird Al.” But the flip once again gets switched, and then Reggie spills his drink on it, creating a flurry of insanity. Tenacious D sees stars, then killer bees, while they all vomit snakes. Then we get flashes of Meryl Hmmm and Bellini Pastafangu, while the entire season of the show fast forwards behind them. The set then explodes, leaving only Reggie and Scott, but then Reggie must tell Scott the truth: Scott has been CGI the whole time as well, as Reggie pours the rest of his drink on Scott’s head, causing him to disappear.
Comedy Bang! Bang! has never been normal, thankfully, but the finale ups the stakes on weirdness in such a fun way. It does what Comedy Bang! Bang! does at its best: messes with the formula of the talk show, creating a crazy offspring that you’ll probably either love or hate. But this season finale is hard not to love, feeling almost like an Adult Swim show rather than something on IFC. Comedy Bang! Bang! had a lot to live up to under that moniker, but the first season was something unlike anything on TV and perfectly molded the Comedy Bang! Bang! brand into a show that was able to defy even the highest expectations.