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Comedy Bang! Bang! Review: “Weird Al Yankovic”

(Episode 4.30) “Weird Al Yankovic Wears a Different Hawaiian Shirt”

TV Reviews Weird Al Yankovic
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<i>Comedy Bang! Bang!</i> Review: &#8220;Weird Al Yankovic&#8221;

This stretch of summer episodes started with Kid Cudi getting hired and not so much replacing Reggie Watts, but doing his job, in the same spot that he did his, for a lot more money. And as we wrap up this stretch, we already get to Cudi’s firing. Coming into this show, Kid Cudi immediately nailed his position as the new cohost: his music is fun, he’s a great sidekick to Scott’s plan and he’s wonderful when he gets to engage in the interviews. After ten episodes, Kid Cudi has excelled in ways that Reggie never did—which is not to say that he’s better, but he’s been a wonderful addition so far on the show. It’s only fitting that the last episode of the summer, “Weird Al Yankovic Wears a Different Hawaiian Shirt,” allows Kid Cudi to play the hero for once, and it’s just as great as everything else he’s done these past ten episodes.

As Paul F. Tompkins once pointed out, there’s not much of a female audience for Comedy Bang! Bang! because apparently women don’t get high. Since 99% of their audience is male, most of their guests are men, and all late night hosts are men, Scott decides to go for the female audience they’ve been missing out on all these years by rebranding the show The Brew, and turning Comedy Bang! Bang! into an inane morning talk show akin to The View. Scott now has three co-hosts: the peppy leader Madeline Ferrari (Cheri Oteri), the sassy and risqué Terri Herdsman (Nicole Byer) and the conservative mouthpiece Eliza Hansenback (Heather Morris). With these four, Scott no longer needs Kid Cudi, so he asks Cudi to pack up his things, hand over his key cards and his show-issued super soaker and get the hell out.

Sometimes I find it problematic when Comedy Bang! Bang! takes on the format of a different type of show. For example, the sitcom parody never did much for me and if this had just been a talk show parody the entire episode, I would’ve probably had similar problems. But of course Comedy Bang! Bang! goes for an insane level of detail in their parody, and adds an extra layer of slight commentary. Every new segment of The Brew feels like an actual program that could exist, if Scott wasn’t playing the Meredith Viera of the show. His sassy comments make him seem almost more at home in this format than on his own show, since he’s free here to make bad puns and slightly naughty jokes to his heart’s content.

Having Weird Al as the guest is a great choice, as he’s always willing to join Scott on strange adventures on the show and the podcast. The ol Vicar of Yanks understandably finds the comedy segments of The Brew to be unbearable, as they put Weird Al’s hair style on Bill Clinton, Kim Kardashian and Garfield, he calls the bit “cartoonishy lazy.” Weird Al is especially hilarious when he talks about his anti-bullying campaign, which has the terrible catchphrase “If you’re gonna be mean, I’d rather hang out with a bean.” It’s so dumb out of context, but incredible when said in practice, as a bully comes onto the set and threatens Al and his fan. There’s so much plot happening in this episode that Weird Al doesn’t get too much time, but he makes the most of the time he does get.

“Weird Al” takes a great turn once Cudi comes back to the set to knock some of Scott’s teeth out, for all he’s done to him and discovers Scott’s co-stars are all part of a coven. To be fair, the name The Brew and the suspicious logo should’ve all been dead giveaways. Cudi meets up with The Witchbusters (Joe Nunez, Eugene Cordero and Colton Dunn) to stop the witches’ ultimate goal of switching the sun and the moon, so that all male late night hosts will be relegated to morning shows and women will become the queens of the night. All the witches need for their brew is a virgin, which is precisely why they have Scott.

As the witches observe, any time a woman takes over a job previously held by a man, they’re witches. The final act takes a faux-misogynistic turn with some terrible, yet hilarious jokes. It’s like when Scott calls the president “Barack Hussein Obamacare” on the podcast, you know he’s having fun in being contrarian and trying to get a rise out of people. So when the witches are stopped because The Witchbusters do the one thing that every husbandless woman wants more than anything and propose to the witches, it’s so perfect in its awfulness. This continues with Scott’s final speech, where he says that women can’t be late night hosts because they’re just too sleepy from spending their days looking for husbands, making homes and letting babies suckle at their ample teets—they’re too tired to tell jokes and interview celebrities.

As Comedy Bang! Bang! wraps up its summer episodes, it ends at the top of its game. Scott and Cudi are a great team and the show has now nailed every aspect of its show and know how to pull each bit off incredibly well. Comedy Bang! Bang! now knows how to make every interview, every pre-recorded bit and every ambitious episode work to its benefit. Comedy Bang! Bang! has become a well-oiled machine that rarely falters and it’s only getting better.

Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.

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