Forty episodes in a season is a lot. If you were to marathon every episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!’s fourth season, it would take you almost 24 hours. That’s an insane amount of content to create for one single season. The amount of episodes even seems to get to Scott at times, as he’s joked here and on the podcast about how the show looks as if it’s never going to end. You’d imagine at some point there would be a lull in quality, yet here we are close to the end of the fourth season and Comedy Bang! Bang! still succeeds week after week, even if it might look a little exhausted.
“Adam Pally Wears a Navy Blazer and Bright Blue Sneakers” is a slow burn of an episode. I wasn’t all that impressed with it while I watched it, but I keep coming back to certain jokes and moments that in hindsight I realize are brilliantly crafted. I mean, the episode begins with Scott in a full gladiator outfit explaining the magic of the green screen to a couple visiting Hollywood from Alabama. With the green screen, you can win the lotto or even talk to Watto. It has almost no point in the episode—except to point out that the show has run through its entire green screen budget—but it’s such a silly little premise, you can’t really fault the show for throwing it in. Especially when it’s added to the end of the episode, where a tiny version of Scott can dance on the production logos.
This also slightly ties into the low-stakes, low-budget story of “Adam Pally,” as Cudi introduces Cudi’s Buddy, a sock puppet that has the potential to spin off into big things. Bob’s Burgers’ John Roberts pops up as Hollywood talent agent Jeff Sleazay, who sees Cudi’s Buddy as a merchandiser’s wet dream. Of course what makes Cudi’s Buddy such a perfect CBB idea is in how stupid a premise it is, only to have Cudi’s Buddy blow up to ridiculous proportions over the course of the episode, ending in the Buddy leaving and Cudi admitting that he wasn’t a sock puppet, just “an alien, or some shit.” This season CBB has been pretty great about punctuating their weirdest ideas by just dropping them without fanfare, but with a really strange twist at the end that almost always works. Just a shame Chappie didn’t pick up Cudi’s Buddy on his way to Elysium.
Adam Pally is one of the podcast’s greatest guests. His energy is always wonderful with Scott and especially in this talk show context. (Side note: if you want to see the greatest episode of TV in late night history, watch the sole episode where Adam Pally hosted CBS’s The Late Late Show. It is simply comedy brilliance.) Pally really livens up the episode and the chemistry between him and Scott is always wonderful, but throwing Cudi in, as well as Pierce Handmight (Luka Jones) later on, elevates every bit. There’s a wonderful hostility between Scott and Adam, such as when Scott points out that Adam doesn’t seem responsible enough to have a kid or when Scott asks Pally what he’s doing for the holidays, to which he calmly states—with an illustration in hand—“your mom Scott. I’m doing your mom for the holidays.”
When Handmight makes his appearance, as a Tour de France winner coming on the show to admit he cheated the whole time, using his motorcycle instead of a bicycle, it’s Pally that pushes the bit one step further. As Handmight continually mentions things he cheated on by using his motorcycle (stealing bases when he was a professional baseball player, hot dog contests and his wife), Pally’s constant interjections where he mentions he can’t say he’s surprised makes a simple bit far funnier than it would’ve been without him.
This season has also been quite great when it comes to Scott’s new shows that he’s premiering, this time with “Save the Date.” In the show, Scott tries to fix a date while it’s happening, this time between Liz Blossom (Phoebe Neidhardt) and Matty Climpton (CBB genius Neil Campbell). The advice from Scott is ridiculous, like ordering three bottles of wine, until Matty realizes he isn’t on an episode of “Save the Date” at all, but instead an episode of “Rescue the Restaurant.” Campbell’s outrage over the incident is incredible, as he discovers that Liz is really actress Silvia Buttsmell, and immediately calls her a bitch. But Campbell takes the bit to the rare dark place for CBB, as he threatens to stab everyone in the restaurant with a broken bottle, even yelling at a woman he’s close to killing “I hope you’re pregnant!” CBB almost never goes that dark, but when it does, it presents some of my favorite moments in the show.
Even in an episode like “Adam Pally,” where there’s no real through line, CBB finds its strengths in the great dynamics between guests and the little details that really pop and stick with you for days later.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.