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Comedy Bang! Bang! Review: “Robert Kirkman Wears A Tan Blazer and Red Suit Pants” (4.34)

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<i>Comedy Bang! Bang!</i> Review: &#8220;Robert Kirkman Wears A Tan Blazer and Red Suit Pants&#8221; (4.34)

I don’t know why, but there’s something so satisfying about Comedy Bang! Bang! when Scott Aukerman embraces his musical side. Longtime fans of the podcast know that Scott studied musical theatre and performed in several productions and occasionally his love for the musical seeps into the podcast and TV show. Whenever someone mentions theatre, he is always at the ready, filled with knowledge, or any time Ben Schwartz or Paul F. Tompkins appear on the show, you can always expect several musical diversions that become some of the episode’s best moments.

“Robert Kirkman Wears a Tan Blazer and Red Suit Pants” isn’t even Comedy Bang! Bang!’s first musical episode (that would be “Casey Wilson Wears A White Lace Dress and A Black Blazer,” which of course featured Tompkins’ Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber), but that was back in season two and Comedy Bang! Bang! has grown quite a bit since then.

Since Scott’s dog in real life is named Rocky, this Rocky Horror Picture Show parody is smartly named Rocky’s Owner’s Picture Show. When a repressed couple’s car breaks down, they go to the CBB Studio to use the phone. They’re greeted by Kid Cudi dressed like Riff Raff and in a costume that made me laugh out loud for a full five minutes, Scott as Frank N. Furter. Every time they cut to Scott, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the ridiculousness. Of course there’s the obvious greatness of the costume alone, but Scott rarely plays characters (except Dabney Coleperson) and it’s absolutely wonderful to let him go crazy.

Everyone goes all in this week, from Scott’s high heels to Cudi’s enjoyment in just saying the word “hello” like a creep. But Eric the PA shows up for a second as Bart Simpson—whose terrible costume is much funnier than it should be, and even Matt Walsh shows up in the end as his own version of Rocky Horror’s aliens. “Robert Kirkman” just seems like it was one of the more fun episodes of the show to make and it resonates. However as the repressed couple starts to understand the true meaning of Halloween, they start to get too weird for Scott, as they try to have sex on the set and their reactions escalate all too quickly. “Robert Kirkman” even goes so far as to bring in audience participation, as Scott asks the audience to throw candy at their TV whenever they say “Halloween” or to laugh out loud when anything funny is said. The midnight screenings at Sullivan’s Theaters have different ideas though, such as yelling “fire” whenever Cudi appears on screen—due to his hotness—or to yell “virgin!” whenever Scott appears.

Robert Kirkman is a great choice for the Halloween themed episode and even comes out dressed like Dr. Everett V. Scott. While Kirkman is up for whatever, he does seem slightly wooden throughout the episode, although it doesn’t distract too much. For example, when he tells Scott a scary story, it looks pretty obviously like Kirkman is reading his lines off-screen. Often on CBB when a guest isn’t known for acting or comedy, this can be a problem, but Kirkman’s presence is so enjoyable, it’s not as big of a problem here.

When I heard that Matt Gourley would be appearing on the Halloween episode, I immediately assumed he would show up as H.R. Giger. Surprisingly though, his first visit to the couch is as actor Martin Thomas Newton, who is starring in an Edgar Allen Poe biopic. Unfortunately due to a prison fight that broke out while researching for another role, Newton has brain damage. So Newton believes he’s playing Edward Ballentyne Pope, asks if he can borrow a fortnight, and believes that Robert Kirkman and “Pope” were best friends. Gourley playing Newton playing Poe is amazing though in how he grasps at straws, trying to create his own “research” for Poe, by saying he “probably did a bunch of Twilight Zone episodes or some shit like that” and saying that Poe grew up somewhere cold, like Mississippi, explaining why he’s always sad.

“Robert Kirkman” is an excellent episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! full of both Scott and Kid Cudi’s musical enjoyment, which leads to an insanely fun half-hour. It’s great episodes like this that almost make you wish Halloween was all the time, except leap years of course.

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