With Comedy Bang! Bang!, so much of an episode’s success relies on the combination of guests presented. It’s a careful alchemy that can lead to failure or surprising, brilliant moments. So on “Nick Offerman Wears a Green Flannel Shirt and Brown Boots,” the show brings on the most iconic actor from Parks and Recreation, two of the funniest current cast members from Saturday Night Live, and one of the greatest members of The State to create a wonderful combination that is hilarious from the very beginning to the episode’s conclusion.
It all starts with a disastrous earthquake that leaves Scott, Reggie and their guests trapped in the studio. Thankfully their intern Monty, played by Kyle Mooney, is outside for the show “Scotty Say: Monty Do!” where, via a secret earpiece, Scott can tell Monty what to say and the two prank unsuspecting people. The show doesn’t last very long before the earthquake hits, and they end up only pranking one lady by trying to sell her a hot dog for one thousand dollars. When she refuses, Monty tells her to “stick a cork in it, you hatchet face!” After the earthquake, the woman comes back starving, ready and willing with the inordinate amount of cash, and Monty continues to prank, telling a medic that there’s something wrong with his little butt and asking him to kiss it. Even though this is all scripted, Mooney has been hilarious this past season on SNL, and his shy delivery sells every line wonderfully.
Inside of the studio, Michael Showalter’s survival expert Clyde Bryllis is there to try to dig his way out before everyone inside runs out of oxygen. He’s armed with just a knife and a canteen full of his own urine. If he fails, the earthquake wins. But hey, everyone might die in half an hour—might as well do the show!
Nick Offerman is a great guest and, surprisingly, the only person on this episode who has also made an appearance on the podcast. Offerman has a lot of fun here, poking fun at people’s obsessions with his mustache, and showing off a clip of his film, “The Day the Earth Quaked.” He channels Bill Pullman in Independence Day as he plans a massive counterattack against the earth: “When the earth quakes us, we quake back!”
We also get a look at another one of Scott’s shows, this time “Ditch It or Pitch It!,” where people bring their trash to the dump and Scott tells them whether they should throw it on a pile of trash or throw it over home plate to a catcher. His show is interrupted by “Ump in the Dump,” (hosted by a retired ump) before Scott and the ump start a dust-kicking fight and are played off by a band that looks suspiciously like Fat Albert & the Junkyard Band.
It shouldn’t have been surprising how great Kate McKinnon’s first CBB appearance was (as Scott’s downstairs neighbor Effie Villalopolous), but she may be the best character so far this season. (It’s also no surprise that the SNL cast members have brought this season’s best characters. Effie is increasingly weird, first admitting to being a pro at writing complaints, then explaining that her 78 foster kids are actually rabbits, snakes, and lizards that she will kill if they aren’t cute enough to be adopted. Her complaint letters are, indeed, works of genius, comparing Mr. and Mrs. Pervert in 4H’s sex screams to a Holocaust movie (and saying Mr. Pervert must have a little knife for a penis), before discovering that Scott and his wife Mavis live in 4H. The escalating weirdness of Effie is so insane, one hopes this isn’t the last we see of Ms. Villalopolous.
The ending is, miraculously, even weirder than this character, as the final breaths of air leave the studio, Clyde rides in on a giant prehistoric worm he found digging under the station, which he has trained for his own devices—namely saving the studio and then taking over the world. I defy you to name one other talk show that has ended with one of the members of Stella riding a worm out of the ground.
With a phenomenal cast and a continued dedication to being as strange as possible, “Nick Offerman Wears a Green Flannel Shirt and Brown Boots” is another high mark in a season that is already full of them.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.