“It is a talk show. But it’s not really a talk show,” says Scott Aukerman as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his variety series “Comedy Bang! Bang!” on IFC. “It’s more of a sketch show that’s wearing a Halloween costume as a talk show. One thing about our show is we never do an idea twice. For instance, last season we did an episode that was all shot in one take.”
Further describing how the show diverges from typical talkers, Aukerman says, “I’m a host, and I have a band leader and we have celebrity guests sitting down on the couch. But it goes off in really strange directions. There is always a strange narrative storyline for each episode. In one episode, I create a virtual reality app that helps me tell jokes and it decides to take over the world, much like the Terminator. It’s a show where anything can happen.”
Aukerman is inspired by a certain former “Late Show” host in his approach to the show. “I used to watch David Letterman, because it was a comedy delivery system for me,” he explains. “Now talk shows are celebrity delivery systems. I wanted to do a show that harkened back to the comedy delivery systems. I wanted to strip away all the things that were getting in the way of delivering the comedy. I think, ‘What can I take away that gets in the way of audiences hearing jokes?’”
At the Emmys “Comedy Bang! Bang!” will compete in the Variety Sketch Series category, which was introduced last year to differentiate shows like “Comedy Bang! Bang!” from more conventional fare like “The Daily Show” and “The Tonight Show.” Aukerman reveals he had a hand in creating that new category. “I wrote an article about splitting up the categories into talk and variety,” he explains. “It caused them to take a look at it, and actually do it. They talked to me about it, and I advocated for it. Shows like ours were getting the short shrift in terms of the Emmys. You have talk shows that are powerhouses. Little tiny comedies that are more sketch shows would get left by the wayside.”
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