Comedy Bang! Bang! shoots for your demographic | Comedy Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Comedy Bang! Bang! shoots for your demographic 

The podcast-cum-cable series brings its live promo show to Chicago

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Amy Poehler on IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang!

Amy Poehler on IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang!

Chris Ragozzo

The podcast formerly known as Comedy Death-Ray Radio and currently titled Comedy Bang! Bang! mutated again last month: now it's also a series on IFC. To promote that move into the obscure universe of indie cable, it's taking its irreverent, mostly improvised humor on the road. The online version features quick-witted host Scott Aukerman (Mr. Show, Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis) cleverly coaxing a variety of guests—mostly comics and celebrities who can take a joke—through a very loosely scripted hour-plus of banter. Dream sequences, TV-style games, and impersonations (Paul F. Tompkins is always brilliant slurring Garry Marshall's heavy Bronx accent) are all part of the mix. Aukerman is the linchpin, creating an environment where comedy can be organically grown by naturally funny people.

You never quite know what you're going to get with these touring TV promos—the Portlandia cast stumbled along back in January at the Hideout, albeit in a supremely entertaining way. What I do know is that Comedy Bang! Bang! regulars like Upright Citizens Brigade's Matt Besser and comedian James Adomian will be there, and that clips from the cable show will be previewed. Special local guests are of course expected, too.

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