Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Scott Aukerman Brings Celebrity Guests and a 'Bizarro Version' of Himself to Podcast-Turned-TV Show 'Comedy Bang! Bang!'

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire June 8, 2012 at 3:21PM

Fans of comedian Scott Aukerman have until this point had more of a chance to get familiar with his voice than with his screen presence. A writer for "Mr. Show" and the creator of viral web phenom "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," Aukerman's best known as the host of the hugely popular radio show-turned-podcast "Comedy Bang! Bang!," in which he interviews celebrity guests real and impersonated and involves them in improv game segments. But tonight, fans will finely get a good look at the guy.
14
Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman and bandleader Reggie Watts
Chris Ragazzo/IFC Comedy Bang! Bang! host Scott Aukerman and bandleader Reggie Watts

Fans of comedian Scott Aukerman have until this point had more of a chance to get familiar with his voice than with his screen presence. A writer for "Mr. Show" and the creator of viral web phenom "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," Aukerman's best known as the host of the hugely popular radio show-turned-podcast "Comedy Bang! Bang!," in which he interviews celebrity guests real and impersonated and involves them in improv game segments. But tonight, fans will finely get a good look at the guy.

The new TV incarnation of "Comedy Bang! Bang!" premieres on IFC Friday, June 8, at 10 pm, as an absurdist talk show during which Aukerman and his bandleader Reggie Watts banter between guest interviews (Galifianakis and Amy Poehler are among those to make appearances) and excellently surreal asides -- one of the highlights of the first episode finds Aukerman stepping outside to put more money in his parking meter in what's revealed to be a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Indiewire talked with Aukerman about the power of podcasts and what it's been like translating his comedy to the small screen.

Comedy Bang! Bang! 2
Tell me a little bit about how the show ended up on IFC.

They were fans of the podcast I started three years ago. It started out as a radio show and became a podcast when I realized that no one listens to the radio anymore. They had a really interesting idea about doing interstitials between reruns of comedy shows they had recently acquired, so I did those for a year and got comfortable doing them. We had a good process going, and they were fun and easy to do. They saw the level of talent I could get to participate in them and had the idea to turn it into a half-hour talk show.

How has the show changed in these different incarnations from radio to podcast to interstitials to TV series?

The podcast has evolved drastically since I started doing it. I thought it would be an interview show, akin to what "WTF with Marc Maron" did -- they came after me. It quickly evolved into a comedy show. People who listen sometimes aren't used to it because they think podcasts are more interview shows. Mine is in the guise of a radio show, but we force in a bunch of comedy.

The podcast evolved into me talking to fake people and comedians doing characters. When I started thinking about the TV version, it was always the baseline I would come back to -- having really funny comedians doing characters in a talk show format. So that's the ground floor. We expanded it with whatever we could come up with and turned the TV show into a crazy, visual half-hour that's sort of like the podcast... but isn't like the podcast.

Comedy Bang! Bang! 3
How would you describe your hosting style on the show?

I play a character called "Scott Aukerman" -- I'm straddling the line between playing myself and reacting how I would in whatever situation, and a more obnoxious version of myself. On the show, I'm more sarcastic, a little dumber, a little more mean.

I'm not really as mean as Zach [Galifianakis] would be on the ["Between Two Ferns"] videos. We wanted to keep that to the stuff that he does playing pranks on celebrities. I don't get mean on the show in terms of insulting careers. I'm a bizarro version of my real personality.

Between "Comedy Bang! Bang! and "Between Two Ferns," you seem to have made a real art of interviews going awry and awkward silences.

Up until that point in my career, I had just been doing TV and sketch shows that would have live audience or laugh tracks on them. We made the first "Between Two Ferns" short and started showing it around the office before we showed it to a live audience, and I noticed it played better with the silence on it, without having the audience laughing.

Once we posted it online, we really got into the freedom of improv mixed with a little bit of structure, of editing it down into something really tight. I got pretty good at it. That way, when I started doing interstitials for IFC, I came in with a lot of confidence, even though it wasn't Zach on camera -- it was me. I know how they go together now because I have a lot of experience doing them. It's one of my strengths now to do an improvisational interview and figure it out in editing.

This article is related to: Television, TV Interviews, IFC, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Scott Aukerman, Interviews






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More