Candace Bushnell joined the show to discuss her new book Is There Still Sex in the City? Topics included Middle Age Madness, “cubbing,” and having fun in your ’50s.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Clive Anderson, longtime host of the original and classic Whose Line Is It Anyway, dialed us up for a conversation about his new Smithsonian Channel series Mystic Britain, where he will explore mysterious and legendary sites around the UK. We discussed Stonehenge, druid dudes, and whether or not he may have eaten an illegal ancient object.
Lots of fun chatting with Brian Baumgartner, who called in to promote his new movie One Last Night. We also discussed our shared experiences on our high school speech teams, the ubiquitousness of The Office, and how to handle multiple takes of eating snack foods.
Comedy Bang Bang’s Scott Aukerman made his record-breaking 12th appearance on the show to promote Comedy Bang Bang live at the Chicago Theater on September 8th. Highlights in the convenient form of a transcript are below, with the full audio underneath (Note: all of the typos and errors generated by Transcription Bot 2.0 have now been corrected by human eyes and fingers.)
Ryan Gatenby: It’s the Big Wakeup Call. I’m Ryan Gatenby and time to get to my next guest. From Comedy Bang Bang, it’s Scott Aukerman! Hey, Scott!
Scott Aukerman: Hey, Ryan!
RG: Scott, good morning, and I appreciate you joining me today. This actually is my 2000th show.
SA: Whoa, congratulations! How many have been good, do you think?
RG: Well, let’s see. You’ve been on about 0.6% so I’d say 1% ?
SA: I’ve done over 600 episodes of my show, Comedy Bang Bang, and I think you are at a higher level of success than I am, honestly.
RG: Oh, nonsense. Because I’m not doing a live show at the Chicago Theater in September.
SA: That is true. Although if you were doing it on the same night, there would be some sort of booking screwup and that would be horrible. But yeah, September 8th, a Sunday night, we’re doing a live episode.
RG: But live at the Chicago Theater, which is a huge place by the way, we’re talking like 3,600 seats. Is this one of the largest theaters or arenas that you’ve done a live show?
SA: You know what, just the other day at Clusterfest, I did a live episode of a show for 8,500 people. And that is definitely the biggest one that I’ve done at this point. So, you know, over 3000 — who cares?
RG: When you’re doing a show like this – is this strictly a live taping? Is this going to be a future episode of Comedy Bang Bang? Or is this a standalone show by itself?
SA: Well, we always do it as a standalone show. It just kind of exists for the people who were there. If we release it later as a podcast, it’s purely for people who are interested, but we’re not aiming it at them.
You know, like when you go see a live taping of a television show, you’re just kind of there as a fly on the wall for what is intended to be on television. This is intended for the audience itself and we don’t really care if anyone’s listening outside of it.
RG: Well, then are you inviting audience participation, or do people have to like hold their applause and laughter until after the conclusion of the show?
SA: No, we have a policy where, if you find something funny, you definitely laugh out loud, sort of a “ha ha” kind of thing. And if you’re ever confused by anything, you can shout up at the stage “huh?” Just any human reaction you have, try to find a vocal sound that goes along with it, and shout it out as loud as you can.
That’s the Comedy Bang Bang promise, that we’ll get to everyone. We’ll hear everyone’s complaints, everyone’s compliments, all 3000 of them. We want to hear from you.
RG: I thought you didn’t care about what people thought about the last episode.
SA: Is that something I said before?
RG: I think it was on Twitter.
SA: Okay. I remember that. Yes, that used to be in my tagline because I got way too many people critiquing the show every week telling me what I did wrong. And as you know, Ryan, every episode you do is going to be someone’s favorite and someone’s least favorite, but you don’t really need to hear from the least favorites every single day of your life. Otherwise, why do it?
RG: Well, you give so much of yourself into each show. It’s hard not to take it personally.
SA: It’s less about taking it personally and it’s more just about like, why do you want to every single day of your life — like most people who have jobs, other than maybe waiters and servers, aren’t told constantly how bad they are at it. I mean, if you are, you need to look at another career.
But for some reason, with Twitter we’ve given everyone our personal email addresses and people like to tell us what we’re doing wrong all the time. So, you know, I would prefer not to hear it.
RG: So what is the format? What’s the setup of the live show? Are you, center stage on stools? Are you standing at vintage microphones and doing like an old time radio show?
SA: We’re definitely not center stage. We’re trying it this time from up in the rafters.
RG: How many trailers are you taking on this tour? Do you have lights and sound and pyro?
SA: Yeah, pyro is a big one, which if people out there don’t know exactly what that stands for, it’s an acronym which stands for… pretty… yelling…relationship organisms.
Basically, we have life model decoys of men and women who are very upset with people with whom they’re in relationships and we unleash them upon the audience. And, you know, if you can trick one of them into falling in love with you, then you can take it home.
RG: So you’re encouraging deceit and chicanery.
SA: Oh, of course. I mean, look, the only reason we get into this business is because someone tricked us. You know, sometimes our parents when we’re young, they trick us by saying like, “oh, you were really good in that school play.”
RG: That’s true.
SA: Look, lady show business is a cruel, harsh mistress and you have to wonder why you’re really doing it at the end of the day. And I’m hoping that the show on September 8th at the Chicago Theater will kind of just crystallize that for all the performers involved.
RG: Are you doing just one show per night, or do you have like a regular show at seven and then you come back and do the blue show?
SA: We are, yeah. The blue show is really difficult because ever since Blue Man Group was a big sensation in Las Vegas, people want people to put on blue makeup and do the second show dressed as them. And it’s time consuming.
I dunno what takes longer, putting it on or getting it off – ha ha ha! – but it’s what people expect. So, everyone is invited to come to the first show and then no one is there for the second show. We just do it for ourselves.
RG: Do you have all of your guests on stage at once or is it like the podcast, where you’ll have a regular guest and then some eccentric oddball walks out?
SA: You know, I don’t know what is going on with my show. If you’ve never heard Comedy Bang Bang, the podcast, it’s an interview show where I talk to – I don’t know how else to put this, but interesting people.
And then I would say nine times out of 10, if not 10 times out of 10, the show gets derailed with these unusual guests that my producer somehow ends up booking. And I would say the first 20% of the show is professional, and then it just devolves into chaos. So I’m hoping that does not happen during the show at the Chicago Theater because I’d just feel like my show was cursed or something.
RG: So you’re saying there’s cursing in the show.
SA: There’s cursing. Yes. It’s a rated XXX or triple X’s, as they say. We’e basically just describing pornography the entire time.
RG: It’s Comedy Bang Bang live at the Chicago Theater on Sunday, September 8th, featuring – I assume you’re the host?
SA: I am considering coming out and doing this show. Basically someone just needs to make me an offer
RG: Comedy Bang Bang, live at the Chicago Theater on Sunday, September 8th, featuring probably, more or less, Scott Aukerman. Scott, always a pleasure to have you on the show.
SA: Ryan. Thank you so much, and with whatever you end up doing, in your old age, I look forward to hearing from you again.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Sherri Shepherd called in to talk about her new movie Brian Banks, where she plays the mother of the title character. We discussed how meeting the real people the story is based on informed her acting and how shooting scenes could get a bit intense. Also: movie snack subterfuge.Follow @bigwakeupcall
It was fun catching up with Jim Breuer as we had a chat about his upcoming “Live and Let Laugh” tour, which will bring him to the House of Blues in Chicago on November 3rd.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Bill McCormick called in for his regularly scheduled segment for an update on the Great Florida Python Hunt of 2013, where six years later all predicted nightmare scenarios have pretty much come true. We discussed sinister spring-loaded snakes, knitting parachutes for rats in Guam, and the importance of carefully following a picture book of instructions.Follow @bigwakeupcall
It was an absolute thrill to chat with Glenn Tilbrook, who has been an inspiration to me as a songwriter ever since I discovered I could. Squeeze is one of my all-time favorites and I was overjoyed when Glenn told me the story of how he and Chris Difford wrote “Up the Junction,” my favorite Squeeze song. Squeeze is about to begin the U.S. leg of their “Squeeze Songbook 2019” tour, which comes to the Chicago Theatre on August 31st (Glenn’s birthday!)Follow @bigwakeupcall
Dana Schwartz dialed into the show to talk about her new podcast, “Noble Blood,” which looks at the history of royalty and monarchies, including sex, drugs, blood, and all the good stuff that would get the show censored on terrestrial radio.Follow @bigwakeupcall