In the newest installment of “Written Radio: Official Big Wakeup Call Transcripts,” we feature our interview with Scott Aukerman, host of Comedy Bang! Bang! Scott called in to talk about new episodes, a new bandleader, and potentially new jokes. It’s radio in convenient printed form!
The Big Wakeup Call Interview: Scott Aukerman
Ryan Gatenby: It’s time for our next guest. He is the host of Comedy Bang! Bang!, which is back on IFC with all new episodes Thursday nights at 10:30/9:30 central. It’s Scott Aukerman. Hi, Scott!
Scott Aukerman: Hi, Ryan! Hello, listeners!
RG: Scott, we are so happy to have you back on the show. Of all of our favorite guests, we believe you are the favoritest.
SA: Really? So, of all the favorite guests – which is a separate subset just from guests, I am the favoritest of those guests. That’s amazing!
RG: Did you receive the engraved plaque that we sent over to commemorate that status?
SA: I did not, and I truly, truly believe with all my heart that you are lying right now.
SA: And, you know, I don’t want to blow up your spot or anything, but you are a proven liar.
RG: Before we get too far into this, Scott, I saw that you recently did one of those “Ask Me Anything” sessions online.
SA: Sure, why wouldn’t I?
RG: Were there any questions that were left out, or did you pretty much cover everything? Is this interview that we’re doing right now just superfluous?
SA: Yeah, this is just moot. Anyone who is interested in any aspect of my life – I covered it all; pretty much from the moment I was born until I die. I covered all of that information, so just head on over there. Turn off your radios right now – or better yet, just throw your radios against the wall or into a bathtub if you’re sitting in it. Just head on over to “computer.com” and you can find it anywhere on that.
RG: So the floor is no longer open for questions?
SA: It is not, I’m so sorry – but you know what? I’ll allow it. You can ask me anything you like.
RG: Oh, thanks! So Comedy Bang! Bang! is back on IFC Thursdays at 9:30 Central.
SA: Yes, you are in the Central time zone, so it is on at 9:30 after this show called “Maron.”
RG: I’m not familiar with that one.
SA: Yeah, I don’t what it is, either. I wouldn’t even dare turn on my television at 9 to watch that thing. I would wait until 9:29:59 and then hurriedly turn on your TV.
RG: So you’ve got new episodes, you have a brand new bandleader, and I’m going to assume you have new jokes?
SA: (Laughs) No, that’s the only thing we didn’t change. We have the exact same jokes. We did 70 episodes with Reggie Watts as the bandleader, and so we’re just recycling through all of those. We’ll do 70 more with Kid Cudi – “re-enactments” is what we call them.
RG: Well, you could have gone back to the original episodes and just edited him in.
SA: Oh my God! Where were you? Why did I have to re-shoot all that stuff? I’ve wasted my life!
RG: To break in Kid Cudi, your new bandleader, did you book any secret gigs or do practice shows, or maybe book a residency up in the Catskills so you could get your timing down?
SA: It’s interesting, because a lot of shows do that. They do practice shows and all that kind of stuff, and we didn’t. We just kind of threw him into it, and, weirdly, his very first scene that he shot with us is this episode coming down the line where he has to speak French. And, you know, he doesn’t speak French! It was such a weird scene for him to start where he gets into an argument with a hockey player and starts speaking French.
But what’s cool about him is that he really wants to do weird comedy, and so he just kind of like dove in headfirst. It took him a while to get acclimated, I think, but people are going to see the shows and really be happy with what he’s doing.
RG: You’ve got Michael Cera on the show this season, but he was killed on season one. Is that season one episode not part of the official Comedy Bang! Bang! canon?
SA: Well, that’s an interesting question. In the official Comedy Bang! Bang! canonical universe, the timeline is very odd – people die all the time, and then you see them again. We are going to address this at a certain point, but Michael Cera is dead, and he is on the show again, yes.
RG: Okay, because I just needed to know how to handle this so when I write my Comedy Bang! Bang! fan fiction I make sure I have everything in order.
SA: Oh, what type of fan fiction? Do you write the romantic fan fiction where, you know, Cudi and I look across the room at each other longingly and then we fall into each other’s arms, or is it like space opera fan fiction? What type do you do?
RG: It’s usually just you and I and the whole cast –
SA: Oh, you’re involved! (Laughs.)
RG: I’m involved. I always take you guys on an eating tour of Chicago neighborhoods.
SA: (Laughs) Okay. So what’s the best neighborhood, would you say, in Chicago to go eat?
RG: Right now the hottest neighborhood would be Ravenswood. You’ve got your deep- dish pizza, your Chicago-style hot dogs, and then like hot dogs baked into the pizza crust.
SA: Is that where Pizza Hut got it? Doesn’t Pizza Hut have some sort of new hot dog crust?
RG: Well, Chicago invented the deep-dish pizza, and then Pizza Hut came out with their own, and then, yeah, they took that idea from a pizzeria in Chicago.
SA: Really? Does it taste good?
RG: No, it’s disgusting.
SA: Okay, thank you (laughs).
RG: What is the timeline, Scott, from when you first write a show to when it finally airs? Like the episode tonight – how long has this been in the works?
SA: This particular episode, I would say we started writing it back in – wow, this is a really tough question for me – I think we started writing it back in November, maybe? October or November, somewhere around then – and then we shot probably in February, and now you guys get to see it.
RG: Is it difficult to talk about a specific show – like tonight, it will be brand new to us, but you’ve been finished with it for a while now. Do you have to re-watch these and kind of catch up?
SA: I re-watch them every single morning – every single episode we’ve ever done. I just want to be prepared if anyone ever asks me a question about it.
SA: We’ve done – tonight is our 71st episode, so it takes me about 35 hours to do it, but I do it every single day. It takes up most of the day, I would say.
RG: I’ve got my DVR set to record Comedy Bang! Bang! tonight –
SA: Oh, thank goodness!
RG: Even though I watch it live – and by the way, if you DVR it, you should watch it within three days, am I correct?
SA: That’s what they say. They say it helps with the ratings if you watch it within three days. I don’t know how any of that works, but I would appreciate it people watched it live or within three days, yes.
RG: I just wanted to make sure it was all set to go, and I have AT&T U-verse, and they have the weirdest description of your show — have you heard it?
SA: (Laughs) No! What is it?
RG: I have it here: “Host Scott Aukerman and comic Reggie Watts” – so right there, it’s outdated.
SA: Yeah, that’s incorrect now.
RG: “…join several famous celebrities as they partake in funny events, including fake interviews and musical performances.”
SA: “Fake interviews!” I mean, I’ll give them “funny events,” but “fake interviews?”
RG: What are they suggesting, that you’re not actually interviewing your guests?
SA: You know, what they’re probably talking about is we actually film the interviews with me and the celebrity back-to-back, and we’re not looking at each other, and then we flip the image so that it looks like we’re looking at each other, but we’re not actually talking to each other.
RG: (Laughs) Oh, okay.
SA: That’s probably what they’re talking about, if I had to guess – if I had to hazard a guess or offer a guesstimate, that’s probably what they’re talking about.
RG: One of the things I saw on the “Ask Me Anything” was the Internet community buzzing over one of your latest catch phrases, “heynongman!”
SA: “Heynongman!” Yeah, if you watch the TV show, you will not see “heynongman,” but if you listen to the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast, you will hear it quite often (laughs).
RG: Was that really born out of happenstance, or did you have that phrase and you guys were looking for a way to drop that in?
SA: Yeah, I’m a master manipulator. For people who want to know what “heynongman” is, I was talking to celebrity Jason Mantzoukas, and he said, “hang on, man,” and I thought he said “heynongman,” and then that became something we said over and over and over. But, yeah, it was something I thought of – similarly, back in November, and I’d been looking for an opportunity and just looking for one person to say “hang on, man,” and then no one over said it. So Jason and I planned it out and we did a rehearsal show. We put it up at the UCB Theatre in L.A. and we rehearsed it, and then did it for a small crowd just to see how it would go over.
SA: They went wild for it, so we just said “okay, let’s get in the studio as soon as we can,” and eight months later we had time, and there it is. It’s just an amazing success story.
RG: Brand new episodes of Comedy Bang! Bang! are on Thursday nights at 9:30 Central on IFC – don’t tune in a minute earlier —
SA: Please don’t. You’ll be shocked and horrified by what you see if you do.
RG: And of course, hosted by Scott Aukerman, our favoritest guest of all the favorite guests.
SA: Of all the favorite guests. But again, am I the favoritest of all guests, or just the favoritest of the favorite guests?
RG: Well, if we create a Venn diagram, then you would be right in the center, overlapping all as the favoritest guest of all time.
SA: Wow, Ryan, I appreciate that so much. It’s truly an honor. It truly, truly is.
RG: Well, it’s an honor for us to have you call in, Scott. Thank you so much.
SA: Thanks. All right, goodbye everyone in the world. You will never hear from me again.