In response to those who would rather read my interviews than have to hear me conduct them, we’re introducing a new feature today – Written Radio: The Official Transcripts of The Big Wakeup Call! Our debut segment features Scott Aukerman, host of Comedy Bang! Bang!, who called into the show a couple weeks ago. Read it with your own inflections and enjoy!
Scott Aukerman: The Big Wakeup Call Interview
Ryan Gatenby: It’s time for our next guest, and – wait a minute! I’ve heard of Scott Aukerman on Comedy Bang Bang, but Scott Aukerman on The Big Wakeup Call? Hi, Scott!
Scott Aukerman: What?? (Laughs) Hey, Ryan, how are you?
Ryan Gatenby: Good! Now, it’s been a while…since you’ve been on the show. How are you, Scott?
Scott Aukerman: (Laughs) You’re hitting all the catch phrases! I love it! Hello! It has been a while. IT’S BEEN about..
Ryan Gatenby: (Laughs) I appreciate you calling in today. I mean, I know now that your show is a ratings smash and you’re acknowledged as a comedy superstar, I’m sure the requests for interviews have got to be relentless and I would imagine oftentimes invasive.
Scott Aukerman: Well, you know, that’s pretty much all I do all day. I don’t have time to make the show any more, I just do interviews about the show. Which people are okay with. I mean, they would rather hear me do an interview and talk about something that I’m not doing rather than actually seeing it.
Ryan Gatenby: (Laughs) That seems much better.
Scott Aukerman: You know, I wake up at 6 a.m., and until about midnight or so I’m doing interviews.
Ryan Gatenby: Do you ever have to go on those “morning zoo”-type radio shows and they try to make you do “bits” with them? Because that’s the format – “hits” and “bits.”
Scott Aukerman: You know, I normally just go to regular zoos in the morning, and I try to do most of my interviews from there. I find that I’m a little more at peace when I’m petting a zebra. That’s actually where I am right now – I’m in front of the lemur cage, and – oh, look at those little guys! Hey, knock it off! They’re getting a little naughty, and I know your dump button isn’t working today, so I don’t want to say exactly what they’re doing, but it’s pretty informative. I’m gonna have to use some of these tricks back at home.
Ryan Gatenby: So Comedy Bang! Bang! is back on IFC Friday nights at 10, and you’ve got all new episodes, and it looks like to me, just from a casual, attentive home viewer, that you guys have a bigger budget for the episodes now. I mean, last week you were doing some huge and dangerous stunts.
Scott Aukerman: Well, that’s true, but let me correct you for one moment, Ryan, my dear boy. The show is on at 11, not at 10, but I think that you could tune in at 10 and watch the last hour of Pulp Fiction or that movie about the vagina with teeth – whatever IFC is showing. It’s always nice to catch the last hour and then catch my show. But, yeah, we have a slightly bigger budget. I think what it was is we were able to afford a special effects guy, so we’re able to put in CGI robots and stuff like that. It’s basically like watching the Star Wars Special Edition, you know. We’ll be doing an interview and then the camera will just pan over and you’ll see a CGI Jabba the Hut sitting there for no reason.
Ryan Gatenby: I should point out, Scott, that you are on at 10 here in the Central time zone, and that’s who you’re speaking to now.
Scott Aukerman: Oh no! Oh, listen to me, I’m acting a fool right now! Of course we’re on at 10. What is the deal with the Central time zone, by the way? Why does everyone in the Central time zone insist on getting their television an hour early?
Ryan Gatenby: I don’t know. I wish we would just align with one of the coasts – and I don’t know if that would start a war or anything, but I just want to watch TV! I don’t want to do math.
Scott Aukerman: I know! I mean, the fact that we always have to say “11, 10 Central” – first of all, you guys should be able to figure it out by now. You’ve lived there all your lives, everything is an hour earlier. But are you guys really going to bed an hour earlier? You guys in Chicago love to party, right?
Ryan Gatenby: Yeah, and we like to get the news an hour earlier. Then once we’re informed, we go out – after being filled with the news.
Scott Aukerman: But don’t you have to wake up an hour early to watch The Today Show?
Ryan Gatenby: I think that’s true.
Scott Aukerman: Yeah, that’s the ugly dark side of the Central time zone.
Ryan Gatenby: Scott, one recurring theme I’ve seen lately on Comedy Bang! Bang! is that you’re kind of hinting about your audience either consisting of hipsters or stoners or both. Now, I’m neither but I love the show. Does that make me weird? Are there jokes I should be enjoying on another level?
Scott Aukerman: (Laughs) Yes, if you were to just get high, there’s a whole secret layer of jokes that are there.
Ryan Gatenby: Oh, no!
Scott Aukerman: You have to unlock your mind to get them, so – you know, I really feel sorry for the people who are not high watching the show. They’re only getting about one joke every 10 seconds. There’s an extra bonus joke every 60 seconds if you’re high that you get.
Ryan Gatenby: Oh, my gosh! (Laughs)
Scott Aukerman: Yeah, it’s really a shame. So, you know, I would try it at least once. I know a lot of entertainers come out and say “don’t do drugs.” I’m here to say “do a drug once.”
Ryan Gatenby: When you’re shooting an episode – when you have a guest out there on the couch, how much time do you spend with each guest versus what we wind up seeing on the show? Because last week with Jack Black, it was suggested he was there for about 15 hours.
Scott Aukerman: Yeah, we shoot a lot of stuff for the show, so when we have Jack Black on – or this week we have Joel McHale, or we had Joseph Gordon-Levitt a couple weeks ago – for a 10 minute interview, we’ll usually shoot about half an hour or so, and just really experiment and use the best stuff out of that. And I think people who come to the couch feel reassured that not everything that they say is going to be used – we’re only going to use the best stuff. So it winds up being a more fast-paced show that way, too.
Ryan Gatenby: And then one of the things I really enjoy that goes along with that is you’ll have genuine moments – and I’m recalling last week where you had Paul F. Tompkins as J.W. Stillwater, your amateur vigilante fan boat operator, and there was genuine laughter – seriously, legitimately cracking up you and Jack Black, and on most shows there would be a tendency to want to edit that out and they’d literally frown upon that.
Scott Aukerman: Yeah, most shows try to edit out all the mistakes or edit out people breaking. I insist on not knowing what people are going to say, and that’s why we do so much of the show improv-style. I really want to have those genuine moments where I’m surprised or the guests are surprised, and we sprinkle those all throughout the show. Even though some of it is scripted, we try to mix it up so people never know if something is scripted or not, and I think you see more genuine moments in my fake talk show than you see in real talk shows.
Ryan Gatenby: And I would imagine at this point, as long as Comedy Bang! Bang! has been on the air, that the guests you’re getting are people who have seen the show and are fully buying into that.
Scott Aukerman: (Laughs) You’d think that, but –
Ryan Gatenby: (Laughs)
Scott Aukerman: (Laughs) I don’t know. I’m constantly surprised that people agree to come on the show and have no idea what it is until they get there. But people really like to play along, and it’s unlike any other talk show – they get to do sketches, they get to act while they’re in it, they interact with comedy characters, so I think people eventually believe and go “wow, I have no idea what that was, but I had such a good time doing it.” It’s really unlike any other show they’re ever going to be on.
Ryan Gatenby: Scott, I didn’t know if you were aware of this, but there is a guy on another late night show right now, and he’s pretty much ripping off Reggie Watts. Have you seen this?
Scott Aukerman: Man, that sounds familiar. Late night, you say? So, in the Central time zone, when would that be?
Ryan Gatenby: Medium night?
Scott Aukerman: (Laughs) Okay, medium night. So a medium night talk show. Hmmm – yeah, I’ve heard of this guy. You know, we have Reggie Watts on our show – he’s my bandleader – and he’s been stepping out every night, so he’ll sort of end the show early and he’ll leave somewhere, but I have no idea where he’s been going.
Ryan Gatenby: Well, I found it bizarre and troublesome, so I thought you should know.
Scott Aukerman: Okay, well, you know what, snitches get put in ditches, so you better think about that.
Ryan Gatenby: Oh, no! (Laughs) Hey, is that going to be a segment coming up – “Snitches or Ditches?” I’d love that.
Scott Aukerman: (Laughs) Yeah, I would love for you to be the first volunteer.
Ryan Gatenby: Finally, Scott, is there anything you’d like to plug?
Scott Aukerman: Wow, the plug bag is open! Well, of course, I do the Comedy Bang! Bang! TV show every Friday at 10 pm – not 11, Ryan, come on, man! I do the podcast once or twice a week, and that’s on the Earwolf network, and I think that’s about all that anyone really cares about me. Although I will say I did write a little five-page story in this week’s Deadpool comic book, issue 250, so go out and read that. Paul Scheer wrote one, and Jason Mantzoukas, and a bunch of comedy people, so pick that up.
Ryan Gatenby: Oh, excellent. And don’t miss new episodes of Comedy Bang! Bang! Friday nights at 11, 10 Central on IFC, with our guest, Stock Photoman. Well, Scott, thank you so much for calling in to The Big Wakeup Call today. I really appreciate it.
Scott Aukerman: Thanks, Ryan, I always love talking to you.
Thanks to our intern P.J. for transcribing this interview!