Scott Aukerman’s popular podcast, “Comedy Bang! Bang!” has turned the traditional celebrity interview on its head, with zany musical numbers and improv-style games. Aukerman, who also wrote for the cult comedy show “Mr. Show With Bob and David” and co-created the Web series “Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis,” talks about the future of comedy and the TV version of “Comedy Bang! Bang!” premiering on IFC at 10 p.m. Friday.
“Comedy Bang! Bang!” is part of a new wave of podcasts-turned-TV shows, including Chris Hardwick’s “Nerdist” on BBC America and Marc Maron’s new show, inspired by his “WTF” podcast, which has been green-lit by IFC. Is this the future of comedy development?
I do think that podcasts are a great training ground for people to kind of figure out their voice. There’s no network or person saying, ‘Don’t say this, don’t do that.’ You can pretty much do them in your house ... so they’re a really great place for comedians to figure out what they want to do.
Did your podcast lose anything in the translation to a more mainstream and controlled medium?
The cool thing about my show is that IFC is a great network for people who want artistic freedom. I’ve been able to do what I want on my show, in the same way that I do it on my podcast. They’ve been really, really supportive. And a big part of that is because they’re all fans of the podcast. The whole reason they offered me this show is because they all love the podcast.
How did the TV show come about in the first place?
It really was the easiest TV show sale I’ve ever made. Usually I have to go into a network and beg and plead. But they literally called me up one day and said ‘Hey, we’re thinking of making a TV show out of your podcast.’ [I said]: ‘Oh, OK.’ And that was it.
I’d been doing a series of interstitials with the network where I interviewed people like Seth Rogen or Danny McBride in between shows for a couple minutes at a time. So they knew me as a host and someone who could have a relatively engaging conversation. So, yeah, they just offered it to me. And we developed it. And it’s been the best experience of my professional career.
How does the TV version of “Comedy Bang! Bang!” differ from the podcast?
The sensibility is exactly the same, which is my sensibility. The differences would be that on the podcast we get to stretch out and be a little more languid with it. The podcast lasts for an hour, an hour and 15 minutes every week. The TV show is 22 minutes and very fast-paced. Maybe the most fast-paced show on television! Fans of the podcast are gonna love it. But I really wanted to make a show that wasn’t just for fans of the podcast, that was [also for] people interested in seeing something totally bizarre and funny.