SPRING HOT TICKETS: Aukerman's podcast show bang on
After his tenure on HBO’s revered sketch comedy series Mr. Show ended, writer-performer Scott Aukerman wasn’t exactly hard up for work. Unfortunately, the public rarely saw the fruits of his labours as his screenplays routinely went unproduced and television pilots never spawned series.
“It’s very difficult to live as a creative person when 100 per cent of your creative activity is going into something that you don’t know is ever going to see the light of day,” says Aukerman, speaking with WE Vancouver from his Los Angeles office. “I would write two or three movies a year and none of them would ever get made. It can kind of wear you down.”
The solution to his frustrations proved to be his Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast, which will soon celebrate its 200th episode. Initially an extension of a live comedy showcase Aukerman curated, the weekly program finds the deadpan comedian and an enviable rotation of guest stars engaging in banal banter that quickly spirals into absurdity and culminates with bizarro games such as the Freestyle Rap Contest.
“What’s great about podcasting is that you get an immediate reaction and you feel like you’re accomplishing something,” says Aukerman. “Even if it’s not paying you anything, you’re being creative and people are getting to see your work.”
Since co-founding the Earwolf Podcast Network in 2010, the reinvigorated Aukerman has been seeking out others who share his enthusiasm for the format. “If (comedian) Brian Posehn comes to me and says, ‘I really want to do a show where me and my friends play Dungeons & Dragons,’ I get excited by that because I can see the possibilities in it.”
Aukerman has also displayed considerable vision by reworking Comedy Bang! Bang! into various forms, including a 10-episode television series for IFC, a video podcast from the Sundance Film Festival, and a touring live show. When asked if any possible iterations remain, he replies, “I would love a religion based on the show. I mean, if there’s a religion based on a weird science fiction novel, why can’t there be one based on my podcast?”