You couldn’t ask for a better guest than Paul F. Tompkins. The brilliant comedian can take an existing person like Cake Boss Buddy Valastro or Garry Mashall and create larger-than-life personae for them, or as himself he can riff off anyone and be a hilarious and delightful guest. Tompkins is great in solely audio form, but watching him in action is a treat. That’s probably why Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Soderbergh have cast him in their films and he was given sole hosting duties of Best Week Ever. So whenever Tompkins comes onto the set of Comedy Bang! Bang!, it’s clear the episode will be one of the best of the series.
With the promotions for the show, one of the most frequently shown skits was Scott talking to his celebrity friends about how to start his show, which finally appears in an episode here. Even after seeing it in countless commercials, it still works as one of the show’s best bits. Andy Samberg, Patton Oswalt and Bob Odenkirk all explain to Scott what he will need. It starts off simple, by saying that he will need cameras, but then Scott realizes he will also need electricity, a credit card, an ID, as well as a social security number and birth certificate. It leads all the way up to Scott finding out he’ll have to find out who his parents are and has sex explained to him. It’s a simple premise (Scott knows literally nothing), but it escalates to a great finish when Samberg explains that Scott will also have to cut down on his racism.
This week’s celebrity guest is Adam Scott, who tells Aukerman that he got into acting because of Indiana Jones, who Aukerman believed was just a guy named Jones from Indiana. When Adam brings out a clip of a new TV project he has been working on, it turns out to be the actual episode he is currently taping, creating a continuing loop of televisions, Adam Scotts and Scott Aukermans.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, as played by Tompkins, really gets the episode going though, as it seems all the transformation Tompkins needs to become Webber is a cape and a medal. After going down the rundown of some of his most famous projects, like Starlight Express and Cats, Adam asks Lloyd Webber what his favorite cats are, to which he replies, “Halloween sexies” and “lasagna eaters.” Just the way that Tompkins words these shows his great improvisational talent. He says his next project will be a musical without the music, otherwise known as a play. It’ll be West Side Story; however he plans on removing the music and placing it in 14th century Italy. You know, like Romeo & Juliet.
After is a bit in which Reggie Watts storms off after making everyone laugh and immediately starts a laser eye office and proceeds to accidentally blow up his patient’s head. Then comes animal expert Phil Gorsley, played by Tim Heidecker. Heidecker always works best for me when he is pissed, as he is here. Instead of bringing animals, he just complains about his flight and his neighbor, whose hair he has used to create a wig. This disgusts Scott, who asks him to leave, which he’s sure Gorsley has heard plenty of times before.
The show ends with a game of What Are They Eating? and Lessons Learned (this episode we learn that Adam Scott isn’t as smart as he looks), before Aukerman, Scott and Webber transport themselves off the stage.
The dynamic between Aukerman, Scott and Tompkins is great, each hitting a different comedic note and blending together excellently. If Comedy Bang! Bang! returns for a second season, and I highly doubt it won’t, I would have no problem with Tompkins being added as another permanent sidekick to Aukerman.