When Kid Cudi joined the Comedy Bang! Bang! universe only three weeks ago, we first met him in L. Jefe Maninchargo’s office as the “good cop” to Scott Aukerman’s “bad cop.” This has led to a very enjoyable dynamic on CBB, one that offers an entirely different style from what we had for the the first three and a half seasons with Reggie Watts. Kid Cudi brings a new energy to this show and gives us two varying viewpoints in a way that we never quite had with Reggie.
With this new duo, Scott has become more wary of new people and situations, almost like losing Reggie has made him scared to let anyone new in (yes, I’m reading way too far into this.) Whereas Kid Cudi is far more open, as we see in “Brie Larson,” he’s welcoming in a way that Scott was afraid to be with Kid when he was first introduced. This good cop/bad cop routine has worked phenomenally so far this season and it makes every episode better than the last.
“Brie Larson” is proof that Kid Cudi is having an amazing time on Comedy Bang! Bang! As the episode aired, Kid Cudi was tweeting about Fourvel and my brain almost exploded. There’s a joy coming from Cudi that somehow makes this Pee-Wee’s Playhouse-like world even warmer and more joyous.
“Brie Larson” is so fun, it makes sense that Scott said on a recent podcast that this might be his favorite in this stretch of episodes. “Brie Larson” has a simple premise: the regular crew has left for summer vacation, but Scott and Kid have to stick around and tape the episode with a replacement summer crew. Not only does this give us great moments of Maninchargo cutting loose and Eric the PA getting his groove back, but it also adds some new blood into the CBB studio. So we get the janitor that’s more interested in being an electrician, the electrician that loves to do janitorial work almost as much as he loves his “dank nugs,” the makeup artist that wants to show off her skills through masks and fake knives and the woman who put a watermelon up her skirt to extort money from a senator. You know, your usual summer TV crew. But ol’ Scotty-2-Hottie has a plan to let his new crew do whatever they want to, so that when TV critic Dee Graham-Finale shows up, the show will get canceled for the summer and they can also enjoy the hell out of some coral reefs!
Guest Brie Larson does a fantastic job at basically being the straight woman on the couch, accepting the strangeness that comes her way. In her interview, we realize that she was abducted by aliens two years ago, is technically a genius and also has clearly swiped left on Scotty-2-Hottie.
Cudi also gets his first solo parody, this time the lead in a new Broadway musical based on The Temptations music. Comedy Bang! Bang!—the show and the podcast—have both proved time and again that repetition can be absolutely hilarious. Just listen to Scott, Andy Samberg and Lauren Lapkus’ podcast episode where they sing the same song for 13 minutes. The joke here is that “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg: The Musical” only got the rights to one Temptations song, “Just My Imagination,” and sneaks it into the show 58 times. Doing the joke once is funny, doing it over and over makes it legendary.
But the real star this episode is Fourvel (always played brilliantly by Bobby Moynihan), who has been hiding in the studio since Scott still refuses to adopt him. Apparently he and Kid Cudi used to be in a rap group together and Fourvel’s name was Kid Cutty. God, Fourvel is as adorable as he is stabby! Fourvel suggests that since he needs a place to stay, he should contribute to the show so he can earn a paycheck. I couldn’t agree more and I wouldn’t mind getting “Fourvel’s Tips on Heat!” every week, even if they are just various excuses to kill people. It’s also great when the TV show references the deep amount of character building done on the podcast, which we get when we finally feet Fourvel’s brother, Threevel.
“Brie Larson” has basically everything an episode of summer television actually worth watching should have: increasingly great chemistry between its two stars, a stabby orphan and insults aimed directly at Under the Dome. Dee Graham-Finale was right; this is great summer TV worth watching.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.