With the last few episodes of the third season and last week’s premiere, I praised the show for tying together all of its various, strange segments into one big idea that worked extremely well. “Maya Rudolph Wears A Black Skirt and Sandals” doesn’t do that. It’s messy, it goes all over the place, and it’s of course crazy. And it’s great that way too.
With the show and the podcast, sure, sometimes it is fun to have everything loop together in a perfect bow, like Andy Daly’s episodes of the podcast. But other times it’s just fun to watch where the CBB universe can take you, and to enjoy the bits as they fly by in quick succession—always amusing. “Maya Rudolph” is one of those types of episodes.
Comedy Bang! Bang! continues to parody various movies, this time with a Point Break episode, where Reggie is digging a hole into a vault (behind a Rita Rudner poster), with his best friend Scott, who turns out to be an undercover cop. I love how the CBB studio just so happens to share a wall with a bank AND that the police have set up their sting operation mere feet from where Reggie is digging. Scott has to decide whether or not to help his friend, or turn him in for stealing money that he plans to give to kids for eye surgeries. Of course none of this really matters, and is just a fun way for the show to pay homage to so many typical tropes.
Maya Rudolph is basically the perfect guest here. She often takes over the conversation, like when she gives Scott several great and very specific reaction shots to edit in later. Rudolph just seems to be having so much fun, as evidenced in Skirmish of the Sexes, and later on in the episode when it turns out she has Keyser Soze-d, both Reggie and Scott and emptied the bank vault herself.
But she really starts having a great time when Claire Coulter, played by the fantastic Maria Bamford, is introduced. Coulter plays to Bamford’s strengths, playing a homeless woman with clear mental problems trying to turn her life around, and live as a normal businesswoman. It’s creepy and hilarious, and Rudolph can’t even contain herself when Bamford describes the idea behind the Skin Pens she wants to market.
Interbrews brings back the idea of TV segments hosted by Scott. These are usually hit-or-miss, but this one is pretty excellent. Scott meets Twin Shadow at a restaurant/bar, yet is too busy monologging and criticizing the bar to pay attention to his guest. Twin Shadow leaves, Scott can’t pay for his appetizers, and then is sent by the waitress—played by another fantastic comedian, Carmen Esposito—to wash the dishes. It’s strange and makes no real sense in the episode, but it’s so great, it doesn’t matter.
Even though the past few episodes have done a fine job of tying things together (which I really enjoyed), there’s something fantastic about watching things going in strange directions, and not knowing what’s coming next. It’s true to the Comedy Bang! Bang! spirit, and this installment is one more in a string of great episodes for the show.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.