Comedy Bang! Bang! Live Convocation Hall, Toronto ON, May 5
Published May 06, 2016After starting out as a weekly radio show on L.A.'s Indie 103.1, Comedy Bang! Bang! has become a juggernaut throughout the world of alternative comedy, as the improv show has grown into a popular podcast and TV show. Embarking on their fourth tour in their seven-year existence, Scott Aukerman, along with guests Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins, brought droves of hip Torontonians out to the domed rotunda of Convocation Hall for the first performance (with second show added) of a two-night stand.
Opening the show was Comedy Bang! Bang! TV show writer and podcast regular Neil Campbell. Performing for the half-filled auditorium, Campbell's brief set was as strange, ambitious and uproarious as one would expect from a CB!B! alumni, as Campbell mixed anti-humour jokes with a fake one-man show and an appearance from his beloved character, the Time Keeper.
After giving Campbell a rousing response, the crowd was greeted by host Aukerman, who started off the live podcast taping with an rare lengthy monologue that gave a fresh angle to the typical border guard trope. Bringing out his fist guest, Cake Boss (played by Tompkins), the two comedians played off each other gorgeously, riffing on how Cake Boss was originally in Toronto to make a "cake casket" for Rob Ford, while demonstrating just how comfortable the two former Mr. Show cast members have become with each other.
Joining the duo onstage was substitute teacher Mizz Chips (Lapkus), who arrived to explain how she was sexually harassed by a student outside the auditorium, but the trio seemed to run into a bit if trouble connecting with the audience, as Lapkus came off uncharacteristically low-energy and unsure of where to take her character. It wasn't until Aukerman brought out the night's special guest, Tim Baltz, that Lapkus started to find her footing, as his character, a Willy Wonka-type chocolatier, began flirting with Mizz. Chips and Lapkus's character started to become hilariously sexual and needy, bringing the crowd to laugh elatedly at their exceedingly manic personalities.
Although the tour is only into its first week, Aukerman and company delivered a near-flawless and cocksure performance, giving the Toronto crowd a look into the weird and fanatically popular universe that Comedy Bang! Bang! has built.