Friday, July 12th, 2013

The 11 Best 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' Characters and Impersonations

And so here we are, the day of the second season premiere of Comedy Bang! Bang!, the television show based on the funny podcast and former live showcase of the same name. Scott Aukerman and company have managed to take the successful, idiosyncratic style of humor from one medium to another, so much so that IFC is trusting them to put twenty new episodes on the air this season, twice as many as last year. But while some of the characters and impersonations have found their way to the small screen, the element of letting the listener's imagination run wild along with the routines, not to mention the much more room for improvisation, are important things unique to the podcast, which despite Hot Saucerman's crowded schedule continues to release a new episode at least once a week.

The following list is an acknowledgment of the many hours of entertainment these fictional and warped mimicries of men and women have given the listeners of the over four year old podcast, in alphabetical order.

Diner Marshall Al Daniels, a.k.a. Bob, a.k.a. Derek

Sounds a Lot Like: Eddie Pepitone
Appearance: "Hologram Toes" (8/15/11)

Pepitone's one other appearance on the podcast as impotent dock worker Tommy Malone was another fun time, but the Bitter Buddha's portrayal of a "Diner Marshall" who frequented diners throughout the country to look for any terrorist activity was one of the few times surrealism and grit ever mixed. The bizarre nature of Pepitone's world weary voice asking Aukerman and guest Patton Oswalt if he was in a diner and his subsequent explanation of his job to begin the bit would have almost been enough for inclusion on this list alone; all of the improved landmines that Aukerman and Oswalt threw in front of Pepitone for him to gleefully step on and progress the bit with (losing his legs…to diabetes in the process, which will happen if you gain 650 pounds) made it a classic.

Don Dimelo

Sounds a Lot Like: Andy Daly
Appearances: "That's One Way of Doing It" (12/20/10); "Somethin' For Daddy!" (4/4/11); "Highly Illogical" (6/4/12); "Halfway to China" (2/11/13)

Andy Daly's Dom Dimelo is a theatrical director that continually sinks to the lowest common denominator in his shows, insisting on women of very little, if any dress, and always for some reason in a traditionally very innocent production – Beauty and the Beast was ruined for many after Dimelo got through with explaining his version. The character is just so over-the-top repugnant and unabashedly perverted for it to work. In his initial appearance, Daly's character claimed to be from another dimension.

Bob Ducca

Sounds a Lot Like: Seth Morris
Appearances: "The Premiere of Bob Ducca" (2/5/10); "The Party's Still Raging" (4/30/10); "Go Rent Delgo!" (5/28/10); "Welcome to Earwolf!" (8/5/10); "Family Matters" (12/5/10); "That's One Way of Doing It" (12/20/10); "Can I Catch a Ride?" (3/21/11); "2011 Holiday Spectacular" (12/19/11); "Live from SXSW 2012" (3/19/12)

As you can tell from his appearance list, Bob Ducca was an early breakout character, so much so that he starred in his own podcast Affirmation Nation. The ex-stepfather of Aukerman reading off his list of ailments is funny no matter how many times you hear it, thanks to Seth Morris' delivery and understanding of the most allergic, and/or sufferer of hypochondria and/or delusional character in the podcast universe.


Sounds a Lot Like: Bobby Moynihan
Appearances: "Time Bobby" (3/26/12); "Time Bobby 2" (4/22/13)

Fourvel is a street urchin with the occasional compulsions to utter impressively foul language and commit cold blooded murder. Naturally, his two appearances were with Paul F. Tompkins' Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber to convey a Dickensian milieu to systematically destroy. The inherit danger in his appearances constantly propels the unraveling story, and the lisp and accent is really funny, especially when Fourvel acquiesces to one of the show's running gags by starting a sentence with "It's been" just like the Barenaked Ladies.

Werner Herzog

Sounds a Lot Like: Paul F. Tompkins
Appearances: "Ride Like Hell" (8/27/12); "The Pancake Man" (12/3/12); "Two Thumbs & Not Much Else" (7/8/13)

There are so many great "Werner Herzog is a strange, strange man" stories, but the best one has to be when it was revealed that before the German director was asked to appear on The Simpsons, he had never heard of the show1 Paul F. Tompkins has been the most frequent guest on the show by far with 60 appearances (James Adomian is second with 34), but his finest work comes as Herzog, utilizing his gift of language to nail Werner's penchant of succinctly conveying the brutal harshness of existence. Bonus points for being the first person using a fake German accent to not shout.

Hot Dog

Sounds a Lot Like: Andy Daly
Appearances: "Dip Didda Dip Dow!" (2/28/11)

After Aukerman had greeted listeners for many months with "What's up Hot Dog?", Andy Daly arrived as a man with incredibly muscular thighs named Hot Dog. Like most Daly characters, Hot Dog would eventually reveal himself to be suicidal and ridiculously complex. The man's ongoing insistence that he was worthy to join Sha Na Na, in 2011, only for both Ben Schwartz and Aukerman to out doowop him, was funny enough. Then he downplayed other aspects of his life like his son repeatdly getting kidnapped, and the material just got richer and richer from there. The depressing coda to the story was when all of Daly's characters defenestrated themselves in one insane five minute sequence.

Huell Howser

Sounds a Lot Like: James Adomian
Appearances: "These Times They Are A-Changin'" (5/2/11); "2011 Holiday Spectacular" (12/19/11); "A Different Huelliverse" (1/24/13)

Huell Howser was a famous television personality in California, but really only California, making Adomian's lovingly weird homage to the man the first time most people had any idea who Howser was, and confusing some into thinking it was a fictional character. Howser in real life enthusiastically traversed the lands of the Golden State, but Adomian's Howser would travel through multiple Earths and dimensions. Adomian's last appearance as Howser was of one as a ghost, assuring the listening audience that he was living on because now that he was dead he was "everywhere," and other beautiful sounding thoughts on existence that usually in comedy are connected to Bill Hicks.

George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon

Sounds a Lot Like: John Mulaney and Nick Kroll
Appearances: "Maybe It's Maybelline" (6/6/11); "Series Regulars" (9/3/12)

Mulaney and Kroll's characters recently got some air time on Kroll Show, and trheir characters made their premiere on Thank You Very Cool, but St. Geegland and Faizon's unique creepiness was honed through CBB. Also, it is hard to top the "Oh Hello" guys infuriating guest Lizzy Caplan in terms of comedic entertainment. Auckerman accurately pointed out that St. Geegland and Faizon are characters out of the Coen Brothers film A Serious Man, but the two are a lot funnier with their strange version of English – "free coffee breath" comes first to mind.

Jack Sjunior and Brian Pieces

Sounds a Lot Like: Harris Wittels and Adam Scott
Appearances: "Farts and Procreation" (8/29/11); "Farts and Procreation 2" (7/9/12); "Farts and Procreation 3" (5/13/13)

Wittels and Scott played brothers-in-law who over the course of just their first appearance revealed that they had cheated on their wives with each others' wives, and were suing one another, all explained in deadpan tones. The mounting ridiculousness of the backstory is accepted because the related psychopaths treat it as if it was completely mundane.

Sappity Tappity

Sounds a Lot Like: Jon Daly
Appearance: "Comedy is Honey" (5/16/11)

Out of all of Jon Daly's somewhat abrasive characters, the drunk English roller blading pine tree is the one named Sappity Tappity. His one appearance was so memorable that it scored him his own show on Funny or Die, but sadly there has yet to be a second episode. His Tom Hanks impersonation definitely needs work.

Marissa Wompler

Sounds a Lot Like: Jessica St. Clair
Appearances: "Now Hiring Interns!" (7/2/10); "How's Your Boner?" (2/4/11); "When I Go To Queens…" (8/1/11); "Finger Guns"(4/16/12); "Anniversary Party!" (4/30/12); "New No-Nos" (7/16/12); "Motor Boating Around Town" (10/1/12); "Attack of the Shits" (11/26/12); "The 4th Anniversary Extravaganza!" (5/6/13); "4 PayDays & A Baby" (5/20/13)

Another breakout character, St. Clair plays the 15-year-old intern who always initially comes off as an obnoxious brat but becomes sympathetic when Aukerman and the guests repeatedly disgust her in some way, making it easier to want to Womp It Up upon her request. Her popularity resulted in hosting her very own Christmas special, for holiday style womping.

1He thought it was a newspaper cartoon. Simpsons producers initially assumed he was joking.

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  • MplsMikey

    Great list. There aren't many that I would add to it, except for Ice T and Garry "Please, Call Me Mr." Marshall (both Paul F. Tompkins).

    The Bob Ducca list of ailments is probably my favorite bit in the entire run of the podcast. I laugh every time I think of "puffnuckle"

  • Lyndon Gary Johnson

    No Bill Cosby-Bukowski? Fuck this list!

    • Miles Harris


    • JohnnyHotsauce

      Got a PhD from Hofstra, in raining shit down on ya face!

  • Josh Brian

    Hot tub foot. Hot tub foot? Hot tub foot.

    I would have liked to see more Paul F Tompkins on this list. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gary Marshall, Ice T, Mike the Janitor – all classic episodes. Tompkins always seems to make everyone on his episodes better. Aukerman is never better when PFT is on.

    And I've always thought Bill CosbyBukowski was Jon Daly's best character.

  • Mo Alexander

    No Cake Boss(Cake Boss)?

    • emma852

      what Gloria implied I'm impressed that someone can profit $9496 in 1 month on the internet. did you see this web page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Silly Wii Williams

    Scott Jeffries

  • Michael San Filippo

    I would include Adomian's Jesse Ventura. He's so spot-on with that accent, and Ventura's conspiracy theorism is such fertile ground for great improv.

    And how about an honorable mention for Tig's "Good One Robot?" Best one-note character ever!

  • Dylan

    No PFT! This is Outrageous!

  • Brad Fischer

    Excuse me, but iBrain by Brett Gelman is the single funniest skit on this podcast. I suggest listening to it ASAP. Or any episode with Gelman for that matter.

    • jetouellet

      That was as himself, not a character.

  • CrashDavis81

    How on Earth did Bill Cosby Bukowski miss the list?

  • Utah_Gance


    • Not food or Little Gary

      He hasn't been on in two years and he's still the best. I AM NOT FOOD!

  • josue

    great list, but, if you've heard every comedy bang bang episode, you'll know that there are countless great, funny characters. maybe it's just me, but for me, comedy bang bang has way too many good, funny characters to be listed

  • Bingo Little

    There were a lot more Huell appearances than listed, right?

  • ealaspada

    Yeah! No Cake Boss?! Or Chupacabra?! Or August Lindt?!

    • mia

      Chupacabra, Goat, old man Juarez and el baby!

  • http://www.dailyhaggis.com/ Sean Loyless

    What the fuck. Where is Little Gary?

    • Hayden Maxwell


  • mattspiegler

    Good List, but one MAJOR, INEXPLICABLE oversight: Li'l Gary. Seriously. One of the defining characters and a fan favorite for a long time back in the day. Some of Thomas Lennon's finest work.

  • Francis Rizzo III

    Most of this list should be PFT characters, namely Werner Herzog, Garry Marshall, Cake Boss and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I would listen to a weekly Herzog podcast.

    I don't know if I'd include a single one of her characters, but Lauren Lapkus deserves recognition for her recent body of work. Episode 180, with Gillian Jacobs, Garry Marshall and Tracy the college senior, is amazing.

    Admonian's insane Phillip Seymour Hoffman is also up there.

  • CashRulez

    Maybe it's just me but i'd replace Jack SJunior, Brian Pieces and Sappity Tappity with Lil Gary and Chupacabra!

    And MAYBE IT'S JUST ME but this is a great list! The Pepitone ep is criminally underrated!


  • Nate

    Thumbs up to the need for Li'l Gary, Jesse Ventura and el Chupacabra, as well as an additional PFT mention, probably for Cake Boss.

    Matt Besser's Bjork probably deserves some sort of honorable mention, if only for "pulled Bjork sandwich" . . .

    • http://toomuchnick.com Nick

      My favorite moment in the entire series is Bjork asking to fart into Ben Schwartz's pussy.

  • A.N.T.

    Maybe it's just me, but for me, Cake Boss (Cake Boss!) should be on this list.

    • A.N.T.

      Also, go ahead and move Huell Howser into the #1 position. Funniest Adomian character.

  • Miles Harris

    Come on no Bill Cosby Bukowski! "Now Cockroach, tongue kiss my son"

  • cbblove


  • Doyle Lundquist

    what a joke bill cosby bukowski with nick swardson is the best episode of all time period.

  • HitDog

    Good job, Splitsider, now you've given CBB Paul Giamatti another reason to hate himself.

  • JohnnyHotsauce

    Now Cockroach, shake ya shit around…

  • GershMershTersh

    Glad to see Melissa Wompler made the list. An honorable mention should go to Nancy Cooper and any Lauren Lapkis character.

  • Z Ghouse

    Peppitone's Diner Marshall and Andy Daly's Hot Dog definitely came to mind. Glad you guys included the Diner Marshall, that was an earlier episode and he only had one appearance but damn that was absolutely hilarious.

  • Lisa Flosznik

    The combination of Fourval with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is amazing. PFT is one of the most talented comedians to appear on the show and coupled with Bobby (who I hope will do other characters) is phenomenal.

  • Rick

    In the same vain of Fourvel i love Paul F. Thompson as Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as FRYVAULT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeevVXjA-fc

  • Huell Howser

    I've only seen the first two seasons on Netflix, and I've never actually seen Huell Howser do anything, but that was hands down the funniest thing I've seen on that whole show.

    That isn't to say the rest isn't funny, just the Huell part literally made me sprinkle a little piss in my pants.

  • jabuchan08

    This is a newer one, but Bever Hopox and Chico hands had me laughing my a** off. Who knew that grotesque and brutal animal cruelty could be so funny.

  • NotPaulRust

    Who could forget Superego's Jeremy Carter and Matt Gourley as Paul F. Tompkins' grandmas? You could do an entire Top 10 list just between PFT and James Adomian's characters. Shoutout to Tim Heidecker for blurring the lines between comedy and reality.