Zach Galifianakis is Funny
I can't see host Scott Aukerman without thinking of Mr. Show with Bob and David, the anarchic old HBO sketch comedy show, but kids these days probably know him for his work on the Funny or Die series, Between Two Ferns. So it's appropriate that his first guest is the host of that show, Galifianakis, whose oddball wit and air of constantly seething hostility suit Aukerman's chat show perfectly. Aukerman goads him like a pro, listing a group of grossly overweight, mostly dead comedians, and ending with Zach's name, in lieu of an actual question. They're not all dead, Aukerman points out: "Fat Albert is still with us."
The show is a mix of sketches and improvised talk show segments, and in the pilot, the talk parts outshone the written material. A hidden camera segment called "Tsk! Tsk! Attaboy!," catches people in Primetime: What Would You Do?-type situations, such as seeing someone drop their wallet on the street. CB!B! elevated the concept to new heights of self-congratulatory absurdity, but this material still feels stale. Another segment where Aukerman leaves the building to go put money in the meter, stepping into a post-apocalyptic dystopia where he refuses to help a futuristic freedom fighter (Gillian Jacobs of Community) also felt forced.
The Life of the Party
I have longtime friends who used to work at Chicago City Limits in New York, so I know Andy Daly is an ace improviser. He proved it with his guest spot as Danny Mahoney, a man trying to start a business by hiring himself out as "The Life of the Party." His act consists of starting a "Congo" line, and bringing along a boombox, and a bag of "D" batteries. Daly was sharp enough to get Galifianakis chuckling -- always a good sign. His appearance was a highlight of the show.
The Hero Pilot Who Was Neither
When I see Will Forte, I think of Saturday Night Live, which is never a good thing. Forte was fine here, though, as a "hero pilot" who turns out to be a mental patient who landed his plane at a shopping mall while stalking his ex-girlfriend. It's fun to see the other guests, some in character, join in the Q&A. Thomas Lennon, as the cartoonishly French-accented sommelier of the show, took a weak concept much further than it had any business going. This was a throwaway gag, at best.
Aukerman and musical director Reggie Watts are both fun, affable screen presences, and they could build up a decent rapport. I'd certainly watch this show again to find out if they do.
-Reggie sings the song he wrote about Scott.
-Scott's opening "question" to Galifianakis.
"He hasn't died in the cartoon universe yet."
-Scott points out that Fat Albert, unlike the others on his list, is still "alive."
"Oh, God. I was just imagining if dogs could talk."
-Galifianakis explains his thoughtful chuckling in response to a question.
"It's a great way to get people to touch each other's hips. I don't know of any better way to get a group of people touching each other's hips than a "congo" line."
-Mahoney explains his "Life of the Party" methods.