Scott Aukerman is an Emmy Award-winning American writer, actor, comedian, television personality, director, producer, and podcast host. In the mid-1990s, Aukerman was a writer and performer on Mr. Show with Bob and David. He currently hosts the weekly comedy podcast Comedy Bang Bang as well as the IFC original television series Comedy Bang! Bang!. Aukerman is also the co-creator of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis & co-founder of the Earwolf podcast network.
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Host of Comedy Bang! Bang! (the TV show on IFC and podcast on Earwolf). Emmy-winning producer for "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis." Former writer/performer for "Mr. Show with Bob and David," and current writer/performer for Netflix's "With Bob and David."
Thank you all - I have to go, but I appreciate all the fun and sincere questions. Please watch the show this Thursday? I'm very excited for you all to see it.
Adam Scott did an AMA two weeks ago. When asked how you smelled, Mr. Scott said "He smells stupid" Any response?
Heynongman! Scott, I have a question that I've been very curious about for awhile now.
I want to frequent and comment on the Earwolf forums more often but most of my time spent listening to podcasts, and using the internet is from my smartphone. The Earwolf site isn't too mobile friendly and to be frank, it's difficult to navigate through. I was wondering how feasible it is for Earwolf to make a mobile app for their forums? Or at the very least make it generally a more mobile friendly site. I'd love to get more active on there!
Aside from that, I'd just like to express my deepest gratitude for your work for all things comedy, Reggie's last episode was fantastic, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Kid Cudi turns out on CBB TV. I feel like every season the show gets better and better. And also, the podcast has been unbelievable this year! It's gonna be so hard to vote on the 2015 best ofs.
And finally, if I can open up the plug bag just briefly - there is a small yet very active and super friendly subreddit here on reddit called /r/earwolf. We would be absolutely thrilled if any of the earwolf guys ever paid us a visit there!
thank you so much! I actually don't know much about how the forums or websites or business side of Earwolf works - you'd have better luck bringing this up to them directly on twitter or something! apologies.
I think Cudi's first episode is going to thrill people - i can't wait for people to see it.
and yes, i'll check out that subreddit! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
I'm very concerned that the breakout success of "Heynong man!" will overshadow the, in my opinion, greater potential of "All joking a salad". "Heynong man" may be burning bright right now but I sincerely believe that "All joking a salad" has a wider appeal and that will keep it going as a catchphrase long after "Heynong man" has gotten old.
What are your plans to ensure that "all joking a salad" is not relegated to the dust bin of history?
Look for t-shirts for both this Monday!
Are you planning on having Thomas Middleditch on as characters more often? His weird character stand-up is honestly some of the funniest anything I've ever seen. The combination of him and CBB is downright delightful.
he does a character on en episode of the TV show I just saw for the first time yesterday - it's quite weird! Would love to have him on the podcast more frequently, were he to be up for it.
Were you upset when your buddy Obama sidelined you for that other guy's podcast?
the nerve of that guy
Is there now a 100% chance that PFT's Santa will appear on the Christmas Special, you candy-ass motherfucker?
haha, yeah i think we have to, now.
I designed those shirts!
How long will you allow the closing up the plug bag theme to get?
i imagine i will get sick of it at some point and reset... but not yet!
Hey Scott you wonderfully funny human.
I was wondering would you mind sharing one of your favouite Harris stories? I totally understand if you wish not to.
Thank you so much for being so funny.
And thanks for taking the time to do this, be well!
There are so many funny stories that other people have from performing on stage with him that people shared at his memorial... luckily (I think) most of my fun stories were documented by our recordings.
I will say that when we were taking the group picture from his final Farts & Pro ep - I don't know why, but I felt like I wanted to hug him very tightly at that moment, and show him some affection. I'm glad I did, and I'm glad I can look at it.
"I'd like to say hello to Scott. I would also like to say hello to Adam Scott. I would like to say hello to my family. I'd like to say hello to my friends." Hi Scott. Is this the end of U Talkin' U2 To Me or is it still going after the new album?
it's still going.
Heynong man! Thank you for all of the free entertainment, it's gotten me through a lot of really tough days.
I know you sort of went into it the intro and I don't want to bring up any bad memories, but how close were you to never releasing Farts & Pro 4? Just want to say that it was one of the most weirdly cathartic, funny episodes I've ever heard and I'm glad you chose to put it out, though I could understand why you wouldn't.
i was going to put it out on the anniversary of his death at one point... chelsea got really mad at me, and insisted i put it out right then. She was right.
How was your recent trip to France with your ex girlfriend?
You HAVE to go... every day they have this bicycle race that the entire country watches... it's so different from the USA
Hey Scott, I have a question to ask on behalf of our mutual friend Tim Heidecker. It reads as follows : "Where the hell is the 'cast we did with @brettgelman and @jondaly?"
Tim is banned from reddit, and Brett is banned from the podcast, so I'm assuming you just trashed the episode, not wanting to assimilate yourself with such shady characters?
Thanks, love the content you put out.
this will NEVER see the light of day. Too much truth.
Which CBB joke(s) do you wish people would stop saying to you?
none - i wish the people who get mad at the people who say the jokes would chill!
Do you think the Earwolf Network would ever expand to the east coast or that there would be a sister network set up there a la Wolfpop? I love the content you guys put out a lot and it'd be cool/nice/fun/interesting if there was a NYC comedy equivalent.
yes - it's in the works.
So on UTU2TM, the bit you and Scott do when you pass the phone cable between each other; is it the hold the cord limp just out of reach thing, or is it the act like you're going to pass it to them and drop it just before they grab it thing, or is it something else entirely? I am asking for a friend.
hold out cord
don't look at it
at the last second, snatch it back
laugh your silly butt off!
As a longtime listener, I'm still profoundly sad at the passing of Harris Wittels. He out of everyone made me laugh the most – full on belly-laughs. One of my favorite podcasts was back during the CDR days when you had him, Benny Schwartz, and Sarah Silverman on, and the natural chemistry between all four of you was so apparent. Can you speak to the lasting impact Harris has on not only yourself, but to his other fellow peers in comedy? From longtime professionals like you and Sarah, to emerging comedians and writers getting into the business? Thanks for taking the time to read through everything, and god bless you, Saucerman.
it's a really interesting world where a comedian like Harris - who in previous decades would just be considered a footnote in comedy - has made such an impact in the world. He never had a TV show of his own. He never toured as a headliner. He just wrote on great TV shows, appeared on podcasts, did improv shows, wrote a book, and did twitter. But the amount of lives he's touched is huge... I am very glad people got to know him and his work, and could figure out how special he was.
Do you have any plans for extra special podcast eps when Wet Hot American Summer and With Bob and David premiere?
What's the worst thing you ever spilled all over your pants, and did it ruin them?
shit... out of my butthole
i think i washed them and they were fine?
Love everything you do. Earwolf is a constant in my life. Two questions:
When are you going to convince Zouks to start his own podcast?
Snap your fingers and have 4 people on your show all the time. Who are they? Lapkus? PFT? Adam Scott?
Again, keep doing what you do. Love every second of it.
He has one - "How Did This Get Made!" If you're talkin' "Talkin' 'Tang," then it's up to him when he gets started.
I actually like the variety of having different people all the time, but maybe Zouks, PFT, Lapkus, Adam?
Heynong Man! How you weigh?
I just went to Paris - not weighing good, bro
Hey Scott, thanks for doing this AMA! In Lauren Lapkus' AMA she said that you approached her to ask if she'd be on the show after seeing her perform live a few times, did most of the CBB-regulars join the show in this way? Obviously you've known PFT and others for awhiiiile but do you feel like you have a knack for knowing that someone would be good for the show?
Actually, I am not totally sure i ever saw Lauren perform before I asked her to be on. Maybe at one Assscat, but I actually don't think I've seen her improvise on stage. Most of the people on the podcast in the early years were people that I was booking regularly on the old CDR/CBB show at UCB back in the day. I would either see them do something onstage (like iBrain) that I thought was really funny, and ask them to do it on the show, or I just generally liked them and said they could do whatever they wanted.
For some reason, one day I asked Paul F. Tompkins if he would want to do a character instead of appear as himself, and he had never thought about that before. Weird that such an offhand, innocuous question would lead him to do something at which he's proven to be so adept.
that last sentence was a grammatical feat for me to get correct, so i'm going to end it there.
Hey Scott you always have the best AMAs thanks for doing another one!
Can you speak on how Cudi came to be the new co-host of CBB? He seems like a great fit for the show and I loved his episode last season.
we knew reggie was leaving - and were holding auditions for people to replace him. I knew I wanted something different - I didn't just want to have another comedian who did loops, or even a comedian! I was kind of looking for a woman, mainly, just because I wanted the feel to be different.
While we were doing this, Cudi was a couch guest on the show. and since we shoot the show out-of-order (they call this "block shooting"), we had actually shot Reggie's goodbye ep the previous week.
So all of this was on my mind, and when I was chatting with Cudi during the breaks, he said he was trying to get into more acting - and was grateful for the opportunity to do weird comedy, which a lot of musicians don't get to do. And he was so charismatic, and down for anything, it got me thinking he would be a good person to reach out to.
I didn't think he'd do it, since he's such a current, popular musician. But he really relished to chance to branch out. I think people are going to really dig him.
Is there a guy in your writing room who's too needy? How do you deal with that guy?
is this Hanford?
Did you and Scott see U2 at the Forum? New UTU2TM soon?
I'm interested in how/if Kid Cudi has put his on spin on the theme song. Can you tell us anything on that?
Also what time does the show air/what show does It come after?
Cudi actually wrote a NEW theme song - I'm a little nervous about it, because I was worried it was almost like changing "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" in Cheers, or something - then I realized I was being too precious about it.
I think the weird thing about when you change something is, the first time you say "That sucks!" or "That's weird!" Then the second time you see it, you can't really remember the old thing.
That's how I felt about changing the name to CBB from CDR... after two weeks, CDR felt like it was old and dumb, and CBB felt cool to me.
The first episode I watched from this new season (the one on Thursday with Michael Cera) I had JUST watched one of the Reggie episodes to QC it. So I was saying to the editors, "what's wrong with the set? What's up with these camera angles?" You know, not feeling right about the change. Then the second time I watched it, it felt right to me.
In our second season, IFC asked us to have Reggie start announcing the guests over the theme song. People were outraged. It was different! But now I can't imagine it without it.
So what I'm trying to say is - there will be some differences, but I hope people who find it weird at first will stick around to figure out that they like it after all.
i (very belatedly) got into Analyze Phish a couple weeks ago and devoured it. listened to the last ep on my way to work this morning. it's really brightened my days. of course, it also makes me so sad about harris, and i cannot imagine the loss you must feel. not to be a total downer or anything. anyhow, i guess my question is, how are you feeling about phish these days? and do you plan to ever see them again? huge earwolf fan, thank you for everything you do!
i would like to see Phish again eventually, but not this year, unfortunately.
Heynong man! I recently got in a fight with my brother cause I love Solo Bolo but he thinks there is "too much joy" in them to be really funny. I actually prefer joyful comedy over cynical comedy, but that's just me. Do you think one or the other makes for funnier or more poignant material, or do joy and pain both have an equal place in comedy?
i am kind of equally joyful and cynical in my comedy, but i can appreciate how your brother feels. some people really want dark comedy that feels like it's lashing out at the world. I get it. The CBB Tv show occasionally flirts with that, but on the whole, I try to keep it positive and joyful. But I don't think either is preferable or has more value.
Hey Choctaw, would you ever consider doing a podcast to recap/discuss Big Brother or The Bachelor(ette)?
as much as i like watching those, i unfortunately think the podcast would have limited appeal. The Hollywood Handbook guys found that out, when they stopped doing the Reality Show Show.
On an episode of Who Charted last year Kulap mentioned you were a Big Brother fan. My question is do you just watch the CBS version or have you ever tried the live feeds?
i watched the live feeds season two - i was watching live on the crazy night when everyone was drunk and partying - Dr. Will was dropping N-bombs, and that guy held a knife to that girl's throat. Was super crazy and i couldn't believe what I was watching. Now the producers have streamlined the show, and everyone is focused on gameplay, so the feeds aren't as weird, I think.
Scott, huge fan. My first experience with CBB was when I took mushrooms and someone just put it on the TV. I have never seen it before, but what happened moments after can only be described as a comedy cocoon. I was entangled in a blanket and literally could not move and not stop laughing for the next 2 hours. I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. Anyways my questions is about the Podcast, when you started comedy death ray how many people where coming to shows and how did you grow to the next level performance wise? (THE SHOW NEEDS MORE MATT BESSER!!!!)
we did CDR first at M Bar, which could hold about 175 people - then at UCB, which could maybe hold 150. Could have probably sold out at 250 a week or so, but we wanted to keep it small and intimate, because we liked the feel. I like stuff that's small and feels like it's for a small group of dedicated fans.
Has the success of any podcasts on the EarWolf network surprised you? Did you think any podcasts would be less successful than they were?
no, everything's been cool! I think most shows could be even MORE successful - i was glad Hollywood Handbook has started to raise its profile. We felt that podcasts would just get bigger and bigger, and were pleased to find out we were right.
What was the bathroom situation like at the White House? I imagine it's more like a country B&B than a commercial thing, a unisex room with just a stool and a sink, maybe carpet? Thanks.
I took pics - i seem to remember they had soaps with the presidential seal on them. but yeah, it kind of felt like a bathroom out of the 1960's - i wanted to take pics to remember it.
Hey Scott, I'm a huge fan of you and everything Earwolf. When is Weirder Scott coming back?
Seriously tho, is there anything you're still really focused on achieving during your career? You got a TV show, have Earwolf, worked with Obama before Marc maróne, any other things/dreams you got your eye on?
Also, when is the new ep of you talking U2 to me dropping?
would love to direct a movie!
would love to make a CBB movie, actually.
Who were you more scared of on Mr. Show, Bob or David?
Whatever happened to your relationship to VPN? I love those video episodes of the podcast! Especially with GILLY!
i think they went under!
Will the CBB podcast change with the new theme song as well?
i don't believe so!
Heynong Man! If your career were to end today (which we all hope it won't, of course), what would you consider to be the highlight(s) of your career?
Mr Show / Comedy Bang Bang / Between Two Ferns / meeting Pee-wee
Mr. Soccermom, great to meet you. Would you ever consider doing a Solo Bolo with PFT other than the Best Ofs? Listening to your bromance on the air is honestly one of the best parts of the show, and if you guys did a Solo Bolo spin-off it would be massive.
Second question, if you so choose to answer, how did you feel about welcoming Michael Ableson on the show? I'm sure many fans (like myself) have always wanted to be on CBB, and he got to live out the dream. What was it like going in blind with someone you didn't even know would be funny or not?
Would love to do a regular or semi-regular pod with PFT... but where could we both find the time, around CBB and SPONT?
It's always dicey doing a show with ANYONE I haven't met... Michael was a joy and really delivered.
Are we going to get an entourage movie recap on the podcast anytime soon?
i think that ship has sailed...
What/Who is your favorite recurring character as of late?
All jokes a salad, what advice would you give someone moving out to L.A. and trying to be a part of this great scene/show business in general?
just move - ninety percent of the people never do.
I love the eps of the podcast with musical guests. Who's the musical artist you want get on the podcast the most?
you know what - i just ran into a weird situation yesterday, where a band who really wants to be on the show was told by their record company that they would have to own the rights to the podcast in perpetuity if they sang any songs... i hope record labels don't go down this route - I mean, if you appeared on The Tonight Show, would you insist on owning that episode? Anyway, record lables will be turning their backs on the fastest growing promotional tool if they start mucking around with trying to clamp down on podasts. but that's just my two-hundredths of a dollar!
what do you think of london mate/any brit comedians you'd like to have on the show?
London was so cool... they have these tennis matches every day that everyone in the country watches... so different from the USA
Will you be acting in "With Bob and David"?
I'm in one episode, yes!
Scott! Long time listener first time AMAer,
Has anyone who's been impersonated on the tv show or podcast ever reached out to you?
yes, someone's agent reached out and wanted them to come on and do a show with the person who impersonated them. I declined.
When James Adomian did his Slavoj Zizek impression, it seemed like you weren't on board with the character. I know you were able to convince Horatio not to do the "Cum Tissue Carl" character, so my question is do you have any sort of strategy for guiding your guest's away from characters you aren't sure will work as part of the podcast?
i don't really recall the specifics of that ep or charac, but i try to guide all characters into having forward progress, or a simple identifiable "game" - sometimes characters can just be weird, or quirky, without an idea behind it, and that can peter out quickly.
Hello to my favorite Time Bobby!
Have you ever had a particular guest on the pod/show that was very difficult to get in contact with? Was it worth the effort?
I tried for years to get Paul Reubens on, and it paid off in spades!
Have you ever watched a single episode of Parks and Recreation?
every single episode!
Hi Scott! I just read Secret Wars Journal #3 and loved the story you wrote. The line, "Hulk smash puny Honda Civic" made me laugh out loud. Do you have any plans to write more for Marvel?
thank you! That was a thrill. Well, I would love to if i had time, or if they wanted me to - I haven't received any kind of request for a follow up story yet, but they know how busy i am and how long it took me to finish that one. But yeah - i'd love to do something larger some day - maybe a run of issues? The trouble is fitting it in around my other (frankly, more well-paying) work.
Love the Show and the Podcast Scott!! I was wondering since the show has been on a while now, have any of the guests ever come in with their own bits and you guys riff from that or do you usually have to write for most of the show?
B-B-B-ONUS QUESTION: Where the hell is the cast you did with Tim Heidecker, Jon Daly and Bret Gelman?
Sometimes people will come in with a bit - Michael Cera came in with the Angry Birds bit from Season one. And Mark Duplass came in with the gun bit from this season. And Joseph Gordon-Levett came up with the idea of the hitRECord bit from his episode. But most of the "celebrity" guests come on and just do whatever we ask of them.
The character guests, of course, for the most part, are improvising stuff they come in with. Sometimes they'll be working off an outline that we provide.
Who gets higher on the set (if at all), Kid "Scott" Cudi or Reggie "Reginald" Watts? Also, will Kid Cudi make a new theme song for the TV show? Thanks in advance, Scotty Aucks
i believe Reggie? But since I wasn't invited to partake with either, I'm not sure.
and yes, Cudi made a new theme song!
Heynongman! Are there any plans to branch out into television shows that are more improv based like the podcast and live shows?
we talked at one point about doing a CBB after-show that would have more of a feel of the podcast - sort of like a Charlie Rose type show with characters. But we decided to do 40 episodes of CBB instead. Might be fun? I've always liked how the podcast gives you the straight-improv nothing-is-planned type feel, and the tv show is more produced.
Hi Scott! Huge fan of the show and the podcast, thanks for doing this AMA.
What was your favourite comedy growing up? How did it shape your sense of humor?
i think those were my touchstones all throughout high school. Letterman made me sarcastic and appreciate weird humor. Pee-wee made me appreciate joy in artistic expression. Steve Martin taught me about irony, joke writing and timing. Monty Python taught me about performance and wordplay. SNL made me appreciate how to do characters without worrying about them being accurate - just find the funny. Douglas Adams was a super smart MF.
Scottrick my dear boy!
How ever did you get into writing a comic?
Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn (writers of Deadpool) asked me to write the short story for DP 250. and i guess Marvel liked it, because they asked me to write the Secret Wars story. Was very honored to have been asked.
Any plans to tour again, or still don't have time while working on the show?
i want to tour next year -when season five premieres. look for it in March or April or May.
Where do you go - or what do you like to do - to unwind after a really long day?
watch tv and read comic books and listen to music!
Hey Scott! Will you have Tatiana Maslany on the podcast? All joking a salad, maybe in SDCC.
she wants to do it - i want her to do it - but WHEN????
Whats up hotdog, it's been a while. My wife has a question for you: how are Loudon Wainwright III's sales doing almost a year after receiving the CBB bump?(underrated episode should have been in the best of )
i haven't seen him since! It kind of hurts that the song he picked for CBB fans to buy actually wasn't on iTunes.
1) Do you have plans to do any other podcasts? Personally I'd love to hear you and Ben Schwartz talk musicals.
2) Would you be willing to do a live show in the UK? I'd be willing to pay every penny to see a live show (disclaimer: I'm only worth £11)
would love to do something more with Ben, but probably will have to be just CBB for now.
Really want to do stuff in the UK! Maybe next year?
Hey Scott, longtime caller, first time listener, second time dog, wanted to say "THANKS" and ask a few Q's, or "Questions" as we call them here on Reddit.
How do you find writers? Like, do you get sent funny stuff from random people? Is it through friends, agencies? I'm a writer and I've just always felt like I have no idea where to go to submit to places I want to work at or people I want to work for.
I've never seen you naked
In the upcoming season of CBB! what can we expect from the cast and crew? Is it more of the same "comedy" or is it new, fresh social commentary?
as far as writers go - most of the staff are people with whom i've worked for a long time. Neil Campbell, our head writer, is one of my former students and someone whose work I admired when he first got here and started performing.
As far as getting work, it depends on what kind of show you want to write for. But whatever that is, you can't go wrong with just writing something and showing it to friends; getting feedback. Eventually something will come of that. (Putting it up live? One of your friends sending it to an agent? A performer reading it and liking it? Who knows)
How is #1 not being the leading man in Oklahoma! at PCPA Theatrefest!?
haha, were you there?
Compliment: Scott, I've likened a lot of C.B.B. to a live action Space Ghost Coast to Coast. I quite enjoy your brand of humor there.
Question: How do you create an "off the cuff" feeling to what appears to be really intentioned writing on the show? Are you asking guests to act out lines, going off improv queues, or is it simply good people acting organically and then edited around that?
we improv a lot, so hopefully that adds to the feel. i knew i wanted the show to be different from previous, more totally-scripted, fake talk shows. So i would say the show is about 30-40 percent improv.
This is more of an observation than a question, but has it struck you that the TV show is very reminscent of the podcast/radio show when it first started when it comes to the integration of the guests, in that they have a very short 5-10 min. segment that is somewhat planned but can veer off a bit into a tangent? I just find it really interesting to go back and hear, say, Brett Gelman as Billy Crystal, and the format is essentially idenitcal to that as if he were to come on the TV show with the same bit.
yeah i think you need to have that structure in the TV show - since we're trying to pack so much into every second. when there isn't enough forward momentum with a bit (when it's just character quirks), we usually try to do a second take, and have the characters trying to come on the show to accomplish something. It's weird because in TV you can acheive so much more in a shorter amount of time - something longer can seem aimless.
Scott! I am a huge fan of your show. Like many others, Time Bobby 2 is my favorite episode. How did you guys come up with that, and how did you keep it together throughout the whole thing?
in the first Time Bobby, Bobby (Moynihan) had the basic idea of Fourvel, but we didn't know anything about him or where he would go. That's the cool thing about not planning what's going to happen on the podcast - it can end up in such weird places you would never expect.