JFL42 Review: 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' Conjures Improvised Joy Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Toronto ON, September 20

JFL42 Review: 'Comedy Bang! Bang!' Conjures Improvised Joy Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Toronto ON, September 20
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Capping off a couple of busy days at JFL42, including staging his Threedom podcast with Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins, and promoting his Between Two Ferns: The Movie with a screening and Q&A, Scott Aukerman brought it all home with a remarkably funny live taping of his Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast.
 
After some brief and amusing remarks to warm up the audience and mangle the name Toronto, Aukerman introduced his first guest, Traci Reardon (Lapkus), and the two had a good, long, improvised chat that delved into her teenaged, hormonal energy. Reardon's naiveté was eventually overtaken by the know-it-all confidence of aquatic treasure hunter, Brock Lovett (Tompkins) and, even just hearing his bizarre voice for the first time set Aukerman off.
 
The three ingenious improvisers let their characters run wild (Tompkins is such a charismatic, committed, and compelling comedian, he elevates anything he's in), fuelling it all with their unmistakable camaraderie and trust in each other.
 
Aukerman had promised a special musical guest at the outset of the show and when he introduced Memphis Kansas Breeze, the house shook with appreciation. Brantley Aldean (Drew Tarver) and Harland Haywood (Carl Tart) were greeted like the country-rock stars they are, singing their disturbing love songs to trucks and, when asked for clarification by Lovett, explaining why so many of their songs are punctuated by the words "honk," "toot" and "beep."
 
It's still a marvel, what kind of joy Comedy Bang! Bang! conjures with the barest of structure or plans and the spirit of these performers was infectious, sending all of us in the audience into hysterics. Hopefully they return to Toronto sometime soon.