Los Angeles comedian Scott Aukerman announced this week that he’s retiring the live standup show he’s produced for the past 10 years, Comedy Bang Bang (formerly Comedy Death-Ray). No need to fear, though — Comedy Bang Bang will live on through Aukerman’s IFC TV series and podcast of the same name.
Comedy Bang Bang has been the hot underground (though increasingly less so) comedy show in L.A. for years, finding a home at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for the last seven-and-a-half years and being a key piece of the alternative comedy scene. UCB will continue producing weekly Tuesday standup shows, but without Aukerman at the helm.
He’s going out with a bang (puns!): A last show at UCB on Tuesday, Nov. 27, followed by his annual Comedy Bang Bang Nativity Pageant featuring a cavalcade of comedians at the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre. Tickets aren’t cheap, running $45 for the upper level and $75 for the lower level, but the money goes to a good cause, benefiting the L.A. Regional Food Bank.
Comedians at that holiday show include Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Aziz Ansari, Paul F. Tompkins and a huge number of other hilarious people.
Aukerman had mentioned the possibility of ending the show before, including in a June interview with the Huffington Post.
“Every single year I’ve tried to convince myself that I should stop doing it because it’s so much work, and every single Tuesday for the past 10 years, I haven’t been able to do anything on Tuesdays. But I get to see great comedy every week. It helped me enormously with this TV show. I’m around all the funny people, and I didn’t just disappear like a lot of writers do when they get a steady paycheck coming in,” Aukerman said.
Aukerman has come a long way, serving as a writer on HBO’s “Mr. Show” before staring Comedy Death-Ray at M Bar in Hollywood. The show became a phenom that big name comedians wanted to play and work out their material at before a community of devoted fans, who usually sold the shows out within minutes of them going on sale. Tickets have still remained $5 after all these years.
He turned it into a radio show on L.A.’s Indie 103, focusing on improvised characters, before turning it into a podcast and later an entire podcast network. It ultimately came to life as a TV show on IFC.
Along with the TV show, Aukerman has said he’s also been working on a movie, and whatever other projects Aukerman moves toward next, there’s a passionate fanbase ready to follow him there.