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'Comedy Bang! Bang!' back to its live roots

Scott Aukerman, left, with Jon Hamm on “Comedy

Scott Aukerman, left, with Jon Hamm on “Comedy Bang! Bang!” Credit: Scott Aukerman, left, with Jon Hamm on “Comedy Bang! Bang!”

Perhaps the only TV format that's had as long a run as the talk show is the talk show parody.

The list includes beloved shows from Martin Mull's "Fernwood 2 Night" to SNL's "Coffee Talk" to "The Colbert Report."

IFC's "Comedy Bang! Bang!" is the latest and one of the most inventive. The show features surreal skits and offbeat interviews with celebrities like Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm as well as outlandishly fake characters.

amNewYork spoke with host Scott Aukerman as he prepared to take the show on a nationwide tour.

"Comedy Bang! Bang!" was a live comedy show before it morphed into a podcast and then a TV show. Will the tour be similar to the original incarnation? This tour is a combination of all three things. The first part of the show will be prepared material with me and whatever comedians are with me. Then we're going to show unaired clips from the TV show and end with a live version of the podcast.

Are you a fan of late-night talk shows? I grew up a severe David Letterman aficionado. I would tape it every night and watch it in the morning. But my show is taping any TV show with a host. It's inspired by late-night shows, but also "Pee Wee's Playhouse," Mr. Rogers and Jerry Springer.

Do you prefer to interview comedians as themselves or when they play characters? I like both. Famous people drop their guard when they don't have to talk about themselves. It's interesting to see them interact with fake people.[when I bring out the characters] It's a really unusual thing that you don't see on any other shows.

Who would be your dream guest to land on the show? Two people I tried to get this season were Pee Wee Herman and Chris Elliott. Neither worked out. My dream guest of all time would be David Letterman. And I say that with 100% certainty that he will never do the show.


If you go: "Comedy Bang! Bang! Live" is at the Highline Ballroom Tuesday at  8 p.m., 431 W. 16th St., 212-414-5994, $25. 

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