Comedy Bang! Bang! and Orphan Black are obviously two shows that don’t have a lot in common—other than being Emmy eligible, that is—but the bridge between the two has ended up being shorter than one would assume. Orphan Black stars/Comedy Bang! Bang! fans Tatiana Maslany and Kristian Bruun have both been on the podcast, with the former even playing a character and the latter popping up again on the Comedy Bang! Bang! live show. Unfortunately, that has not led to either of them being on the show yet, but “T-Pain Wears A Shredded Jeans And A Printed Shirt” makes up for that with its own approach to the wonderful world of cloning.
What at first feels like a “being in two places at once” storyline for Scott Aukerman—which the show pulled off pretty well in a previous episode—quickly turns into Comedy Bang! Bang!’s attempt at fringe science-meets-magic with the introduction of a cloning machine. As expected in such scenarios, the Scott Aukerman clones each have different hair styles, outfits, and accents; and conveniently, they’re also pretty similar (despite any character development) to Orphan Black’s clones.
But as this is the world of Comedy Bang! Bang! and all things narcissistic, multi-millionaire playboy Scott Aukerman, this Orphan Black scenario is not so much one of constant fear and danger as it is the clones being used as slave labor for the “original” Scott himself. Because why deal with all that fear and danger when you have a bunch of clones? You can just have them all go shopping, sign things, fold laundry, and form a barbershop quartet for you. “T-Pain Wears A Shredded Jeans And A Printed Shirt” realizes that, just like it realizes that Alison Hendrix’s style really suits Scott Aukerman well.
At the same time, for such a high concept framing device, it’s that decision to make Scott’s use for the clones so inconsequential (despite “Weird Al”’s early protestations about technology) that actually makes the entire episode even more relaxed than expected. To describe the episode in the form of a character, it’s basically the hidden, lazy, original Scott of Comedy Bang! Bang! episodes. It’s certainly the calmest episode in recent memory, despite the recipe for madness that the entire clone concept (especially the T-Pain/fly hybrid) creates.
Both of the episode’s guests add to that more relaxed nature of the episode too. First of all, as the celebrity guest, T-Pain actually works surprisingly well in this episode. He’s not exactly the best actor—and really, no one was expecting that of T-Pain—but at the same time, he’s given very good material to work with and constantly comes across as truly getting what Comedy Bang! Bang! is all about. T-Pain’s work in this episode is comparable to Schoolboy Q’s in season four, though T-Pain is far more game to get weird as a result of his comfort with the format, as opposed to relaxing too much with the role. He’s also not afraid to play the fool during bits, whether it’s his vendetta against “Weird Al,” his SoundLoud headphones, or the new hit song “Bleep Bloop Blap.”
T-Pain’s “It’s really that easy” button to that particular bit is a delightfully self-aware one-liner—
—and his “Oh, hi. Didn’t hear you come in.” is perhaps T-Pain’s greatest moment of “getting” Comedy Bang! Bang! and weird humor, in general.
Surprisingly, Horatio Sanz’s role as alien abductee Melvin Alberts also isn’t a very big character and is probably the most low-key Sanz character to hit either version of Comedy Bang! Bang! But he’s one of those characters where you can tell just how much Scott and the celebrity guest can barely keep their laughter in, and that can often make certain bits even funnier. Weirdly specific moments like the fact that the aliens “look like light bulbs” or that the probing wasn’t all anal from the very beginning make the story of Melvin Alberts’ abduction work as it escalates to pure madness, but it’s really all in the execution and reactions that make it as funny as it is. The segment is pretty much a “you had to be there” moment in its humor, which also kind of speaks to how inaccessible Comedy Bang! Bang!’s humor can be at times.
The most “intensity” that actually comes from this episode is in the form of “Weird Al”’s Real Food out-of-studio bit. But that’s to be expected, as “Weird Al” channels the spirit of easy target Guy Fieri—much like a previous Comedy Bang! Bang! bit. Moments like his musical introductions (that Scott just can’t help but boogie to) are already proving the man’s worth in the bandleader role (“There’s a fine line between T-Pain and T-Pleasure”), but it’s a segment like this that really shows off how his weirdness fit’s Comedy Bang! Bang!’s style like a glove. And, as simple as the particular twist is, his hunt for “REAL FOOD” is just what this episode needs.
Well, that and more of this:
“Scott, you’ve heard of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr., right?”
On second thought, “T-Pain Wears A Shredded Jeans And A Printed Shirt” might just be a “great ep” for that line alone.
- Scott’s Onscreen Credit: Hey Rastaman. Really, all the dreadlocked (Cosima, obviously) version of Scott needed was this as his official theme.
- The Orphan Black episode also being the one with the “Emmy eligible” joke is kind of sad when you think about it.
- Scott: “You know what? I saw the first third of a dino park movie about this. It was neat stuff.” It’s really amazing nothing bad actually comes out of this story. Scott even manages to get The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on blu-ray because of all of these shenanigans.
- When it comes to T-Pain, apparently Scott’s hypothetical “How am I gonna lay down this beat?” is the equivalent of the “any pranks on set”/”balance work and family” question.
- “Bleep Bloop Blap” is way too catchy.
- Comedy Bang! Bang! has never met an on-the-nose joke (in the best way possible, of course) it didn’t like, as the leading expert in the clone field is “Dr.” D.N.Ay M.D.
- In keeping with the Orphan Black theme, Melvin Alberts speaks of his time suffering from “Helsinki” Syndrome with the aliens.
- The true original Scott confuses “Weird Al” for Reggie, and then just refers to him as “Alf.” Understandable.