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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Kevin Smith Wears A Hockey Jersey And Jean Shorts”

Illustration for article titled iComedy Bang! Bang!/i: “Kevin Smith Wears A Hockey Jersey And Jean Shorts”
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As the Hill sisters famously wrote, “Happy birthday.” It is host Scott Aukerman’s birthday and the gang pulls out some of the stops to celebrate. Aukerman is looking fantastic for 28, but you know what they say, the camera adds 16 years. “Kevin Smith Wears A Hockey Jersey And Jean Shorts” forgoes interstitials and focuses entirely on Aukerman, Watts, the two guests, and some farm animals. It all works and is a welcome return to form after tripping in last week’s Thanksgiving episode.

Reggie forgets Scott’s birthday, but grabs a teamster’s half-bagel and cigarette to make up for it. Touched by the gesture, Aukerman makes a classic birthday request, to have Steve Wonder, the “blind piano-playing man,” to play the love theme from Mulan. Watts agrees and we have the episode’s conceit. Aukerman is serenaded, and I hope “birthdays are for people and sometimes they’re for Scott” becomes an annual staple.

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After Watts sets up a classic rusty nail/birthday pin joke, Aukerman welcomes professional gabber Kevin Smith, bedecked in his now trademark Fatman On Batman jersey and jorts. Who’s trolling who, America? Say what you will about Kevin Smith (which is usually a lot), but the man is good on a mic. He’s in his element here, trading some of the season’s best one-liners with Aukerman:

  • Smith: “I’m afraid of erections”
    Aukerman: “Do you mind Chinese elections?”
  • Aukerman: “My favorite musician is on the show tonight!”
    Smith: “Bruce Willis?”
  • Smith: “Pillow, pillow, pillow! You had one job!”

Although I was hoping for a 20-minute Chasing Amy parody, “Kevin Smith Wears A Hockey Jersey And Jean Shorts” focuses mostly on Smith’s love of comic books and gutter sense of humor. The comic book bit works just fine, but isn’t particularly groundbreaking. Far better is Smith’s birthday present to Aukerman, a “not so evil petting zoo.” The running commentary from Smith as Aukerman dismisses various horse-like animals (“Are you shitting me? That’s the first donkey!”) is hilarious. Smith’s energy is perfect. Even the mule seemed into it. Great performances all around.

The next guest is nationally renowned volunteer Whitney Peeps, played by Orange Is The New Black’s Lauren Lapkus. Peeps talks like a baby and slowly reveals that she, in fact, volunteered only once, in order to be entered into a raffle, and then became a prostitute. Comedy Bang! Bang!, despite its name, sometimes moves slowly, with more premise jokes than snappy dialogue. “Kevin Smith Wears A Hockey Jersey And Jean Shorts” flips that script and piles on jokes from Smith, Aukerman, and Lapkus. There are bloppy jays, hammer jammers, and Jamaican meat pies. The segment is just weird enough to be special.

Finally, it is time for Stevie Wonder. Watts blindfolds Aukerman and then decks out a donkey in sunglasses, a wig, and a tape player. Before Aukerman sniffs out the ruse, he lands the episode’s best joke, “Oh right, I forgot, you did Hee Haw” after a well-timed braying from the donkey. The Mulan song is a real thing by the way, “True To Your Heart” by 98 Degrees featuring Stevie Wonder rolled over the credits of Disney’s best China-themed film. The fact that Stevie Wonder ever recorded a song with pop sensation 98 Degrees should be enough of a present.

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“Kevin Smith Wears A Hockey Jersey And Jean Shorts” takes what Comedy Bang! Bang! does best, some absurdity, some broad jokes, some donkeys dressed up as Stevie Wonder, and crafts a wonderful birthday celebration for not-actually-28-year-old Scott Aukerman. Now where’s my cake?

Stray Observations:

  • Scott’s Onscreen Credit: Biological Clockerman
  • I hope “‘sclusey” catches on
  • Someone write a think piece on buying and dying in swimming pools
  • If “selfie” is in the dictionary, I hope “bloppy jays” make it too.
  • Lauren Lapkus has the best baby voice since Cristin Milioti on 30 Rock
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