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Kroll Show: “Bangs”

Nick Kroll (Comedy Central)
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Tonight, four of my all-time favorite Kroll Show characters return at last for the final season: Wendy (Jon Daly) and Aspen (Nick Kroll) of Rich Dicks and Liz B (Jenny Slate) and Liz G (Kroll) of PubLIZity. Both sketches anchor another fantastic episode.


Over in argyle and pleated shorts land, the rich dicks decide to die for funsies. Aspen visits the afterlife and encounters pretty much an exact replica of himself, who is also working on a “scrurnplay.” The two Krolls have an obnoxious, generic conversation about what makes a good screenplay that I’ve honestly heard verbatim in various coffee shops throughout Los Angeles. A quick doppelgangbang—which is as awful as it sounds—inspires Aspen, waking him up from both death and writer’s block. Wendy, however, is dead.

Rich Dicks is one of those Kroll Show gems that’s brilliant in its simplicity. The ridiculous costumes and scenery details—like the poptarts and peyote served at Wendy’s “fyoon”—certainly add to the sketches, but almost all of the humor of Rich Dicks comes simply from the nonsensical inflections, abbreviations, and pronunciations of Daly and Kroll’s lines. And as if Daly and Kroll’s perfection as these characters weren’t enough to carry Rich Dicks, Amy Poehler guest stars this week as Wendy’s sister, who leaves Dubai for the special occassion of Wendy’s fyoon. She nails the extra ‘r’s that imbue the Rich Dicks vernacular, along with the misplaced emotions of these characters, when she starts crying not because of her dead brother but because she forgot her parsword ter HBR Ger.

Last season on PubLIZity, Liz B shocked with the reveal of her pregnancy. This season, it’s Liz G’s turn to shock…with bangs. It’s a perfectly boring reveal that pokes fun at just how big of a deal people make out of getting bangs. When Liz B reacts negatively to Liz G’s new do and Cassandra—wait never mind, no one gives a fuck about what Cassandra thinks—Liz G packs her go bag and says bangs voyage to the PubLIZity office.

Early on in the season, Kroll Show is already showing off the depth of its ever-growing universe, taking its established characters out of their respective sketches and inserting them into new ones. After Liz G’s dramatic exit, I sort of assumed she’d be joining one of the other worlds we’re familiar with, but the writers surprise by bringing in a whole new show for Liz G to join: Gold Diggers. When Liz G goes to a miner town looking for love—but mostly to hide her bangs until they grow out—she stumbles upon the production of Gold Diggers, a reality series about literally digging for gold, which Liz mistakes as a reality dating series. Gold Diggers introduces new characters Todd (Seth Morris) and Dusty (Jason Mantzoukas), a guy-slash-probably-murderer who keeps choosing to be on ridiculous survival shows in place of going to prison. When asked why he went to prison, Mantzoukas’s delivery of Dusty’s answer is so hilarious that I was thrilled to see Dusty pop up once again for another addition to the Kroll Show lineup: Hunt Or Gather.


Oh, Hello’s George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon also venture outside of their WOLO world for a new iteration of their prank show: Too Much Tuna: Truck Stops, Rest Stops, & Tents. After an angry trucker abandons them on the side of the road, George and Gil find themselves in an accidental crossover event with the two-man cast and crew of Hunt Or Gather. Part of the joke central to Oh, Hello is just how repetitive the Too Much Tuna prank is, but the sketch itself impressively never feels too redundant. Kroll Show gives its characters and recurring jokes room to breathe by moving the pieces around from episode to episode. “Bangs” welcomes returning characters and new ones, but it all feels fresh, like a new set of bangs (“it’s like a cleanse for like your face!”).

Stray observations:

  • “I went to hev; I met Jeez.” - Wendy, on dying
  • “Can we get you saying ‘I know I’m dumb, but I’ve never been pranked this hard’?” George St. Geegland’s ruthless bullying never disappoints.
  • I could have watched a whole sketch of the Lizes just fighting over salmon.
  • If only every office had a Crying Room.
  • Still waiting for a show called Cassandra’s Revenge.
  • The makeup and costumes for PubLIZity are always outstanding, but I think one of my favorite details has to be the plastic tumblers of iced coffee that the Lizes always have in hand. This season, Liz G trades up for a mason jar tumbler.
  • Kroll Show’s intro sequence remains one of my favorites on television, and I’m glad it looks like the Broad City-inspired title card is here to stay for the final season.
  • The episode ends with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney retelling the true story of getting Too Much Tuna’d in real life, so now feels like the appropriate time for me to share that I once Too Much Tuna’d an ex of mine at a party, and it entailed writing out a very lengthy list of instructions on a Jimmy John’s online order. George and Gil would be happy to know that it’s one of the best pranks I’ve ever pulled off.

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