To celebrate today’s release of the 500th episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Daily Beast posted a great new oral history of the show and its journey from live show to podcast to TV show on IFC. The oral history features quotes from Scott Aukerman, Andy Daly, Lauren Lapkus, Paul F. Tompkins, Jason Mantzoukas, James Adomian, Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parham, Jon Gabrus, Paul Scheer, and many more. “This show has meant so much to me over the years—not just as a performer but as a fan. It has provided me with so much joy. Like, real joy. Especially being in that studio,” Tompkins says in the piece. “I count the hours that I have spent in that studio at Earwolf among the happiest in my life. I have laughed so much and formed so many great relationships in that room. It has had an immeasurable impact on my life.” Here’s an excerpt from the end of the oral history, where Aukerman, Parham, St. Clair, Mantzoukas, and Kulap Vilaysack ponder the idea of a post-Aukerman Comedy Bang! Bang!:
Parham: I hope [Scott] will continue on like RuPaul has. He is helping other queens come up but still reigns as the true queen. So I hope that for Scott, allowing other queens to rise beneath him. St. Clair: I hope that the Choctaw remains the true queen of comedy. Mantzoukas: True to the mythology of the show, I think I would only be comfortable taking over the show if Scott died. Then I think it would be a tribute and an opportunity to really continue his legacy after he has passed, in probably what would be a funny, embarrassing fashion. Vilaysack: I do not like to joke about Scott’s death because it makes me sad. Aukerman: There’s a combination of things that would need to happen [for me to walk away]. When it stops being fun and starts being a drag, when it gets too hard to book—and that is fast approaching. Or if it got to a place where I was leaving the show going, oh man, this is not clicking. I’ve had a few like that where I’ll do two in a row and go, that wasn’t as good as I wish it could be. And then the next one I do will be great and brilliant and I’ll go, “See? Still got it!” Mantzoukas: I just want to make sure that your readers understand: I’m not advocating that he be murdered. For those people who want me to take over, I’m not saying, “Kill Scott Aukerman” so that I will take over. I just want that to be clear. I’m not advocating that people, vigilante-style, take Scott out in some sort of ritualistic fashion in order to prove they’re Jason Mantzoukas loyalists. Vilaysack: In all seriousness, if and when that tragedy occurs, I will stuff Scott and semi-resurrect him as an animatronic sex robot. Zouks will have to be okay with this, otherwise I can’t commit. Aukerman: I don’t think Jason would want to do it. It’s such a good format that I wish I could just pass it off to someone. But I don’t know who could take it over… I really don’t.
Read the full oral history over at The Daily Beast.