Comedy Bang! Bang! Review: Lizzy Caplan

“Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black and Powder Blue Espadrilles” (Episode 3.07)

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<i>Comedy Bang! Bang!</i> Review: Lizzy Caplan

On the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast, Lizzy Caplan only made one appearance. But it was alongside two of the funniest guests, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, doing two of their best characters, George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon. It’s probably one of the best episodes in the podcast’s history, but what was most surprising was this very strong performance from Caplan, who was, playing the mostly-straight man beside Scott Aukerman. In “Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black and Powder Blue Espadrilles,” Caplan plays so incredibly well off of Aukerman that she is, perhaps, the best guest of the season.

The conceit of this week’s episode is that Scott and Reggie are doing this Comedy Bang! Bang! Top 10 Greatest Moments Countdown. Conveniently, nine of the moments are from this episode. As Reggie and Scott both mention, the list is leading up to the moment when Lizzy Caplan proposes to Reggie. It’s only a matter of time before we see this moment, right?

Caplan is an incredibly fun guest, playing along, saying there might be too many good roles for women and agreeing that her show Masters of Sex could very well be about Scott and Reggie. She’s great with her impressions, which are all of people she went to middle school with, including “Barry” Obama.

But the highlight of the episode is Scott’s opportunity to interview one of his idols, Paul McCartney. In this Catfish parody, which captures the doucheyness of the show, Scott flies all the way to Braxton, Kentucky—which is obviously the home of Sir Paul McCartney—and when he rings the doorbell, Steve Little of Eastbound and Down answers instead of one of the Beatles. Of course, Scott doesn’t realize that he’s been tricked and spends the day with his favorite musician and second favorite Beatle. He learns some gems about the iconic group from “Paul,” (for example, his favorite Beatles’ songs is “Beat It” and he is actually a poor hillbilly in Kentucky that gets angry when he can’t draw a good picture of Batman). In the end, Scott gets to perform with the reunited Beatles: Paul, George, Rango and John—who we all remember was a cat puppet. We also see that Scott’s girlfriend and now-fiancé is a muscle-bound man with a blonde wig, which doesn’t seem to faze him either.

The character guest this week is Paul Scheer, as Jerry Donovan, as a celebrity photographer that wants to take pictures of Lizzy Caplan in a bikini eating ice cream. The beauty of Scheer’s characters on the podcast is that they’re so poorly planned out, they end up playing out in very strange ways. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see that arc in these much shorter TV episodes.

As the countdown goes on there are bizarre moments that make the list, like the commercial breaks, and then Donovan nabs three spots. Spot number two features Scott hilariously telling Weird Al Yankovich that he hated UHF and that he’s a piece of shit. Angry Scott might just be my favorite Scott. As the top spot approaches, Lizzy gets on her knee to propose, but suddenly we get… Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction from the Super Bowl? Turns out, the countdown was the ten best moments in TV history, as voted by the Comedy Bang! Bang! team. Well, at least we don’t have to see Reggie turn down Lizzy, choosing 2 turntables and a microphone over 2 gold rings and a matrimon.

Between Caplan and a great Catfish parody, “Lizzy Caplan Wears All Black and Powder Blue Espadrilles” is a very funny episode. Although we didn’t get nearly enough Scheer, and the countdown conceit becomes, unfortunately, more distracting than humorous. But all of the pieces still add up to another fantastic episode of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.