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Episode 193 — What Else? What Else?

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1. As I said in her last appearance, Nancy is great. For anyone that thinks her character was overwhelming, come on, Pamela Murphy knows what she's doing. She totally took her foot off the gas when Neil's character showed up and let him take center stage for a bit. Kristen and her had an interesting dynamic as well. I could see people not liking a bit, like her bad comedy, or her counting things, but not liking a character because of a voice is kind of stupid.

 

2. As a fuck you to the people who dislike characters because of a voice, I suggest an episode with the guests: Merrill Schindler, Neil Hamburger, Lil Gary, Nancy, and Lauren Lapkus' student.

 

3. PFT is not overusing characters. He does each maybe 2-3 times per year, that's plenty of separation... Plus he and Scott have such great chemistry, and PFT's insane comedy brain always makes for a very good episode. I'm not even a huge fan of ALW, I much prefer Ice-T and John C. Reilly (really needs to come back), but every ALW episode is great.

 

4. Neil Campbell is hilarious. Am I the only one assuming he was made fun of by a teen recently, and then developed this character? More Neil please.

 

5. I'm listing another thing.

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I loved Lauren Lapkus's appearance (although I may have assumed she was Nasim Pedrad the whole time until I checked the show description).

 

Ha! While I was listening I actually thought that Lauren could do a killer Nasim Pedrad impression if she wanted to.

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I love CBB because it just has really funny people on and it doesn't matter if they are male or female. I love the fact that this topic was brought up for discussion and find it hilarious that some people dove so far into it by saying that men should be on less. Now I don't think making sure a girl is on every episode is really the answer and just think that since Scott knows so many hilarious female comedians they will be on anyway. I don't think I would be upset from now on if there wasn't a women on every episode or if there was a man on every episode but have confidence that whoever Scott has on will be funny regardless of gender like they always are. This also doesn't mean to stop trying to have female comedians on so much because they haven't been as funny because I loved every aspect of this episode but if Scott wants to have a surplus of female comedians on go ahead. I realize there are dummies out their who you are trying to convince but I have never had a problem with gender.

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Personally I would like to see less of those characters because after a while it gets kind of tiring. I love PFT but I think that his near constant presence with many of the same characters loses it originality after a while. In fact, take James Adomian. He disappeared for a while and that was great because when he came back it felt fresh and new and tried new things. Not to criticise PFT but it would be nice to see him throw in a new character.

 

Obviously you didn't listen to the CBB Live Summer Tour 2012 (hopefully I'm wrong, but let me finish), because Adomian appeared on 12 of the 14 shows. He ran the gamut with every character he had. I don't know how he did it, but I can imagine he was exhausted afterward and in much need of a well-deserved break.

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Isn't being "whiny" or "annoying" the point of some of these characters? Obviously, these are smart comedians who are satirizing the thought processes or vocal patterns of sects of women who do in fact talk like Nancy or some of Lauren's characters. These women like making fun of or exploring simple minded characters. I found Nancy funny and Lauren's foriegn exchange student funny because I "get" what they are making fun of (I think. and I think we all do, right? We all love comedy) so I don't think not liking these character choices is emblematic of sexism, just not liking a bit, expecially when the "annoying" aspects are, you know, the point.

 

Boy oh boy I love James Adomian but I can take about 5 minutes of his Paul Giamatti before I'm like, I get it, I get. I hated the Tom Leykis thing. I find his Huell Howser and Jesse Ventura and many more hilarious. I also love PFT to death, but I can also list of his bits I find annoying. Some things hit, some miss. This show is great because it lets all things happen. I'd like to think it's not because of sex but taste. I don't know how many people actually do buy into that "are women funny" talking point outside of the Hollywood bubble; it's not something middle america dwells on like people trying to make it in the industry. If it's funny, it's funny. But that's how I view it. If you're a naughty sexist, shame on you!

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I'm all for more female characters on the show, I've enjoyed Amy Phillips, Lauren Lapkus and Pamela Murphy in recent times. I would say with Nancy, the character is a little one-note by its very definition so I don't know how much potential there is to develop the character further, but I would say even a lot of people's favourite characters probably didn't start out so great and took time to develop. And certainly with Paul F Tompkins they all have a lot of himself in them like his knowledge of sci-fi and it's his rapport with Scott that makes them work so well. One of the things that's so funny is that these crazy caricatures of ALW, Garry Marshall and Werner Herzog basically treat Scott like an old friend at this point. And it's largely because Paul and Scott have known and worked with each other for so long.

 

The only female character that's had the time to develop an interesting dynamic with Scott is Marrisa Wompler, and look how popular she is.

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1. As I said in her last appearance, Nancy is great. For anyone that thinks her character was overwhelming, come on, Pamela Murphy knows what she's doing. She totally took her foot off the gas when Neil's character showed up and let him take center stage for a bit. Kristen and her had an interesting dynamic as well. I could see people not liking a bit, like her bad comedy, or her counting things, but not liking a character because of a voice is kind of stupid.

 

2. As a fuck you to the people who dislike characters because of a voice, I suggest an episode with the guests: Merrill Schindler, Neil Hamburger, Lil Gary, Nancy, and Lauren Lapkus' student.

 

What I've realized from these forums is that there are some characters that some people adore, others really dislike - I think Li'l Gary is genius, and I was shocked that people don't like him. I'm equally shocked that there are some characters that I think are terrible in both conception and execution that other people seem to love.

 

But at the end of the day, it's a free show, it's an AMAZING show, one of the best shows of any medium ever, so variable quality (subjectively speaking) is just part of the game, nothing to have a fit about!

 

On the sexism issue, I don't know what kind of emails Scott is getting - there are a couple of female characters on CBB that I really dislike, but I love Maria Bamford who is THE crazy person with THE crazy voices, regardless of gender, and so I don't think it's secret sexism for me anyway, especially because I'll like one character a particular female comedian does, but hate another one.

 

That's the same with male characters/comedians - I think PFT and James Adomian are geniuses, but they each have one character I don't really like.

 

I don't really feel comfortable naming characters I don't like - I feel like these people are working on their schtick, and we're better off encouraging what we do like vs shitting on them for what we don't like. They'll figure it out if no one likes it at live shows when nobody laughs, etc.

 

I detest a couple of characters, but why should I give the comedian a complex about it because other people probably love those same characters.

 

I really hate it when I see characters I adore (like li'l Gary) get shat on, because I feel like they're going to get killed off or disappear as a result. I mean, the comics that most of us think of as the greatest geniuses are probabaly not appreciated by 90% of the population out there.

 

Someone on the forum said that they think PFT was ashamed of Mop Water because it got criticism - meanwhile to me it was one of the best episodes of CBB/CDR history and one of my favourite episodes of anything.

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Doesn't the fact that Marissa Wompler is one of the most popular characters kind of rule out the sexism angle?

 

I've seen a ton of female comics say people tell them "I don't usually find female comedians, but you were great" so people can still find one or two female comedians funny while still having some sexist attitudes.

 

Jen Kirkman's twitter account has really alerted me to how many douchey sexist comedy fans there are.

 

To be fair, there's even women who say they don't usually find female comedians funny. But one of the things that seems really weird to me in the whole "women aren't funny" debates, is how comfortable people are throwing out that statement. Like, nobody would say "black people aren't funny" and even if someone thought this, they'd probably at least know that it's something they shouldn't say out loud. For some reason there isn't that same stigma to saying women aren't funny.

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New No-No: If you release 2-3 more episodes a month, then I get to listen to them.

 

I love ya, Nancy Cooper.

 

Maybe one of these bonus episodes should feature Rusty and Nancy and be called "I Love You, Nancy Cooper".

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I've seen a ton of female comics say people tell them "I don't usually find female comedians, but you were great" so people can still find one or two female comedians funny while still having some sexist attitudes.

 

Jen Kirkman's twitter account has really alerted me to how many douchey sexist comedy fans there are.

 

To be fair, there's even women who say they don't usually find female comedians funny. But one of the things that seems really weird to me in the whole "women aren't funny" debates, is how comfortable people are throwing out that statement. Like, nobody would say "black people aren't funny" and even if someone thought this, they'd probably at least know that it's something they shouldn't say out loud. For some reason there isn't that same stigma to saying women aren't funny.

 

I make it a point to argue with anyone I encounter who pulls out the "women just aren't that funny!" thing, which is a disappointing amount of people, male and female. It doesn't bother me when they name a specific woman though.

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2. As a fuck you to the people who dislike characters because of a voice, I suggest an episode with the guests: Merrill Schindler, Neil Hamburger, Lil Gary, Nancy, and Lauren Lapkus' student.

 

Giving the old "fuck you" to the fans of the show really doesn't seem like Scottabot's style. I think this whole thing has gotten way blown out of proportion. People are allowed to not like certain aspects of a program. Comedy Bang Bang is leaps and bounds the best comedy podcast being made right now. It certainly is my favorite. However, we, as fans, are allowed to voice our opinion about not liking a character because of the way that it is perceived in our own personal eardrums. I shouldn't have phrased my first post as exclusive to female characters, the sighing moan voice that Nancy offers just aurally displeases me.

 

That being said, if this many people love the character then maybe I'm being overly analytical. I'm willing to give her another try.

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Giving the old "fuck you" to the fans of the show really doesn't seem like Scottabot's style. I think this whole thing has gotten way blown out of proportion. People are allowed to not like certain aspects of a program.

 

I didn't mean release an episode out of malice, so I guess I used 'fuck you' too cavalierly... I meant an entire episode should be a theme/bit that happens to irk certain people. If I were Scott, I'd probably do something like that just for fun. It might be a 5-percenter episode, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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I don't really feel comfortable naming characters I don't like - I feel like these people are working on their schtick, and we're better off encouraging what we do like vs shitting on them for what we don't like. They'll figure it out if no one likes it at live shows when nobody laughs, etc.

 

I detest a couple of characters, but why should I give the comedian a complex about it because other people probably love those same characters.

 

I really hate it when I see characters I adore (like li'l Gary) get shat on, because I feel like they're going to get killed off or disappear as a result. I mean, the comics that most of us think of as the greatest geniuses are probabaly not appreciated by 90% of the population out there.

 

I agree. I mean we are all obviously allowed to voice our opinion, but I think that's pointless to just spew hate. The comedian would most likely never see it anyway, and they shouldn't tailor a character specifically to a few outlying opinions. Plus, characters are a work in progress, especially in the first appearance or two. If you don't click with one, just accept it as a lesser episode and give it another go next week. They're not going to all be masterpieces.

 

Basically, just leave it to the professionals. They'll figure it out.

 

I do think that a lot of hate for characters has to do with perception by the audience. Since it's a character, they don't do a set-up followed by a punchline. It's a meandering, evolving thing so figuring out the point of the bit might be difficult for some. There's layers to a character like Nancy, all under a weird umbrella that you have to get past. The bad standup is her gimmick, but there's a lot more bits weaving into that (wheelchair, bus obsession, 'I didn't even have to go to college', grandma, clothes from a bucket, etc.) Each bit should be seen as a joke in a set, so saying you flat out dislike a character is a blanket statement to me.

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New no-no: If you find Nancy Cooper's voice annoying, then I should be able to pay you to watch her do stand-up at Charlie Brown's steakhouse. New no-no.

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New ho-ho-ho: If you find Nancy Cooper's voice annoying, then I should be able to pay you to watch her do stand-up at a late Christmas party at Charlie Brown's steakhouse. New ho-ho-ho.

 

Fixed.

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Plus, characters are a work in progress, especially in the first appearance or two. If you don't click with one, just accept it as a lesser episode and give it another go next week. They're not going to all be masterpieces.

...

 

I do think that a lot of hate for characters has to do with perception by the audience. Since it's a character, they don't do a set-up followed by a punchline. It's a meandering, evolving thing so figuring out the point of the bit might be difficult for some. There's layers to a character like Nancy, all under a weird umbrella that you have to get past. The bad standup is her gimmick, but there's a lot more bits weaving into that (wheelchair, bus obsession, 'I didn't even have to go to college', grandma, clothes from a bucket, etc.) Each bit should be seen as a joke in a set, so saying you flat out dislike a character is a blanket statement to me.

 

Definitely agree about the work in progress, often a new character pops up and their schtick is weak, it's not really well thought out yet, their responses aren't really appropriate to their character etc, but it gets better with each appearance.

 

But that said, there are some characters that I just really dislike, and every time an episode comes up and it's one of those characters, I'm disappointed (though I always listen through every episode). It's not a voice issue, or a lack of punchline format issue - just that the character isn't well thought out, doesn't have good improv reactions or responses, doesn't bring anything really interesting or creative to the table, i.e. is just overall weak - to my ears anyhow, some of the ones I think are really weak are (to my total surprise) really popular.

 

I get especially frustrated with characters that are supposed to be representing a certain archetype, but that don't really hit home as a critique, cause I can imagine just how funny this character should or could be if the comedian did a bit more "research" into that type of person. But again, this is improv, and often these characters get better with practice.

 

I think every person on the show is pretty talented, and even the characters I hate come up with something that makes me laugh every once in a while.

 

i think we're really lucky to have access to this show, especially for free! We'll probably look back at podcasts like this as a golden age of some kind.

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We'll probably look back at podcasts like this as a golden age of some kind.

 

Considering they tape all of these a year in advance, I already am.

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There definitely is something to the "hating women's voices" thing. I've read tons of comments on YouTube or podcasts, where people feel the need to vocalize how much they hate the female participant's (natural or not!) voice...and yet, I rarely see the same happen for men.

 

I'm not even sure if it's a "don't try so hard, little lady" kind of thing. I think there's this shitty cultural bias against women speaking and performing in general. It's like people are so used to hearing male voices, and seeing men being able to speak and perform, that when a woman does the same thing, it's upsetting. Gender roles and all that.

 

So some of it has to be unconscious thinking...but it really hits "asshole level" when someone feels the need to comment on Kumail/Emily's podcast just to write "hate her voice" or something like that. Seen that a few times.

 

Anyway, I thought Lauren Lapkus' "Tracy" and Pamela Murphy's "Nancy" were really funny in their respective episodes. The ludicrousness of their voices added to the hilarity.

 

//sips wine

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i think we're really lucky to have access to this show, especially for free! We'll probably look back at podcasts like this as a golden age of some kind.

 

For sure, there's tons of free content for a wide variety of comedy tastes. I have nothing to really add to this so I'm just going to throw out another tangentially related qualm of mine. (Not directed at you or anyone in particular)

 

I despise it when people say '____ was terrible' without any legitimate criticism behind it. Everybody should learn how to analyze and provide talking points if they're going to share an opinion, and be able to search within themselves to find out why they dislike something...

 

New no-no, if you provide a well-thought-out opinion differing from mine, then I'll listen to it, see where you're coming from, and agree to disagree.

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All the responses here have been thoughtful and, as far as I can tell, inoffensive. I expect that things aren't quite so contemplative on other social platforms - namely, Twitter - which probably explains Scott's concerns. It really ought to be a non-issue, as it's clear that some of the show's 'best' guests (in my opinion and, evidently, that of many others) are women. In fact, if it wasn't for my absolute dedication to Tim Heidecker, Andy Daly and Paul F. Tompkins, I'd say that Poehler and St. Clair were tied for top spot.

 

Anyway, it seems absurd to complain. I have to remind myself that when I criticise a CBB it isn't relative to normal standards, but to past episodes which are - quite literally - among my favourite entertainment 'things' of any medium. It really isn't fair to hold up every weekly release to standards set by Wipeout or Highly Illogical because I think those are every bit as valuable as Beck's Odelay, Byron's Don Juan or Woody 'Jesus!' Allen's Manhattan. I don't mean to gush, but the podcast medium's so underrated and the balance will only be redressed with tedious, obsequious sincerity.

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