Scott Aukerman

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Scott Aukerman
CoolScottyAuks.jpg
Born (1970-07-02) July 2, 1970 (age 51)
Occupation
  • Actor
  • writer
  • director
  • comedian
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2008)
Websitescottaukerman.tumblr.com

Scott Aukerman (born July 2, 1970) is an American writer, actor, comedian, television personality, director, producer, and podcast host. Starting as a writer and performer in the later seasons of the sketch series Mr. Show, Aukerman is best known as the host of the weekly comedy podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! as well as the IFC original television series of the same name. Aukerman is the co-creator of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis and co-founder of the Earwolf podcast network.

Early life[edit]

Aukerman was born in Savannah, Georgia to Burt and Linda Aukerman. He grew up in Orange County, California, attending Cypress High School and the Orange County School of the Arts, studying acting and musical theater and writing plays in his spare time. Aukerman was raised in a religiously observant household, attending a Baptist church three times a week until college.[1] He hosted a public-access television show called Centurion Highlights, based on the school's mascot.[2][3] In a 2015 interview, Aukerman said "I'm still doing that same show, just with celebrities instead of my high school cafeteria."[2] He started a short-lived band, The Naked Postmen, with Adrian Young, who went on to be the drummer for No Doubt.[4]

While attending Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, he and fellow student B. J. Porter began writing together when they were both scripting and performing in a radio show called Lutz Radio.[3]

Career[edit]

After a brief period studying at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and touring the country as a musical theater actor, in 1995, at the request of his friends, Aukerman and Porter started performing at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles under the moniker "The Fun Bunch", a name meant to parody improvisation groups at the time.[3]

Mr. Show co-creator Bob Odenkirk was in the audience for the second performance, and soon tapped the duo to write for and occasionally perform on the show in its fourth season. This led to an Emmy nomination in 1999 for Aukerman and the rest of the staff. Aukerman appeared sporadically on the show, most notably as the model Theo Brixton in the Taint Magazine sketch.

After the show's cancellation, Aukerman and Porter segued into writing film and television scripts, most notably Run Ronnie Run! and the first draft of the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. In 2004, he and Porter received an "Additional Dialogue" credit on the animated feature film Shark Tale. They went on to write an unproduced script for the sequel, as well as an unproduced Shrek spin-off film based on the character Puss in Boots. In 2007, a feature film script he wrote with Porter and Odenkirk, titled Kanan Rhodes: Unkillable Servant of Justice, was purchased by MTV Films with the intent of starring Rainn Wilson, although it currently remains unproduced.[5] Also in 2007, Aukerman released a self-described "joke record", Scott Aukerman's Koo Koo Roo's Greatest Hits, which featured Aukerman and Sarah Silverman Program writer Jon Schroeder shouting over current soft-rock hits. This was put out in limited release on AST Records.

In 2009, Aukerman and Porter wrote a pilot script for NBC, titled Privates. The network ultimately passed on the show.[6] That year, Aukerman took on the role as head writer for the 2009 MTV Movie Awards and executive produced and co-wrote a pilot for Comedy Central, The New Andy Dick Show. The network ultimately passed on ordering it to series.

In 2010, Aukerman wrote a feature film script for friend Zach Galifianakis for Fox, and he and Patton Oswalt co-wrote a television pilot for Fox, which the network ultimately passed on. Later that year, Aukerman joined a "writers lab", writing film scripts for Imagine Entertainment.[7]

Comedy Death-Ray/Comedy Bang! Bang![edit]

In 2002, Aukerman and Porter started the successful alternative comedy showcase Comedy Death-Ray, which ran Tuesday night at the M Bar in Los Angeles.[8] Porter had friends in common with M Bar owner Joe Reynolds, and visited the bar shortly after its opening. Upon seeing how empty M Bar was, Porter convinced Reynolds to let him start a comedy show to help business. The show eventually moved to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 2005 to gain more creative freedom.[9] A Comedy Death-Ray CD taped partially in San Francisco at the SF Sketchfest and partially at their fourth-anniversary, all-night show in LA was released on Comedy Central Records on September 11, 2007. The CD featured Aukerman, comedians David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, and other CDR regulars.

In 2007, Aukerman and Porter produced several internet shorts with Comedy Death-Ray comedians for the internet site Super Deluxe. These included three episodes of The Brody Stevens Interview Challenge, and two episodes of Lake Charles Lake, in which he also co-starred. They made more shorts in 2008, but the site was shut down and folded into Adult Swim before they could air.[10]

In 2007, Aukerman and B. J. Porter created and produced a sketch pilot, titled The Right Now! Show, based on their show for Fox.[11] However, the network passed on ordering it to series in late 2007. Cast member Casey Wilson was immediately hired as a featured cast member of Saturday Night Live after the news. A short film made for the show, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, eventually moved to internet site Funny Or Die, becoming one of its most successful series.

Starting January 3, 2011, Aukerman became the host of a series of interview interstitials, titled Comedy Death-Ray, airing three nights a week on the IFC network, where he interviews stars and creators of shows that the network runs, including The Ben Stiller Show, The Larry Sanders Show, Mr. Show, Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared, and Arrested Development.

In 2011, Aukerman and Porter parted ways, and the Comedy Death-Ray live show was renamed Comedy Bang! Bang! The Comedy Bang! Bang! live show ultimately ended in December 2012 after ten years.[12]

Comedy Bang! Bang!: The Podcast[edit]

Being a frequent guest on and admirer of the award-winning podcast Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo led Aukerman to the decision that he should start his own comedy podcast. On May 1, 2009, Aukerman started to host Comedy Death-Ray Radio, a comedy-themed broadcast based upon the live show, on Los Angeles radio station Indie 103.1. The show continued to air on Fridays at 12 noon Pacific, but moved to being distributed by the Earwolf podcasting network in 2010.[13] The podcast of each show is available weekly on iTunes and the Earwolf website, and has been downloaded several million times.[14]

Aukerman hosts, with frequent guest collaborators Paul F. Tompkins, Lauren Lapkus, Neil Campbell, Mike Hanford, James Adomian, Nick Kroll, Andy Daly, and the late Harris Wittels among others, serving as guests and characters. Entertainment Weekly called the show "often strange, consistently hilarious, always unpredictable,"[15] and The A.V. Club named it one of 2010's "Best Podcasts."[16] In May 2011, Aukerman renamed the show Comedy Bang! Bang! On December 4, 2013, The A.V. Club named Comedy Bang! Bang! the best podcast of 2013.[17] In 2018, Time Magazine named Comedy Bang! Bang! one of The 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now.[18]

On June 8, 2012 IFC premiered the television series Comedy Bang! Bang!, hosted by Aukerman. On December 2, 2016, the series ended after five seasons and 110 episodes.[19]

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis[edit]

One sketch from Aukerman and Porter's sketch show The Right Now! Show, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, was put up on internet site Funny Or Die and received several hundreds of thousands of hits in just a few days.[20]

This was followed by Ferns interviews with talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, Mad Men star Jon Hamm, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Conan O'Brien, Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Sean Penn, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, "Oscar Buzz Edition" (featuring Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Amy Adams, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Sally Field and Bradley Cooper), a collaboration video with The Lonely Island and James Franco, and a "Happy Holidays Edition" featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Tobey Maguire and Arcade Fire.[21] Aukerman directed the Theron, O'Brien, Penn, Willis, Ferrell, "Oscar Buzz," Bieber, Franco & "Happy Holidays Edition" episodes.

In March 2014, an episode was released with President Barack Obama. It was designed to bring attention to the Affordable Care Act. Galifianakis engaged in his regular insult comedy style of interviewing, which the President reciprocated throughout the interview. Within 24 hours, the video of this interview had amassed upwards of 14 million views. Aukerman directed and produced this episode, which won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program.[22]

Each episode has been viewed millions of times, and the President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber, Brad Pitt, and Natalie Portman episodes have become some of Funny Or Die's most popular videos ever.

In 2015, Aukerman won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program again, this time for the Brad Pitt episode.[23]

Earwolf[edit]

In 2010, based upon the success of his podcast, Aukerman, along with Jeff Ullrich, started the Earwolf network, eventually producing and releasing several podcasts. In 2011, they announced a partnership with Funny Or Die.[24] In 2014, they launched a sister network Wolfpop, under the curation of comedian Paul Scheer.[25] On March 7, 2016, the majority of Wolfpop's programs were folded over into Earwolf.

Podcasts with Adam Scott[edit]

In 2014, Aukerman started a limited-run podcast with actor Adam Scott entitled U Talkin' U2 To Me?, ostensibly devoted to the career and discography of the band U2. Most episodes combined discussion of the band with running gags and comedy bits only marginally related to the band.[26] The podcast ultimately led to Aukerman and Scott interviewing the band themselves,[27] as well as being invited to see them live.[28] The podcast largely concluded following a review of Songs of Experience in 2017.[29]

In 2018, Aukerman and Scott started a continuation of the podcast called R U Talkin' R.E.M. RE: ME?, focused on the band R.E.M.[30][31] This podcast also led to Aukerman and Scott interviewing members of the band, such as Michael Stipe and Mike Mills,[32] as well as a guest appearance from Peter Buck at a live episode for Clusterfest.[33]

2020 saw the pair create a one-off version of the show, Youey Talkin' Huey 2ey Me?, with special guests Huey Lewis and Jimmy Kimmel.[34] The episode was dedicated to the music of Huey Lewis and the News, to promote the band's new album Weather.

Aukerman and Scott began a new podcast in July 2020, R U Talkin' RHCP RE: Me?.[35] The podcast's intention was to cover the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. This format, however, was abandoned in the show's second episode. Instead, the duo chose to focus on Talking Heads, changing the podcast name to U Talkin' Talking Heads 2 My Talking Head.[36]

Artistry[edit]

Aukerman's work has been described as "gloriously silly,"[37] and "masterful comedy and improvisation."[38] Although Tom Lennon's first reaction to the initial episode of Comedy Bang Bang was "no one’s going to listen to this,"[39] Aukerman has since been lauded as the ringleader of a podcast that is, according to Vulture, "a consistent circus of experimentation by some of comedy’s most creative minds."[39] His influence on contemporary comedy, by way of highlighting emerging talent, has earned him the title of "the alternative Lorne Michaels."[40]

Personal life[edit]

Aukerman (center) with wife, Kulap Vilaysack, and their dog, Rocky

Aukerman is married to Kulap Vilaysack. The couple had a dog named Rocky, who died in 2016.[41] They now have two dogs named Georgia Michaela and Molly Ringwald.[42]

Work[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2001 That Darn Punk Mr. Hollywood Pants Video
2002 Run Ronnie Run! Starving Kidnapper Also writer
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Young Nigel
2003 Melvin Goes to Dinner Policeman #1
2004 Shark Tale N/A Additional dialogue
2005 Cake Boy Mickey
2019 Between Two Ferns: The Movie N/A Writer, director, and producer

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996–1998 Mr. Show with Bob and David Various 9 episodes; also writer
1999 Just Shoot Me! Greenberg Episode: "Maya's Nude Photos"
2001 The Huntress Phil Hegel Episode: "Now You See Him"
2001 Next! N/A Television film; writer, director, and co-executive producer
2002 The Offensive Show N/A Television film; writer and executive producer
2006 Cheap Seats: Without Ron Parker Andrew Merchant Episode: "Amazing Games: International Toughmen"
2007–2010 The Sarah Silverman Program Agent Falconer / Banana Cop 2 episodes
2007 The Right Now! Show Various Pilot; creator, director, and executive producer
2007 Moral Orel N/A Writer
2008 David's Situation To Catch A Predator Producer Pilot
2008–present Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis N/A Creator, director, and executive producer
2009 Lewis Black's Root of All Evil Karate Kid Victim Episode: "Gen-X vs Boomers"
2009 2009 MTV Movie Awards N/A Head writer
2011 Comedy Death-Ray Himself (host) Interstitials for IFC
2011 Childrens Hospital Desperate Dad Episode: "Stryker Bites the Dust"
2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm Police Officer Episode: "Palestinian Chicken"
2012 Between Two Ferns: A Fairytale of New York N/A Television special; director and executive producer
2012–2016 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself (host) 110 episodes; also creator, writer, and executive producer
2013–2017 @midnight Himself 10 episodes
2014 The Birthday Boys Parker Van Dell Episode: "Freshy's"
2014–2015 TripTank Various voices 3 episodes
2015 67th Primetime Emmy Awards N/A Television special; writer
2015 W/ Bob & David Various Episode #1.3; also writer
2016 Animals. Drug Dealer (voice) Episode: "Pigeons"
2016 88th Academy Awards N/A Television special; writer
2016–2019 Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Tobin Episode: "Brtox"; also executive producer
2016–2018 Take My Wife N/A Executive producer and director
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Security Guard #1 Television special; also writer, director, and executive producer
2017 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Glandis Episode: "Crime & Punishment"
2017–2018 Sick Note N/A Consulting producer
2018–2020 Big City Greens Radio DJ (voice)[43] 2 episodes
2019 I'm Sorry Rob 3 episodes
2020 Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House of Fun Police Officer 2 episodes; also executive producer
2020 The George Lucas Talk Show Himself Episode: "The Hey Nong Mandalorian"

Podcasts[edit]

  • Comedy Bang! Bang! (2009–present), host
  • Analyze Phish (2011–2014), co-host
  • U Talkin' U2 To Me? (2014–2018), co-host
    • R U Talkin' R.E.M. RE: Me? (2018–2020), co-host
    • U Talkin' Talking Heads 2 My Talking Head (2020), co-host
  • Threedom (2018–present), co-host
  • We Have To Stop Talking TMNT on CBB (2020), co-host
  • Scott Hasn't Seen (2021), co-host

Internet[edit]

  • Lake Charles Lake (2007), on Super Deluxe
  • The Fun Bunch (2008), on Super Deluxe
  • The Four Flop-Tops (2009), Funny Or Die video
  • Lost with Paul Scheer (2009), internet ARG for the TV show Lost
  • Sizzle Alert: LOST with Sarah Silverman (2010), Funny Or Die video

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio
  • 2007: Scott Aukerman's Koo Koo Roo's Greatest Hits
  • 2008: Never Not Christmas - A Holiday E.P. (with Jimmy Pardo)
Compilation
  • 2007: Comedy Death-Ray
  • 2009: Comedy By The Numbers
  • 2009: Comedy Death-Ray Xmas CD 2009 (also executive producer)
  • 2010: Comedy Death-Ray Xmas CD 2010 (also executive producer)
Other
Background Vocals

Comic books[edit]

Writer

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1999 Primetime Emmy Award[44] Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program Mr. Show with Bob and David Nominated
2013 Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program[44] Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis Nominated
2014 Won
2015 Won
2017 Writers Guild of America Award[45] Comedy/Variety (Music, Awards, Tributes) – Specials 88th Academy Awards Nominated
2018 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special[46] Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Short Form Variety Series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: The Movie, Sorta Uncut Interviews Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ocdoughberblessed: In-N-Out vs. Chick-Fil-A with Scott Aukerman". Doughboys Podcast. HeadGum. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Sankin, Aaron. "How Scott Aukerman built an empire of absurdist comedy". kernelmag.dailydot.com. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  3. ^ a b c "BA #100: Scott Aukerman". the Box Angeles podcast.
  4. ^ Never Not Funny podcast - Episode 4.11
  5. ^ "Rainn Wilson IS Kanan Rhodes". Empire. January 5, 2007. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
  6. ^ Schneider, Michael (March 19, 2009). "Writers pact with Universal TV". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike (December 13, 2010). "Imagine And Reliance Launch Writers Lab". Deadline. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  8. ^ "Discussing the Future Of Talk With Scott Aukerman". Men's Journal. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  9. ^ "Fun Bunch Interview with ASpecialThing.com". Retrieved March 18, 2007.
  10. ^ "Super Deluxe Sinks Into Adult Swim". Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  11. ^ "Dead Frog Interview: Scott Aukerman & BJ Porter". Retrieved September 12, 2007.
  12. ^ "Scott Aukerman Is Ending the 'Comedy Bang Bang' Live Show in December". www.vulture.com. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
  13. ^ "Comedy Death-Ray Radio". Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  14. ^ Wilstein, Matt (2017-07-24). "An Oral History of the Funniest Podcast Ever". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  15. ^ Rottenberg, Josh (June 23, 2011). "Best Comedy Podcasts". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  16. ^ "The best podcasts of 2010". AV Club. December 29, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  17. ^ "The best podcasts of 2013". AV Club. December 4, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  18. ^ Dockterman, Eliana (April 2, 2018). "The 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now". Time. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Adams, Erik. "Scott Aukerman on ending the Comedy Bang! Bang! TV show (for now)". TV Club. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  20. ^ "Between Two Ferns: Michael Cera". Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  21. ^ "Comedy Death-Ray's Videos on Funny Or Die". Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  22. ^ "66th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners: Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program". Television Academy. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "67th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners: Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program". Television Academy. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  24. ^ Luippold, Ross (July 20, 2011). "Funny Or Die And Earwolf To Team Up, Expose Comedy Podcasts To Wider Audience". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  25. ^ Ryan, Kyle (November 4, 2014). "Paul Scheer to launch new podcasting network from Earwolf Media". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  26. ^ Greenberg, Rudi (September 11, 2014). "The return of 'U Talkin' U2 to Me?' is the best part of the new U2 album". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  27. ^ Robinson, Will. "U2 appears on U Talkin' U2 to Me? podcast with Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  28. ^ Wright, Megh. "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Talkin' 'U Talkin' U2 To Me?'". Vulture Magazine. Vox Media. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  29. ^ Nelson, Michael. "'U Talkin' U2 To Me?' Talk U2's New Album Songs Of Experience". Stereogum. Stereogum Media. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  30. ^ McLevy, Alex (February 21, 2018). "Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman have a new band-based podcast, R U Talkin' R.E.M. Re: Me?". AV Club. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  31. ^ Greene, Steve (February 21, 2018). "Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman's New REM Podcast is as Wonderfully Weird as They've Ever Been". IndieWire. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  32. ^ Peacock, Tim. "Watch R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe & Mike Mills' YouTube Q&A, 'Monster Talk'". UDiscoverMusic. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  33. ^ Helman, Peter. "Peter Buck Makes Surprise Appearance For R U Talkin' R.E.M. RE: Me? Podcast Taping At Clusterfest". Stereogum. Stereogum Media.
  34. ^ "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Youey Talkin' Huey 2ey Me?". Vulture Magazine. Vox Media. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  35. ^ Hussey, Allison. "Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott Launch Red Hot Chili Peppers Podcast". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  36. ^ Reilly, Nick. "Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott ditch Red Hot Chili Peppers podcast series after one episode". NME. BandLab Technologies. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  37. ^ "Comedy Bang! Bang! It's silly, it spoofy – it's the very definition of a hidden gem". the Guardian. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  38. ^ Husband, Andrew. Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewhusband/2019/04/29/comedy-bang-bang-10-year-anniversary-scott-aukerman-interview/?sh=485d6a25511e. Retrieved 2021-08-30. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  39. ^ a b Lennon, Tom. Vulture https://www.vulture.com/2019/05/comedy-bang-bang-podcast-guests-best-moments.html. Retrieved 2021-08-30. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ Wilstein, Matt (2017-07-24). "An Oral History of the Funniest Podcast Ever". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  41. ^ Staff report (February 24, 2010). Kulap Vilaysack blooms in Hollywood. Lao American Magazine
  42. ^ Social media page (January 15, 2017). [1] Instagram
  43. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (May 17, 2018). "Disney Re-Ups 'Big City Greens' Ahead of | June Premiere". Animation Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  44. ^ a b "Scott Aukerman". Television Academy. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  45. ^ Petski, Denise (December 5, 2016). "WGA TV Nominations: 'The Americans', 'Stranger Things', 'Westworld', 'This Is Us' Among Nominees". Deadline. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  46. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 7, 2017). "Writers Guild Award TV Nominations: 'The Americans,' 'Handmaid's Tale,' 'GLOW' Grab Multiple Mentions". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2018.

External links[edit]