With the announcement of two new TV shows featuring some of the most innovative yet largely untapped comedic talent in America, cable channel IFC proves once again that the network is willing to take risks that few other entertainment entities will approach. Regular HuffPost Comedy readers will be pleased to learn that the popular podcast "Comedy Bang! Bang!" will be adapted for TV, and New York stand-up comedian Kurt Braunohler will host a game show parody. IFC has ordered ten half-hour episodes of each show.
First reported by Adweek last week, the news was confirmed in a press release from IFC this morning. According to the statement, "Comedy Bang! Bang!" will continue to be hosted by Scott Aukerman, the mastermind behind the podcast version of "Comedy Bang! Bang!" and the creator/director of "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis." Adweek reported that the show will be "a mixture of Pee-wee Herman and Dick Cavett." The podcast regularly features a mix of guests, characters, music and games.
Comedian/musician/performance artist Reggie Watts, who performs the theme music for the podcast, will be retained as the "one-man bandleader." The show will be produced by Abso Lutely Productions, known for "Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!"
Aukerman's affiliation with IFC is not new -- he had previously hosted "Comedy Death-Ray," a series of interstitial interviews with comedy favorites such as Michael Cera, Judd Apatow to Bob Odenkirk. (Until 2011, the brand Comedy Bang! Bang!, which includes the podcast as well as a popular live stand-up show at the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles, was known as Comedy Death-Ray.)
Kurt Braunohler (pronounced BROWN-oh-ler) is a favorite with New York audiences, but will likely amass plenty of fans nationally with his new game show, whose working title is "Bunk." The show is described as a "rotating line-up of comedian contestants performing absurd comedy challenges," and was first discovered at the New York Television Festival. Kristen Schaal, Braunohler's comedy partner for several years, appears in the pilot (which may or may not air). Adweek says the show can be described as "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" meets "Remote Control."
Last week, IFC launched the second season of "Portlandia," the well-reviewed (and supremely off-kilter) sketch show from Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Cable news parody "Onion News Network" wrapped its second season in December, and David Cross' comedy "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" also recently returned for a second season on IFC after an initial run in the United Kingdom.
Check out this slideshow of some of our favorite clips from Kurt Braunohler, Reggie Watts and "Comedy Bang! Bang!"