It’s for Comedy

January 10, 2012

When IFC changed its slogan to “Always On. Slightly Off.” in 2010, it signaled the network’s transition from movie channel to home of quirky, underappreciated comedy series. IFC started by building programming blocks around reruns of “Mr. Show,”“Arrested Development” and “Freaks and Geeks,” and last year began introducing original comedies. The sketch show “Portlandia” is its only hit, but IFC remains committed to eccentric comedy.

On Monday, it announced two new series set to debut in June. “Bunk,” hosted by stand-up Kurt Braunohler, is described as an absurdist game show in which improv comics compete for unusual prizes.

The other series, “Comedy Bang Bang,” brings former “Mr. Show” writer Scott Aukerman’s weekly podcast to television. Aukerman, above, has compared the series to David Letterman’s 1980 morning show, which was more variety showcase than talk show.

Aukerman’s podcast, one of my favorites, begins as a talk show but usually devolves into an improv experiment. For the series, the format will be aided by music from Reggie Watts, skits and animation. Successful or not, it will be unlike anything else on TV — exactly what IFC prides itself on.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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