Reggie Watts, the comedian and musician who plays sidekick to Scott Aukerman on IFC’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!,” took a rare step away from the keyboards to let Josh Groban display a rarely seen skill. Groban’s not only a sharp pianist, his style has nothing in common with the music he sings.
“When someone has some intense musical chops, it’s a nice opportunity to just let it go for awhile,” says Watts, who has been into music and standup comedy since he was in high school. “When we were jamming, it was more about music stuff than being funny.”
Groban is the guest star on the season three finale, which airs July 11. In the clip, Aukerman channels Edward R. Murrow in 1950s style “Person to Person” interview.
Watts gives all the talk show’s guests a chance to work with him in a musical setting. He and actress Rashida Jones made up a 1970s-style soul song; comic Patton Oswalt deadpanned some observations; actor Jason Alexander read a poem.
“We just go for it. We tell them, ‘You can do what every you want — sing, recite poetry, play an instrument – it’s always open,” he says.
In its third season, Watts singled out the Flaming Lips, Future Islands and actor Michael Cera as providers of the show’s musical highlights.
“Sometimes the actors will surprise you because they have a musical background,” he notes.
Watts is working a few short films, having recently wrapped shooting on “Pitch Perfect 2.” Groban is the host of “Rising Star,” which airs Sundays on ABC.