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Bang the Drum Timely Gallery Transcript

"Bang the Drum Timely" is the thirty second segment of the second season and the seventy-first segment of The Mighty B! that aired on May 29, 2011.[1]


Bessie must write jokes in order to earn her Stand-up Comedy badge.


At Sir Laugh-A-Lots Comedy Club, a comedian tries telling a joke, but as it's met with poor reception, he is taken off the stage by a hook. Bessie is next, and she watches on in fear of suffering the same fate. Happy gives Bessie a high-five before it's her turn to go on stage.

Bessie asks if anyone is from San Francisco, a needless question since the entire audience lives there. She proceeds to make bad puns on an orange going to the doctor ("he wasn't peeling well") and a cat's favorite type of music ("meowlody"). As the hook waits nearby, Bessie keeps trying but at best only receives nervous laughter from Penny. The hook yanks Bessie off the stage, and she fails to get the Stand-up Comedy Badge. Mrs. Gibbons reminds her she has only one more chance to earn the badge, having failed twice before.

Wanting to earn the badge once and for all, Bessie works on her comedy routine at home. Upon seeing the hook in her bedroom window, she continues telling lackluster jokes and it follows her all the way down the stairs. Bessie ultimately lands near Happy, who is laughing uncontrollably at a late night show he's watching. Because the host uses a musician to accentuate his punchlines, Bessie believes the secret to comedy are sound effects.

The next day, Bessie and Happy visit The Hippie at his pawn shop. Bessie asks if he has any drums, but Hippie replies he owns something better: the Rainbow Sound Machine, capable of making multiple sound effects with the click of a button. Bessie assures Hippie she only wants a drum, with Hippie playing back a sound on the machine. Hippie volunteers to work with Bessie for free, and puts Happy in charge of the store while he's gone.

While testing out the machine, Bessie and Hippie find the sound she's looking for: ba-dum-tish. Although Bessie instructs him to press that button when she's telling jokes, her lawyer joke was so awful that Hippie wasn't aware she was kidding and thus didn't click it. The two try Bessie's routine with babies at the park, with minimal results.

At Hilary's Café, Hippie keeps pushing the button when he assumes customer's orders are jokes, much to Bessie's frustration. After a mishap regarding a customer, everyone storms out of the building. Bessie notices the hook once more, as she and Hippie run out of the cafe and into a nearby alley. After Bessie tells another terrible joke, Hippie forgets to press the button again, and Bessie tries telling him their partnership isn't working out. She tries to say the word "fired," but can't bring herself to.

Hippie continues following Bessie everywhere she goes, and tries to lose track of him by hiding in a pipe and hydrant. Just when she thinks he's gone, Hippie jumps out of an old lady's mouth. Seeking refuge in her room, Hippie is right behind her at the bedroom door.

Bessie consults Happy on the phone, whose minding the pawn shop, for guidance on what to do regarding the Hippie. After giving her advice, Bessie chastises Happy for playing a shell game. She proceeds to lure Hippie with a toaster into a maze, where she abandons him. Finally alone, Bessie runs towards Laugh-A-Lots with a watermelon in tow. As she is late, Mrs. Gibbons asks for a check, but Bessie arrives shortly after.

After accidentally dropping her watermelon upon going up on stage, Bessie has to change her act on the spot. She then does something no comedian should ever do: explain jokes. Despite her best efforts, Bessie still can't tell a good joke, and soon the hook goes after her once again. She tries everything from impressions to historical humor, all of which fall flat.

Meanwhile, the Hippie is still stuck inside the maze, and tries to escape so he won't fail Bessie. Being an environmentalist who loves trees, he makes the tough decision to eat the leaves off the hedges so he can get out of the maze, which succeeds. He runs as fast as possible to Sir Laugh-A-Lots.

Just when it seems Bessie earning the Stand-up Comedy Badge is a lost cause, Hippie arrives. He accidentally bumps into Millie while getting on stage, resulting in him falling face first onto the sound effects machine. Bessie improvises by making a drum sound. All the Honeybees (including Mrs. Gibbons) laugh hysterically. Now having confidence, Bessie starts delivering good jokes at rapid pace, and this causes the hook to shrink. Bessie uses it as a toothpick and steps on it. Hippie congratulates Bessie on her show as the episode ends.


Voice actor Roles
Amy Poehler Bessie
Matt Besser The Hippie & Emcee
Dee Bradley Baker Happy, Late Night Host & Irritated Customer
Sarah Thyre Mary Frances Gibbons
Dannah Feinglass Penny & Woman Customer
Rob Paulsen Comedian



  • Bessie mentions her next gig takes place 67 hours right after Bessie and The Hippie leave the shop, meaning she had a little under three days to prepare.
  • Bessie has earned the Landscaping Badge.
  • This is the final appearance of Mrs. Gibbons.
  • This episode takes place in August, as a sign at The Hippie's pawn shop reads "The Great Shapiro Magic Show" with the date of August 26.

Cultural references

  • The episode's title is a reference to the film Bang the Drum Slowly.
  • Bessie's plan to use a watermelon references comedian Gallagher, who frequently smashes the fruit with a mallet in his routine.
  • The talk show host Happy was amused by bears a resemblance to Jay Leno.
  • Bessie says Ed McMahon's catchphrase "hiyo!" upon entering the comedy club near the end of the episode.
  • One of Bessie's bits involves Queen of France Marie Antoinette being guillotined.


  1. The Mighty B!. Nickandmore. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
ve Episodes
Season 1 "So Happy Together" / "Sweet Sixteenth" • "Bee My Baby" / "Bee Afraid" • "Artificial Unintelligence" / "We Got the Bee" • "Li'l Orphan Happy" / "Body Rockers" • "Bat Mitzvah Crashers" / "Super Secret Weakness" • "An I See Bee" / "Woodward and Beesting" • "Doppelfinger" / "Little Womyn" • "The Apprentice" / "Beenedict Arnold" • "Boston Beean" / "Penny Hearts Joey" • "Ten Little Honeybees" / "Toot Toot" • "Night Howl" / "Hat Trick" • "Apoxalypse Now" / "Hive Jacked" • "Something's Wrong With This Taffy" / "Name Shame" • "Bee Patients" / "To Bee or Not To Bee" • "Eye of the Honeybee" / "Thanksgiving Beenactment" • "Blindsided" / "Hen and Bappy" • "Ben Appetit" / "Dang It Feels Good to Be a Gamester" • "Portrait of a Happy" / "O Say Can Bess See?" • "Macro Mayhem" / "Ben Screams for Ice Cream" • "Dragonflies"
Season 2 "Catatonic" • "What's the Frequency Bessie?" / "Bee Nice" • "Dirty Happy" / "Tour D’Alcatraz" • "Hairy Situation" / "Bee Plus One" • "Bad to the Bee" / "Hive of Darkness" • "Mr. Turtleton's Wild Ride" / "A Pirate's Life for B" • "Awww-esome!" / "Dogcatcher in the Rye" • "Rinx!" / "Sleepless in San Francisco" • "Finger Pickin' Bad" / "Higgenbottom's 7" • "It's B's Party" / "B-Chip" • "Old Bee and the Sea" / "One Million Years Bee.C." • "The Bone Identity" / "Grumpy Old Bees" • "Children of the Unicorn" / "My Way or the Bee Way" • "O Brother, What Art Thou" • "Stuffed Happens" • "Gorillas in the Midst" • "Space Evaders" / "YiPs" • "Public Enembee" / "Bang the Drum Timely" • "The League of Ordinary Gentlemen" / "Irritable Bowling Syndrome" • "Bess-E" / "C'mon Get Happy!"