I could try and set you up to the subject of this article. I could try and preface it. But there is very little that I can do to prepare you for the unspeakable madness of The Eric Andre Show!
The show airs on that bastion of surrealist comedy, Adult Swim. Produced by Abso Lutely Productions, the production company founded by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and brought us the nightmare version of television that was Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job! Starring the titular Eric Andre as the host of this late night talk show like no other. It has all the tenets of such a show like an opening monologue, sketches, and interviews… but taken to absolutely absurdist extremes.
Each and every episode starts with the band playing Eric in… and wrecking the set in increasingly berserk and fantastical ways and engaging in other… actions. Throwing a leprechaun around. Having sex with Santa Claus while Mrs. Claus watches. Bringing out a chainsaw. And much, much more! He’ll then be joined by his deadpanned sidekick and comedian, Hannibal Buress. Acting as a straight-man of sorts to Eric, usually pointing out Eric’s inanity during his monologue and interviews.
The main draw of the series are the absolutely bonkers interviews with celebrities like Tyler The Creator, Seth Rogen, Krysten Ritter, and many more who probably didn’t know what they were in for. Or impersonators Eric claim to be celebrities, such as recurring character “Russell Brand.” Another recurring character is Kraft Punk, a bizarre parody of Daft Punk, but made out of macaroni and cheese. During said interviews expect the unexpected. Then expect to get your mind blown!
Everything from fireworks going off, to rats swarming the stage, the desk coming to life, gunfire, to even a naked PA being dragged out so Eric can beat the hell out of him have happened. Some interviews ending in infamy, such as Eric puking on his desk in front of Lauren Conrad, then eating it, causing her to understandably bail quick. Unleashing a zombie on T.I. And more recently, Hannibal Buress seeming to roundhouse kick Flavor Flav in the face.
Between interviews, there are a number of bizarre pranks and recurring sketches. Bird Up, where Eric takes to the streets in a green suit and a fake bird claiming it’s “The Worst Show On Television!” Ranch It Up with Eric as an over the top ‘bro’ wanting to legalize ranch and engage in all manner of illicit sexual/drug behavior with random strangers on the street. Other pranks include Eric dressed as a centaur on a NYC subway train and dropping cakes on people, dragging a dead body in a burlap sack, and in general just crashing through the windows/walls of various stores.
The series straddles the line between humor and horror. Sketches and bits pushing the limits of the guests, and the viewers. The Eric Andre Show showing a particular influence from the surrealist works of David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and more. With some outright references like Eric shooting Hannibal and then turning into a parody of the opening to Twin Peaks. This season, he had the band, The American Authors perform… in a full Human Centipede. Oftentimes, it also seems like Eric is a prisoner of his own show, forced to perform by off-screen handlers and dying repeatedly, only to be back in the interviewer’s chair by the next scene. In the very first episode, Eric desperately tried to escape the set, ending up in a deserted wasteland. In this season premiere, he sang a song praising the show in a propaganda like fashion while being tazered by off-stage assailants. But, like most Adult Swim shows, there’s no continuity and characters can die several times in the same episode.
I’ve been watching since Season One premiered in May of 2012, and the ride has only gotten wilder since! You can watch The Eric Andre Show every Friday at midnight on Adult Swim.