“The Eric André Show” embraces the weird
Adam Ramos | Monday, November 3, 2014
Comedian Eric André is weird — like, really weird.
With a solid track record of infuriating anyone who dares to interview him, André has mastered the off-kilter chaotic humor. After a few minor roles in shows like “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” and “Two Broke Girls,” André found himself with a self-titled mock late-night talk show. Now, as “The Eric André Show” begins its third season on Comedy Central, it’s clear that I am not the only one bawling his eyes out during wacky bits like André inhaling a plate of spaghetti during his guest interviews.
Similar to other Comedy Central programs, like “Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!,” the show is shot with the apparent production value of middle school drama and mimics the cheesy 80s public access programs — all in design, of course.
Almost as if André is making it up as the show progresses, the show exudes a very free and improvisational tone. Generally, each short 15-minute episode is comprised of André violently destroying his own set, a tremendously uncomfortable celebrity guest interview and some cutaway of André creating chaotic hilarity on unsuspecting civilians on the streets. André’s sidekick, the hilarious Hannibal Buress, plays the perfect mellow, grounded counterpart to André’s baffling behavior.
Though “The Eric André Show” isn’t highbrow comedy, it is far from dumb. The complete and utter randomness of the show is extremely entertaining, and the bizarreness of it all strikes a very basic chord of humor. André’s completely original and painfully funny skits are strengths of the show. Bits like André dressing as a slave and running through Colonial Williamsburg desperately asking for help give the show a solid backbone in pure, unadulterated laughs. Though André describes writing his skits as conjuring “the dumbest things I can think of,” the audacity André puts forth is applaudable, and you can’t help but laugh at his energy.
Most celebrities who visit the show leave baffled by the nightmarish backwards land André and Buress create around them — and that’s amazing to watch. André admitted that he does little to prep his guests on the oddities of his show, which is painfully clear. Fortunately, season three will usher in even bigger named celebrities for André to mystify. Wiz Khalifa, Nick Cannon, Chris Rock, Seth Rogen and Jimmy Kimmel all reportedly stopped by during the filming of the season, which just wrapped.
André has already reported in an interview with the Huffington Post that Lauren Conrad was just about ready to leave after André pulled his latest gag — he vomited and ate it. Which, if nothing else, gives you a pretty good picture of the extent of André rib-tickling insanity.
Thankfully, André seems content with the format (if you could call it that) of his program and no major changes have been reported. The only teaser released for the new season thus far, titled “The Running of the Eric Andre’s,” was a simple video of a pack of Eric André lookalikes sprinting after André and mauling him with microphones on the streets of New York City.
Clearly André has not abandoned his strange practices and avant-garde nature, which I am pleased to see. Sometimes the most unconventional of things is exactly what you need in a world of television so homogeneously boring. The new season of “The Eric André Show” begins Thursday at 12:15 a.m. on Comedy Central. Watch it and embrace the weird.