TV Show Spotlight: The Eric Andre Show
Whenever the subject of television is brought up nowadays, it seems to this author that it has become ‘cool’ to “not really watch TV, except Netflix”. Considering it is 2016, this statement is not abnormal, except that by only limiting oneself to Netflix means that one will be missing out on quite possibly one of the best comedy shows of the past ten years. That show is Adult Swim’s: The Eric Andre Show.
Despite the fact that the show has quite possibly the worst possible airtime in terms of accessibility to the college demographic (Saturday morning at 12:30), the show garners quite the audience, considering the show just recently ended its fourth season. Eric Andre is a comedian hailing from “where you send your grandparents to die”, aka BocaRaton, Florida, and that choice of geographic descriptor is a fitting depiction of the type person that Eric is and his style of comedy as a whole. Much of his show revolves around his brand of absurdist, deconstructive comedy mixed with satirical references and homages to pop culture that are not only hysterical, but topical and well written.
The show started off as a social experiment, where Eric tried his best to push the boundaries of talk show conventions, while also making it accessible to the cartoon-watching audience. By targeting the average Friday night Adult Swim viewer, Eric’s material is viewed by many ignorant critics as nothing more than ‘stoner-humor’. Yes, marijuana might increase the watchability of this program, but as many millennials would agree, that can be said of most television/programming. Absurdist comedy has only recently been picked up by mainstream society as a result of the normalization of memes. Much like memes themselves, what makes Eric Andre so funny is his ability to take the monotonous nature of day to day life and completely flip these conventions on their head.
Take for instance, the segment, where Eric went on the NYC subway and try to sell Chinese food, at an affordable 50 cents a bite. As he tries to peddle the take-out by nearly force-feeding the passengers, the reactions are predictably hysterical, with half of the train in disbelief, the other half belonging to those who have just given up trying to understand other New Yorkers.
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As many fans and Eric himself would agree, one of the most fascinating elements of the show is Eric’s hairstyles throughout the seasons. In season one and two, he presents us the Eric Andre hair that die-hard Curb Your Enthusiasm & Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 fans would recognize. For those not familiar, think of an Afro that is reminiscent of Howard Deville from Rugrats or Kramer from Seinfeld but with a mocha tone. Season three, Eric announced that he would be perming his hair like the comedian Katt Williams, and many agree that he pulled off the look quite well. What would truly stand out was the stylish decision in season four, where for months during the shooting of the actual season, Eric did not bathe, wear deodorant or groom at all. Nor was the set cleaned at all. If you do not understand why he did it, this show is not for you. While the show’s skits are by-in-large accessible to most, the show itself takes a certain kind of strange to appreciate. There is definitely a sharp disconnect between Eric and the rest of the population, but it allows him to be a more interesting person. He takes a step back from the masses, and take a comprehensive look at our follies so he can poke fun at them with his over the top hi-jinks.
What makes The Eric Andre Show so notable is the fact that it is a show that bends the rules and pokes fun at itself, and other shows like it. It is this author’s opinion that Eric Andre is a comedy genius, and he deserves as many seasons as Adult Swim can afford to give him, because Eric has the creative gusto to continue making people laugh for quite some time.
If you want to check out the Eric Andre show, the Adult Swim website has most, if not all of his content. Eric also performs stand-up, and you can purchase the seasons of his show online. Look for Eric in cameos nearly everywhere now, because like cats in the early days of the internet, people cannot get enough of this guy.
Skits to check out:
Beekeeper on the Subway
Centaur on the Subway
Time To Ranch It Up