Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
On Friday, at the COCA, I had the great pleasure of hearing a talk by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the geniuses behind Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (yes, that is the full title of the show). In the future, I'll let you guys know about this kind of stuff in advance, because this show was not to be missed. Both Tom Goes To The Mayor and Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! are some of the most bizarre and absolutely hilarious programs ever to be allowed on television. Here's an example of a typical Tom Goes To The Mayor plot, from Wikipedia:
Although he has limited experience with dogs (and no dog), Tom is selected by the Mayor to provide a canine matchmaker for Jefferton's yearly holiday Toodle Day, in which all eligible dogs in town are married. After purchasing the "last dog" from the local pet shop (run by Jeff Goldblum), Tom sets about the difficult task of training his new pup to become the Toodleday matchmaker. But the dog-doo hits the fan when Tom's pup is waylaid by an accident, and it's up to Tom to make sure the town's dogs achieve wedded bliss.Tom Goes To The Mayor at least goes through the motions of a plot, but the live-action Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! makes no such pretensions, just bouncing back and forth between insane, bizarre sketches, like a hip-hop instructional video that instructs the dancers to "slap your hands" and then to "think about your dad" or the "Beaver Boys", who are obsessed with eating shrimp and drinking white wine. Here's one of my favorite segments:
Tim and Eric are about more than just random absurdism, however. In my opinion, their work constitutes some of the sharpest criticism out there of the vicissitudes of American capitalism. Tim and Eric's America is one wholly empty of any real sort of culture, bland and indistinct, full of meaningless rituals and totally defined by consumerism. The mayor of Tom Goes To The Mayor has his office in a strip mall; the town council meets in a Gulliver's Buffet. Greil Marcus once famously said that Bob Dylan tapped into the "old, weird America" for his work; well, Tim and Eric tap into the "new, weird America". Late night TV commercials, cable access channels, local news shows, all the detritus of late twentieth century American life is captured and criticized in their work. It is not merely absurdist, but Dadaist.
Anywho, I could write a whole article about Tim and Eric as art, but more importantly, they were damn funny in person. They showed some stuff that I hadn't seen before, like their enthusiastic, unprovoked promotions of Shrek The Third, some yet-to-be seen Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! episodes, and an Absolut Vodka ad featuring wigs, bathrobes and Zach Galifianakis that is absolutely the strangest promotion I have seen for any product, ever. Also, I totally got a picture with Tim!
You can read an interview with Tim and Eric at the Onion AV Club here or visit their website to see some really funny stuff here.