Tim and Eric sure can make a great television show. It started with the peculiarly animated Tom Goes To The Mayor, and carried over to their later venture, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! They certainly could fill a 15-20 minute block of time with wacky loops and awkward conversation. There was no shortage of celebrity cameos either. I was a big fan of Awesome Show for the majority of its run. I even saw their live show, which was the second sold out show of the night when they played the Wilbur Theater in Boston. They opened that particular show with a song about diarrhea. Actually, it was about fifteen minutes long, and consisted of them simply repeating the world “diarrhea” over and over again. Since I bought my tickets late, on a whim, the seats were towards the back. I overheard a conversation between two ushers at the Wilbur, which went something like this:
Usher #1: What the hell is this?
Usher # 2: I know, second show tonight.
Usher #1: All they’re saying is “diarrhea.”
Usher #2: …
There was no explaining what was going on to them. The way I’ve always felt about Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s particular brand of humor is that if it’s not something you can instantly wrap your head around, you might never be able to. I’ve never known anyone who’s warmed up to Tim and Eric. The other thing that struck me was that these guys had sold out a large theater in Boston twice in one night, on a show where they sang “diarrhea” over and over as the opening number. My tickets were partially obstructed and yet still $35 a piece. Both shows were absolutely filled to the brim with rabid, moderately intoxicated, t-shirt buying, catch phrase shouting college kids. It appeared they were making a lot of money, with dozens of tour stops yet to go. Their most expensive props were LED light-up costumes which they only wore during the finale.
I eventually stopped keeping up with the show.While I enjoy their whole meta-humor thing, they tend to split their time between that and grossing you out to the nth degree. This leads me to their latest endeavor, “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.” First, important to mention I didn’t see it in theaters. They were offering it On Demand on YouTube. (Google it.) It was pretty cheap compared to buying a movie ticket ($7 vs $12-15,) and I can drink beer at my desk while I watch it. I don’t have to worry about people in the theater drowning out a chain of dialogue with their HAW-HAW laughing over a dick joke (of which there was no shortage of.)
While there never seemed to be a reason for anything that was happening for the majority of their run with Awesome Show, the movie’s story stays on a semi-logical path. Some of the signature bits that carried over to the movie include their love of skewering inept public relations firms and the obligatory fake luxury item commercial voiced by Bob Odenkirk. There were lots of celebrity cameos which ranged from worthwhile (Will Forte/Will Farrell) and less than compelling (Jeff Goldblum/John C. Reily.) Their regular troupe members made brief appearances too: James Quall doing some excellent bread-themed stand up, and Palmer Scott-in-spandex working himself into a trance over shrim. For those of you who like your gross-out porn, there was more than enough of that to go around, including a scene were Eric is baptized in the collective poo of four middle school-aged boys. Eric’s “Spanish fly” induced hallucinations eventually lead to quite possibly the worst fight scene in cinematic history. Being familiar with their humor, I looked forward to the credits more than any kind of resolution to the story.
Whether it’s a success isn’t measurable in dollar amounts, as I think this was more something Tim and Eric had always dreamed of doing. Our reaction to them, which it seems is often the case, is that they couldn’t care less what we think. Whether it’s all some joke we aren’t in on, whether we’re the saps for paying to see them doing these things, this movie seems like a logical conclusion to their shtick. Eric is free to direct all the Maroon Five videos he’s like, and Tim can conquer the genre of the ironic podcast. Tim and Eric have the exclamation point they wanted at the end of their sentence. I recommend you see this film if you consider yourself a fan of Tim and Eric. If not, this likely isn’t the best place to start if you’re looking to become acquainted. Just save yourself the couple dollars and rent it at home.