Earlier this semester I saw Eric Andre’s stand up comedy routine as performed at Northeastern’s Blackman auditorium. It didn’t seem that radical at the time – at least compared to what I had been told to expect.
Hazy memories were all I had of the last time I had seen any of Andre’s work (an episode or two of The Eric Andre show—not to be confused with Tim and Eric Awesome Show). I remember it was a jumble of scenes from a strange talk show cut together with street pranks and confusion.
At Andre’s live performance this Berklee alumnus and man-child came out and performed pretty traditional stand-up comedy. Many of his jokes focused on content from the late nineties, which was sort of funny. Mostly he just seemed to be working the crowd and saying weird stuff.
His closing skit was in challenging two volunteers to race to the bottom of a bottle of ranch dressing and then officiating the chugging contest. He seemed to be doing it just because people would let him – and he thought it was funny.
This sort of detached fascination seems to be the trend in most of Andre’s work. He likes to push things a step or 18 beyond what is expected or necessary and then just take in people’s reaction.
Only two of his guests have walked off during filming of his show and in context two is astoundingly low. If you’re not familiar with the antics Andre pulls on his guests, here’s some educational videos on the subject. During taping, he (along with co-host Hannibal Buress) have let rats loose onstage, touched guests inappropriately and lapped fake vomit off of a desk. The guests on his show are in turn noticeably off-balance and disgusted.
In my research, by far the most interesting times are when Andre appears on the shows of others. He seemingly does his best to treat their show as his own and flips interviews on the host. Andre also notably went to the Republican National Convention this last election cycle and had an interesting time trolling people.
The absurdity of Andre’s content speaks for himself. He is notable because of the discomfort he brings people who are used to media appearances. It is entertaining to see the reaction Jack Black has to being unexpectedly electrocuted, or the frustration of someone like Larry King after 15 minutes interacting with this man. That is all.
Photo credit to CleftClips via Wikimedia Commons. Source.