Monday, March 24, 2008

Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job

This is pretty much my favorite thing right now. Subsequently I've been watching that Absolut Vodka thing (below) at least once a day, and I can honestly say that it has affected my perception (if I had one) of Absolut Vodka. So it's probably effective advertising in that regard. But I don't care.

Let me see if I can articulate one thing I love about Tim & Eric. They use awkwardness in a way that's similar to alot of comedy today. See The Office (British and American versions), Curb Your Enthusiasm and Flight of The Concords. But in a skit like the one below, the awkwardness (a Zack Galifianakis outburst) is simultaneously framed and interrupted by excessive slurping, glass clinking, a din of ice jiggling, and intricately edited panting in anticipation of more Absolut Vodka being poured, not to mention downright frightening wigs. This makes it more like Monty Python than most contemporary awkwardness and/or topical comedy.

One skit from T&EASGJ, if you can even call it a skit, is Tim & Eric playing, I think, 3 year old boys with toy cars. A middle-aged woman comes down to the basement to check on them. They see her and they start yelling "ooh mama!" repeatedly, first happily then angrily. Then they trash the basement, as the "ooh mama" chant is looped into a song, with a spooky keyboard melody. I won't spoil the end, but that's pretty much all it is.

It might sound stupid. It might be. I don't care. I like stupid, especially annoying stupid.

But the absurdity is decieving. A Tim & Eric episode, at the standard Adult Swim length of 10-11 minutes, weaves together ridiculous tape loops, questionable celebrity impressions ("I'm Jack Nicholson. I like spaghetti & meatballs."), awesome "pumping" footage, and bottom of the screen crawls where Zack Galifianackis reminds you you're watching a show where he plays "The Snuggler", among other things, in a way that's more clever and sophisticated than any sketch comedy I've seen accepting maybe Python or Mr. Show. Season 1 even had a cliffhanger that had ambiguously impaired Casey, of the Uncle Muscles Hour kidnapped by a suspicious man in a van.

Now you might be saying, "Yes Mike, I've seen Tim & Eric Good Job With Your Comedy or whatever its called. My roomate loves it, won't stop watching it actually. And he also somehow managed to eat the entire box of Kellogs Mueslix while I was sleeeping. Besides, I live in Brooklyn and we hear about everything at least 3 months before you do." Well, I am that roomate. I eat your Mueslix.


JimK said...

They remind me of SCTV,
only SCTV was awfully diluted,
(90 minutes w/7 good minutes)
and didn't have the odd
self-consciousness that really
pumps the awkwardness. They
are a riot, no doubt. The basic
idea seems to be..the viewer
must be saying WTF at least
twice a minute, so it can't be

Mike H said...

Yeah it's actually reminded me of SCTV too. But whereas that show seemed like it spoofed (if I remember) alot of 'prime time' television, Tim & Eric seem to go after cable television (that crawl at the bottom of the screen in the middle "The Snuggler" suggesting that the viewer is in fact in the middle of a "Snuggler" marathon), cable access, and of course local news anchors.

shanna said...

zach g. is one of my fave comedians. because i too love annoyingly stoopid. i never heard of these other guys till i saw this, but i moved from brooklyn about a year ago. ;)

Mike H said...

That may explain it. But I think Galifianakis and T/E found common aesthetic ground if that encourages you at all to check the latter out.