The Eric Andre Show
The Eric Andre Show is an American surreal comedy television series on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. The show premiered in the United States on May 20, 2012, and is a parody of low-budget public-access talk shows. The series is hosted by comedian Eric Andre and co-hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress. As of February 2018[update], all episodes have been directed by Kitao Sakurai and Andrew Barchilon. Gary Anthony Williams served as the announcer in the first season, being replaced by Tom Kane in the second season and Robert Smith from the third season onwards.
|The Eric Andre Show|
|Genre||Surreal comedy and hidden camera|
|Created by||Eric Andre|
|Written by||Eric Andre|
Heather Anne Campbell
|Directed by||Kitao Sakurai|
|Presented by||Eric Andre|
|Opening theme||"Happy Happening" by Mathieu Blossier |
(seasons 1–3) "Bebop Bounce" by Andrea Litkei & Ervin Litkei
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||40 (+2 specials) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Abso Lutely Productions|
Sick Duck Productions
Working for Monsters (2012–13)
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original network||Adult Swim|
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV (2012)|
16:9 HDTV (2013–present)
|Original release||May 20, 2012 –|
|Related shows||Mostly 4 Millennials|
A total of 40 episodes have aired over the course of four seasons. On December 31, 2012, The Eric Andre Show aired a 45-minute live New Year's special, titled The Eric Andre New Year's Eve Spooktacular. A second special, named "Eric Andre Does Paris", aired on February 18, 2018.
There are plans for a fifth season.
Every opening of the show starts with an announcer saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Eric Andre Show!" before Andre destroys the backdrop, desk, and various furnishings as the opening song is played by the stage band. As Andre sits, exhausted, a new backdrop, props and furnishings are pushed into place by stagehands and the music stops. Andre may then perform a monologue, incorporating black comedy and surrealism. While Andre struggles to perform, his monologue may turn critical and aggressive as Buress provides derisive commentary. The show will then typically be a mix of celebrity interviews and short sketches, candid camera footage, and non sequiturs, usually focused on Andre's absurd behavior in extemporaneous settings.
At the end, a performer of some type plays over the ending credits. Ending performances are usually parodies of amateur acts common to public access television, while other times are musicians playing their music except with heavy twists, such as powerviolence band Trash Talk playing while wearing volume sensitive shock collars. Mac DeMarco also once played while Andre initiated a segment styled after Japanese game shows titled "Attack DeMarco!", where numerous samurais entered the stage and began tormenting DeMarco.
Guest stars appear throughout the show, with a number of them being faked with impersonators or random people, including Jerry Seinfeld, Russell Brand, George Clooney, The Hulk, Beyonce, Arnold Schwarzenegger (portrayed by Bruce Vilanch) and Jay-Z. From season two onwards, more actual celebrities appeared, including musicians (Tyler, the Creator, Pete Wentz, Devendra Banhart, Killer Mike, Wiz Khalifa, T-Pain, George Corpsegrinder Fisher, Demi Lovato, Chance the Rapper, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Flying Lotus, Open Mike Eagle, Dave Koz, Mac DeMarco), actors (Ryan Phillipe, Krysten Ritter, Dolph Lundgren, Jack Black, Aubrey Peeples, Jack McBrayer, James Van Der Beek, Chris Jericho, Seth Rogen), or 1980s/1990s television stars (Sinbad, Tatyana Ali, Lorenzo Lamas, Jodie Sweetin), although other guests have appeared, including fashion designer Lauren Conrad, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, animation legend John Kricfalusi, and adult film actress Asa Akira.
Development and productionEdit
The show was partly influenced by Space Ghost Coast to Coast, a series which aired on Cartoon Network and later Adult Swim. Andre had said that prior to shooting the first season, he rewatched several episodes of it to "absorb as much Space Ghost as [he] could". Andre also asked many questions to Adult Swim executive Mike Lazzo, the show's creator, who, according to Andre, had no interest in the old show. Other influences include Chris Farley’s talk show host character from Saturday Night Live, "The Merv Griffin Show" episode of Seinfeld, Jiminy Glick, Tom Green, Da Ali G Show and Conan O'Brien.
The look of the show, according to co-director Andrew Barchilon was intended to mimic "this iconic feeling that drove back to (early) Letterman and back to Carson.” Regarding the tone of the show, co-director Kitao Sakurai eschewed labelling the show as a spoof, saying in 2012: "I think [the term] implies that we’re 100% dependent on the material that other, legitimate talk shows supply, that we’re just living off of that. I think it’s more of a deconstruction, an alternate reality talk show rather than a spoof. I think that the interviews that we have with real people and celebrities have their own value that goes beyond spoof".
Andre described himself as being "flat broke" and "scraping by doing commercials and random stand-up," including performing as a caveman for Geico, when he produced the pilot for The Eric Andre Show, known originally as Da-eyre-eyk-awn-drei-shoe.
After filming some man on the street segments, Andre ran out of money and couldn't afford an editor. Knowing that it would be too difficult to explain how to edit the "slop pile of footage", Andre took on the task himself, spending a year learning Final Cut. The pilot was then sent to "a bunch of networks" (including NBC and MTV) where it was rejected on at least one occasion for "look[ing] a little cheap and public access-y". Keith Crofford of Adult Swim said in 2013 that, on seeing the pilot, making the show "was pretty much a no-brainer from there".
Season 1 (2012)Edit
Season 1 was filmed over the course of ten days, with the opening sequences all filmed together over two and a half days at the end of the shoot. At least twenty desks were broken while filming the first season and despite the desk being constructed of drywall to make it easier to break, Andre did suffer injuries during the seasons production.
Filming of the first season of the show saw Andre receive a large amount of creative freedom, but The Eric Andre Show did receive notes from "Standards and Production" at Adult Swim, particularly regarding suicide, drug use and insulting specific deities: Andre commented that "I can curse out God, but I can't curse out Jesus". In a 2012 interview, Andre described production difficulties when planning a scene where "I shit so hard that my organs fall out of my anus". Adult Swim had already flagged the sketch, writing to the show: "He can shit so hard that organs fall out of his anus, but he can’t make it look like he’s intentionally doing it".
Another scene planned, but not shot, for season one involved Andre jumping out of a manhole on the street wearing a prison uniform and handcuffs, yelling "I'm free! I'm free!" but Andre was concerned with "get[ting] shot" and when the show contacted the city, they were warned of "toxic gasses in the sewer that you need special Hazmat suits for." A scene which would have featured Andrew "Dice" Clay performing as Andrew "Nice" Clay, a comedian whose punchlines always espouse positive feminist ideologies, was not filmed due to a scheduling conflict with Clay.
Guests for season 1 included actor Dolph Lundgren. Celebrity impersonators included an actor portraying George Clooney and a character named Russell Brand played by an elderly man named Semere Etmet who Andre described as "[the] sweetest guy". Co-directors Sakurai and Barchilon admitted that "they [weren’t] entirely sure where Etmet came from and that he keeps showing up on set".
Co-director Sakurai stated that during the filming of the first season, "ironically the most angry and violent people we’ve got from things are like people at a Mensa convention, [...] [Andre] was physically attacked." Additionally, Andre was arrested and spent time in jail during production of season 1 when he attended a town hall meeting in a frat-boy getup and announced that he was gonna put "beer in the water fountains and cameras in the girls’ locker room".
Andre, who was also known for his role as Mark Reynolds on the ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 when The Eric Andre Show launched, was warned by ABC network executives not to mention the series on The Eric Andre Show, as they did not want to create an association between the two. According to Andre, several cast and crew members on Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 were not even aware of the existence of Adult Swim when explaining to them The Eric Andre Show. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 was cancelled in January 2013 and in April 2013, it was announced that The Eric Andre Show had been renewed for another season, with a few of his former co-stars from the ABC show to make appearances as guests.
The Eric Andre New Years Eve Spooktacular (2012)Edit
On December 31, 2012, Adult Swim aired a 27-minute Halloween-themed New Years special titled The Eric Andre New Years Eve Spooktacular. Andre commented in 2016 that filming on a live-to-tape format is "kind of difficult" and "I don't think I'd do that again. [...] I think you can fit in more jokes per square inch in something that's heavily edited".
Season 2 (2013)Edit
With season 2, The Eric Andre Show changed to a HD camera setup, a new set design, and a new announcer. Because of the difficulties with gaining consent under California's regulations, some of the impromptu and hidden camera sketches had to be re-recorded in New York City. Andre also admitted to using tactics on real celebrities to make them visibly uncomfortable during the taping without informing them, such as putting "old, rotten clams under their seat before they come out, or heat ducts in their seats so they're just sweltering." The studio space is un-airconditioned. Andre said this is because the studio's airconditioning is too loud to run while filming, but it has the added effect of making the guests feel uncomfortable which is in line with the show's theme.
Guests for season 2 included Vivica A. Fox, during whose interview Andre jumped onto - and through - his desk. Andre explained that the ground "was solid concrete evidently", and that he landed on his tailbone, "in this way that had this domino ripple effect up my spine so my body was asymmetrical for the rest of the year. I was walking around all weird".
Season 3 (2014)Edit
Co-director Kitao Sakurai described season 3's interview methods as "Vietcong interrogation tactics" "We almost always use the first moment of an interview", says co-director Andrew Barchilon, "And then we skip to the end, when they’re exhausted and confused. That’s where the gold is".
Guests for season 3 included Lauren Conrad who "walked off and was really hostile afterwards". The actress "somewhat gamely endured" Andre until he ate his own vomit, at which point she left. According to a 2016 interview with Andre, "Lauren Conrad was wanting blood afterwards," and he later reflected "she’ll probably forever hate me, but I think she’s fantastic". Chris Rock appeared on the show after calling Andre, saying, "I'm going to do the show. I'm flying myself out and putting myself up. I’m a huge fan."
Musical guests Exhumed performed during the third season with three backup singers impersonating The Supremes. According to guitarist Matt Harvey, The Eric Andre Show originally wanted Pig Destroyer to perform, but they were unavailable, "so since we were in California, we got the nod." Harvey explained that part of the reason their appearance is so short is that they "went to the taping and just got hideously, disgustingly drunk. I’m talking like – drunk to unprofessional levels [...] I wish we had been a bit more level headed about it in hindsight, though".
Man on the street segments included dragging a leaking bodybag through New York's Chinatown; the production hadn't wanted to spend $300 on a filming permit and were ultimately met by police and other first responders. In another instance, André splashed people on the subway with breakfast cereal and milk. "It was the hottest day of the year and the milk reeked," said André of the segment. "They just thought I was a lunatic".
Season 4 (2016)Edit
Andre's appearance changed for season 4; he stopped bathing and wearing deodorant, and lost weight.
Scenes planned for season 4, but not filmed included an underwater sequence based on a scene in the film Top Secret! Andre explained: "We came close to doing it two years in a row. We even went as far as having a tank in the outskirts of Los Angeles county where we were going to get all this scuba gear and diving and crane operators; all of these underwater stunt performers. But it's just so expensive and so time consuming that it's not worth sacrificing a million other things for just fifty seconds".
Guests for season 4 included rapper T.I.. "We had T.I. walk off," according to a 2016 interview with Andre, "but he had just had enough." Rapper Flava Flav's interview ends on a freeze-frame of the show's co-host Hannibal Buress kicking Flav in the face; a move Flav denies happened. Flav posted on Facebook in October, 2016 "People asking about that B.S. Eric Andre show. That kick in the face, NEVER HAPPENED. That's some Bullshit editing done to disparage Flav. Yo Eric Andre - FUCK YOU for that move gee - Flavor Flav". Guests intended for season 4, but not booked included Jay Leno and Katt Williams.
While filming "Man on the street" segments, Andre was nearly arrested during production of season 4. Andre spent time in hospital having stitches in his hand due to filming a segment where he was supposed to "hail [sic] through a car window, but my entire hand went through the window and got sliced up. It was also during the first week of shooting so my fingers are like in weird silver finger casts for a lot of the street stuff.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||May 20, 2012||July 29, 2012||Plus one special, aired December 31, 2012.|
|2||10||October 3, 2013||December 12, 2013|
|3||10||November 6, 2014||January 23, 2015|
|4||10||August 5, 2016||October 14, 2016||Plus one special, aired February 18, 2018.|
Both host Eric Andre and co-host Hannibal Buress play exaggerated caricatures of themselves, with Andre being consistently eccentric, dysfunctional, violent and psychotic whilst Buress serves as a relative straight man to Andre's antics, despite usually acting as bizarre as him. Andre consistently overacts during interviews, acts aggressively towards his crew members, diverts from the script, strips naked whenever given the opportunity and overall sets out to make his guests feel as uncomfortable as possible (all of which is intended acting, nevertheless, a tactic used on celebrity guests to show the distinctions between each of their reactions to the environment of the set). Although just as outlandish, Buress is less of an oddity than Andre and usually ends up correcting Andre's mistakes, shaming him on stage. Since there are only two chairs on the set, Buress ends up giving away his seat when a guest appears, awkwardly lingering next to them and attempting to unnerve them alongside his co-host. The announcer has been voiced by three different actors: Gary Anthony Williams during season 1, Tom Kane during season 2, and Robert Smith from season 3 onward. Other than the introduction, they typically announce only during one-off game segments on the show.
The house band is also notable for regular participation in the show. The initial house band was on the show from season 1 to season 3, and consisted of Tom Ato as the guitarist, Early McAllister as the saxophonist, Pfelton Sutton as the drummer (who is almost always tackled during the show's opening), Jerry Wheeler as the trombonist, and Adora Dei as the keyboardist. The bassist changed frequently, being portrayed by Karen Elaine in season 1, JV Smith in season 2, and RJ Farrington in season 3. This entire band was replaced at the start of season 4 with a group of elderly men, including Don Peake as the guitarist, Emilio Palame as the keyboardist, Harold Cannon as the singer, Oscar Rospide as the bassist, and Tony Katsaras as the drummer. Semere-Ab Etmet Yohannes has also portrayed Russell Brand in several episodes. John Bueno, Jermaine Fowler, Roy Subida, Pat Regan, Vanessa Burns, Byron Bowers, and Buddy Daniels Friedman have all made recurring appearances as crew members throughout various seasons.
The Eric Andre Show Live was a touring production of The Eric Andre Show in live venues that were booked during the airing of the first season of the show in 2012. The tour was extended through September 21, 2012 with four additional east coast venues added to the schedule. A follow-up tour was scheduled for November 2013.
At the conclusion of the first season, Christopher R. Weingarten of SPIN described the show as "possibly the weirdest (and most engrossing) ten minutes on contemporary television." Adding that the show combines "the home-brewed humanity of Fernwood 2 Night, the surrealist Möbius strips of Tim & Eric, the Dada puckishness of Tom Green and the kinetic pranksterism of Jackass, [Eric Andre is] ultimately an Andy Kaufman for the Four Loko generation".
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