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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 115 Minutes
- Deleted Scenes
- Extended Scenes
- Karaoke Videos
- Kaz Kiss
- Awesomecon 2008
- Tim & Eric Awesome Tour 2008
The second season of insanity from some of the best and most original comedic voices being heard today.
Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, with scads of talented comedy guest stars (both the expected and the unexpected)
If you’ve read my review of Tom Goes to the Mayor, you can tell it’s a show that I warmed to the further I delved into it. The Wareheim/Heidecker strategy seems to put a distance between the viewer and the material with the format in which the comedy is presented that requires a little effort and time on the audience’s part in order to connect with it. But once I did, it was blissful. So needless to say I was excited to see what these guys would cook up under a variety show-esque live action format, and season one of Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job! didn’t disappoint. However, now that the cat is out of the bag and style of comedy that Tim and Eric are unleashing on the public has been revealed, can they keep up the pace for their second season?
The most successful accomplishment that this show brings to the table is the development and cultivation of a very specific aesthetic that feels as if it has never been mined before for comedic purposes. The end result is oftentimes hilarious, but just as often creepy, visceral and grotesque. Tim and Eric hold a mirror up to the sticky and rancid excess that has clung to the bottom of our society and its love of developing technologies and notions that everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame. Their comedy is that of obsolete items being sold in garish and surrealistic infomercials, public access TV-level acts getting to strut their stuff (ventriloquist David Liebe Hart, comedian James Quall, and the fictional and horrific duo of Casey and his brother) on the big stage with all of the great effects that chroma key can muster up. It’s also a place where they can show off some truly ridiculous Photoshop skills allowing for the most ridiculous and oftentimes disturbing endings to some of the episodes. Look no further than the feral manbaby Chippy, hovering around the periphery of the show with its piercing wail and mustachioed face to see what level these guys are operating on.
It’s more than understandable that this show wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. They frequently are operating on a pretty visceral level and are looking for nothing more than a reaction, even if you don’t find what they’re doing funny. Speaking personally, I love that the show toes the incredibly thin line between comedy and horror with its constant disfigurements and the most pulped meat seen on screen this side of Jan Svankmajer. Even if you can’t appreciate the comedy, you have to appreciate the level of craft that has led to some creating some 60-odd jingles that are perfect representations of the situations and characters they’re given to. The show is a whirlwind of energy and bits that are disposed almost as quickly as they appear. If you didn’t like the last bit, it’s okay it’ll be over in about forty seconds. They fine tune each episode until it’s a delirious mix of surreal bits, crazed video editing, and hard to forget character work.
Even though this isn’t like anything that was on television before it, it isn’t so beyond the pale as something like, say, Xavier Renegade Angel is to the point where you’re no longer getting comedy and you’re just being supplied with stream-of-consciousness weird. No, Tim and Eric is an honest-to-goodness comedy show that dresses up its sketches in bizarre aesthetic trappings. It almost requires a sort of comedy archaeology to get to the jokes and punchlines, but the work is worth it.
Character-driven stuff like Steve Brule mixes effortlessly with jokes about the proliferation of animated TV ads that advertise during the show you’re watching along with more esoteric bits that are brought together entirely in the editing process. It also helps that it has the standard Adult Swim eleven minute runtime that assures that bits cannot wear out their welcome and that the aesthetic won’t completely wear you down by each episode’s finish. They often tread a lot of the same ground (scatological jokes, grotesque images of food, terrible Photoshop animations), so if the show ran any longer that it already does, it could quite easily grow old rather fast. Luckily, it’s the perfect length and the guys have yet to run aground with their material. Their constant use of what everyone else would consider flubbed takes or captured moments with their actors not to mention the scads of useless inventions and technology that keep pouring out of this great country of ours seem to ensure that Wareheim and Heidecker won’t be running out of material anytime soon. And I for one couldn’t be happier about that.
Adult Swim can always be counted on to deliver in terms of extras and packaging and this is no different. Their packaging is always true to the show’s tone and this is no different and is appropriately abominable because of it. And as usually is the case, this set is stacked with extras that will more than sate the appetites of all Tim and Eric fans. You get a blooper reel, a lot of deleted scenes (some of which are pretty entertaining, but understandably cut), and some extended scenes. There’s also the always entertaining Adult Swim promos, Karaoke Videos if you feel compelled to sing some of their catalog, and a couple of silly bits housed under ‘Kaz Kiss’ and ‘Edgar Allen Poe IV’.
The most substantial extras are the two documentaries about their party they throw around the San Diego Comicon that shows how much they try and put themselves out there amongst their fan base and a nearly hour long documentary about their live touring. Having been to one of these performances, let me say that this accurately reflects what it’s like (headache inducing, and I mean that in a semi-complimentary way). A really nice package for a show that deserves the love it gets.