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The Intended Madness Of Comic Eric Andre’s ‘Anti-Talk Show’

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
December 8, 2013

Late-night comedy show hosts are known for opening their programs in a certain style. David Letterman takes to the stage with a wave and a smile. Jay Leno comes out and shakes hands with the audience.

Eric Andre takes quite a different approach: flying into an uncontrollable rage as soon as the band plays him on and smashing nearly everything on the set.

“During the intro of my show, I hurt myself, I hurt my shoulder pretty bad. I hurt my back really bad,” he tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath.

“I jumped on my desk and landed right on my tuckus during the Vivica Fox interview and I just like wrenched my back and sent a shock wave up my spine. … My back still feels kind of asymmetrical.”

The Eric Andre Show lasts just 15 minutes, and appears in the middle of the night during on the Cartoon Network.

Nothing about the show is normal, least of all the celebrity interviews — which he conducts with outrageous questions and stunts that sometimes border on mockery. Andre says he’s not trying to be mean.

“Nothing I’m doing is meant to be mean-spirited because that’s not fun or funny. Anybody can be mean,” he says. “It’s more about just being absurd and just wildly inappropriate for the sake of comedy.”

Spin Magazine has called it “the weirdest show on TV.”

Still, it’s generated a rabid fan base. The show wraps its second season Thursday, and has been picked up for a third season.

Interview Highlights

On the vision behind the show

It is like a mock-talk show or an anti-talk-show talk show, where I just destroy the talk show from the beginning to the end — deconstructing … the fact that most talk show hosts have to just be overly polite and be like, “You’re so great, Victoria’s Secret model who doesn’t know anything! We’re best friends.”

And I just think it’s way funnier for a host to just be completely uninformed and spaced out and apathetic.

Do celebrity guests know what they’re getting into?

Some people are totally in the dark. Some people don’t even know the name of the show or who I am before they do it. Like, we had Demi Lovato on the show for the New Year’s special. And I called her up, I just wanted to like call her up and be like, “Hey thanks so much for doing the show,” before she came on. And she goes, “I just wanna let you know I’ve seen your Billion Dollar Movie a hundred times.” And I was like, “Oh no, that’s Eric Wareheim. That’s ‘Tim and Eric’ Eric.”

And then she goes, “Oh.” …

I just kept my fingers crossed that she wouldn’t cancel.

On getting the show renewed for a third season

I’m so happy it’s all working out because I was so broke for like 10 years trying to make a living doing comedy. I was eating beans by candle light for a decade. It’s nuts that people are listening to the demons in my brain. But it’s awesome. I can’t believe it. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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