However you may have felt about the first season of Funny or Die Presents on HBO, well, get ready to remember and relive those feelings later this month, because the second season is a lot more of the same. And then some.
Getting an early look at the first three episodes of season two (debuting Jan. 14, Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, respectively), I can assure you that the one major problem from season one has been dispensed with -- there does not appear to be any idea that has been cut up and diluted into serial episodes. The recurring ideas all can stand on their own. Not that they all should, mind you.
For instance, starting off the season with Deepak Chopra as Rob Huebel's guest in the first installment of his series, "Do You Want To See A Dead Body?", isn't exactly an inspired decision. Remember how much you laughed along with Chopra in The Love Guru? Exactly. Huebel fares better later in the season when he gets Ben Stiller to tag along. And here Huebel is with former NFL player Warren Sapp.
The second-season premiere hits the mark much better with Ben Schwartz's "Terrible Decisions," as well as the sublime and ridiculously NSFW turns by Seth Morris and June Diane Raphael as Lt. Ducca and Det. Phuk in "United States Police Department" (who appear again in the second episode). The recurring "Re-enactments of Actual Conversations from the Ladies Rooms of Hollywood" featuring Andrea Savage are predictably insufferable, while the voice-over action figure sketch, "Brick Novax's Diary," is, well, what is it?
But that's what you get with Funny or Die Presents. Just as in its first season, each episode includes something that'll make you laugh out loud, something that makes you want to flip the channel, and something else that makes you wonder what in the world is happening.
Episode two (aka Episode #14) pairs Brett Gelman with a parrot in the over-the-top Funny or Die Movie of the Week: "Paco Dances," and ends with Mitch Magee getting his old video series, "Welcome To My Study," on the TV with the first of four new installments.
Tim & Eric fans will delight in knowing the duo makes a cameo in their own short directing Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as wild animals in episode three (aka Episode #15) with "John and Will's Animal Choices."
David and Jennie return, too, with more of their "amazing adventures." And Adam West proves he never was Leslie Nielsen as he gets a short recurring bit reciting classic pick-up lines to the camera.
Oh, and get ready to welcome back Ed Halligan to your TV as the channel's fictional VP of marketing and sales is back as the host, appearing in between the multiple previews and introductory pieces for each episode. But if you were expecting something else, then you were expecting too much. As they have Halligan say at the end of this season's debut: "Well, from Funny or Die, that's all we have tonight. I think you got your money's worth. On the off chance, though, that you think you didn't, well, there's not much you can do about it. That boat sailed a long time ago. And I own that boat. I got it with the money you just wasted."
Tim and Eric are about to hit the road in November for a national tour leading up to their Dec. 5 "Chrimbus Special" on Adult Swim.
Last night, the fellas went on Jimmy Kimmel Live in their Chrimbus get-ups and tried to make Kimmel and the audience uncomfortable, first by acting as if they were not ready to be on TV, then by posing together on the floor. Cut to the old lady who's supposed to shocked and horrified. "It gets better"?
Roll the clips (which the show cuts in half for double your YouTube pleasure).
"I thought the whole point of this was to get the small part in the big Hollywood comedy movie."
-- Tim Heidecker, questioning Brett Gelman about why he was still hosting "shit shows" such as Comedy Death-Ray, in a surprise walk-on appearance as Gelman's "comedy coach" at Comedy Death-Ray on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, at the UCB Theatre in Hollywood.
Related: You also can hear Gelman talk about comedy and hip-hop on the podcast Hype Men.
You cannot really label this who joked about it first, because first of all, Tim and Eric did their "Tiny Hats" sketch in their second season on Adult Swim in December 2007, while Saturday Night Live focused on tiny hats in last night's 36th season opener. Also, someone else somewhere in the world probably put a tiny hat on his or her head and made a funny about it before then. Promise you that.
And the SNL sketch makes the tiny hats part of a game-based sketch about interpersonal relationships, rather than simply a store that sells the hats.
So. Who joked about it better? Here was last night's SNL sketch, Ladies Who Lunch:
And here was Tim & Eric's ad spoof for Tiny Hats:
RELATED: SNL already had been influenced by T&E a couple of season ago, as anyone could tell by a few of the digital shorts -- which is because they've been directed by Jonathan Krisel, who works as a director, editor, e.p. and writer on T&E, ASGJ.
Still, it's amusing (or is it) that Tim Heidecker answered fan comments on Twitter this morning by asking: "will there be a "betty white" sized online movement demanding public apology?#tinyhatswar".
NOTE: Full review of SNL's 36th season opener to come later. Anyone who knows me knows why it's not up already.
Hey guys! I don't know what it was about Sept. 13 that made comedians decide to produce YouTube videos to announce their fall comedy tours, but both Bo Burnham and Tim & Eric did so. They're not touring together. Unless Neil Hamburger turns out to be Burnham in disguise. Which would be Great Job, Awesome.
Bo Burnham found his fame via YouTube, so it made sense for him to say something here. Although I guess he hadn't said anything here in a while, which made that newsworthy for the YouTube commenters. For you and me, however, wait for the end to catch a peek of Burnham in the studio recording one of his tracks for "Words, Words, Words."
His tour dates look like this:
THE BO BURNHAM AND (NO) FRIENDS TOUR
10/23/2010 Park West - Chicago, IL
10/24/2010 Turner Hill Ballroom - Milwaukee, WI
10/28/2010 Barrymore Theatre - Madison, WI
10/29/2010 Englert Theatre - Iowa City, IA
10/30/2010 Royal Oak Music Hall - Royal Oak, MI
10/31/2010 Varsity Theatre - Minneapolis, MN
11/04/2010 The Knitting Factory - Boise, ID
11/05/2010 Aladdin Theatre - Portland, OR
11/07/2010 Showbox - Seattle, WA
11/11/2010 Regency Center - San Francisco, CA
11/13/2010 Music Box - Los Angeles, CA
11/14/2010 SOMA - San Diego, CA
11/17/2010 La Zona Rosa - Austin, TX
11/18/2010 Numbers Nightclub - Houston, TX
11/19/2010 Palladium Ballroom - Dallas, TX
11/20/2010 Tipitinas - New Orleans, LA
12/02/2010 Higher Ground Ballroom - Burlington, VT
12/03/2010 State Theatre - State College, PA
12/04/2010 Trocadero Theatre - Philadelphia, PA
12/05/2010 Capitol Theatre - Columbus, OH
Tim and Eric, meanwhile, announced a "Chrimbus Special" to air Dec. 5 on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network), in addition to a fall tour that kicks off Nov. 1. Roll the clip.
And here are their dates:
11/1/2010: Seattle, WA, SODO
11/2/2010: Portland, OR, Roseland Theater
11/3/2010: Eugene, OR, W.O.W. Hall
11/4/2010: Chico, CA, El Rey Theater
11/5/2010: San Francisco, CA, The Regency Ballroom
11/6/2010: Los Angeles, CA, Club Nokia
11/8/2010: Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
11/9/2010: Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
11/11/2010: Dallas, TX Granada Theater
11/12/2010: Houston, TX Warehouse Live
11/13/2010 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
11/15/2010: Kansas City, MO Midland by AMC
11/16/2010: Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre
11/17/2010: Minneapolis, MN State Theatre
11/18/2010: Chicago, IL Vic Theatre
11/20/2010: Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
11/21/2010: Detroit, MI Royal Oak
11/22/2010: Pittsburgh, PA Carnegie
11/23/2010: Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom
11/24/2010: Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero
11/26/2010: Boston, MA Wilbur Theatre
11/27/2010: New York, NY Nokia
11/28/2010: Burlington, VT Higher Ground
11/29/2010: Hartford, CT The Webster
11/30/2010: Albany, NY Northern Lights
12/1/2010: Falls Church, VA State Theatre
12/3/2010: Nashville, TN Cannery
12/4/2010: Louisville, KY Headliners
12/5/2010: Atlanta, GA Variety
You can say whatever you want about the humor of Tim and Eric -- I know I have, and continue to have a very mixed opinion about what they're doing with their show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim -- but nobody can deny the amusement that is and was their parody (or homage) of Saturday Night Live with their opening credits that launched "Season Cinco" early Monday morning. It could be either and/or both, all at the same time. Tim Heidecker? Eric Wareheim? Nice job!
I'm very excited about the new HBO series collaborating with Funny or Die, who in turn is unleashing lots of great comedians to do their things on cable TV. Here are four new teaser trailers for sketches from the series Funny or Die Presents, which debuts at midnight Friday, Feb. 19.
The first features the latest installment of "Drunk History," which won an award at the Sundance Film Festival and cast Will Ferrell and Don Cheadle to re-enact the drunken ramblings of Jen Kirkman. She really does look drunk, you guys! Roll it.
And the second clip shows us a reunion of sorts, as Zach Galifianakis joins Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim in a bit called "Just 3 Boyz." Looks like someone really could use a horse massage?
But wait. There's more!
Here's a clip from the short film, "Designated Driver: Office Prank," that includes Rob Riggle, Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel.
And there's a fourth clip. This is called "Hold Up," starring Ed Helms, Thomas Lennon, Malin Akerman, Rachael Harris, Huebel again, and Creed from The Office acting like Creed from The Office. "C'mon. It's open season on jive turkey." Perfect? From what I gathered from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, this one is his handiwork, and also includes Jerry Minor, Brandon Johnson, Ian Roberts, Rich Fulcher and Kate Walsh. Roll it and see:
It's Sunday. Were you looking for some funny diversions, or merely trying to track down a video somebody told you about that just showed up on the Internets? Well, then, you're probably in luck, because odds are I might have posted what you're looking for over on Comedy.com's comedians channel, The Laugh Track. Let's review:
Aimee Mann not only befriends comedians, but she also tours with them, and stars in comedy videos with them. Behold, all ye triumphant souls, and God bless us, everyone, for this four-parter take on A Christmas Carol. "A Christmas Carol spoof? Really? Yes. That's what we're doing." (thanks for finding this, Videogum!). Featuring Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, John Krasinski, Michael Cera, Tim Heidecker, John C. Reilly, Grant Lee Phillips, and Paul F. Tompkins. Directed by Tim Heidecker. Ah, technology!
The New York Times today profiled Tim and Eric (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim) in advance of tonight's season 3 debut of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Adult Swim. Don't know if I'd call it "Nightmare TV," but there certainly is a bizarre aesthetic to their approach to humor -- I think their Absolut comedy comrade Zach Galifianakis helped me put them into perspective when he described what he loved about Tim and Eric, and that's how they tap into their inner children. Essentially, these guys embrace their immature adolescent former selves in an uninhibited way, and that has an appeal, particularly to the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim viewership of boys and men in their teens and early 20s. When they appeared on FOX's Talk Show with Spike Feresten, Feresten introduced them as the voice of stoner comedy. That's selling them a bit short. Not a lot, but a bit. It's more accurate to put them in with a group of currently successful comedians who rely on acting like big kids, such as John C. Reilly (who collaborates with Tim and Eric) and Will Ferrell (see this weekend's Step-Brothers in cinemas), as well as the stoner antics of Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow's crew. Of everyone in this group, Tim and Eric take the most chances. Throwing pizzas and hot dogs into audiences may inspire some fandom, but it's not exactly high comedy. Unless you're high. And tonight's episode includes such low-brow humor as a boy wondering how to fix his smelly penis. I'm also not as amused as they are at casting awful entertainers to play supporting roles solely for us to laugh at how awful they are. Nevertheless, I do appreciate their determination to mock convention.
You can judge for yourself by watching tonight's season 3 debut. It's on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network) at 12:30 a.m., and if you miss it then, or want to see it again, it's online here in multiple parts. Watch Part 1 here. Watch Part 2 (featuring John C. Reilly in a panini-making infomercial) here. Clips after the jump!
UPDATED: The Village Voice posted a lengthy and informative interview with the boys on July 29. An excerpt, in which the boys try to describe their show...
Eric Wareheim: Dave Eggers called it a nightmare—like watching a real nightmare. Which I love. Sometimes you're thrown into moments when you should not be there, and it's
horrible. Tim and I love awkward moments; we love seeing people that should not be in front of a camera, that kind of sensation. Then we also like super-silly ball jokes every once in a while.
Tim Heidecker: I think that will be left to somebody years from now to put a name on it. We don't really associate with very much else, except maybe some British shows.
Tim Heidecker: I think that will be left to somebody years from now to put a name on it. We don't really associate with very much else, except maybe some British shows.
How silly is too silly? Can you imagine an online video in which Tim and Eric allege that Zach Galifianakis isn't being subtle enough? If you cannot, then the fine people at Absolut Vodka (please do not send me any free bottles, because that will just make my mother angry) have this video to share with you. Go, Zach, go. Enjoy!
If you're in need for some silly foolishness and think The Love Guru didn't bring it, then maybe you should just take a breath and wait until July 27, because that's when Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! returns to Adult Swim. Tim and Eric say so themselves.
Tim and Eric just posted a lengthy recap of their live spring Awesome Tour that's full of photos, insight and sincere thoughts from the road. Example: They didn't know what to expect in Asheville but loved it! "Possibly the greatest show we've ever done." For more NSFW photos, food-tossing, special guests and insanity captured by still photography, click here. They also apologize to all of the club janitorial staffs that had to clean up after them. If you prefer your tour recaps in video form, here is the final installment of their "Not Live" documentary, although this is really just the guys acting up for the cameras. It's another NSFW example of how a video labeled for mature audiences redefines mature. To recap: If you really want to know how they felt about the tour, read the regular blog.
A few months ago, Zach Galifiankis began screening two potential Absolut vodka videos he produced with his comedy friends Tim & Eric. Absolut put one of the videos up this spring. Here, thanks to friendly friends at Best Week Ever and Videogum, is the other video, in which the boys bounce around the beach in silly swimwear and hairdos. Enjoy!
Tuesdays typically are Tim and Eric Nite Live days and nights on Super Deluxe, but the boys are on tour, so here they give us their first behind-the-scenes installment of Tim and Eric Not Live. It's exactly as groundbreaking as you might expect. And not suitable for work.
Oh, Super Deluxe. I love how you pay comedians for content. But sometimes, you keep their videos locked away for months and I forget to look for them. Other times, you end up with the most awkwardly appropriate video descriptions, such as Jonah Ray's "Master The Internet," which says: "Everybody's doing it! Why not you, also?" Yes. Everybody is doing this. Jonah Ray does it here, with points for achieving the throwback video look, negative bonus points for unnecessary World Trade Center joke.
This video sure reminds me of something. What could it possibly be? Oh. Right. Gabe & Max's Internet Thing plowed this territory last year, with more than 542,000 viewers on the YouTube since October. A few months later, Tim & Eric did pretty much the same thing with their "The Innernette" sketch on the TV.
Taken individually, each of these videos has its own charms. But three makes a trend, as the mainstream media loves to observe, and this trend reminds me of your basic nostalgia humor trap that stand-up comedians have used over the years for easy laughs. Nostalgia humor traps often include cartoons, commercials and games you remember from childhood. Remember that show? (This is the part where audiences instinctively laugh, even before there is a punchline.) Technology also has fallen prey to nostalgia humor traps as our gadgets get better and make older tech outdated, and therefore inherently funny. The most common one I hear refers to anyone still carrying a pager or beeper. So I'm onto you, Internet videos about the Internet that look like they're from the 1990s. But if I want to really laugh about how far the Internet has come since then, I'll just watch a real-life video about the Internet in 1995. Like this one.
Several of my comedy friends have weighed in with early reviews from the start of the Tim and Eric Awesome Tour Live. The Optimistic Curmudgeon (Nick A. Zaino III) caught the first show Monday at TT The Bear's, a small rock club in Cambridge, Mass., and filed a fairly extensive report. Gabe Delahaye over at Videogum witnessed the duo at their NYC show last night and found that the young boys rather liked getting hit in the face with pizza slices (accompanied by video of same from 2007). And if you'd like to hear Tim and Eric speak seriously about their show, you can thank Whitney Matheson, USA Today's pop culture blogger, for this podcast (includes a couple of NYC indie rock songs, too!). A few of my other friends also went last night and have photos with Tim and Eric to prove it!
Hint: For earlier posts on Tim and Eric, click on the category tag for them below.
Friend in comedy journalism Nick A. Zaino III got Tim and Eric on the phone to explain themselves. Zaino's verdict? "The show is a lot more fun if you just immerse yourself in the weirdness, as audiences did with Monty Python and Ernie Kovacs in their respective times."
"We know that that's the kind of show that we'd want to watch if we were 17 years old," says Tim Heidecker of the duo's approach. "They're the kind of shows that make you feel like they've gone into your brain and they know exactly what you want to see."
Their sold-out tour hits Cambridge, Mass., on Monday (not coincidentally, Neil Hamburger plays the bar next door the day before them), then NYC on Tuesday, Philadelphia on Wednesday. Tim and Eric's season one DVD is available now. Click below to buy it!
After an opening bit from Dave Hill about Osama bin Laden and an elephant of the same name, it was time for the show, and your host Carl Arnheiter. The title, Inside Joke, may clue you in to the interview format, but when you add a live audience and a lively comedian, who knows exactly how much interview and how much showcase you'll get. Galifianakis said the recently finished Funny or Die tour with Will Ferrell, Demetri Martin and Nick Swardson was good, and joked that "the tour was going to be called two Greeks, a fag and a successful guy."
Then we went inside. His first paid gig was in a strip mall in Maysville, Kentucky and he talked about starting in the back of Hamburger Harry's in Times Square. He talked about his short-lived late-night talk show on VH1 -- nine weeks! -- and how he turned down an 11-day gig worth $700,000 to be the spokesman for Time Warner Cable.
And then he showed his new Absolut ad with Tim and Eric. He has been showing this video for weeks now at various shows, but it finally went online over the weekend.
Galifianakis told me a few weeks ago how he admired Tim and Eric, and he said it again on this night. "I really do think it's the funniest, most creative thing on television...It reminds you of when you were a kid. You'd laugh at a stupid fart joke. They're two big farts!"
On another short-lived TV show, Dog Bites Man: "I got to talk to the Grand Wizard (of the KKK) if he's ever seen Big Momma's House 2."
On being an SNL writer for two weeks, in which he tried pitching a sketch to guest host Britney Spears. Galifianakis thought he'd been hired to be on the show, and instead, he was hired to write for Molly Shannon.
He talked about smoking so much pot in Vancouver, B.C., that he couldn't remember his lines for Tru Calling. The secret to getting that TV gig? "Don't care." He reportedly got the job not because of how well he read his lines, but because in the audition, he wrote a joke on the back of his script pages. Arnheiter closed this show with a surprise for the audience, introducing Janeane Garofalo to hand out his Rice Krispie Treats and then help read an unaired scene from Tru Calling with Galifianakis.