WATCHING NOT WATCHING: THE ERIC ANDRE SHOW
In the last installment of Watching Not Watching, we interviewed WNW Member #2772 Sam Taylor about his favorite show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The consensus was that It's Always Sunny captured human depravity and selfishness at its finest. So where does that leave The Eric Andre Show? WNW Member #2819 Kyle Platts, a big fan of the show, answered this question and others, and shared an original illustration. Kyle helps us dissect a show that somehow manages to attain an even superior level of depravity, moving into the full-on grotesque. And each frenzied episode clocks in at only 10 minutes! For those who have yet to see an episode, Kyle nails it with this description: "It’s a great show because it doesn’t have any inhabitations. What they have done is taken the tired talk show format and spiked its drink with acid."
Do you tune in and watch The Eric Andre Show weekly on Adult Swim or do you binge online during vacations?
I don’t really have vacations much but yeah I binge on it hard. I think I’ve seen all of them now so it’s just a case of watching my favourite ones over and over again. One of my favourite moments is when Tyler, The Creator is a guest and Eric tells him his dad is here, and his dad is this creepy mutant looking white dude hiding in the rafters, and Tyler cries. That makes me crease every time.
What is it about The Eric Andre Show that draws you in?
I honestly feel like the show was written just for me and my friends. It’s pitched so perfectly and is the type of humour that makes me laugh uncontrollably in my most unreserved embarrassing laugh. The intensity is what I enjoy, the editing and timing is so perfect too, and I love how each show is all crammed into about 10 minutes.
There are plenty of bad shows trying to be good. But only a handful are good shows trying to be bad. Do you prefer this brand of inverted art that has a camp sensibility?
I mean sometimes it’s great to have good shows that are trying to be good shows too, but yeah I love how The Eric Andre Show has this low budget aesthetic and ‘not giving a shit’ sensibility. The best thing about it is the way it has that jovial look, but it’s actually really self aware and considered. It’s a great show because it doesn’t have any inhabitations; what they have done is taken the tired talk show format and spiked its drink with acid.
Your illustrations often capture humanity at its most comically repulsive. As an artist, how do you approach the grotesque while also letting your audience know you're in on the joke?
There are no mechanisms I use to achieve this that I can describe, I just think it’s something that seeps into my work via osmosis because I have a certain humour and it just comes out in my work.
Do you consider an artist's intention when evaluating their work, or do you let the work stand on its own?
The motivation for an artist is important for me and I think a lot of the time with good work you can see the intention without having it explained to you. I recently saw a Rashid Johnson exhibition here in London and immediately you can tell that he is politically driven in the tone of the work.
Is The Eric Andre Show, and television in general, a source of creative inspiration or escape for you?
I don’t watch shows as a form of escapism, I feel really conscious about using time wisely so I like everything I watch to either be inspirational, funny or informative. But having said all that, I watched Taken 3 the other day and loved it. I suppose that would come under ‘funny’ though.
What other shows/films do you recommend to the WNW community?
I just recently watched The Raid 2, which is incredible. It’s probably the best film I’ve seen from The Raid franchise this year. Every fight scene is so intense and it just keeps turning up from scene to scene until by the end you feel like your head is going to explode. Also The Lego Movie; don’t let anyone tell you it is not the best film ever made. Liam Neeson’s voice as the good cop is so funny to me.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yeah if anyone has suggestions for a good low fat alcoholic drink that would be great. I’m an illustrator and I sit drawing at a desk all day, so I’ve realised that if I keep drinking beer at the rate I am now I’m going to start looking like John Belushi pretty quick. Please send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.