Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job is practically impossible to describe. The ten-minute sketch comedy show plays like public access programming run by a collection of particularly dangerous and insane inmates of a mental asylum, while viewed on acid. It would almost qualify as outsider art if it weren’t so bowel-looseningly hilarious. Over the course of five seasons on Adult Swim, comedic geniuses/genuinely strange guys Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim took a form of absurdist sketch comedy with a direct line to Monty Python and Mr. Show and completely made it their own. They pushed their grotesque tastes and affinity for working with genuine eccentrics over actors to a point where the primarily goal didn’t always seem to be to make their audience laugh, but have them shake their heads and quietly mutter, “what the fuck.” The results had more in common with David Lynch than SNL and obviously appealed to the recreational narcotics crowd. Naysayers could easily poo-poo the series with Moe Szyslak’s famous criticism of post-modernism “weird for the sake of weird.” In a way that’s true, but when “weird for the sake of weird” is done this well, how can you possibly complain? My review after the jump:
The fifth season of Awesome Show (dubbed season “Cinco” after the show’s hilariously inept manufacturing company) plays like both a series finale and a loveletter to the devoted fanbase. Sure, Tim And Eric returned for a one-off “Chrimbus” special last December, but that was post-script. Each episode of this final season feels dedicated to bidding farewell to fan favorite characters. Zach Galifianakis’s Terry Green and weirdo real life personalities like Richard Dunn, James Quall, Ron Austar, and Davie Liebe Hart each got a bizarre send off episode, while even the constantly vomiting and possibly abused lounge act Casey was brought back from the dead for one last blast. The likes of John C. Reilly Will Ferrell, Danny Trejo, Paul Rudd, and Patrick Duffy all popped up for cameos, while Tim And Eric even found time to squeeze in some new characters like their mozzarella cheese and big poop obsessed Italian massage masters. It’s hard to pick a favourite episode out of the cripplingly funny collection, but the most memorable would have to be either The Handsome Man Competition (featuring bigger silicone boobs and more unnecessary nudity than any show on The Cartoon Network should be allowed) and the epic Christmas special Man Milk (where the boys grow easily the most disgusting milk-spouting protruding nipples in the history of television). It’s honestly hard to find a low point in the entire season.
Season Cinco comes to DVD with the pair’s now patented hallucinogenic cover art. If you weren’t already a fan of the show it would be practically impossible to tell this was a comedy show from the box, but that’s probably a good thing as it will keep non-fans away from diving in at season five (things get little too intense and inside to start watching the show here). In terms of special features, there are an amazing collection of deleted and extended scenes, including a dream sequence described by Tommy Wisseau that has to be seen to be believed. There are also some outtakes, a Richard Dunn tribute video, and some karaoke editions of the season’s numerous songs. There’s no making of material or commentary tracks, but this honestly isn’t the type of show that would benefit from behind-the-scenes tidbits or over-explaining the gags. This brand of surreal humor defies explanation. You either get it or you don’t.
Given how hysterical the fifth season of Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job was, it’s kind of a shame that it also marks the end of the series. But in a way, that’s a good thing. These guys are smart enough to know when to quit while they’re ahead and it’s not as if they’ve stopped working. Their John C. Reilly-starring Awsome Show spin-off Check It Out was just as funny, they’re currently shooting their first movie, and there are rumors of the pair making a TV show with Tommy Wisseau (dear god, please let that happen). Simply put, Tim and Eric are two genuine originals whose twisted sense of humor might not appeal to everyone, but will always find a devoted following with viewers just as messed up as they are. It’s hard to imagine them ever having the same freedom they had with Adult Swim on this cult series again, but it’s also impossible to imagine them doing anything different. Personally, I can’t wait see what the demented duo pull off next. Bring on Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie!