Late night talk shows are really weird. Have you ever thought about the concept of them? Celebrities with something to promote go on a show with some host who sucks up to them and laughs at everything they say. What usually follows is a really fake and unauthentic conversation that has me praying for the next commercial break. This is how I feel watching most of these shows but there is one that has the opposite effect on me: It’s The Eric Andre Show.
Hosted by comedian and actor Eric Andre, The Eric Andre Show is an 11-minute comedy airing on Adult Swim that parodies late-night talk shows with an absurd amount of vomit, nudity and pranks. A typical talk show starts with the host being introduced and played on set by a band as they wave to the audience. The Eric Andre Show is not your typical late-night talk show. Each episode begins with Eric being introduced like a typical talk show host before he runs on screen yelling and destroying the show’s set. Oh, and he usually assaults a member of whatever band is being used that season.
What follows is about 9 minutes of awkward celebrity interviews and hidden camera pranks on the streets of New York. Eric loves to torture his guests. Therefore, he makes it his goal to make them as uncomfortable as possible. In the process, he ends up accomplishing something late-night talk shows usually don’t: Showing celebrity’s real selves. For instance, when rapper T.I. appeared on the fourth season in 2016, he got angry and walked off the set. Why you might ask? It was probably a combination of a sex toy bursting through Eric’s desk and a guy with no pants (or underwear) walking right in front of him. T.I walked off set but not before tipping over a decorative vase.
Any normal human being would probably have the same reaction to seeing a naked guy and a sex toy, but it’s rare to see celebrities expose who they really are since they always have an image to uphold in the public eye. However, celebrities aren’t the only ones who are victims of Eric’s antics. Random people on the streets of New York are constantly involved in his strange pranks as well.
For example, one prank that aired a few weeks ago involved an actor hired by the show pretending to be a man who has attempted suicide and is lying on the ground injured. Eric shows up on the scene as a new reporter doing a story on the injured man. He then tells his fake camera man that he has to keep the man injured or else there’s no story causing him to repeatedly kick the man before a few good samaritans try to intervene. One almost fights Eric while another tries to arrest him like a police officer. Trust me when I say that words don’t do this segment justice; you have to see it for yourself.
Another interesting aspect of the show is Eric’s co-host comedian Hannibal Burress. Hannibal is the straight man of the show. So many jokes come from him ignoring whatever insane thing Eric does to his guests or from taking his jokes too seriously. One of the most popular Hannibal moments comes from him interrupting Eric’s purposely bad monologue joke about Barack Obama getting a third term as President. He corrects him and is booed by the invisible audience. He then replies apathetically by saying, “Why are you booing me? I’m right.”
Unfortunately, Hannibal has left the show due to wanting to move on with his career — which is understandable. Not having him on the show to play off of Eric crazy antics takes away from some of the show’s humor. Hannibal left the show during season 5 which will be airing its season finale this month. Eric plans to continue the show despite the fact that this is meant to be the last season.
I’m glad that he’s decided not to end the show just yet. In the past few years, it’s been gaining in popularity on YouTube and social media creating a cult following. I can’t go a day without seeing a meme of Eric killing Hannibal or Hannibal’s “Why are you booing me?” quote. It’s great to see that the fans of the show are using memes to basically advertise and give it a popularity boost. I have no idea how much longer this show will air but I will show my appreciation for it while it still does. The Eric Andre Show is a wonderful shake-up to the banal and stale late-night talk show format. I cannot wait to see what ridiculous heights it reaches in the future.
The Eric Andre Show is available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
By Brendan Bell