Comedian Eric Andre is destroying his body for your enjoyment. If you've seen any of The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim or his stand-up performances, you won't be surprised to learn that his back is fucked up from doing anything and everything to make you laugh. I spoke to Eric over the phone about physical comedy, season 2 of his show and accompanying tour, plus his notoriously insane birthday parties.
VICE: I hope I'm not revealing too much, but your birthday parties are the stuff of legend for a certain segment of people here in LA. They go pretty much all day and all night. Why hold such a massive event every year?
Eric Andre: You know, I don't have any god, so I don't have any holidays, so it's my only time of the year to like, go all out. Just be fully self-indulgent.
Was there a clown or something this year?
No, there was a camel, a horse, a goat, a bunny, a 300 pound stripper, two Santa Clauses, we had John K. who created Ren & Stimpy drawing caricatures. I think he left early, actually. We had a bunch of fireworks, and I got a vial of ether.
Just one vial of ether? Did you not share?
No, you can get pretty far off one vial, since just huffing a little. It's not like you're chugging it. Don't drink it.
Did you have a favorite animal that you brought to the party? Did you like the camel better than the horse or the goat. I personally prefer the camel, because of the humps. It's just more interesting to look at.
I liked the camel. I've never seen a double-humped camel. They're rare here.
They're everywhere in Israel. They're on the street. They pay taxes. They're everywhere.
Tell me about the tour. Is it going to be similar to the TV show? Is it going to be different?
The tour is gonna be similar to the show. I'm gonna come out, break a bunch of shit, interview a few people, show some videos. I really hurt my back the other day.
Speaking of your back, I think you're one of the more physical comics working right now, compared to some of your contemporaries that tend to be be more verbal. What got you into beating the shit out of yourself?
I watched a lot of WWF wrestling growing up. Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Junkyard Dog.
I was always a Roddy Piper guy. I don't know why. I just always liked the assholes.
I like that YouTube video where he smashes the glass over his face. Are you on speakerphone? I was like, "is this the 90s?" You sound like you're in a fucking cave.
I am in a cave, actually. We're deep underground, in case of nuclear war.
I want to come by there. Can I come by?
Yeah, sure. You can come by right now.
I hurt myself so bad.
How did you hurt yourself?
I injured my back a long time ago. I don't think I'm going to be on this earth much longer, man.
Well, it's good we're doing this interview now, before you die.
Yeah, get it out of the way.
This is what it's all about. Right now. This moment is more important than anything.
This moment is all we have.
Do you like talk shows? Because your show is so much a deconstruction of the form.
I grew up on all of them. I like all of them. [buzzing]
Is there a lawnmower in the background? Is it a razor, or is that me?
I've got a vibrator, and I'm holding it up to my fucking asshole, like a clit.
Just put in the tip. Don't put the whole thing in.
I put the whole thing in, and I shit on it.
Just leave it in the whole day.
I like Conan, I like Letterman. I like watching old Carson footage.
Are you watching Arsenio right now? I haven't watched an episode yet.
Second season of the show is in HD. Watching it, it's always been kind of rough, with the public access show, videotape aesthetic. How is that going to change the show?
It's a lot different in HD, 16:9 ratio. It's going to look like it was made this year, and not 1981.
I always liked that look.
Yeah, we liked the look too, but we realized, hey, you gotta realize only 10% of people get the reference. For the 16-18 year olds who are out there watching the show, born in the 90s, they don't know what public access footage from the late 70s looked like. I'm nostalgic for it, because that's what I liked growing up, but they weren't getting the reference. It was turning more people off than turning people on. It's all good, the stuff that was shot looks great. I'm excited for it.
Is there anything coming up this season that's particularly noteworthy that you want to tease? Guests or segments?
We tortured a lot of the guests this year, just psychologically. I'll just say "bird up." Bird up, like a bird that flies in the sky. Up.
I think that's a good way to leave it. That's a perfect note.
To see Eric break shit live:
More on comedy: