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‘The Eric Andre Show’ Musical Guests: From Coolest to Lamest

From T-Pain to Henry Rollins.
November 6, 2014, 5:00pm

Eric Andre's a comedic genius, but not for the obvious reasons. His man-on-the-street bits are maybe too confrontational, too histrionic to be taken as "art.” It's like when Kanye West talks about “Eatin’ Asian pussy, all I need was sweet and sour sauce”—sure, it's shocking, but too attention-seeking to be brilliant.

Like West, Andre's actual talent lies in the small stuff, barely recognizable to those not plugged into his idiosyncratic madness. And as should be expected of the one celebrity who actually graduated from Berklee College of Music (seriously, I thought only people were supposed to drop out of that school to be successful), his music bits are where the real, super-particular lies. The upcoming third season, premiering this Thursday at 12:15, promises groundbreaking head trips from even more weird, TBA artists (they’ve already confirmed Wiz Khalifa, but is he really rapping? Come on. Dude was on Arsenio.).

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Without further ado, we present some of the show's musical guests from coolest to lamest:*

MODERN TIME MACHINES AND RETALIATE

These are pretty hilarious caricatures of shoegaze and hardcore on their own, but is it any consolation that these are real bands? Seriously. The best moment of all of this: those few seconds before Eric (naturally) leaves the studio and runs up the mountain, those bands actually sync up a little. Maybe rock’s subgenres have more in common than we thought. Maybe we can live in a world without wars. Or not. Whatever. Coolest.

LISA STANLEY AND KILLER MIKE

It’s unclear whether or not Lisa Stanley exists. That’s not really important. With Killer Mike setting hip-hop aflame with his and El-P’s RTJ2, it’s important we remember that he’s capable of more concise, concentrated bursts of damning intensity. JK, he said, “I have no gag reflex” and that was funny as hell. And that opera singer’s got some legit pipes. Cool.

T-PAIN

T-Pain’s been having quite the critical resurrection as of late, and the timeline shows that it all began with this performance, the only real stand-out from season two. T-Pain was a lot of things, but at least give the man enough credit to be really self-aware about why he’s who he is. That is, if self-awareness is singing an impassioned National Anthem, sans auto-tune, and firing a gun into the air. Cool.

DEVENDRA BANHART AND THE FUNKY BUNCH

So the best guests, for the most part, were in the first season, when Eric and co. were working the whole put-one-thing-with-another-thing-and-juxtaposition-enables-humor thing. This is a little removed from Banhart’s public image, which reeking of the freak-folk, neo-Charles Manson kind of palate-cleansing BS that made Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes easy to listen to (for some people). But in any case, those Funky Bunch dudes still rock the overalls like they did back then: terribly, with no understanding of timelessness. Vert.

QUESTLOVE AND HENRY ROLLINS

The Roots drummer, known as much for his savantish writings on musical history as his percussive prowess, was a perfect guest for a show whose references within references within references actually reveal some sort of narrative. This wasn’t one of the best moments though. Henry Rollins isn’t that funny, even when he’s busting his own balls. Like Questo said, “What is this place?” Lame.

AIR GUITAR CHAMPIONS

These guys are only this far down the scale because it wasn’t really all that musical. But I could barely breathe, I was laughing so hard when they just started making insane breath noises. Plus, I almost thought the second guy was the guy from Living Colour. Lamer.

BRIAN MCKNIGHT

Spoiler: He sings one note. That was part of the joke, which I guess is funny, but also: how does this dude go from adult alternative to “Let Me Show You How Your Pussy Works?” That’s like a dude seducing your mom then trying to teach your sister about how sex works. This performance was at least as angering. Lamest.

There were other performances that didn’t fit on the Cool-Vert-Lame axis that I created based on nothing other than baseline scholarly research. Who would do great on the third season? Who would you like to see completely miss the point?

Sameer Rao really wants you to know that those are Eric Andre’s words, not his. He swears. He’s avoiding copyright infringement on Twitter - @amancalledsrao