Tim & Eric spend time apart to make their comedy performances far stronger

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Tim & Eric spend time apart to make their comedy performances far stronger

Tim & Eric
Photo: Rickett Sones
Words by Augustus Welby

Tim & Eric will kick off their Mandatory Attendance World Tour with a handful of Australian dates commencing mid-January.

In keeping with the US comedy duo’s signature, the new live show promises to be totally crazy and really funny, containing lots of music, dancing and awkwardness.

The Mandatory Attendance tour comes two years after Tim & Eric’s previous junket across North America, which marked the ten-year anniversary of their Adult Swim series, Awesome Show, Great Job!

After busying themselves with various individual projects over the last couple of years, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are thrilled to be back together and indulging their weirdest proclivities.

“Tim and I have been editing a new Tim & Eric show that we’ve just finished. We’re rehearsing for the tour, writing some songs. It’s really super silly and really funny,” says Wareheim.

“It’s crazy because we’ve been friends for 25 years and a lot of partnerships fail, or you start hating that person. There’s something about our comedy, it’s so embedded in our juvenile minds that whenever we come back to it, we’re still making each other laugh until we cry.”

Wareheim and Heidecker have both shown versatility outside of the Tim & Eric prism. Wareheim co-starred in Aziz Ansari’s Master of None and has directed music videos for the likes of Blonde Redhead and Charli XCX.

Heidecker released two non-comedic albums produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado and recently appeared in Jordan Peele’s horror film, Us.

“To be in a healthy relationship you have to have that side game going,” says Wareheim. “Tim loves acting. I’ve been directing a bunch, acting some. Now I’m in this food world, I’m releasing a cookbook in a year – a psychedelic food and wine book.

“It’s so important to have a bunch of other stuff going on so when we get back together, you’re just that much stronger and happier. I think it fine-tunes the Tim & Eric stuff, because we’re so excited to do it that we try to one-up each other.”

When Tim & Eric started out, their off-centre humour could’ve been perceived as limited. Awesome Show, Great Job! comprised clumsily edited videos parodying or simulating the awkward eccentricities of public access television.

But the concept has proven incredibly fertile, sprouting five seasons of the Awesome Show, two seasons of the comedy horror, Bedtime Stories, and the spin-off series, Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule starring John C. Reilly.

“Everything we make, we feel like we have this duty to find the next level and make it really good,” says Wareheim. “We constantly check ourselves, like, ‘Are we getting too old for this?’. But now, it’s funnier that we’re getting older and doing some of these silly things. We keep going until it doesn’t feel right.”

Wareheim remains tight-lipped about the new Tim & Eric TV show, but suggests it’ll be available for public consumption come March/April 2020.

“Tim and I star in it with a bunch of other characters that you might recognise from the Tim & Eric universe, but it is a brand new idea,” he says.

In the meantime, Australian fans can glimpse the pair’s new material via the Mandatory Attendance tour, which comes to Hamer Hall on January 21.

“The whole tour is all brand new ideas,” says Wareheim. “Our fans would love if we came out there and did the classic characters that we’re famous for, like Beaver Boys and Spagett, but we want to take it to the next level. The whole experience, we want to push.”

For Wareheim, the main objective of the Tim & Eric project remains to make each other laugh. This holds true in the live show as much as it does in the writing room.

“We have a great show written that’s really funny, but onstage it’s literally our goal to crack the other guy up. It goes back to 12-year-old behaviour.”

Tim & Eric bring their Mandatory Attendance World Tour to Hamer Hall on Tuesday January 21. Grab tickets via the Arts Centre Melbourne website.