The Eric Andre Show’s studio occupies some inconceivable, labyrinthine alternate realm, where bird shit rains from the rafters and production assistants get stripped nude and tortured for no reason. Ringmaster Eric Andre plays host to an impressive multitude of artists, everyone from Devendra Banhart to 311 to ASAP Rocky, and there’ve been a few times where Andre has shown off his own musical chops. Co-host Hannibal Buress is usually standing towards the back the whole time, witnessing all this crazy shit with a calm but ever-so-slightly confused gaze. Although Andre isn’t as known amongst the public for his bass-playing skills—fun fact, the comedian used to study that instrument at the prestigious Berklee College—there’s still so much music in general going on within each of his catastrophic episodes (and, oftentimes, even outside the realm of the show)
This is by no means definitive—Andre is too talented and prolific to be summated in a list—but below are ten moments that illustrate his intense musical erudition:
During a guest spot on Bakersfield, CA’s local Eyewitness News, to promote their FXX series Man Seeking Woman, Andre and co-creator Jay Baruchel were casually going along with the conversation, talking about some of the distressing aspects of the main character’s love life (played by Baruchel, he’s encountered trolls, penis monsters, and even Hitler). But just as the anchorman was about to move onto a new question—something about possible dating issues Baruchel might’ve had in real-life?—Andre firmly interjected: “The band Korn, are they from Bakersfield?” Yes, yes they are. And after that confirmation, the interview devolved straight into the two doing their best imitations of frontman Jonathan Davis, convulsing their heads around and doing Tazmanian Devil-esque grumbles. (Speaking of nu-metal, check out Andre wearing a NIN shirt in his yearbook pic.)
One of Andre’s many infamous public stunts was when, alongside co-host Burress and two others, he got on top of a black crate and preached that L. Ron Hubbard was actually a black man—a message he blared through a megaphone at New Yorkers who were, as usual, not up for Andre’s shit. At one point, as people were walking by—ignoring him or stopping for a second and getting a good picture to save for a laugh later on in the day—he tapped a bunch of shrill blowhorn button-sounds on the megaphone, claiming that “This sounds like a Diplo song!” And a few years later, Major Lazer were a household name!
So it’s not the actual Supremes who appear, just three imitators, but imagine for a second that it is really them: a quintessential R&B vocal trio doing harmonies and choreographed arm sways, and the goregrind band Exhumed (this part is real!) wrecking havoc a few feet to their left. Also, there’s a chainsaw and vomit involved.
As the credits start to roll, Andre is screaming through a mic that’s going through a pyramid of amps, and two drummers in berets play wild free jazz in the back. By the way, those drummers are Spencer Heim, guitarist for Hella—they couldn’t get his drummer Zach Hill, who was touring with Death Grips at the time—and Pete Newsom, Joanna’s brother.
“So everything is in the news today!” Andre yells as he’s turning on an array of guitar pedals. As the distortion and delay from the pedals coagulate into a terrible monolith of feedback, and as he repeats that opening line over and over, he begins to destroy a gong that just got rolled out; then, he sets the mic along, stand and all, on fire. Opening monologues are supposed to talk about what’s relevant, right?
It’s a breezy, 70s soul kind of track about bananas, Obama and something the two call “a dime of love.” Who knows what that last one even means—a dime of weed? cheap love? Both are wearing bright ivory onesies, and Andre clearly has the better singing voice than his co-host (sorry, Hannibal).
Andre sings about world peace in the form of a rockabilly track, featuring the Korean Beach Boyz and Questlove on the drums!
Danny Brown falls into the snake-filled kiddy pool, and a pajama-clad ASAP Rocky gets terrorized by mouse-traps, eventually ending up in the pool himself, too. But Open Mike Eagle retains the most chill, and probably offers the best freestyle of all the contestants. “I’m on the plank, I can’t move fast, I want chance,” he raps while getting smacked by a giant yin-yang medicine ball.
As Andre interviews a crying Tyler, the Creator, some sweaty, balding conspiracist storms out from behind the curtains and seizes the microphone. “Investigate 3/11!” he goes, but in a tone that seems to convey Aha! You thought I was gonna say to investigate NINE-eleven! The screen does a trippy visual stream of ebbs and flows while the three start mindlessly swaying. And what’s great is that the song playing in the background isn’t even 311—it’s a song called “Calypso” by some Reverbnation band Billy—yet it flaunts the same faux-zen, chillax dude vibe that basically makes up 311’s entire oeuvre.
It’s the investigation’s climax! Nick Hexum and Doug Martinez from the band are tied up while they’re all performing “Down,” and the balding guy reappears to surreptitiously take some pics to show his fellow 311 conspiracists—on his blog or some forum or wherever he disseminates hot, exclusive government info. Oh, and Andre eventually clobbers Hexum with a bat and waterboards Martinez.