Catching Up With... Tim and Eric

TV Features Tim and Eric
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Not much is known about Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

. The stars and producers of the most bizarre shows on Adult Swim seem to work on the lowest budget in existence. Since the duo's first show, Tom Goes to the Mayor, a dead-pan Adobe Premiere concoction filled with amateur Photoshop filter work, Cartoon Network has picked up their webisodes on to create Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

I headed into my interview with Heidecker and Wareheim expecting somewhat of a quirky experience. As it turned out, the conversation that was supposed to focus on the upcoming Awesome Show Season 1 DVD quickly spun out of control. When the duo wasn't asking me about my viewing habits in relation to the show or responding with meta-questions such as “How much of your time do you spend comparing things to other things?” they bickered about the show's production (or at least pretended to bicker).

Paste: The Tim and Eric DVD comes out on April 22, right?
Eric: That's right.
Tim: Yes.

Paste: Can you tell me about some of the special features on the DVD?
Eric: Well, there's a making-of feature (kind of like the making-of episode of ), deleted and extended scenes, we added commentary to each episode.
Tim: There are 10 episodes in the DVD, and it's moderately priced.
Eric: Yeah, $13.99, we had to take it down for it being only one season, but that'll be good for sales.

Paste: You do all the editing, Eric?
Eric: Yeah, I do. Tim and I actually had a fight about that when we started doing the show.
Tim: Well, my uncle is Mike Breckenridge, who edited Ronin. He could've actually made our show look professional.
Eric: But he would've been expensive. Does anybody care who the editor is ever? Do they look at the credits and go, “Well, so-and-so edited that, it must be good”?
Tim: I know they don't, but at least we would have a show without mistakes. As it is now, so many mistakes go through. Put it this way, the Golden Globes were the other night and was Eric Wareheim even nominated? (Pause) No, but my uncle won.
Eric: He wins one every year, though; that means so little now.
Tim: I'm just saying we could have a much more unique and professional show with crisper editing if he did it.

Paste: That's a good point, though — do you want a professional, polished work in the end, or do you want a seemingly random sketch show with weird transitions?
Tim: I think we should always strive for professionalism and polishing our work, making it better every time.
Eric: Yeah, everything we do well we'd like to attribute to the hard work from us and everyone around us, not from haphazard work.

Paste: I heard that John C. Reilly came up with his own character for the show. Is that true?
Eric: Yeah, we tweaked it a little bit, but he basically came to us with the character Steve Brule. Brule is a great name, by the way. It's taken from, you know, the morning after a night of drinking? That stuff in your guts that's about to be diarrhea.

Paste: Do all the cameo stars contribute a lot to their characters?
Tim: Yes, of course, the show is as great as it is because of the high quality of actors that we have.
Eric: We don't believe in hard scripts, really. We have the actors do improv, as we call it in the biz, and only have a few lines to give them the idea of the scene.

Paste: Do you think you have refined your sense of humor from your previous shows?
Eric: No, I wouldn't say so. The opposite, even. The humor's gone way downhill. Before, with Tom Goes to the Mayor, there actually was a story of a guy who goes through a lot of shit in his life. Now all we do in Awesome Show is make crapping and vomiting jokes.

Paste: That's what I mean, though. Don't you think that cutting out a narrative and having a bigger budget and more resources helps you two reveal your sense of humor more?
Eric: That's actually a good question. I do think we've gotten better at building sketches and delivering our jokes, but the program is still a bit all over the place.
Tim: Of course, it would be better if we didn't have an editor who directed and starred in the show.
Eric: Just drop it, Tim.
Tim: I'm just saying we could have gotten my uncle to help us.

Paste: I've read that you don't want to overstay your welcome. It's just going to be 30 episodes and that's it?
Tim: In terms of television, we like to follow the British model, a short show and then we go do something else. We only like to promote what we're doing at the moment, online mostly. In fact, I just got a call from earlier today. I mean, Go Daddy...(long pause) Think about it. (another long pause) Well, as it turns out, it's a great place to launch a site.
Eric: Yeah, it's how got started.

After this question we got even further off-track and had a lengthy conversation about comparing British comedians to American ones, sparked by my comparison of them to the guys from Little Britain. We came to the conclusion that nine out of 10 American comedians come out on top when compared to similar British ones.