Though I haven't seen Tim & Eric regularly since season two, I've been catching the occasional episode ever since, and relied on the duo for one thing above all else: to make me uncomfortable as fuck. The depths to the weirdness of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are endless, and I love every minute of it. There was a brilliant Wired article about the pair a few months back, and it basically said Tim and Eric have successfully deconstructed comedy, which given this tremendous season five premiere, I totally buy. Laughing at something is a complicated process, full of doo-hickeys and thinga-ma-bobs that requires "experts" or "alcohol" to replicate night after night. Tim and Eric flash an image on a screen, or make a sound, or just simply make me squirm, and I'm giggling like a school girl. What ever they've figured out, patent that shit.
Speaking of, I read in a trusted news source (Wikipedia) that it's become an unofficial tradition for Tim and Eric to kick off every season with a poop joke, and boy did they ever this time around. Utilizing just about every wonderful oddball in their arsenal, plus a pitch-perfect Jack McBrayer, they kick things off with a sketch about a diarrhea dam that McBrayer demonstrates with the goofiest Kenneth grin on his face. Dear lord, was it disgusting, especially when the brown liquid started running down the leg of the groom's white suit pants. Did I laugh? Hell yeah. I don't have to think about why, nor do I even really get much of a chance. That's the kind of laugh I adore about Tim & Eric.
It continues throughout, with sketches like "Quall Of Duty" (featuring David Liebe Hart reciting lines by the skin of his teeth and punching out a perp with his puppet) and "Morning Meditations," a slice of ear-piercing sound that hits for a few fleeting seconds, then vanishes as soon as it appears. Dr. Steve Brule shows up near the end and butchers the words "vajana" and "pennis", plus the diarrhea comes back with "Diarrheabedis," where Corbin Bernsen promises to take on your case if you're sweating brown liquid due to build-up of diarrhea. And if he's not around to answer your call, his son will answer. Named Horbin Bernsen. Holy crap, I'm laughing to myself all over again just remembering that name.
But the piece de resistance of the episode was the framework. I guess Tim and Eric have read enough negative reviews of their show that call them things like "inaccessible" and "stupid" and "weird" (if you are reading this and you are Tim or Eric, please note this review uses weird in a good way!), so they created a biting, satirical take on Saturday Night Live—currently the perfect example of please-everybody, pretend-to-be-edgy comedy on TV. The boys start the spoof with the intro, finding Tim and Eric—Arsenio Hall-d and trashily tanned, respectively—doing generic things like "buying movie tickets" as the credits roll over them. They check back in between sketches for a few bits, and as time goes on, the (really pathetic looking) audience laughs less and less, till it's just them staring at James Quall in total silence. Even that got me, just so unexpected and unsettling, and the perfect encapsulation of why I love Tim & Eric. Don't change a thing, boys.
- "Thanksgiving dinner of sex."