Outside the Barrymore Theater on Saturday night, a long line of avid Tim and Eric fans excitedly anticipated the comedy duo’s performance with special guest Dr. Brule (played by the iconic actor John C. Reilly). As I entered the venue, hoards of fans purchased merchandise from the duo’s Adult Swim comedy show, some already in costume of their favorite characters. It was clear at that moment this crowd knew exactly what they were getting into and were happy to be a part of it.
Opening act DJ Douggpound spent about twenty minutes hyping the audience with pre-recorded punch lines created from sampling small parts of pop culture phrases and songs. He knew exactly how the audience would react and used it to fuel his comedic presence before introducing Tim and Eric. Throughout the show, Douggpound stayed on the side, cuing videos, clips and images that went along with jokes.
After an introductory video by Tim and Eric, the duo came on stage poised with energy and already in character. They immediately got the crowd to stand up and pump their hands with them, declaring that the entire show would be an improvised set. They subsequently fidgeted around and purposely struggled to come up with any improvised material, yelling at audience members who were yelping with joy along the way.
Between character and scene changes, they exclusively premiered the newest installment of their Adult Swim anthology titled “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories.” The genius behind this idea kept the energy and laughs at an almost constant high throughout the show.
They performed new sketches of well-known characters from their TV show, like the misguided and creepy entrepreneurs Mark and Terry Cinco, and ministers Skott and Behr.
The Cinco Brothers promoted their new children’s energy drink, Grum soda, which includes “lots of tar, nicotine, and peppermint jack cheddar cheese.” They even brought out the grotesque, nightmarish mascot, Grum, to help promote the newly marketed soda.
A large part of the sketches was audience participation. Often, the duo would bring up a fan, some already aware of what they had to do and others just following along in an awe-struck manner. Even security would include themselves in the bits, escorting audience members offstage and out back when either Tim or Eric was “upset” with their behavior. This use of audience participation electrified the show, dismantling the conventional performer-audience separation.
After Tim and Eric took a break and left the stage, Dr. Steve Brule stumbled down the center aisle to thunderous applause, eventually making his way onstage. He carried a backpack filled with VHS tapes and had his own faulty microphone that would frequently “zap,” giving his hand a jolt at any moment throughout his set. The wildly popular Tim and Eric character told his life story through many hilariously awkward anecdotes and audience participation. His character’s talk show cohosts Jan and Wayne Skylar, played by Tim and Eric, joined him onstage to perform an outrageously funny wedding ceremony to end the show.
As the many fans that attended the performance know, Tim and Eric have a very original and niche comedy style that can only be described as “weird” or “eccentric,” but in the best way possible. This comedy pair and their wonderful costar Reilly mastered their unique humor in a way that all audiences can fully enjoy alongside the superfans in costume sitting next to them.