British Wi-Fi, PoopTube and rule-breaking: an interview with Tim and Eric


While they’re not quite household names yet, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have built up a dedicated following since their first project, Tom Goes To The Mayor, aired in 2004. Since then, their darkly comic series Awesome Show, Great Job! has been a fixture on the Adult Swim channel since 2007 and their utilisation of YouTube has enabled their work to spread effortlessly across the globe.

Consequently, their upcoming dates at the Leicester Square Theatre have totally sold out and a new tour date has been added to the Electric Ballroom. I chatted to them about their first visit to the UK, their live act and upcoming film with Zach Galifianakis…

Hi guys. Is this the first time you’ve come over to the UK?

Eric: It’s my first time ever and it’s the first time we’ve performed here.

Are there any British customs you want to experience while you’re here?

Tim: I’m looking forward to trying British Wi-Fi. See what the differences are in speed and such. My Time Warner cable for instance, they offer something called Turbo Speed, but I just don’t see the difference. I mean last night, I’m watching Netflix on my Apple TV which I actually have plugged in, so it’s not even Wi-Fi and it’s…giving me trouble.

Well, I won’t lie to you, Wi-Fi here isn’t great, it could be better.

Tim: I’ll be the judge of that.

The internet seems to have been a big part in building your fanbase here. But as you haven’t performed in the UK before are you surprised that the shows have sold so well?

Tim: I’m not surprised at all.

Eric: Here’s the thing about what we do. We have a thing called PoopTube, which is a sketch about wanting to poop standing up. And that happens across the world, that’s not an American phenomenon.

Tim: If you look at what happened when we announced the show, 300 tickets were sold and our booking agent said we have to add more shows. So now we’re at a point where we have 1000 people who might come to the shows, that’s huge! I mean that’s half the population of London.

Pretty close.

Tim: How many people does Wembley hold, like, 2000?

Yeah, 2, maybe 2 and a half.

Eric: It’s got to be the biggest comedy tour in England!

As this is your first UK performance – for those who aren’t that familiar with you –  what can people expect from the Tim and Eric live experience?

Eric: A lot of singing and dancing.

Tim: There’s a lot of characters from the show, there’s some new characters, we’re showing some films that we think most people in London haven’t seen. Plus Tim and Eric really ‘connecting’ with the audience.

Talking about short films you’ve done, I became aware of you through the series of shorts you did for Absolut Vodka with Zach Galifianakis. Was it true they gave you total control with that?

Tim: Yeah they gave us carte blanche to do whatever we wanted and of course when we finished it we discovered we’d broken almost every rule in the advertisers’ handbook of what you’re allowed to do in a commercial for alcohol. They couldn’t use it anywhere, so it just went on YouTube and probably did what they wanted it to do anyway.

What are the rules on advertising alcohol?

Tim: Firstly in our commercial we drink what appears to be a gallon of vodka, we get into a fist fight, all sorts of things that alcohol companies don’t want to push on their product.

Zach Galifianakis is also due to be in your Billion Dollar Movie. Can you tell us any more about that?

Eric: It’s done, it should be released in the US in spring 2012 and it’ll come over to you guys shortly after that.

Tim: There will be a worldwide release, not just America, I don’t know about every country, that’s asking a lot. I don’t know if it’s going to go to China, but England will get it.

Mainland Europe?

Tim: No, no definitely not.

Is there anything you’d like to let the people of London know before you come over?

Tim: The truth is we’re jazzed to come and perform for the people of England, looking forward to it more than anything else this summer.

Eric: I’m just really looking forward to seeing your Big Ben.

Originally published at Spoonfed.co.uk

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