Before the show begins, a man sat behind me takes his friend through various Tim and Eric sketches. Clearly new to the Tim and Eric phenomenon, his friend seems unsure whether to giggle or grimace. It’s a feeling which, for many, will set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Things get off to an inauspicious start when, after almost no introduction warm-up act, ‘DJ Doug Pound’, takes to the stage with a handful of bad records and cheesy jingles. Unfortunately swathes of the Leicester Square Theatre’s sell-out audience are still at the bar and Doug’s set is spent trying to ignore the chorus of shuffling and seat manoeuvring coming from the crowd.
However, this rather awkward bump at the start of the journey is quickly overcome when the show begins properly with a short introductory video from David Liebe Hart. Liebe Hart is an American Public Access TV Evangelist/puppeteer and one of the many real life characters who make up Tim & Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job! His appearance is greeted with the kind of cheer you’d expect for the comedians themselves.
Needless to say when Heidecker and Wareheim do in fact hit the stage the majority of the audience positively erupt. A feat, helped in no small part, to them coming out in nude suits (complete with giant testicles) and singing a song about diarrhoea. It’s a bold opening gambit but it’s a perfect indicator of what’s to come. But while the fans who know their work lap it up, others sit a little unsure as to what they’re witnessing.
It’s not a feeling that’s going to be shaken off easily either. Tim and Eric’s embracement of all things juvenile means that along the course of the evening we get songs about bodily functions and play-fighting; not to mention hot dogs, toilet roll and fake vomit all hurled into the audience at various points in the show.
But for all its simplicity, there’s no denying its popularity. Creations like the Kid Break singers or the practical joker Spaghett get rapturous welcomes. The pair also punctuate their onstage performance changes with a huge number of video clips, hardly a surprise given the duo have made their name through online sketches, but there may be some who would see this as not getting value-for-money. Of course there was no complaint from the die-hards. As well as some newer shorts, featuring the likes of John C. Reilly and Zach Galifianakis, the audience are also given opportunities to choose ‘Classic Clips’ from their back catalogue. It’s these that perhaps best highlight their true skills as a sketch duo, their creations, full of noise and colour, are part psychedelic comedy, part Aphex Twin video.
Their clips and performances may be loud and brash but it makes it impossible to take your eyes off the stage and while the material is frequently puerile, it’s strangely addictive. The huge number of fans they have in attendance drink it up, singing and clapping along to every song, shouting out catchphrases and, at the end, even joining the pair on stage. David Liebe Hart would certainly be proud. While their act is always bound to divide opinion, after that performance I’m sure there’ll be many new converts to the cult of Tim and Eric.
Originally published at Spoonfed.co.uk