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Tim and Eric, Comedy’s Leading Lights, Don’t Forget Their Roots at the Warfield

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Back in 2014, I wrote a story trying to explain the widespread comedic influence of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the duo behind Adult Swim’s absurdist, brilliant (and ridiculously-titled) Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Upon review, none of the cogent points I wanted to emphasize — about how every zany Old Spice television commercial or irreverent new comedy sketch had the footprints of Tim and Eric — came through in the article. (I blame the Examiner’s 400-word count cap, along with my longstanding inability to articulate my thoughts and the fact that I can’t write.)

Still, I felt some form of (probably unjustified) vindication when the Gray Lady herself published a piece about Tim and Eric’s outsized impact on the comedy world. The New York Times’ article touched upon the many points I never got to in my story, about how Tim and Eric’s longtime commitment to their craft — a strange combination of over-the-top slapdash humor, uncomfortable lo-fi theatrics, and gross out jokes — has resulted in a slew of imitators and would-be successors.

For a duo that specializes in such outré offerings, it is almost unfathomable that Tim and Eric carry such authority nowadays. So, it must seem a little strange for the duo’s legion of longtime followers to suddenly share their comic heroes with others, but fortunately for those devotees, Tim and Eric have not forgotten their roots.

They came through town in the midst of their 10-Year Anniversary Tour, and it became clear from the onset that their performance at the Warfield Theatre on Wednesday was geared toward the fans who have been there for the entire decade.

From trotting out opener DJ Douggpound (aka Doug Lussenhop), a longtime Tim and Eric cohort, to performing beloved skits from Awesome Show’s past, Tim and Eric’s Warfield performance was a paean to their unabashedly weird fan base.

Douggpound got the night off to a great start with his stilted off-kilter jokes and groan-worthy punchlines. A devoted “DJ,” Douggpound sported a ridiculous set of oversized headphones that fell off or required readjustment following each joke. After a hilarious 20-minute set — which included a brief foray into his macabre alter-ego, DJ Darkpound — Douggpound introduced Tim and Eric to rapturous applause. They did not disappoint.

Sporting top hats, canes, and skin-tight compression shorts that showcased their famously rotund bodies, Tim and Eric performed a typically bizarre little routine where they touted the bona fides of their 10-year run. They also teased Tim’s new character “Troi,” who would be unveiled in spectacular fashion at the end of the show. (He was, and it was far from spectacular, with hilarious results.)

Interspersing their skits with scenes from their upcoming “Bedtime Stories,” (the spiritual successor to Awesome Show), Tim and Eric ran through a variety of their most beloved characters, including their takes on perverted German goth musicians (Zwei Dunkel Jungen), agro sales douchebags (Dobis PR), and … who the fuck knows (Uncle Muscles).

Whether shaving the beard of an audience member into a “sweet goatee,” berating their drunken intern Matty, or parading around in a flesh-covered pair of undies, Tim and Eric could do no wrong at the Warfield. And in addition to streaming their upcoming episode of “Bedtime Stories” (which featured a plot about baklava and piano sales, go figure), the duo aired a number of classic sketches and showed off some surprising new footage.

The entire two-hour set was filled with just fucking hilarious moments, showcasing the duo’s ability to both ad-lib on cue and deliver on an elaborate jokes, while also putting to bed the notion that their shtick is somehow “anti-comedy.”

It has been a decade since the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! first aired. I doubt anything that arises in the next decade will match the wonderful lunacy and legacy of that show. Tim and Eric are the apex of the comedy game, but they showed on Wednesday that they will always be most comfortable at the bottom of the heap, alongside their devoted collection of misfit fans and followers.

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Will Reisman

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