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Comedian Eric Andre has made a name for himself on Cartoon Network’s late-night comedy block thanks to his ADD-friendly hijinks, a knack for the weird and an affinity for destruction. Tearing through the Fonda Theater audience in Los Angeles Tuesday night, knocking drinks out of curious fan’s hands, as a three-piece jazz band played him to the stage, Andre brought his show to life, grabbing grocery bags of food onstage and throwing scraps into the crowd. This was followed by free ponchos tossed across the room and milk blasted over the throng with a super soaker water gun, destroying his set with body slams and other WWE-worthy moves of wreckage.
Those familiar with The Eric Andre Show might have seen this ruckus coming, but whether they expected that clump of bread to the side of their head was another matter.
In all its bizarre glory, the show brought Andre’s whacked-out talk show-style program out from behind the passive TV screen with energy and gusto. It was an interactive fan experience. For several sketches, he invited audience members onstage — once to improvise comedy via an earpiece and a George Clooney impersonator, and then again for a talent show which started with one enthusiastic beat-boxer and quickly deteriorated as Andre kept inviting fans up until the stage was full with eager teenagers and twentysomethings standing there clueless as to what to do next.
Cue the band and commence the set-wrecking — yet again — only this time with the help of his new friends. Amidst the endless ruins, in many ways, the night’s true stars were the crew who kept rebuilding the set.
Later, Omarosa Manigault, the reality television villain famous from Celebrity Apprentices past, was “interviewed” by Andre and his co-host Hannibal Buress. Stuffing his face with sliced bread, Andre asked her with mouth full, “What was it like working with Donald Trump? Was he all up in your grill asking for your birth certificate?”
Between such lives sketches, direction was turned to a massive screen that hung behind the stage, playing a mix of Andre’s Tom Green-influenced out-in-public freakouts. Among them: attempts to hold hands with strangers, trying and failing to get into a Mensa convention wearing a knight’s suit of armor, and disrupting a San Bernardino City Council meeting to plug a fake college-class-president campaign dressed in a fraternity sweatshirt declaring, “Vote for me for class president and I’ll put beer in the water fountains and cameras in the girls’ locker room!”
To uproars of laughter from the audience, the live show replicated some of what’s already been seen on TV, and offered up new content to those there to witness it in person.
For the past several years Adult Swim has been bringing its shows to live spaces, including successful tours by the programming block’s hit series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!‘s Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and the real-life embodiment of Metalocalypse‘s animated band Dethklok.
Adult Swim director of event development Amantha Walden said the following day that The Eric Andre Show seemed an “obvious” choice to also make this transition, having already done two national tours in small clubs to test it out. It’s been a year of planning for her team and a sign of more to come.
Said Walden: “We are expanding our presence into the live space with more live versions of TV shows as well as immersive experiential activations like the Adult Swim Fun House, which we’ll have at Comic-Con Thursday through Saturday.”
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