Tim & Eric @ the Orpheum Theatre 4/8/17
The ridiculous and incomparable comedy duo Tim & Eric stopped at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre on August 4th as part of their 10th Anniversary Tour. Strange to say the least, Tim & Eric drag comedy into a space that defies most descriptions and is best described as bizarre and unusual. The two performers have set a modern standard for abnormal programming; the almost full audience testified local interest in their quirky perspectives.
Serving up an act of fake “bro” and “hardcore” DJ personas, DJ Dougpound spun a short mostly audio-based comedy set. Bombing out with every terrible electronic music technique DJ Dougpbund blasted the audience with bombastic samples and an array of one liners; “Is any scene that has stayed together 17 years and released 7 killer albums really broken?” After putting on a dark, evil looking mask, the DJ sampled “Close to You” by the Carpenters (“why do birds suddenly appear?”) before exposing that “those birds are vultures.” Sampling Creed and Limp Bizket, the fake DJ persona took some powerful punches at an often obscene and ridiculous subculture. Dougpound also served an important function for the main Tim and Eric set by providing the sonic flourishes and sound effects that give Tim and Eric their particular quirky edge.
Dancing to the stage in top hats, golden dress suits and short black shorts, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim emerged from offstage with bounding enthusiasm and an introductory song and dance. A general hallmark of Tim & Eric is to make every situation or scene as strange, weird or uncomfortable as possible. Almost as soon as the two comics had initiated their stage show, the program began to spiral quickly into strangeness. Throughout the evening, the theatre’s video screen would play an important part in accenting the duo’s comedic stylings. After arguing amongst themselves about breaking up the comedy duo, Eric suggested that their show could make much higher profits if they changed their act from a 10th anniversary show into a farewell tour. Tim & Eric demanded that the crowd hold their cell phones up in the air so that the system could add retroactive charges to all of the audience in attendance. When the crowd complied, the theatre lights went out and a deep red vector scan projected across the room’s audience. A warning sign suddenly flashed on the stage screen: “Warning, 12 sex offenders detected.”
Other skits included some sort of college/business program that pulled a few audience members onstage. With Tim & Eric, one can never be certain of the direction or outcome, the individuals who were pulled onstage were met with friendly encouragement from the crowd, many of whom were imagining their own panic if they were pulled up to such a strange experience. One male pulled onstage was given a clean, impromptu shave in front of the packed Vogue Theatre.
The evening’s show included a few video segments available to fans online, these filler moments served as breaks for Tim & Eric to switch costumes and cue up their next routines. The night included plenty of video including a preview of an episode from the pair’s upcoming season of Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories focusing on a troubled piano salesman working under a baklava obsessed manager. Although Tim & Eric readily use crude comedy and diarrhea jokes, it is the duo’s surrealist, abnormal spins that allow skits to break from typical to genius in a heart beat. The performance lasted much longer than the usual touring comedy show but persisted at a steady, enjoyable pace throughout.
As Tim & Eric wrapped up the evening with a sincere appreciation of support from their audience and fans, they stated that they were “contractually obligated” to end their show with a set from an up and coming comic, which ironically was the cue for the audience to leave. Tim & Eric stood peering through the curtains as a young, barely audible comedian drizzled out a string of particularly weak jokes and pathetic onstage tendencies, playfully coercing the crowd to leave the theatre. Ten years after their inception, Tim & Eric continue to set the standards of strange and surrealism comedy.