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Advertising 101 With Tim & Eric

Posted by Scott



Tim Heidecker & Eric Wareheim are comic geniuses and their show on Adult Swim is the best thing on Television or the Innernette. It’s basically a free-form public-access-VHS style collection of sketches with what seems to be a loose focus on late-eighties to mid-nineties culture. Beyond the immediate, viscerally comic aspects of their work there’s a deeper commentary going on and for me, that’s what makes the show so enjoyable time and time again.

Unfortunately, no one I know besides Jakub, Dusty, and Sam agree with me and over the past few years I’ve come to realize that Tim & Eric are rather polarizing figures; you either love them or you hate them. I’ve refrained from posting on them in the past just because it’s a little off topic for this blog and I doubt most of you come here looking for hilarious shows to watch. But today I came across Daniel Murphy’s Esquire article about the series of ads Tim & Eric and Zach Galifianakis created for Absolut Vodka and I thought it was an interesting look at how they approached the project from an advertising perspective. The three spots — which I consider to be some of Tim & Eric’s best work — came out last year as part of the Absolut World campaign. The vodka maker basically gave them an open ended commission; they could make whatever they wanted as long as they mentioned the product. I’ve never worked directly in advertising, but I’d have to imagine this would be a dream gig for anyone in the industry.

“It’s the incense, it’s the ferns.”

A Vodka Movie Pt. 1 – Watch
Esquire Article about Pt. 1 – Read

And the other two parts:
A Vodka Movie Pt. 2 – Watch
A Vodka Movie Pt. 3 – Watch

26 Comments Leave A Comment

2

Tom says:

April 1, 2009 at 1:28 am

I’ve been trying to watch as much Zach Galifianakis as I can find, it’s refreshing somehow that not everyone finds him funny.

4

StigC says:

April 1, 2009 at 2:56 am

Thanks for sharing this, Scott.
I’ve never seen Tim and Eric’s show, because it’s not shown in Denmark, but these videos had me almost crying from laughter.
I went on to timanderic.com and watched some of the videos there.
It’s a definite bookmark!

So once again, thanks for sharing.

Are you a fan of Robot Chicken as well?

5

Grady says:

April 1, 2009 at 3:19 am

haha, it was a little surprising to see Tim and Eric on here! it’s easily my favorite show / I quote it on a daily basis

7

Rent says:

April 1, 2009 at 6:54 am

Tim and Eric seriously is the best show on tv right now…always manages to save my day around 1:00 am. at first I hated it until I really started to watch it and now I just can’t get enough.

alright let’s change gears…ROLO TONY BROWN TOWN!

8

Austin says:

April 1, 2009 at 7:26 am

Tim and Eric! I’m in total agreement, it is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. As I’m sure you all know, their previous show, Tom Goes To The Mayor was great as well!

9

Colin says:

April 1, 2009 at 8:01 am

I am also in agreement with you on this. I love the way that Tim and Eric capture and emulate all the mistakes that people make with video. I have been a fan of them since Tom Goes to the Mayor.

11

Matthias says:

April 1, 2009 at 8:57 am

I’m so glad to hear you’re a fan!

They’ve definitely got an awesome sense of non-sequiter comedy. A lot of people seem to call it random. I call it funny.

And I agree these vodka ads are some of their best!

13

Drew Adams says:

April 1, 2009 at 9:29 am

It’s good to know that you appreciate Tim & Eric. They’ve been cracking me up for years. I got a chance to see Tim & Eric Live in Royal Oak, MI a month or two ago and it was over the top ridiculous. Put it this way… the show started with a bunch of bright lights flashing everywhere. After a small musical build-up Tim & Eric emerged on stage wearing shiny gold body suits complete with gold coldpieces! They then started singing the word “diarrhea” in different vocal styles while random photos flashed behind them on a giant screen each with the subtitle “diarrhea.” It was perfectly absurd.

16

Fixthe Fernback says:

April 1, 2009 at 10:28 am

their newer seasons have been dare I say, hit and miss… but for the most part everything they do is awesome. TGTTM especially. If you haven’t bought their Awesome Record, Great Songs! yet, you’re missing out of some sick remixes and remastered originals.

If only they released it on vinyl…

Also, any Look Around You Fans here?

“THE HOTTUBS TOO HOT!”

17

Rent says:

April 1, 2009 at 10:47 am

Look Around You has become my second favorite show these days…love that 80′s educational vibe.

*oh and Steve Brule is definitely the true G on Tim and Eric… “Sweet Berry Wine!”

18

Andrew J. says:

April 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

tim and eric are my heroes! Their live show was fantastic definetly a must see, and they’re usually nice enough to hang out with everyone at the end.

“Your chair was too big, so we got you this small one.”

20

Scott says:

April 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Drew-
they were just here in san francisco, but it sold out before I could get tickets…would love to see that someday.

fixethe fernback-
I agree with you, this latest season has been here and there. but the highs (dotcom, the universe) have been so high that I can put up with the randoms. the latest episode was the only one that really had more bad than good. although with their stuff, I usually try and reserve judgement until I’ve seen the episode at lest a few times, the stranger clips always have a habit of growing on me.

look around you was good, but when they started making the latest version for adult swim I feel like it fell way off. the original set of episodes are classics though.

21

Fern says:

April 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Tim and Eric are awesome (great job!). I have to say I hated them with a passion for a while before changing my tune though. And unfortunately, I’m the only girl I know who likes em.

24

drew kora says:

April 5, 2009 at 10:09 am

I’m also a huge T&E fan. I work for an ad agency, Monday at lunch is the best 10 minutes of the week as we huddle ’round the computer to watch the new episode. i thought the absolut commercials were fantastic, though most people will watch and just not get it. at all. not even remotely. “polarizing” is the perfect way to describe those guys.

25

Corey Hart says:

April 12, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I don’t find them exceptionally funny, to be honest.

Their brand of humor isn’t especially clever. But, I think that is the intent. I think the whole point is that it is completely random and ridiculous. It’s annoying on purpose.

While this can be funny at times, I’m just not sure it works on the whole. Random can be funny, I think, but being random for the sake of being random doesn’t really work for me.

26

Corey Hart says:

April 12, 2009 at 8:59 pm

With that said, the third video in this series is the only one I find funny. But, it might not be as funny without the first two to set it up.