Television sketch comedy has come a long way since the advent of Monty Python and SCTV.
So far in fact, that upon casual viewing one might be hard pressed to recognize, somewhere beneath the surface, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is sketch comedy at heart.
Those awaiting its transition from Adult Swim to DVD no longer have to wait – Season 1 came out Tuesday.
Nestled among nonsensical musical numbers, bizarre public-service messages and commercials for products that should never exist are a number of well-acted, unorthodox and hysterical sketches.
Working under the creative guise of Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Melvin Goes to Dinner), Tim and Eric is the eponymous brainchild of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who staked their claim on Adult Swim with now-defunct cult classic Tom Goes to the Mayor.
The show really shines in its sketches lambasting pop culture.
Sketches are brief because of the show’s meager 11-minute runtime, but one gets the impression that anything longer would probably be overload. It is noteworthy that Tim and Eric certainly isn’t for all tastes. Some viewers may easily find it crude, asinine or absurd.
Fortunately, what may appear incomprehensible to some is comic gold to others. Fans of HBO’s Mr. Show or Wonder Showzen will feel roughly at home, and at times the show can feel like a synthesis of them paired with Tom Goes to the Mayor.
Michael Cera (Juno, Arrested development) stars in a fictional Dawson’s Creek-esque saga of a boy with unusual powers; Mr. Show veteran David Cross cameos as a pizza delivery driver in a dirty film gone awry; A.D. Miles (Wet Hot American Summer) plays an inept science fiction director being interviewed by an equally inept Odenkirk on a public access show; and Fred Willard (A Mighty Wind) lampoons cooking shows with "Tragg’s Trough."
Perhaps the longest-running gag is the fake Channel 5 news, with the "only married news team in the tri-county area," complemented by the antics of health correspondent Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly), whose medical knowledge is seemingly limited to identifying fruits – with modest success.
While Season 1 only has 10 episodes – making for an alarmingly short release – additional content augments the disc.
A blooper reel and making-of segment provide a much-appreciated glimpse behind the curtain, and sometimes the absurdity of watching actors attempt to fit in with Tim and Eric proves funnier than the end result.
Of course, bonus material would not be complete without scenes left on the cutting room floor, and the disc delivers.
Those wanting more of the racy dialogue between a creepy, lecherous boss and his timid subordinate will likewise find plenty to occupy their time.
Like much of Tim and Eric, the few minutes one gets should be more than enough, because small doses are sometimes the best way to digest the madness.