Is there anything fresher, funnier and more innovative than the hidden camera prank show at this point? What’s that—anything? Literally any entertainment format? Okay, fair enough. But if anybody on this godforsaken Earth is capable of tapping into the true, anarchic spirit of making people uncomfortable through deception and thus pulling back the veil on society’s shamefully hidden underbelly, it’s—Sacha Baron Cohen. Maybe Nathan Fielder. But if you’re looking for a perhaps even bolder and more reckless such prankster, the answer is, of course, Eric Andre, who showed up on Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to swap notes with one-time contender for the Jerky Boys’ passé fake phone call throne, Jimmy Kimmel. Andre’s feature film, Bad Trip, comes out on April 24, with the former host of the apocalyptically deconstructionist chat show The Eric Andre Show taking off on a cross-country, prank-filled trip to meet the woman of his dreams.
Co-starring the apparently equally game Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rey Howery, the film, according to Andre, combines (admittedly loose) narrative and absurdly destructive man-on-the-ledge cringe spectacle for a chaotically picaresque journey into comedic disrepute. How disreputable? Well, Andre told Kimmel about having a knife pulled on him and Howery (they were in Atalanta with their penises conjoined in a Chinese finger trap), about Haddish (face-tattooed to look “like Post Malone”) seeking accomplices after seemingly escaping from prison, and—thanks to the one janky zoo in the country willing to allow it—the spectacle of Andre being sexually assaulted by a gorilla. Allen Funt, eat your heart out.
With Kimmel’s Crank Yankers having returned for a long-delayed, long-awaited(?) fifth season of celebrity-dotted puppet yucks, he and fellow prank aficionado Andre then embarked upon a (for Andre) typically absurdist parody of one of those “sneaker-upper” interview segments where, in this case, Beyoncé (Andre) popped up behind actual Beyoncé superfans, to their bafflement and disappointment. (Maybe it’s the box of angry bees, or Andre’s Beyoncé complaining about having just sat on his testicles.) For the fearless Andre (although he did share his genuine terror at forgetting his security safeword when that guy came at him with that knife), such reactions are the stuff lunatic comedy careers are made on.