Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Eric Andre tells Jimmy Kimmel about his show's belated return from a safe, elevated distance

Eric Andre, Jimmy Kimmel
Eric Andre, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Maybe Jimmy Kimmel’s just a glutton for punishment. After being de-pantsed by Borat earlier this week, Kimmel decided to double down on the perilously prank-happy guests by inviting Eric Andre on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and hoping for the best. Honestly, it went pretty painlessly for the late-night host, as Andre was satisfied with simply hauling out a lifeguard’s ladder to conduct his half of the interview from a safe height, and distance. Andre did joke that his precautions were less about COVID (which the two sheepishly remembered downplaying in their last interview right before nationwide lockdown) than about Kimmel being “the most diseased man in Hollywood.”

To be fair, Kimmel had just called the host of the returning The Eric Andre Show “the weirdest talk show host there is.” But, to be even fairer, Andre has made a career out of turning the threadbare chat show format inside out, setting it on fire, and then taking a crap on the smoldering ashes, something fans of his Adult Swim absurdist prank-talk-stunt spectacular can enjoy when Season 5 of The Eric Andre Show has its long-delayed premiere on Sunday. For those in the know, Andre’s show rides the star’s fearlessly disreputable comic stylings to escalating heights of insanity, depravity, and the occasional hospital visit, as shown in a clip of guest John Cena hurling Andre through some very solid-looking shelves. Andre, newly—and 40-Year-Old-Virgin-style, completely—shorn for this season’s signature on-air body transformation, didn’t blame trained sports entertainer Cena for the head-smashing that sent him to the E.R. with what turned out to be a concussion. Those are just the stakes when you’re a late-night host, apparently.

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Andre, who resisted any urge to hurl himself off his lofty perch for an injury-laugh for the benefit of Kimmel’s crew, was typically forthright about how his particular brand of confrontational comedy isn’t for everyone. Especially not his celebrity guests, who continue to appear on his deceptively fiendish show-trap. (Maybe the four-year layoff can explain why Season 5 guest Robin Givens was “upset” just because of all the maggots and cockroaches descending on her, while her frantic publicist was fobbed off on a second A.D. with bogus directions to the stage.)  Andre’s shtick has even hit critical mass with longtime, peerlessly deadpan sidekick Hannibal Buress, who told fellow comic Andre that he’s had enough. “I’m almost 40, man, I’m done looking at you trying to poop on your desk in front of your guests,” is how an understanding Andre described Buress’ decision to leave after episode two. (Look for his clone, “Blannibal,” to take his place, apparently.)

The Eric Andre Show returns for its belated fifth season on Sunday on Adult Swim. Gird yourself.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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