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Father and Son
March 20, 2010 5:48 PM   Subscribe

From the surreal comic duo Tim and Eric (seen previously) comes a fifteen minute short about parenthood: Father and Son.
posted by Rory Marinich (40 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome show, great job!
posted by joemax at 6:07 PM on March 20, 2010


one of the best things I have ever seen in my entire life.
Seriously! That was rubbish. A very disappointing anagnorisis.
posted by tellurian at 6:21 PM on March 20, 2010


I don't know about one of the best things ever, but it made my evening happier.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:23 PM on March 20, 2010


Well, it's no Doo Da Doo Doo.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:24 PM on March 20, 2010


I thought it was mildly amusing. But obviously the anagnorisis was very disappointing.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:29 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Excuse me while I feather my bangs and think about my dad.
posted by mds35 at 6:30 PM on March 20, 2010


Brule's Rules compilation
posted by acro at 6:36 PM on March 20, 2010


I'm not exactly sure why, since neither of the two previous threads was especially acrimonious, but I get the feeling Tim and Eric will eventually join the circumcised-Palestinian-cat pantheon of topics that MetaFilter doesn't handle very well.
posted by decagon at 6:37 PM on March 20, 2010


Eh, it was okay. There were some funny moments. At least it was better produced than some of the attention-deficient green screen junk Adult Swim airs late at night. They're not bad actors but would benefit from some outside creative input on the writing front. It seems like they had a good enough idea for the characters but didn't know how to write a proper rising action, climax and resolution.

I guess that's part of the Tim and Eric appeal though, the postmodern Napoleon Dynamite dry wit. I don't find it particularly clever but I can see how some might enjoy it.
posted by anifinder at 6:42 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, here's a real-life Dr. Steve Brule. Words cannot express.
posted by decagon at 6:44 PM on March 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I love those guys.
posted by nola at 6:44 PM on March 20, 2010


By the way, here's a real-life Dr. Steve Brule .

I always thought "Who Needs a Movie" seemed straight out of Awesome Show Great Job. As far as I can tell, these people are totally legit.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:49 PM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


By the way, here's a real-life Dr. Steve Brule

Is Steve Munoz now a meme? How can I put this: YES
posted by fleetmouse at 6:53 PM on March 20, 2010


Tim and Eric isn't exactly dry. That's not at all how I'd explain their appeal. Their tone is closer to that of Chris Morris's Jam, which called itself "ambient comedy". The term fits here. It's not based on punch lines or even, as dry comedy would have, denouement. Rather they're about assembling a series of slightly off moments that build up into something incredibly funny.

Salame is as good a starting point as anything. The Awesome Show Great Job! is rooted in public-access television, and in the bizarre things you get when people try and emulate something they've seen without quite understanding it — but it's a bit more sophisticated than that. Because it's not about any one gag. You can point out each thing — oh, the puppet's lips aren't moving! — but no one thing is hilarious. It's the way it all adds up into one barely coherent whole that's so bewilderingly funny.

It also reminds me of Jack Handey. This video especially. It's got that whole "I'm saying something silly, but I mean it, but we know it's a joke, but really I mean it" going on. I think if I was watching it as just a tongue-in-cheek parody I'd find it wanting, but Tim and Eric go for something a little bit more surreal than that.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:55 PM on March 20, 2010 [11 favorites]


I'm a huge Tim and Eric fan, but that was weak, IMHO. Perhaps their stuff is better in 30 second bites (which is why their 15 minute show on Adult Swim works, perhaps- because it's not too much of one thing)
I still like em though! Cinco rules!
posted by newfers at 7:00 PM on March 20, 2010


anifinder: "It seems like they had a good enough idea for the characters but didn't know how to write a proper rising action, climax and resolution."

I am pretty sure that everything they do is pretty much about not getting it. Check out the drum fills and the guitar solo in the song at the end, the commercial for the pizza place the guy delivers for - the recurring theme is trying to do something and not really understanding the basics. Including scriptwriting. I am sure they actually know why that guitar solo wouldn't pass for a "real" guitar solo, and why their script would not pass for a "real" script. It is the public access aesthetic that Rory Marinich mentions.
posted by idiopath at 7:13 PM on March 20, 2010


I generally find that the liberal application of marijuana is advised before attempting to appreciate the work of Tim & Eric.
posted by gnutron at 7:22 PM on March 20, 2010


The funny thing about Salame is that the cat puppet has the name Jason written on its chest.
posted by I Foody at 7:35 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well this is going better than my tim and eric post that got deleted.

*mopes*
posted by fleetmouse at 7:57 PM on March 20, 2010


At 4:58 saturday night, this is just awesome.
posted by Free word order! at 7:59 PM on March 20, 2010


Tuesdays on channel 5 just got a whole lot tenderer.
posted by nola at 8:26 PM on March 20, 2010


A very disappointing anagnorisis.

I was worried there for a minute.
posted by anazgnos at 9:48 PM on March 20, 2010


Saw this a few days ago, and loved it. Found it better than the last couple episodes of T&EAS,GJ! -- especially the "return of Casey Tatum" episode, which (besides the cameo of The Wire's own Bunk Moreland) was pretty weak.

So many great lines:

"They're whirlybirds!"

"She's got a 12-yr old son or some shit."

"I had a black son too, until this asshole killed him. Fuck you guys."
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:45 PM on March 20, 2010


Also I'd like to point out all the subtle things that I only noticed upon rewatch with a friend. Like how, in the close-up shot of Father Son Magazine the second son's head pops up at the very end.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:07 PM on March 20, 2010


Also I'd like to point out all the subtle things that I only noticed upon rewatch with a friend. Like how, in the close-up shot of Father Son Magazine the second son's head pops up at the very end.
That was the clever part?
Subtle! All! You watched it more than once!

This is seriously low grade comedy to my mind. Devoid of production values and using crass, easy targets.
I don't want to beanplate it too much (which is often used as a rebuttal for criticism of seemingly simple but actually quite complex or nuanced situations) but how is this sketch funny?
I realise that as an expat Australian trying to deconstruct American comedy I might be on a hiding to nothing. I have read what has been written up above, but:
i) Single fathers – they're dysfunctional, they can't prepare any other meal than one in front of the TV (+ it's the pizza he delivers for work) - is this a common trope?
ii) White parents that adopt or care for black children are favoured/favored (see those super rich, successful movie stars that need not be named)
iii) Bad haircuts – we've all had bad haircuts at some stage. No. You have.
iv) Face slapping and then throwing your step-brother off a cliff is funny when the body-dummy is too flexible (you have to not believe).
(v) ?

Now, the one part that did work for me… the quintessential cruel dad (I drive the car, you don't, you must do what I say) joke - making a kid get out of the car in a place where they have no idea where they are or where to go, telling them that you never want to see them again, drive a few yards and then let them back in, saying it was "all a joke". It has been done. It's abandonment. Done under the pretence of it's "a joke". The ultimate cruel dad joke.

This sort of myth perpetutation comedy is wrong and harmful and should not be encouraged. It doesn't challenge it, it perpetuates it.
posted by tellurian at 6:29 AM on March 21, 2010


Steve Munoz is the best.

this is where i share a Tim and Eric anecdote:

some time ago i was out walking in manhattan and there was a huge advertisement for tim & eric -- a banner literally 3 stories high -- placed on the front of a building DIRECTLY across the street from the NEWSWEEK headquarters.

which means if you worked at NEWSWEEK and looked out the window every day, you were treated to a view of a fucking tim & eric banner for (i'm guessing) MONTHS.

i stood there laughing at the thought of NEWSWEEK staffers fuming over that-fucking-banner every day and the experience colors my appreciation of their work.
posted by Hammond Rye at 7:22 AM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brule's Rules compilation

Those are seriously the only sketches in that show I can even remotely tolerate.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:43 AM on March 21, 2010


Man, there was no need for me to just poke in here and make such a negative comment. Sorry about that.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:08 AM on March 21, 2010


Tellurian — see, this is what I was saying. If you're looking at it as a dry "Let me parody these four things", then no. It's not going to be funny. Because they don't go for punchlines, or even lines that are funny in and of themselves. It's all about the way these premises, which we've seen before (as you noted), become distorted and warped until the point where there's something truly unreal happening.

So it's not "single fathers are dysfunctional and can't buy food". It's a combination of weirder things. The noodle pizza. The fact that this guy has a 12-year-old son he only just found out about. The way he mocks his son's dead father. The way he says "I'm sorry your mother was bitten by a bird and dies and now we have to live together in this place" as if that was a perfectly normal thing to say.

Or the face-slapping. The idea that he kills his stepbrother isn't what's funny. It's the foreshadowing music. The line "I want to take him to the cliff" (paraphrased) had me burst out laughing, because it makes what's coming so obvious, but it's stated as if Eric himself is blind to what's going to happen next. Then the incredibly fake slaps, the incredibly fake dummy drop, and Eric brings the dead body home and is instantly forgiven.

The humor is not any one of these scenarios. It's the fact that, taken together, these all paint a picture that's disturbing and unrealistic, but still taken completely seriously by the people inside it. The humor isn't that they put on a completely terrible overprepared show. It's that after they're rejected the magazine editor looks at them with pity and says "There's always next year." Like he means it. Like this entire ordeal never happened and this is an ordinary father-and-son duet.

Tim and Eric's style of humor is very influential where I live — I live right next to Temple, where they attended school, and all the things that influenced their style (Chris Morris, as I said, is a huge influence) also influence the casual conversation here. Somebody's response to a bad joke is to fake an elaborate coughing fit. Or somebody will say something that they know is unfunny and repeat it with a straight face for just a little bit too long. The only way I know how to explain it, as I said before, is that it's surreal. It's about creating absurd set-ups that only have a tenuous connection to real life.

So the reason that little kid's head is so funny is that the show doesn't give it any emphasis. It never says: "Hey! Look over here! Look at this!" It passes it off in a magazine rollover that exists to further an equally bizarre plot. So if that head wasn't there, there'd still be jokes going on overhead, and the show would have kept up its pace of humor. I didn't notice it the first time and didn't find it lacking. So the boy becomes one of those things that, the second time, makes it more enjoyable of a watch.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:15 AM on March 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Okay. I just don't get it.
posted by tellurian at 9:29 AM on March 21, 2010


Has anyone who hates tim/eric seen the ooh mama sketch? That is probably the best example of their comedic methods.

Which is to say, if you are expecting satire, puns, story arc, dry humor, wit etc., you are not really watching the right show.
posted by shownomercy at 10:17 AM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't hate Tim and Eric. I sort of admire them in the same way I admire the tailors in the Emperor's New Clothes. If you can convince everybody you've made something out of nothing and get them to pay you for it, more power to you. But I have never seen anything of theirs that I didn't wish I had spent the time on something else. Or wanted to tell anyone about. Or show to anyone. The Ooh Mama link above being a perfect example.

I'm not uncomfortable with them, I don't feel dumb that I don't get it, I don't long to get it, I don't really think there's anything TO get. I am just completely unmoved in any direction, especially that of amusement.
posted by umberto at 1:24 PM on March 21, 2010


So... you don't get it, and so that means there's nothing to get. And all the people telling you there's something to get, they're lying or crazy or both.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:49 PM on March 21, 2010


Steady on mate! That's not my thought process at all. I'm just saying that I don't get it, nothing more.
posted by tellurian at 4:59 PM on March 21, 2010


Needs more shrimp & white wine.
posted by gimli at 5:10 PM on March 21, 2010


Tim and Eric is to comedy what Sonic Youth is to music.
posted by any major dude at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2010


Tellurian: I was responding to Umberto, not you. Sorry.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:41 PM on March 21, 2010


Oh okay. Sorry too.
posted by tellurian at 7:59 PM on March 21, 2010


I get that people are telling me there's nothing to get and that somehow I don't get that.
posted by umberto at 8:57 PM on March 21, 2010


Tim and Eric is to comedy what Sonic Youth is to music.

Overrated pseudo-hip twaddle?

/never got what the BFD about Sonic Youth was either.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:22 PM on March 21, 2010


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