Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-POWER BLOOOOOOOO
April 5, 2010 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Old Spice Deodorant hired Tim and Eric to make some commercials. Via

Some people are annoyed. Some people are overjoyed. Some people are still centaurs.

More on the Old Spice Youtube Channel

Previously on Tim and Eric
posted by Potomac Avenue (71 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
BO Blue?
posted by edgeways at 1:17 PM on April 5, 2010


So ...who at the Ad agency has a thing for half-nude football players?
posted by The Whelk at 1:24 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


This one is actually pretty funny. "I'm on a horse."
posted by brain_drain at 1:28 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, that one is not one that Tim and Eric made. /dislike

Greenscreen and droll hipster humor! Two great tastes that are...
posted by cavalier at 1:29 PM on April 5, 2010


It sort of reminds me of when Ween was hired by Pizzahut to do a jingle for their cheese-in-the-crust pizza:
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2004/02/weens_unrelease.html

They, ahem, bit off more than they could chew.
posted by codacorolla at 1:31 PM on April 5, 2010 [9 favorites]


(also previously)
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on April 5, 2010


Someday I will understand why people think these guys are funny, and why the AV club CONSTANTLY talks about them
posted by Think_Long at 1:34 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


That Ween jingle would have been a hit man. Although insider pizza could never fly. Who wants all the cheese in the crust? That's idiotic.
posted by molecicco at 1:35 PM on April 5, 2010


People think they're funny because to those people they are funny. Now you understand.
posted by $0up at 1:36 PM on April 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Where'd the motherfuckin' cheese go?
posted by loquacious at 1:37 PM on April 5, 2010


Why haven't these guys directed a Lady Gaga video? Either Lady Gaga, Tim and Eric, or all three of them made a serious miscalculation, because that's a collaboration that fate relies upon.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:37 PM on April 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Where'd the motherfuckin' cheese go at?
posted by lumensimus at 1:37 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


this is not what I need right now!
I have work to be doing!
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:38 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


BTW, my body can't metabolize Tim and Eric hate or Lady Gaga hate into empathy for your hate like it can metabolize Ed Hardy hate.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:38 PM on April 5, 2010


There's something to Videogum's suggestion that mainstream corporate America's co-option of anything interesting & bizarre & not yet passé is not surprising in any way, but is still cause for concern in my opinion. Like Tim & Eric in particular are partly about skewering things like Old Spice commercials, so what happens when Old Spice ends up paying them to skewer Old Spice commercials in Old Spice commercials? If Starbucks and Walmart pick up on the trend of extreme satire of corporate America's messages, then we might all be fucked in the long run and no one can legimitately ridicule ANYTHING ANYMORE. Also, brain quietly asploding.
posted by naju at 1:40 PM on April 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Naju, that's actually a case of infinite loops. TV will become overly recursive and eat itself. Is that really such a bad thing? I mean, the Wire's already been made, so how much better can TV get before it ends?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:42 PM on April 5, 2010


Don Hertzfeldt, visionary.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:42 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Terry Crews' best role since when he played President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.
posted by birdherder at 1:43 PM on April 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, uhm, I was totally prepared to Pepsi Blue and be all frowny, but I have to admit I'd skip commercials a lot less often if they were like this more often.
posted by davejay at 1:43 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Powerthrist anyone?
posted by The Whelk at 1:44 PM on April 5, 2010


and, previous example of a major ad taking up this kind of aesthetic
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on April 5, 2010


What's great is that these ads are so good we watched them without needing the carrot of quality TV to draw us to them. Again, I reiterate: this is death for TV.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:46 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Starbucks and Walmart pick up on the trend of extreme satire of corporate America's messages

I present to you: Joe Isuzu. Corporate America has been there and back. The loop has already been completed.
posted by penduluum at 1:46 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Why haven't these guys directed a Lady Gaga video? Either Lady Gaga, Tim and Eric, or all three of them made a serious miscalculation, because that's a collaboration that fate relies upon.

Because they're busy with Major Lazer videos.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:46 PM on April 5, 2010


I am a big T&EAS,GJ! fan (after initially HATING the show and still being pretty meh about Tom Goes to the Mayor). Love the Absolut ads, love Tim Heidecker's "stand-up," love "Father & Son," heck, I even like these new commercials (but then, I've always been a sucker for Old Spice commercials). But I wonder if they are spreading themselves too thin. Season Cinco of T&EAS,GJ! has been kinda weak, seems very phoned in. They are doing too much, and while some of it is great, a lot of it is mediocre or, at best, amusing.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:48 PM on April 5, 2010


> so what happens when Old Spice ends up paying them to skewer Old Spice commercials in Old Spice commercials?

If this was formal logic, it would recurse into an infinite loop. But since it's marketing, it concludes at a bank to which Tim and Eric have laughed all their way to.
posted by ardgedee at 1:49 PM on April 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ween's cheese jingle is now the music that accompanies my internal dialogues. Thank you for that.
posted by davejay at 1:49 PM on April 5, 2010


Someday I will understand why people think these guys are funny, and why the AV club CONSTANTLY talks about them

This is what I do: I sit on you. Sit on you. Sit on you. Right on your head.

It's... pretty hard to be that absurd, that weirdly offensive, creepy and still totally safe for work/broadcast. And I'm pretty fucking absurd. I'm not saying that they're cutting edge in the way Monty Python was extremely cutting edge and risque when it was new, but, still. They're pretty good at what they do, which is short attention span hyperactive stoner-absurd WTF was that comedy. On a budget.

I still have a really hard time watching any of the Beaver Boys clips, but they're also catchy like a case of the brain worms.

All that said, if I ever actually sit through an entire episode or three of Tim and Eric's Awesome Show I tend to feel... dirty. Like someone spiked my drink and took advantage of me in a dirty bathroom and I woke up on the dirty floor with my pants down dirty.

Granted, a lot of this brand of comedy is funnier if you're baked out of your gourd after midnight. It's not really redeemable. I won't even try. I couldn't defend Sifl and Olly, Wondershowzen, nor Tim and Eric's. I don't even want to try analyzing why it works or why it's even remotely popular outside of saying "people like junk food".

And now I'm going to have that fucking "sit on you" song stuck in my head for a week.
posted by loquacious at 1:50 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: Tim and Eric should pay royalties to Everything is Terrible for as much as they seemed to be inspired by that aesthetic. I'm not sure how much longer they can keep on in the same vein and still be popular though. The early-90s cheese seems to be going the way of electro-house and eighties nostalgia.
posted by codacorolla at 1:51 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Granted, a lot of this brand of comedy is funnier if you're baked out of your gourd after midnight.


I have done many personal studies to conclude that even being baked out of your gourd after midnight doesn't make the "Ew...." factor of Tim and Eric go away.
posted by The Whelk at 1:55 PM on April 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Naju, that's actually a case of infinite loops. TV will become overly recursive and eat itself.

If you want a vision of the future of pop culture, imagine a human head burrowing farther and farther up its own ass - forever.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:56 PM on April 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


The Missing Link Between T&E and EIT.

EIT actually never even heard of Tim and Eric until commentors complained that this was too similar to Tim and Eric.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:57 PM on April 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can we just agree there are different strokes for different folks? Some people don't like Tim and Eric. Some people can't digest lactose. Can't we all get along?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:58 PM on April 5, 2010


Yeah but EIT doesn't make me feel bad in my soul like TAE does. I can;t put my finger on it, but TAE just seems so ...unwholesome. Sweaty.
posted by The Whelk at 1:59 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Forgot to include the modern specimen.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:59 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't abide either! So they have a pill I could take 30 minutes before watching Tim And Eric to make it digestible?
posted by The Whelk at 2:00 PM on April 5, 2010


It helps to be as despicable a human being as Tim and Eric are. Then the moral discomfort just slides down your throat like hot butter.
posted by naju at 2:05 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The early-90s cheese seems to be going the way of electro-house and eighties nostalgia.

ZOMFG, if I hear one more skinny jeaned post-emo kid call their band "electro" just because they have a disaffected, sparse synth line on top of some mediocre pop-rock bullshit I swear to fucking unicorns my head is going to explode and take out most of the Western hemisphere.

ELECTRO = FUNK = DANCING = PARTY. Electro is not Kraftwerk on a bad hair day. For fuck's sake, you hipster kids. You have YouTube. You can go watch the video for Planet Rock nearly anywhere on your iPhone-a-majigs and your twitter-whatsits. You don't even have to swap tapes around and figure shit out in the dark. It's right there at your fingertips, the world's biggest music catalog ever made and you... you... *head explodes like a volcano*
posted by loquacious at 2:06 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think the other guy in third commercial is Peter from "The Room."
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 2:06 PM on April 5, 2010


Yes, Tim and Eric comprise one human being
posted by naju at 2:06 PM on April 5, 2010


Ween's cheese jingle is now the music that accompanies my internal dialogues. Thank you for that.

It's now what plays on my phone when my mom calls. Thank you for that.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:11 PM on April 5, 2010


mccarty.tim BTW, my body can't metabolize Tim and Eric hate or Lady Gaga hate into empathy for your hate like it can metabolize Ed Hardy hate.

BEGIN DERAIL: This is one of the ways I know I'm old (besides the boring old calendar way). Way back in the early 90s I remember being kind of blown away by Don Ed Hardy. He seemed like a good example of an artist working within a genre and being a serious student of the genre at the same time. His forays into fahn aht didn't seem as self-conscious and determinedly transgressive as those of the rest of the Juxtapoz alt-art crew, just extensions of his own day job, which itself he seemed to treat more like a craft than an art -- which, arguably, it is, unless you care to argue, in which case maybe it isn't...anyway. I was in lower Manhattan around '00, passing by tables of people on the sidewalk selling big-ass art books, and noticing one of Hardy's. And I thought, damn, it's that guy...I should get that...I was following my girlfriend and her friend, though, and they weren't stopping, and by the time I thought better of it it was too late, and -- here's the funny part -- I distinctly remember being bummed out, because when was I ever going to get a chance to nab some Ed Hardy work again?
...I also remember thinking I could watch that Nic Cage guy in just about anything. That was sometime right after Wild At Heart came out. I'm plainly unqualified to foresee goddamn anything.
posted by $0up at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of tim-and-eric's signatures is converting shot video to VHS and back in order to add distortion/character to footage. The commercials here are so clean and "high def" that if they were not credited for them I would just assume it's corporate america trying to be "weird" for the sake of going viral.
posted by hellojed at 2:19 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like a black, extremely strong Billy Mays.
posted by qvantamon at 2:21 PM on April 5, 2010


I explained what I find funny about them in the last thread, which I started: http://www.metafilter.com/90267/Father-and-Son#3002751

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.
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:27 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I present to you: Joe Isuzu . Corporate America has been there and back. The loop has already been completed.

1989, eh? How about 1979? Kids these days think they invented distasteful corporate co-option. Back in my day, when we were all stoned watching Saturday Night, waiting for the parody commercial to come on that really shocked us into THE TRUTH, the man stripped away our dreams with this:

The Taste Buds
Notice the "insider" mentioning of munchies and dry mouth. That was when I knew that the revolution wasn't real.
posted by bitslayer at 2:36 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


just because they have a disaffected, sparse synth line

Wait, is the synth line disaffected, or are the kids disaffected? I'M SO CONFUSED / i think you're projecting on that poor innocent synth line, loq.
posted by thedaniel at 2:37 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Still not nearly as bizarro-world as Spong Monkeys for Quizno's.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:50 PM on April 5, 2010


I CANNOT believe that I just sat and watched The Old Spice Channel. I didn't realize how sick it was until I ended with this.

Now excuse me while I go take a shower. With something a little less manly than this.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:52 PM on April 5, 2010


i think you're projecting on that poor innocent synth line, loq.

Shhh. Seeding lawn with nuclear landmines.
posted by loquacious at 3:04 PM on April 5, 2010


I've watched some more T&E since the last thread and now I think of them like one of those cheezy 'magic eye' stereoscopic picture things: sort of intentionally cheesily framed, garishly colored, with a picture hidden in the chaos: 3D planets or sharks or planes or whatever. And some people can stare and stare into them but the picture never ever resolves and they can never see it.

Except with T&E the shtick is that there isn't any picture hidden in the chaos....which is the picture. And some people can see that.

But not me. :(
posted by umberto at 3:07 PM on April 5, 2010


So they have a pill I could take 30 minutes before watching Tim And Eric to make it digestible?

Yes, but it's not exactly a pill and you just have to keep it on your tongue for a while.
posted by Spatch at 3:08 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


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.

In short, they are anti-comedy; see Steve Martin's bio, "Born Standing Up". Compare the two, and it would seem that T&E are doing (now) what Steve Martin was doing (just before he hit it big and became a self-aware parody of himself.)
posted by davejay at 3:10 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


But not me. :(

Using the ads we have here: Look at the way they layer their various comedic devices on top of each other. It's garish and disturbing.

In the first ad you get the overly-muscular guy, complete with bouncing chest muscles, making these odd faces. Then a strange voice comes out of nowhere. Then his arm grows a hand that points. Then he yells to his bicep like it can hear him. Then his abs talk. Then the logo. Then he breaks through. Then he breaks the Odor button. Then he kicks a building. Then he summons an explosion from nowhere. Then he yells along to the Old Spice tune.

That's somewhat overwhelming and over-saturated. Compare that to the Man Your Man Could Smell Like ad, which is fast-moving and slick and glib. This one moves faster and pulls even weirder moves. Some of the things it does, like the jiggling chest muscles, are even a little sickening. That dizzy disgusting feeling is at the heart of Tim and Eric's work.

They have a signature move that you see in the third ad, where something they've previously used as a cheap gimmick gets more of a presence than it warrants. In the second ad the jiggling chest is kind of a punch line. In the third ad, it seems like it should be a punch line, then they zoom in on the jiggle and show it on its own, so it commands the attention. It stops being funny, because it's been overplayed and not clever enough to be the center of attention. So it becomes creepy.

The first time I saw it used in the Awesome Show Great Job! it seemed like careless writing. But they use that trick pretty deliberately in a lot of their work. It serves to kind of show the grossness of their humor in sharp relief. Whereas their humor starts in that PowerThirst-esque overextreme ridiculous style, it ends when they point out blatantly how disgusting the individual components they're putting together are. I don't know entirely how to describe the way that call-out makes me feel, but it's what makes me love them.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:16 PM on April 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


The naked horse guy ad, and now this? Someone please inform the Mad Men at Old Spice that interracial homoeroticism is volume one of the Encyclopedia Self-destructica.
posted by dgaicun at 4:00 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Starbucks and Walmart pick up on the trend of extreme satire of corporate America's messages

I present to you: Joe Isuzu . Corporate America has been there and back. The loop has already been completed.


I bet it's already been dropped, but "E Unibus Pluram" by David Foster Wallace (link is to a discussion, not the original piece, sadly) is a great read on self-referential, winking, "you're too smart for this commercial" commercials.
posted by zvs at 4:07 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


dgaicun, I'm pretty sure you're thinking of massive debt, urban decay, lack of land to conquer and barbarians attacking you from all borders. The things that break down every great ad campaign.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:32 PM on April 5, 2010


But they use that trick pretty deliberately in a lot of their work. It serves to kind of show the grossness of their humor in sharp relief.

It kinda works like the Ren & Stimpy gag of cutting to a grotesque close-up of a hideous Basil Wolverton meets Garbage Pail Kids painting with a foghorn or something for accompaniment. Really close up, it's gross in there. Always good for a jolt.

Tim & Eric take great pride in their sudden outbursts of uncomfortableness. I still haven't decided if I like that or not, so I guess that it's effective.
posted by Spatch at 5:08 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


F'r y'r helth!
posted by Eideteker at 5:51 PM on April 5, 2010


These commercials seem a lot funnier to me than what little Tim and Eric I've seen. So I guess they have sold out.
posted by JHarris at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2010


ZOMFG, if I hear one more skinny jeaned post-emo kid call their band "electro" just because they have a disaffected, sparse synth line on top of some mediocre pop-rock bullshit I swear to fucking unicorns my head is going to explode and take out most of the Western hemisphere.

The origin of the current usage of electro lies with the short lived genre/marketing-term 'electro-clash' typified by Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin and Felix da Housecat. Art students playing at being ravers, mostly.

That kind of gradually morphed into the indie dance/blog house scene, so electro kind of became a synonym for 'non-club-oriented dance music' or dance/rock crossover.
posted by empath at 7:00 PM on April 5, 2010


Wait a minute - has seriously no one commented on HOW FUCKING RIPPED the dad from "Everybody Hates Chris" is?
posted by tristeza at 7:01 PM on April 5, 2010


the real kudos go to whoever realized that we don't give a shit about deodorant technology, just throw something random and weird at us that we'll talk about. i mean, the oldspice "im a man" ads are awesome too.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:59 PM on April 5, 2010


I've tried to watch "Tim and Eric:ASGJ". I can't do it. If I want to watch bad videos, I can watch real videos, made by real people, who are serious about their subject matter, on YouTube [SomethingAwful can help you find some starting points]. I don't understand the humor in emulating ignorance -and I don't mean ignorance in an insulting way, but ignorance of say, current design or style or editing, -or of "How things are done by professionals". I just don't get why people enjoy poor, pale imitations of things like Norton Furniture or Flea Market Montgomery or Musafar or Little Monsters. There is just so much real crap or oddness to watch, why watch cheap copies?
posted by ill13 at 9:43 PM on April 5, 2010


Or, I want real crazy, not your fake crazy.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on April 5, 2010


"Fake crazy" is right. The Tim and Eric kind of "weird" has become pretty contrived. It's the same kind of weird as Superjail or Robot Chicken or Sealab or anything else on Adult Swim. It's not mainstream, but it's definitely an established aesthetic, and it's not very original any more. That's not to say it's bad---a lot of it is pretty funny, and I think these ads are funny. But it's hardly the kind anti-establishment and renegade aesthetic that people here seem to think it is.
posted by painquale at 10:41 PM on April 5, 2010


If I were a philosopher, I'd try to come up with a theory of sin in terms of entropy and recursion; it's obvious that marketing, incest, addiction, gluttony, vanity, and so on lead to hell through nefariously inward-spiralling patterns — and maybe whatever comes out as the positive term in the theory could be a nice definition of God? It wouldn't exactly be life, love of life, or will to power... maybe exactly the Hindu concept of lila?

But I guess capitalism doesn't lead inwards to a zero point — it's delightful, and these ads are singularly weird and funny and fresh. And now I'm thinking about William Blake:
Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence.

From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy.

Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.

[...]

Thus one portion of being is the Prolific, the other the Devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his chains, but it is not so, he only takes portions of existence and fancies that the whole.

But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer, as a sea, recieved the excess of his delights.
Ugh, market logic makes my head spin. Moloch! But does anybody know any good books about this stuff? The Rebel Sell is related, and I've gotten the impression that Bataille's theory of the "general economy" is also relevant... I feel kind of, uh, insane when I think about huge abstract shit like this myself, and reading Blake doesn't help very much with that.
posted by mbrock at 3:50 AM on April 6, 2010


Metafilter: marketing, incest, addiction, gluttony, vanity, and so on.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 7:12 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Tim and Eric always make me miss Mr. Show.
posted by klangklangston at 10:19 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I don't know entirely how to describe the way that call-out makes me feel, but it's what makes me love them."

"Nightmare comedy" is about the closest I've seen. The last couple episodes have made this explicit (Michael Gross watching you sleep, the anit-nightmare cream (Don't Ingest!)).

To be honest though, the shows often feel like green-screen demo reels for aspiring film-makers. Just showing off what they can do on the cheap.
posted by wah at 11:52 AM on April 6, 2010


But they use that trick pretty deliberately in a lot of their work. It serves to kind of show the grossness of their humor in sharp relief.

Remember in Ren and Stimpy, those close-up gross-out panels? It's kind of the same thing. They're never funny and never add anything to the narrative -- they're just gross, and in-your-face to make sure you've seen the gross.
posted by davejay at 2:57 PM on April 6, 2010


« Older Naomi Wolf (previously) in her essay "Tea Time in ...  |  Beautiful high-res images of S... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments