"They're not burritos, burritos..."
November 6, 2014 9:58 AM   Subscribe

In the past, when Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have done commercials for actual companies, they were considerate enough to offer audiences two distinct flavors: "Uniquely Odd", as in the case of the bizzare-yet-polished Old Spice series of ads and "Downright Uncomfortable" as in the case of Absolut Vodka (previously). Recently, they have produced another pair of ads for your viewing pleasure: General Electric for the former category and Totinos for the later.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (37 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I watch a lot of commercials because I have reached the age where muting or changing the channel is too much effort. As ads go, I'm glad there are talented people out there making them be pretty funny instead of unremittingly stupid like they were when I was a kid. Thanks, Tim and Eric!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:12 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


These are all about three minutes long or so, much longer than a normal commercial. Where are they shown?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:19 AM on November 6, 2014


well you just saw one did you not? my friend, the place where the videos are shown is in fact the place where we are right now. a place called the internet, come on in and make yourself at home
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:23 AM on November 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's called The Innernette.
posted by symbioid at 10:28 AM on November 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Where are they shown?

I think they are probably commissioned to create a short film that will play on YouTube and on their website, to be bandied about and shared (on MeFi for example), and then they can extract 30 second commercials or smaller bits for TV and radio spots, etc.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:29 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure they'll be dissected into countless .webms that will be all over 4chan shortly so it's kinda like seeding some material in hopes that the memelords will drive it into the ground.
posted by vuron at 10:31 AM on November 6, 2014


Oh my god. I know some people don't get Tim and Eric but for those of us who do, OH MY GOD. I watched all the links in order and had to stop at 0:22 on the last one to collect myself.

Those guys are just total geniuses at what they do. Their style is so identifiable but at the same time they are constantly coming up with new ways to be totally weird and hilarious. I don't understand how they ever initially got someone to pay them to be on TV but I'm glad it's worked out.

Relatedly, the Kansas City Royals have a great outfielder named Lorenzo Cain, and by the end of the playoffs this year I was texting this one to my brother in law every time he did something awesome.
posted by something something at 10:32 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've always taken Tim and Eric's stuff to be a spoof of consumer culture, so I think it's funny that brands are like "we're going to pay you to make fun of us for three minutes so we can get in with, um *checks marketing brief* TOOOOOOMBLUUUUUR." Good for them for getting paid.
posted by codacorolla at 10:32 AM on November 6, 2014


Good for them for getting paid.

They love advertising so much they'd happily do it without getting paid.
posted by edeezy at 10:43 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I...kinda get them. Sometimes they make me laugh, and I can step back and get a sense of why people like them.

I admit I am puzzled that they have become A Thing doing what they do, because what they do looks to me like dipping into the same bag of tricks, most of which are labeled "do something disturbing" or "total non-sequitur time" or "make a face" or "jarring 0.14-second video cut".

But then I think I qualify to be An Old now. Also 31 flavors, etc.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:44 AM on November 6, 2014


I would've thought that Plinkett was more than enough Internette juice for Totinos.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:44 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I admit I am puzzled that they have become A Thing doing what they do, because what they do looks to me like dipping into the same bag of tricks, most of which are labeled "do something disturbing" or "total non-sequitur time" or "make a face" or "jarring 0.14-second video cut".

They have a new anthology horror-y series series on Adult Swim, Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories which is more fully realized. I'm a huge fan and I'm really enjoying it. (The link works for me, but it may be that I'm logged in a cable subscriber or something.)

Thanks for posting this. I'd never seen the Totino's ad, and I was going to post the GE ad as part of a "This week in Jeff Goldblum" FPP but I lost it.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:54 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah Bedtime Stories is horrifying. Very twilight zone. Even less funny than T&EASGJ. I love it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:58 AM on November 6, 2014


As someone who's been a fan of Tim and Eric for awhile, the over-the-top Totino's one was so boring I almost turned it off. Their usual schtick has some insights/critiques about consumer culture, but this one was just trying to be zany for its own sake. Even if it doesn't, at least I know it's going somewhere eventually, but with an ad, you're stuck with the same topic the entire time. Unless of course, this whole thing was some meta-commentary about how you can consume Totino's products endlessly and still feel empty inside. Maybe I was just more guarded knowing it's an ad.

The GE ones are a bit "better" (if you can call an ad that). They're not just copping the style of Tim and Eric, but they're creating something new instead of rehashing the same non-sequiturs and jump-cuts.

In conclusion, fuck your stuff.
posted by antonymous at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2014


I've also found Bedtime Stories to be more enjoyable than their sketch shows. Lots of the same tricks, but I feel like having them stick to a single narrative has made those tricks funnier and creepier.
posted by codacorolla at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I really got a kick out of the Jeff Goldblum GE one when I first saw it. Funny stuff, perfect for a 30-sec. spot.
posted by Mister_A at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


They do good ad work. Entertaining, absurd, creepy, self-aware, visually dynamic, great use of celebrity, anti-glamour, affords re-watching (albeit uncomfortably.) It sort of makes the real deal look even more like a joke. I think Bill Hicks would approve.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 11:13 AM on November 6, 2014


I love Jeff Goldblum. Love.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:17 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I admit I am puzzled that they have become A Thing doing what they do, because what they do looks to me like dipping into the same bag of tricks, most of which are labeled "do something disturbing" or "total non-sequitur time" or "make a face" or "jarring 0.14-second video cut".

This may sound like an odd thing to say in a Tim & Eric context, but I think they do bring a sincere love and affection for local-TV infomercial style production to the table. They make fun of it, yes, but I think they also have a real admiration for the kind of people who go out and try to make content without having any idea of what they're doing. So, for me, there's often a subterranean charm and wide-eyed wonder underneath the awkwardness, gross-out, and cringe-inducing schtick -- I think that's part of what keeps me coming back for more.
posted by treepour at 11:18 AM on November 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


That transition through Jeff Goldblum's mouth tho
posted by steganographia at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, for me, there's often a subterranean charm and wide-eyed wonder underneath the awkwardness, gross-out, and cringe-inducing schtick

That's really well said, and you're right.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:53 AM on November 6, 2014


Having worked at GE and been thoroughly immersed in the stifling corporate culture there - I just see this as a transparent attempt at "cool" and "quirky" and "memes!", therefore kinda fucking lame and embarrassing. But I hate my former employer, so I'm biased. I can fully imagine the horrible corporate meetings going on behind the scenes. (I've been privy to some GE ads that have never seen the light of day, and oh my godddddd they are so unintentionally inept, bewildering and hilarious that they would instantly be hugely watched by everyone on the internet. No joke. Now that's organic viral content.)

Anyway, I've always loved the hell out of Tim & Eric. Both of these did nothing for me. Yeah, maybe I'm being an Old. Or maybe they're being Olds. Or both.

Not particularly funny or even remotely their usual style, but Eric Wareheim's video for Beach House's "Wishes" is still the best thing I've seen from them in the past few years.
posted by naju at 12:05 PM on November 6, 2014


I kind of ignored Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! when it appeared; something about the ads for it made it seem kind of repulsive (which may have been the point). But I've liked the Terry Crews commercials for Old Spice; I always took them as a sideways piss-take on the "Look at your man, now look at me" commercials. Plus, of course, the Cain Train. Also, I don't know if this one is a T&E jam, but holy shit.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:20 PM on November 6, 2014


Fans of Tim & Eric will definitely enjoy Adult Swim's "Too Many Cooks". I highly recommend watching it only when you have an uninterrupted 11-minute block.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh, here's the link to the live Bedtime Stories Haunted House Wrap Up Show. I really liked the interactive and social aspects.

Plus, of course, the Cain Train

Holy crap.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:49 PM on November 6, 2014


And yet, Totino's pizza rolls are still gross. Even my teenagers won't eat them.
posted by Mr. Big Business at 12:54 PM on November 6, 2014


Seeing Totino's as one of the clients makes me laugh because of the company's founder's history.

Totino-Grace High School in the St. Paul suburbs used to be called Archbishop Grace H.S. but, following a large donation by Jim & Rose Totino in 1980 (?), the Catholic school changed its name. The Totinos started out with a small pizza restaurant and eventually sold their pizza roll product to Pillsbury for big money. But the school is pretty conservative, pretty staid.

Disclosure: my aunt helped run the food service out there into the 1990s, but I really only knew one kid who went there.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:19 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's also worth checking out the accompanying site, Totinos Living. Netart has gone mainstream and is trying to sell you f-grade food.
posted by codacorolla at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2014


Fans of Tim & Eric will definitely enjoy Adult Swim's "Too Many Cooks ". I highly recommend watching it only when you have an uninterrupted 11-minute block.

That deserves its own FPP. SERIOUSLY.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:46 PM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


That deserves its own FPP. SERIOUSLY.

It would be cool to do one that incorporated all the Infomercials they do, which are really just one-off things that comedians do that are generally pretty good. Scharpling and Wurster just did a Newbridge tourism video for example.
posted by edeezy at 1:58 PM on November 6, 2014


The "Too Many Cooks" thing isn't Tim & Eric though, is it? Similar to their style, but that one is by Casper Kelly.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:10 PM on November 6, 2014


I think edeezy was referring to Adult Swim as "they," not Tim & Eric.
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:53 PM on November 6, 2014


Ah, gotcha.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:57 PM on November 6, 2014


Totinos: We make frozen pizza look appetizing!

(seriously, that is some gross 'food').
posted by el io at 3:06 PM on November 6, 2014


That GE bulb and internet-of-things-hub could totally be a Cinco product.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:54 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt Seeing Totino's as one of the clients makes me laugh because of the company's founder's history.

There's not a lot of Totino's in any Totino's™ product anymore. We're getting pretty close to legally mandated air quotes around pizza.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:49 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Question: Jeff Goldblum turns into Peter Weller when the lights go out, right?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:53 AM on November 7, 2014


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