Back to All Events

Eric Andre (multiple showtimes)

  • Comedy Club on State 202 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Eric Andre's comedy makes you feel there's something deeply wrong with the universe, and maybe that's the point. Info/tix


Calling comedian Eric Andre "unpredictable" doesn't really begin to do him justice. Perhaps it's best to let some of his gonzo man-on-the-street antics speak for themselves by relating them plainly. There was the time he showed up at a dog park in Madison Square Park, stripped down to a thong made of peanut butter, laid down, and put his legs in stirrups. There was the time he opened a pop-up ranch-dressing dispensary—selling "LEGALIZE RANCH" T-shirts—and bore witness to attendees chugging the buttermilk-and-mayo potion. There's the entire sub-genre of happenings involving public transportation, where people, basically trapped, choose to ignore or engage while Andre (with a dog cone around his head) spills Fruit Loops or (while dressed as a centaur) drops two birthday cakes and embarrassedly tries to clean them off people's pants. Explaining that these elaborate stunts typically yield no more than 40 seconds and are intended as palate cleansers on The Eric Andre Show, an Adult Swim talk-show parody vibrating with anarchy, really doesn't help, but will be a good indicator on whether you'd be interested in seeing him live.

As a comedian Andre continues on in the tradition of Andy Kaufman, Steve Martin, and even Zach Galifianakis, with a searing willingness to deconstruct and goof on what is expected of performers and their legacies. There's always some sort of unpredictable element at play in his live shows, whether it's intentionally parodying bad stand-up or tolerating a drunk interloper storming the stage and seeing how far he can push them. But comparing Andre to Kaufman or Galifianakis feels incomplete; what drives his output (including the new Adult Swim show, Mostly 4 Millennials, which he produces) is communicating that there's something deeply wrong with the world—and not spelling out for viewers what the point always is or whether those conclusions are tainted in how he's measuring it.

There's far more to Andre than all these batshit hijinks described here. He's spoken both about his passion for Transcendental Meditation and his skepticism over whether his training at Berklee College of Music has influenced his approach to comedy. Whatever. Weird as it is, what he's doing is important and worth watching, if only for the perverse respite of getting your brain tied in knots and set on fire.  —David Wolinsky

Later Event: July 27
Baseball Rarities (free)