In this series of posts, I will be highlighting some of the best and most innovative podcasts on the web, as well as a few that I just think are plain cool.
My introduction to Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim came first through B’Owl, a mock-infomercial for a children’s toy that is part bat and part owl. It’s taken from Heidecker and Wareheim’s Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and is a very strange video, satirizing TV-borne consumerism with a level of absurdity not seen since Monty Python’s heyday. At the time it was like nothing I’d seen before, and, for a while, I was convinced it was the funniest thing I’d ever laid eyes on. Then I discovered their series of vodka commercials for Absolut, co-starring Zach Galifianakis, and I became convinced that they were the funniest things I’d ever laid eyes on. I subsequently became a huge Tim and Eric fan.
If you enjoyed either of those phenomena as much as I did, you’ll also enjoy Heidecker’s satirical podcast series, On Cinema. If you were staring at your screen in puzzlement, wondering why those grown men are wearing beehive wigs and sitting in too-small furniture, well…you should probably just move on to the next post. While some have attempted to explain their humor, it’s something, much like cilantro or Kevin Smith movies, that you either like or you don’t–explanation rarely makes a difference.
Heidecker’s deliberately DIY-sounding On Cinema features him playing himself (or a version thereof) across from his friend and fellow comedian Gregg Turkington, a self-proclaimed “film expert.” Together, the two of them set out to discuss a new favorite film in each week’s podcast, from 12 Angry Men to the recent remake of The Three Stooges, and usually don’t get very far. What happens, instead, is the two of them end up passive-aggressively bickering about minutiae for a few minutes, while trying to remember if the film in question won any Oscars or is available on DVD.
Beyond that, it’s a bit hard to explain why On Cinema is so funny, but it’s clearly a send-up of the podcast medium, and those who take to it without really having anything to say. At an average of about three minutes per episode, they exemplify Heidecker’s unique sense of humor, while not overstaying their welcome. If you enjoy it, this could open the to door to the rest of Tim and Eric’s oevre. If you find it too weird, you’re certainly not alone.