SF Sketchfest pays tribute to the hilarious absurdist comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, creators of the Adult Swim comedy series "Tom Goes to the Mayor," "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!," "Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule" and "Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories" and the film "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie." This is a rare chance to go behind the scenes with Tim and Eric, ya dingus.
Executive Producers, Creators, Writers, Actors
Tim Heidecker, born and raised in Allentown, Pa., and Eric Wareheim, a native of Audobon, Pa., met in 1994 as freshmen film students at Temple University. They became friends and collaborators on each other’s film and video assignments. After graduating, Tim moved to New York to pursue writing and acting while Eric stayed in Philadelphia working as a professional photographer. They stayed in close touch and met on weekends to make short films and strange bits of comedic nonsense.
One of their first pieces, “Tom Goes to The Mayor”, a short, dry conversation between two nuts talking about restaurants, ended up in Penn University’s Institute of Contemporary Art and landed a slot in the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. Fueled by “Tom’”s success, the duo, now officially known as Tim and Eric, created several other short films and video pieces.
Stuck in a dead-end job in New York, Heidecker began sending tapes to his comic heroes in Hollywood. One such recipient was Bob Odenkirk, creator of HBO’s “Mr. Show with Bob & David,” who loved what he saw and called Tim to offer his support. Over the next year, Tim and Eric worked with Bob to develop a TV show.
Meanwhile, Tim and Eric got lots of cool screenings in New York, showing their work before gigs from acts like The Shins, Les Savy Fav, Canned Ham and Neil Hamburger. They also performed at Tinkle (David Cross’ comedy show), the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre, Cinema Classics, The Knitting Factory and Galapagos.
Tim and Eric’s Web site, timanderic.com, started getting lots of hits from links on the “Mr. Show” site. Bob suggested Tim and Eric make another “Tom Goes to The Mayor.” This time, David Cross was a guest. In 2003, they released their own DVD called “The Ultimate DVD Collection Vol. I” and sold them through their Web site.
Then one night, Eric went to an Adult Swim party in Philadelphia and met “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” co-creator Dave Willis. Eric gave Dave a copy of Tim and Eric’s stuff. The DVD floated around the Adult Swim offices and found its way to Mike Lazzo, Cartoon Network’s senior vice president responsible for Adult Swim, who loved “Tom Goes to The Mayor.” He asked Tim and Eric to pitch a show. They liked it so much they gave Tim and Eric funds for development. Bob was brought on as an executive producer. Tim and Eric used the development money to move out to Hollywood and work on the show full time. “Tom Goes to The Mayor” premiered on Adult Swim in 2004 with a 30 episode two season run.
After TGTTM ended, Tim and Eric went on to create five seasons of the “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” and four seasons of the “Awesome Show” spin-off, “Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule,” which stars John C. Reilly. In 2012 Tim and Eric also wrote, starred in, and directed their first feature film, “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie,” which was produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
After the movie Tim and Eric decided to get back into the TV world and developed an anthology series, “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories,” which premiered on Adult Swim in September of 2014. The series included guest stars such as John C. Reilly, Jason Schwartzman, and Zach Galifianakis in a dark stylistic departure from their usual comedy shows and has had two seasons so far, with another in development.