Crude comedians deliver odd and surreal spectacle

Adult Swim’s Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the pair behind the sketch show Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, brought its bizarre brand of oddball comedy to Club Nokia on Saturday night. Titled “Tim and Eric Awesome Tour Great Job! Chrimbus Special,” the show featured live music, sketches, videos and appearances by some of the show’s strange stars.

Off-kilter comedian Neil Hamburger opened the evening with his dark, confrontational humor. Jokes about dead celebrities and numerous other insensitive quips had the crowd somewhat ashamedly laughing along.

“You guys keep this up when Tim and Eric come out they’ll put a bullet in your head,” Hamburger said in response to some jokes that spurred small talk from the crowd.

The chatter stopped as soon as the lights went down and Heidecker and Wareheim’s introduction video, featuring the show’s regular David Liebe Hart, came on the screen. The video included the instructions “If you have to go to the bathroom during the show, go in your pants” and “There’s going to be a lot of farts in this show.”

It’s this type of shamelessly low-brow and incredibly odd humor that defines Heidecker and Wareheim. The laughs from the tightly packed crowd were not surprising, considering the duo’s popularity on the often offbeat Adult Swim portion of Cartoon Network.

The duo walked on stage wearing sparkly blue and yellow suits and sang, “What am I gonna get?,” a song explaining “Chrimbus,” the made-up holiday that basically mirrors Christmas.

Throughout the next 10 minutes, Heidecker and Wareheim tossed bags of dried shrimp into the audience as “Chrimbus presents,” discussed the holiday’s traditions and chased each other around while Wareheim wore a costume that made him appear naked. Afterward, they thanked the crowd for coming and walked off the stage. The lights came on and the house music turned up, but the crowd wasn’t fooled by the apparent “end” of the show.

Heidecker and Wareheim were absent from the stage for a bit, as videos similar to those shown on their show projected on a large screen behind the stage. Some of the videos were made specifically for the live show, while others were simply popular sketches from the television program.

The truly disappointing thing about the videos was that comedians such as John C. Reilly and Zach Galifianakis were simply onscreen and not onstage. In Los Angeles, appearances by those comedians or any of the show’s numerous celebrity collaborators  would have not only been feasible, but would have added much to the evening.

After a long series of videos, Heidecker and Wareheim returned to the stage to perform the song “Whatup Brah” as Jim and Derrick, their rapper alter egos. This led to a series of short skits involving these characters, one of which involved bringing two heavy-set male audience members on stage for a wet T-shirt contest — which consisted of Jim and Derrick spraying shaving cream into the unaware audience members’ faces out of beer bongs.

The screen soon showed a faux-preview for Blues Brothers 2012, humorously sponsored by the company Terminix. Heidecker and Wareheim returned to the stage dressed in the Blues Brothers’ signature suits, hats and black Ray-Ban glasses. They performed a series of surreal and random songs, promoted Terminix and sprayed what they claimed to be pesticide — actually water — on themselves and the crowd.

After the Blues Brothers sketch and an excessively long intermission, Heidecker and Wareheim returned with guitars, percussion instruments and an explicitly titled backing band. They preformed joke classic rock songs for the remainder of the show.

Heidecker and Wareheim were actually played their instruments and sang well and the band was surprisingly good. After a while, however, the whole musical gimmick started feeling less like a comedy sketch and more like a concert for a band that nobody really came to see. The jokes were still there, but the novelty had worn off.

The momentum picked back up as Hart joined the band for “a song [he] wrote about L.A. public transportation” in which he sang about the history of Pacific Electric. After an encore of his popular song “Salame,” Heidecker and Wareheim thanked the crowd and walked offstage.

Hart, however, remained to sing a few of his songs that the crowd had loudly requested. During his a capella version of the strange “I’m in Love with an Insect Woman (From Another World),” the club cut off his mic and turned the house lights on, providing a weird and confusing end to an incredibly abnormal but definitely hilarious show.

It was sudden and abrupt, but how else to end a show this strange?