Tim Heidecker formed a comedic alliance with fellow Pennsylvanian, Eric Wareheim while the two attended Temple University more than two decades ago.
The dynamic duo would go on to form the aptly named Tim & Eric, taking their brand of awkward, off-color comedy to venues around the globe.
The pair appear on the Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim,” with the show, “Tim & Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!” which ran from 2007 to 2010, before a spin-off movie, called “Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” hit theaters in 2012.
Fast-forward eight years and the two Keystone State legends are back with a new jaunt, called “Tim & Eric Mandatory Attendance Tour,” which kicks off its U.S. segment on Monday, January 27, at the Balboa Theatre.
Heidecker says he’s excited to launch a new tour with a man he calls one of his best friends. Their on-stage rapport is 100% authentic.
“I think the fun part about the early shows on the U.S. tour is they still are going to be really fresh and a little scary for us because we’re still getting our feet planted on some of the moves and parts of the show,” Heidecker says. “So, it’ll be that kind of fun, nervous kind of feeling, like when you’re watching a magician and you’re waiting for them to screw up.”
Heidecker and Wareheim’s rehearsals highlight their bond, as they evidently could not deliver their comedic lines with a straight face.
“Last week, we were rehearsing the show and we couldn’t get through any of the bits without cracking each other up,” Heidecker says. “So, I think there’s going to be this scary feeling of, ‘OK, don’t laugh,’ which is embarrassing, because you’re just laughing at yourself. But, I’m excited for these shows.”
Heidecker and Wareheim’s newest tour promises a series of surprises sure to bring the house down.
Heidecker would not get specific but alluded to several items fans can expect when they come to the late-January shows.
“It’s a really immersive, interactive tour. We’re sort of playing with expectations and kind of incorporating the audience into the story of the show a little bit, in a very stupid and silly way,” Heidecker says.
“But, it also gets pretty dark at points and it gets into death and it gets into just some dark, dark things. It also gets a little referential and meta about our own career and what people expect us to do, versus what we want to do.
“It’s sort of the landscape of comedy right now and this idea of being relatable and approachable and all of this focus grouping and that kind of stuff.”
Longtime fans of both comedians can rest easy there will still be plenty of the signature off-the-cuff humor that made the pair’s show a cult favorite.
Heidecker’s goal for 2020, is to keep each night fresh for the audience, so they don’t leave longtime fans wanting more by night’s end.
“We’re leaning less on coming out with characters from the show, we’re going to try to create really a brand-new show that isn’t too derivative of anything that you’ve seen before,” Heidecker says. “It’s like if you’re a stand-up comedian, you wouldn’t want to see jokes being reused, you’d want to see new stuff. So, that’s kind of what we’re trying to do.”
The element of surprise is key to Tim & Eric’s routine, as the duo’s main goal is to say off-color jokes sure to make each other crack up.
Heidecker said the pair hopes the audience will go along for the ride with them, laughing at their nonsequitur-ridden content, so they’re not the only ones doing so.
It’s that nonconforming brand of comedy that keeps Heidecker and his partner in comedic crime coming back.
Heidecker and Wareheim want to keep their edge, so each show will be unique and entertaining,
“Every show’s a little different. There are things that work, things that don’t work, things that change the more we do it. Things get refined,” Heidecker says. “There’s the unpredictability of the audience. Our moods are going to be different every time.
“So, every show isn’t just us sleepwalking through it. It’s always different and it’s always interesting to see what is different about it. I think that’s why we keep doing it.”
Heidecker says they waste no time in ripping off a classic, self-mocking one-liner that sums up the pair’s modus operandi.
“It’s two hours in a room with like-minded people laughing at some of the dumbest (stuff) you’ll ever laugh at,” Heidecker says. “And we want to create moments in the show where you feel, not just laughter, but you’re scared, or you’re confused, or you’re disoriented.
“It’s a very immersive, interactive couple of hours in a theater. So, I can’t wait to do it.”
Tim & Eric Mandatory Attendance Tour, Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Avenue, 619.570.1100, sandiegotheatres.org, 8 p.m. Monday, January 27, tickets start at $42.50.