There’s nothing on TV quite like Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show. When it all comes together, it’s a messy and hilarious package of free-form zaniness. It takes a lot of work to put such a unique and original program together, which means there’s no shortage of wild behind-the-scenes stories.
A television show makes it to the air after its creators and producers follow a very specific process: A writer comes up with a script or outline, convinces an agent it’s a bankable concept, and then the agent pitches it to a network or production company. If all goes well, executives will ask for a script and then use it as the basis for an introductory, or “pilot” episode. If they like that, more episodes get ordered. This is not how The Eric Andre Show made it to Adult Swim. Andre told Spin:
“I knew it was too crazy and visual and too much like an absurdist stream-of-consciousness show to really sell on paper.”
So, instead of writing a script and essentially begging someone to pay for him to make a pilot out of it, he skipped some steps and made a proof-of-concept episode on his own and on the cheap. He explained:
“We rented out this little semi-abandoned, semi-illegal bodega in the middle of Brooklyn. We just cleaned it up a little bit, threw up curtains.”
After compiling the footage, Andre further cut costs by learning the editing program Final Cut and cutting together the pilot himself. The project took about a year, and after multiple networks, quote, “thought it sucked,” he found an ally in Adult Swim.
The Eric Andre Show is one of the more original shows to hit TV in recent years, but it didn’t emerge in a vacuum. Eric Andre’s influences include sketch comedy, Adult Swim pioneers, and ’70s television. Keep watching the video to see the untold truth of the Eric Andre show.
An intensely DIY beginning | 0:00
What inspired Eric Andre? | 1:16
Partnering with Hannibal Burress | 2:00
Anything goes (almost) | 3:16
Shooting sketches can be chaotic | 4:15
Getting tossed in jail | 5:23
Forbidding mention of other projects | 6:23
Suffering for his art | 7:03
Upsetting many guests | 8:18
More seasons to come? | 9:34
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