Throughout its long and storied history, the Vic Theater has been host to numerous comedy and musical acts. But this week, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, better known as Tim and Eric, will be the first comedy duo to headline the theater for three nights. The shows are part of their national tour celebrating 10 years of performing together, which started with their Adult Swim show, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”
Tim and Eric 10 Year Anniversary Awesome Tour!
When: 8 p.m. July 21-22 and 24
Where: Vic Theater
It’s an achievement that fits the duo’s over-the-top DIY brand of comedy that at times is surreal, absurd and satirical. “Awesome Show’s” run between 2007 and 2010, helped popularize this unique form of comedy on Adult Swim, as well as provide a platform for comedians like John C. Reilly and Will Forte. The duo has continued creating that kind of humor through other projects, including a full-length movie.
“Chicago has always been one of our favorite cities to play,” says Heidecker. “Whenever we put tickets up for Chicago they always fly off the shelves and are the best audience. We just always look forward to that part of the tour.”
Tim and Eric are performing at the Vic because it’s been a good fit for their shows, according to Heidecker who described it as a “classic venue and a great rock theater.” One of Heidecker’s most vivid (and colorful) Chicago memories was two tours ago, when they were touring with a band, and their bass player got sick with food poisoning.
“He got food poisoning and vomited off stage into a big trashcan,” he recalls. “We had to continue on and the smell of the vomit from the trashcan wafted up to me and I’m sure the front row and beyond.”
While hopefully no one gets sick this time, Heidecker had some unique advice for attendees.
“I’d recommend that audience members wear adult diapers because it’ll make your life a lot easier, instead of waiting in the long lines for the bathroom,” he says.
During the show, Heidecker and Wareheim will be celebrating “Awesome Show” as well as “Billion Dollar Movie,” “Bedtime Stories,” and other projects they’ve done.
“The show we’re putting together for the tour, it feels like something we would have done 10 years ago,” says Heidecker. “It’s very fun and very silly and is making us laugh. And it’s just great that we get to do it.”
The last part of that quote rings true because the duo is doing the tour in fairly DIY fashion.
“I don’t usually have much attachment to time like this but it felt like no one was honoring us,” says Heidecker. “So, I said to Eric that it was up to us to do some self-honoring.”
When “Awesome Show” premiered in February of 2007, Heidecker says he had no clue how long they’d be working together.
“We were so damn happy just to have been given a chance,” he says. Heidecker says he’s enjoyed working with a like-minded “partner in comedy” that “cares very deeply about our work.” That strong teamwork keeps them both motivated in creating material and projects they’re both proud of.
Heidecker often feels he’s strongest with starting something and getting things going, while Wareheim tends to be good at finishing things and getting an idea perfected and out into the world “in a positive way.”
“We meet in the middle when it comes to executing the ideas and checking in on each other,” says Heidecker. “It’s very comforting to know that you’re not alone in your pursuit of success. You’ve got to have a team. You’ve got to have comrades. You can’t do it alone. It takes a village.”
Lately, the duo has helped similar-minded comedians through their own production company, Abso Lutely Productions, producing shows such as “The Eric Andre Show,” “Check It Out w/ Dr. Steve Brule,” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!”
“Those shows don’t always have a big audience,” says Heidecker. “They’re often challenging to make because their budgets aren’t luxurious. It takes a lot of convincing to get shows on the air. If I can provide comfort to them, I’d be happy to extend that.”
Joshua Miller is a local freelance writer.