An evening with Tim Heidecker


photo via Hudson Valley 360

Known for his ridiculous sketch comedy series, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” comedian and actor Tim Heidecker has been a major figure in the world of comedy for years. Heidecker, a 44-year-old comedian from Allentown, Pennsylvania (which you may recognize from the Billy Joel song), has found success throughout his career by going against the grain of standard comedic rules. 

The title of this long awaited special, “An Evening With Tim Heidecker,” is available to watch for free on YouTube. Heidecker’s style of comedy has always been avant garde or atypical of other famous comedians, standing out as “anti-comedy.” 

His first special exemplifies this. 

The entire 60 minutes of his set is an extended bit, with Heidecker taking on the role of a lousy comedian. For what feels like eternity, Heidecker plays a prank on the audience and anyone who expected a regular stand-up set. 

To the unaware, Heidecker’s set may resemble a bad dream, or replicate the experience of watching a car crash slowly unfold before your eyes. To those that know him best, this special is the culmination of an entire career dedicated to satire and parody. 

Heidecker is no stranger to anti-comedy, having also hosted the parody movie review series “On Cinema” for over 12 seasons, playing the role of an uninformed movie critic. Each episode, Heidecker and co-host Greg Turkington do their best to dissect films and entertain their audience, often failing to do either.

The “On Cinema” universe even went so far as to subject Tim Heidecker to a grueling four-hour trial, known online as “The Trial of Tim Heidecker.” To any uninformed viewer, it would appear to be a C-SPAN live stream of ordinary court proceedings. 

To fans of Heidecker, it was just business as usual. 

For years, Heidecker has had practice in putting a ruse on his audience, with this new special proving to be a worthy showcase of his dedication. Heidecker has become a master of satirical comedy, often allowing his jokes to border the absurd. His sketches on “Tim and Eric” and ridiculous ramblings in “On Cinema” can be so unfunny, sometimes you just have to laugh. 

The special features a variety of topics, including failed impressions, some abysmal attempts at crowd work and mildly entertaining stories about everything from the opera to his wife’s candle business. Unsurprisingly, these rants ramble on for far too long. 

Not many people possess the skills to be funny on a professional level, let alone possess the skills to be so unfunny it’s comical.

Heidecker manages to turn a painful premise into something that you can’t turn your eyes from, channeling the anti-comedy gifts of the late Andy Kaufman. It’s impressive how dedicated Heidecker is to his role, never breaking from character or going for a cheap laugh. 

Despite his attempt to create the least funny stand-up comedy set ever, Heidecker actually managed to keep the audience (and myself) laughing the entire 60 minutes.