Eric Wareheim

(Photo courtesy of Tim and Eric).

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are the eponymous comedy duo behind the new movie “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie,” which is being released in Austin today following a special Alamo Drafthouse screening last month. Their TV series, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” showcases their own characters as well as famous comedic actors Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. “Billion Dollar Movie” follows suit with the same setup.

The movie revolves around the pair’s attempt at renovating a shopping mall after they fail in their endeavor to make a movie with a billion dollar budget. Though Heidecker and Wareheim filmed with a tight budget and time constraints, they delivered a movie sure to delight anybody who finds their controversial comedy funny, not tasteless.

The Daily Texan spoke with Heidecker and Wareheim about “Billion Dollar Movie,” Internet piracy and the simple pleasures in life.

The Daily Texan: Eric, why did you let Tim’s name go first?
Eric Wareheim: It rolls off the tongue better. “Eric & Tim ... ” [shakes head]

DT: What was your biggest inspiration when pursuing comedy?
Tim Heidecker: “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “America’s Funniest People” with Dave Coulier.

DT: When did you first figure out you wanted to be comedians?
Heidecker: From the birth of our consciousness.

DT: What was your inspiration for the movie?
Wareheim: We draw from everything we do. We make things different and wrote the scripts that we wanted to write. There were no boundaries.

DT: Do you ever think to yourself this might be too much?
Heidecker: Sure, anything controversial. We either move forward with or kill it. We’re keeping it going.

DT: What was your biggest obstacle during filming?
Heidecker: Time constraints due to our budget. We had a short schedule of 20 days.
Wareheim: Wasn’t it something like 19 days?
Heidecker: Doesn’t matter, 20 sounds fine.

DT: How do you create your characters?
Heidecker: Everyday people. A lot of people use faces in the background that we put in the foreground. Those seven faces that people tend to always use aren’t our inspiration.

DT: Has the movie been getting the response you expected?
Heidecker: Yes, fans are loving it and everyone else is polarized. They’re either on board or not. We began selling it on the Internet, and the response is great.

DT: What else would you be doing right now if you weren’t making people laugh?
Heidecker: Installing lighting fixtures.
Wareheim: Tequila tasting at Cabo Wabo.

DT: What do you enjoy most in life?
Heidecker: My dogs and wife. Not in that order!
Wareheim: Traveling and good food.

DT: What’s your message to people who try and download the movie illegally?
Heidecker: You can go fucking jump off a bridge.

DT: Would you rather have an actual group of boys defecating on you in a tub, which happens to you in the movie, or never make a movie again?
Wareheim: The former. Would make it happen on set so it can draw inspiration.
Heidecker: People always say our work is random. We don’t like the word “random” because the work that goes into it is never random.

Printed on Thursday, March 1, 2012 as: Comedy duo speaks about filmmaking, creating characters

The Paramount Theatre, Austin’s oldest theater, was also the city’s freakiest when the perversely hilarious comedy duo, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, invaded the venue on Saturday for their Chrimbus Spectacular 2010 tour.

Tim and Eric, the creators and stars of Adult Swim’s bizarre television show “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” is weird enough on TV, so when it’s converted to a live show, things get insane.

Offensive, awkward, surreal and straight-up odd are Tim and Eric’s bread and butter, and the two spread it on thick for the show-goers. There were glittery, over-the-top Christmas-themed musical numbers; a furry, anatomically correct onesie; guest appearances; uncomfortable audience participation; a performance by Pusswhip Banggang, Tim and Eric’s band; and plenty more.

Audience members familiar with the TV show had an idea of what they were getting into and, judging from the crowd’s reactions, they were satisfied with the performance.

“I knew that it was going to be absurd and off-the-wall,” said Zach Hutchens, a local actor and glass technician who attended the show. “My sides hurt from laughing. And man, when Steve Brule came out, I was on my feet.”

Dr. Steve Brule, played by a somewhat-confused but always sincere John C. Reilly, was a highlight of the night. People jumped out of their seats and clapped like crazy when he came onstage and conducted an unsettling mammogram for Misty, a “patient” he chose from the crowd. Misty seemed freaked out, which is what Brule was going for, so mission accomplished.

Other bits involving the audience included a strange, two-man wet T-shirt contest emceed by Tim and Eric’s pierced, fratty alter-egos Jim and Derrick, and some onstage dancing when Pusswhip Banggang played several songs at the end of the show. Also, a privileged few were able to snag the Christmas gifts — packets of frozen shrimp — that Tim and Eric tossed out.
Classic Tim and Eric skits from the TV show that were projected onto a screen and selected by the audience’s applause kept everyone entertained in between performances. The chosen clips were “Ooh Mama!” and “Celery Man,” the latter featuring a sweaty, coffee-gulping Paul Rudd watching funky, kinky videos of himself on a computer.

The seating arrangement in the Paramount worked fairly well for most of the show, but when Tim and Eric donned their guitars and American flag pants for the Pusswhip Banggang performance, about 30 fans abandoned their chairs and went to the front.

“Pusswhip Banggang was awesome,” said Amy Offield, a Tim and Eric fan who drove from College Station to see the show. “Eric’s pants were the most patriotic pants I’ve seen in a long time. And I didn’t know that they could shred so hard.”

The band played some favorites from the TV show like “Poke On,” and even came back for an encore after they had left the stage, making the weirdness last until just before 11 p.m. Afterwards, the audience cheered and left without many regrets.

“I just wish I could have gotten my hands on some of that frozen shrimp.” Offield said.