Tim and Eric (Adult Swim) promote their Variety Playhouse show Dec. 5

By RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com, filed Dec. 3, 2010

While Atlanta's Adult Swim is best known for animation ("Aqua Teen Hunger Force") and claymation ("Robot Chicken"), one of its longer running shows is a sketch comedy program featuring live actors called "Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!"

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are the oddball duo that has created a show that looks deliberately low budget, is defiantly awkward and for many fans, makes absurdly hilarious mockery of life on this Earth.

The pair, over 50 episodes, has also drawn an impressive array of guest stars, from Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller to John C. Reilly and Paul Rudd.

In typical silliness, one episode features Eric hitting puberty before Tim, causing Tim to seek out ways to activate puberty too. In "Fortin' With Will," Will Forte (of "Saturday Night Live" fame) teaches kids how to build forts out of living room supplies. And David Liebe Hart sings a song about puberty.

The tour publicists offered Tim and Eric for an interview to promote their live show this Sunday at the Variety Playhouse. During the interview, the pair went out of their way to make things uncomfortable, especially when I attempted to ask silly questions. At times, they'd act upset, refuse to answer or just sit there in yawning silence.

"We take the show very seriously," Tim said. "We make the shows we want to make. Ideas are not something that come by the truckload. They're very special. We respect them."

As for the guest stars, " a lot of people enjoy the show and ask to be on it."

"Nobody gets on the show because they're friends of ours," Tim said. "They have to be someone we want on the show."

Asked for their favorite guest star, Eric cited Frank Stallone.

"Sly would have been better but all we could get was Frank," Eric said.

Eric said the live show will feature a live band. "We play songs from the TV show," he said. "It's a pretty wild ride."

How about groupies? "We take a vow of chastity when we do this," Eric said.

Tim took faux offense: "That's a very personal question. Would you ask Robin Williams that? I doubt you'd give him the same disrespect. It has nothing to do with our show or our creativity. I take umbrage!"

Back to the tour itself, Tim considers Atlanta "our second home. We love the energy there. We love the town. We love the people. We always have a great time there. We find it gets better and better. By the time you guys get it, it will be the best version that will ever exist. I wouldn't be surprised to see a line five miles long. The mayor, Ted Turner himself will be there to congratulate us on staging and producing the most successful live show ever in Atlanta's long, glorious history."

Tim later noted that people will throw away copies of "Gone With the Wind" after seeing the show. It's that good.

And a bonus: "If there's a Dave & Busters within a two-mile radius, we'll go and give everybody coupons and tokens to any game for a half hour!" (Sadly, the closest Dave & Busters is in Marietta more than 16 miles away.)

Tim plans to play his favorite motorcycle arcade game and will greet fans while playing. "I've got a race to win," he explained, "although I've never come in first."

On TV

"Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Chrimbus Special," midnight this Sunday night (technically Dec. 6) on Adult Swim

On tour

"Tim& Eric Awesome Tour, Great Job! Chrimbus Spectacular 2010," 8 p.m., Sunday, Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta, (404) 524-7354, $31.65. Buy tickets at Ticketmaster.