Eric Andre Chats Perfect Prank Targets, Exceeding His Goals & More

19 February 2024 | 2:43 pm | Dan Cribb

“You're playing with an element outside of your control when you're doing pranks."

Eric Andre

Eric Andre (Supplied)

More Eric Andre More Eric Andre

He may be on holiday in South Korea with director Kitao Sakurai (The Eric Andre Show, Bad Trip) when he checks in for a chat ahead of his Aussie tour, but cult favourite Eric Andre is by no means taking a break from his trademark chaotic wit.

“I’m going to drink a Foster’s, eat Vegemite, eat a pinger, shelve a pinger, have them meet in the middle and explode,” Andre, who recently starred in Trolls Band Together, begins. “Yeah, I don't think they know what I do,” he chuckles. “They know what I do… I don't have much on my resume besides my show.”

That statement couldn’t be further from the truth, as it’s been a whirlwind few years since his last visit to Australia; he’s had the shit kicked out of him in Jackass Forever, starred in The Righteous Gemstones, released book Dumb Ideas, dropped Netflix stand-up special Legalize Everything, unleashed hit comedy Bad Trip, and more.

To top it all off, he this month featured in a Super Bowl ad for Drumstick. “That wasn't in the fantasy,” he admits. “I [just] wanted to make it to five seasons [of The Eric Andre Show]. I was like, ‘Anything beyond season one, I'm pretty happy.’ So, I exceeded my goal.

“Anything in comedy, if you have a job, you win because it's very hard. It's very competitive, and it's one of the best jobs in the world. You get to just be paid for your wit. So, I feel pretty fortunate.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Andre also launched his first-ever podcast last year, Bombing, in which he speaks with performers about just that. Given his live shows often include audience members leaving covered in ranch sauce, trying to define what’s considered a ‘bomb’ during an Eric Andre live show can be a little tricky, but the comedian is the first to admit that not everything works as planned.

“We bomb because we're dealing with real people in the audience coming onto the stage. It's a lot of audience participation, and we're pranking audience members, and we're pranking the local celebrities that we're booking in every town, and some are better than others,” he says.

“You're playing with an element outside of your control when you're doing pranks; it's very much up to the person you're pranking for it to be entertaining or not. So, if they're like a dynamic personality, then it's great.

“But, if they're kind of a dud or if they're trying too hard to be funny and they're not playing it straight, real, then yeah, it's kind of a bomb. It's not the same as bombing with stand-up. We kind of have safety nets that we figured out to save us if a bit dies on the vine.”

In regard to The Eric Andre Show and some of his other filmed projects, quite often he’s forced to discard content for that reason, even if the premise is amazing.

“The majority of Bad Trip never saw the light of day. I'd say like 90% of that movie was on the cutting room floor,” he tells of the 2021 film.

Arguably one of his greatest pranks to date – or at least one that best sums up the wild nature of his show – is Wheatpaste Brotherhood, and that’s another example of a bit that hinged entirely on how one individual reacted to a series of bizarre events.

“Well, it's funny, we hired that guy from Craigslist to be a wheatpaster - he didn't know we were a television production company; he thought we were a construction company. And then, yeah, we printed me in the commercial. But small, really small. It was a ruse. Yeah, he was struggling.”

Andre adds: “You want them to be really engaged. You want them to believe the absurdity of the premise, and you want them to be very emotive and emotional.”

And as to whether or not we’ll see another season of The Eric Andre Show? “We're going to do this live tour and then see where life takes us,” he says. “Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long.”

Eric Andre 2024 Australian Tour

Thursday 22 February - Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne

Sunday 25 February - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

Tuesday 27 February - The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane

Friday 1 March - Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide

Sunday 3 March - Metro City, Perth

Tickets and more info here