“Some days life sucks and some days you get to watch Eric Andre with your homegirl.” — Personal thoughts from Toronto
Meridian Hall in Toronto is one of the city’s most renowned venues and hosts some of the most prestigious cultural event in its storied history.
On September 26th as part of the JFL42 comedy Festival 3200 Eric Andre fans descended on the place and it’s a wonder it’s still standing today.
Ironic fashion clad hipsters anxiously awaited the performance by the post alt-comedy superstar who is known for the Eric Andre Show, the Adult Swim entity that Andre host alongside Hannibal Buress. It is an ironic re-imagining of the talk show format where Andre begins each show by trashing the purposely flimsy set before taking on interviews that subject his guests to his yelling and screaming.
The pre-show vibe was similar to a multi school field trip to the laser show. Thousands of people similar in age waiting in palpable excitement for the lights to go out. Ushers working double duty as chaperones were tasked with the losing battle of ensuring cell phones were not deployed to document the experience. A 50 something usher approached a 20-something fan “If I catch you again you will be dejected.” Openly mocking the Usher the fan replied if “I catch you again erection” to uproarious laughter from the section. A rogue rolling paper wafted down from the balcony. This was off to a great start.
Chicago’s Sarah Squirm was the opening act. Squirm embodied the gross-out hyper character-based but not full on character work that is emerging from corners of the internet and infecting comedy with blurred lines in the best way. Bounding onto the stage in doc martens dressed entirely in cow print like “a Gateway computer ad from the 90s,” Squirm proceeded to muse with boundless energy about the challenges she faces as a large labia’d woman at the beach. A projection of a woman in a suit with claymation elements played on screen to further emphasize her problem. It looked like something out of a SpongeBob nightmare and the crowd loved it. It was twisted and jovial and served to only add to the humour of the very strong jokes. Squirm’s performance was seamless and just long enough for short millennial attention spans prevalent among Eric Andre fans. It was exciting, raw and evoked the richness of seeing raunchy comedy in grand spaces.
Andre took the stage to a riot like reception. Attacking the stage and knocking over a mic stand. The first topic addressed was one near and dear to many in the audience.
“So weed is totally legal here right?”
He proceeded to regale the crowd with his two best drug stories. The first watching the 2Pac hologram at Coachella, the second being high on Molly at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. The crowd was audibly content that one of the stories took place on Canadian soil.
Andre then started to deliver his signature societal observations with a healthy dose of irreverence breaking down the Crux of political issues in a way that was palpable to the aforementioned short millennial mind span.
The best example of this was a bit about how the Inner circle’s song Bad Boys was the wrong choice of music for the opening montage of the reality show COPS because of reggae’s heritage as resistance music. “It’s weird to be like, get on the ground! I am your judge! jury! and executioner!” and then be all like unnnnder the sea!” motioning with his hands like Sebastian the crab. Several other topics were taken on with this special brand of wokeness that relies heavily on pop culture references and a keen ability to follow non-linear thinking. Illustrating that the apparent stupidness of Andre’s comedy is far more nuanced when examined and his fans are far from stupid themselves (But like just don’t tell anyone okay.)
This is not to say that the show was lacking in Andre’s on brand ruckus hyper calamity. There was a ranch drinking contest with the prize being a freestyle rap performance. He FaceTimed someone’s Mom after sending nonsensical texts to provoke worry. The crowd was treated to a preview of Andre’s new film, Bad Trip, a bad grandpa style live prank movie starring Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rel Howery
Andre closed out the show naked with his dick between his legs. The symphony plays Meridian hall regularly.
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Tonight we're back at @MeridianHall with some serious VARIETY for you! ✨ A Special Event with comedy LEGEND @itscarolburnett is at 7pm followed by the hilarious @ericfuckingandre at 9:45pm ✨ Tonight at the @queenelizabeththeatre we kick the night off with some HIGH STAKES comedy when @siriusxmcanada's TOP COMIC takes the stage with headliner @deanne_smith . $25,000 and spots at next years #JFL42 are on the line! Don't miss the funny! ✨ And then at the @queenelizabeththeatre we have the one and only @natebargatze ✨ Tonight at the @theroyalcinema we have @truecrimeobsessedpodcast , @TVsJonDore and @DanSoder! What a fun night! ✨ Meanwhile we have shows all over town with @davemerheje , @byronbowers, @RickVelez and many more! Check out the link in our bio to see where you need to find your funny tonight ✨ And don't forget the Alternative Show is tonight at MIDNIGHT at the @secondcityto. #AndyKindler is here and ready to get SILLY