Humor has been an exploration

Illustration by Miles Huffman

When I was growing up, my exposure to humor was mostly from my mother rewatching Austin Powers. I didn’t have much of a censorship bar there, so I quickly became the most inappropriate elementary student at Deer Creek.

It landed me in trouble a few times. The worst walking around with a group of friends and asking if they would rather have sex with a gorilla or our principal’s buttchin. Sitting in the office with said principal that afternoon was conducive to a later moment of reflection.

I grew up with the “Frat Pack”: Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, Ben Stiller, Steve Carell (Sarah Silverman around there), with older appearances from Robin Williams, Chris Farley, Eddie Murphy and Jerry Stiller, and stand-ups like Jim Gaffigan, Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld.

From there, I took to more radical humor. Demetri Martin became Nick Swardson. And then, in a friend’s teepee freshman year, Tim and Eric entered my life.

It took until 2010 to discover them, and 2012 to accept them. But once Tim and Eric settled into my humor spectrum, there was no going back.

The boys appeal to the new generation that harbors a split-second attention span and empathy for spontaneity and absurdity. The largest theme in their shows is poking fun at bad 80’s and 90’s television, using their phony brand Cinco to promote utterly useless products that will probably kill you.

Tim and Eric transcend boundaries, and are pushing the comedic envelope farther than ever before.

It’s their ridiculous and senseless chop comedy that combats the atrocious humor ideal of Real Housewives or A Haunted House.

William Rein can be reached at [email protected] or @toeshd on Tumblr.