When Adult Swim first started to show interest in his TV show idea, Eric Andre was on unemployment. “I had like $200 in my bank account,” he told Spin. “I was flat broke.”
In that interview, Andre goes on to tell the story of what it was like getting The Eric Andre Show on the air. He said the show was too wacky to pitch the traditional way. “I knew it was too crazy and visual and too much of like an absurdist stream-of-consciousness show to really sell on paper. So I was like, I’m just going to have to shoot this thing myself.”
So he rented an apparently abandoned bodega (that turned out to have several supposed owners who all took turns interrupting the shoot) and shot his first show. And then he ran out of money. “I was paying out of pocket for it, obviously. I didn’t have enough money to hire an editor.” So he learned how to edit and in “like a f***ing year,” he had the episode ready to pitch.
Eric Andre's (very) odd jobs before hosting his show
In order to pay the bills while he pitched his show, Eric Andre scraped by doing television commercials and the occasional stand-up comedy gig. He didn’t make it onto the ridiculous commercials we now associate with the car insurance company, but Andre did work as a Geico Caveman at live events. “It was the silliest job,” he said. “I was just a high-end mascot. I was a high-end corporate whore.” But he actually ended up liking it, because it allowed him to be weird.
It turns out that he was actually kind of perfect for the gig. They had him go to sporting events and music festivals and do weird things that presaged the antics on his TV show. “They wanted me to walk around a hunting supply store outside the Super Bowl for no reason and just pick up arrows and be like, ‘Hey, I’m just shopping for things that kill deer.'”
Luckily for Eric Andre, Adult Swim didn’t think his show sucked, so they gave him the go-ahead. “Here’s 300 dollars and some Domino’s Pizza coupons,” he said, laughing. And the rest is absurd TV history.
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