Tom Goes to the Mayor
UPDATE: The new season begins November 18. Also, the first season will be released on DVD this spring.
Back in April, I told you thirty new episodes of Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! had been ordered, and fans rejoiced. Now comes news from the boys themselves that the new season will kick off this November. They don't mention a specific date, but who cares, at least it's coming back.
I was a fan of Tim and Eric's work pre-Adult Swim, and loved Tom Goes to the Mayor, their first series for the network. Awesome Show, like Tom, samples from the same font of weirdness, but is also, like Tom, often much smarter than it seems. It is comedy dissected, turned inside out and gussied up in an oddball manner that makes some people fall in love with it and others hate it with a dark, unholy passion.
Here's some cool animation news from the past week or so:
First, if you dig the heavy metal sounds of Dethklok, the brutal (but rather stupid) band from the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse, you'll be happy to know the band is doing a tour of some college campuses, according to Toon Zone and Adult Swim HQ. I'll keep you posted as more information becomes available. Other yet-to-be-announced bands will also be touring to promote Adult Swim.
New TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.
- The Brady Bunch - Complete Series
- Entourage - Season 3, Vol. 1
- Law and Order - Season 5
- The Lost Room - Complete Mini-Series
- Mind of Mencia - Season 2 (Uncensored)
- The Pink Panther Show - Vol. 5: The Ant & The Aardvark
- Roseanne - Season 7
- She-Ra - Season 1, Vol. 2
- Tom Goes To The Mayor - Complete Series
- Twin Peaks - Season 2
Tom Goes to the Mayor began as a couple short short films on creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's Web site, and even then it was obvious that not everyone was going to be into it. If anything, the fact that so many people either absolutely loved the series or just found it confusing and unfunny is a testament to its success: one doesn't make a show like Tom Goes to the Mayor with the intention of pleasing everyone. You either grok it, or you don't.
(S01E01) I have no plans to review this new series from Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker every week as I did their last series for Adult Swim, Tom Goes to the Mayor, mostly because this new series is so random and eclectic it'd be almost impossible to write a coherent review every week.
I became a fan of Tim and Eric a couple years before Tom Goes to the Mayor was developed for Adult Swim, having stumbled upon the various shorts on their Web site. What immediately struck me was not just that these men were funny, but that their humor was constructed within an entirely different paradigm. I imagine it's somewhat how American audiences first responded to Monty Python, which at the time must have been so different from what people were used to that many were simply turned off by it. I'm not making a direct comparison between Monty Python and Awesome Show, but I am saying there's a difference between comedy that works because it's been done before countless times, and comedy that really dares to be different.
First of all, enjoy this nice little Christmas video from comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. It's from their upcoming sketch show, and it's kind of confusing. Not to worry, I'm sure when seen in context it's even more perplexing.
Oh yeah, and the complete series of Tom Goes to the Mayor will be out on DVD in April 0f 2007. Since they're calling it the "Complete Series" I'm going to put two and two together and assume the show is over for good. I am equal parts bummed and thrilled by these two bits of news, though I think two seasons is a pretty good run for a show like TGTTM. Rather than follow the trajectory of so many others before it and use pop culture as a springboard, Tim and Eric satirized small town life and overzealous civic pride in an absurdist style that crawled right into my brain, laid out a sleeping bag and whispered softly to me: "Adam, I'm forever stuck in your head now. Get used to me."
All sadness aside, we still have Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! to look forward to, so no reason to commit suicide yet, Tim and Eric fans.
Well, I mentioned earlier that Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the twisted minds behind one of my favorite shows, Tom Goes to the Mayor, were developing a sketch show for Adult Swim. We now know that the name of the new show is Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. According to the duo, the humor will be not unlike the short films the two made before bringing Tom Goes to the Mayor to Adult Swim. Also, Tom Goes to the Mayor will take a break while the two focus on their new show. Hopefully it won't be gone forever, for sad I would be.
If you just can't wait until February 11th for the premiere of their new show, you can always head to Pasadena, California tomorrow for the Doo Dah Parade, a crazy spoof of the New Year's Day Rose Parade. Tim and Eric will be there, will you?
(Left to right: Scott Adsit, Jay Johnston and Dino Stamatopoulos)
Dino Stamatopoulos has written for some of the funniest cult comedy series in the last ten years, including Mr. Show, TV Funhouse, Tom Goes to the Mayor, and most recently Moral Orel, an oft-misunderstood stop-animated cartoon created by Stamatopoulos himself. He's also written for other series, including Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Mad TV.
With the new second season of Moral Orel starting November 12, Stamatopoulos and I spoke on the phone about what fans could expect in the new season, and about TV comedy in general.
Adult Swim, you know I love you, but damn it, you make it so difficult to find information on upcoming series. Nevertheless, there seem to be a few clues floating around the online world of Adult Swim that indicate Tim and Eric, creators of one of favorite series of the last couple years, Tom Goes to the Mayor, are developing a sketch show (working title: Sketch Show) which is currently set to debut on February 11 at 12:15 am Sunday evening (early Monday morning). As I've stated before, this may have been mentioned on the Adult Swim TV bumps, but being a Tivo rider, I often miss those. However, the duo mentioned originally wanting to do a sketch show with Bob Odenkirk in this long and rambling IM interview, and the folks over at the Adult Swim messageboards have been chatty-chatting about it, as well.
I'm going to assume this new series won't be animated, which is just fine with me. I may very well be accused of blasphemy here, but I would love to see Adult Swim become its own 24-hour network dedicated to anything weird and unique, animated or otherwise. It seems to be going in that direction anyway, and if that means a place where alternative ideas can grow and flourish, that doesn't seem like such a terrible thing.
(S02E16) This is an early review.
Avid viewers of Tom Goes to the Mayor know that Tom, no matter how hard he tries, will never be respected by anyone, whether it be his friends, family, or the members of the city council. Of course, it's difficult to blame these people because despite being "full of ideas," the concepts Tom comes up with are usually rather asinine. What I liked the most about this episode is that while Tom still served as the whipping boy, he was actually the voice of reason throughout the entire episode.
(S02E15) This is an early review.
Tragedy strikes Tom and his step-family when his son Brindon dies from a
pudding buffet food overdose. The poor kid actually ate so much pudding he literally exploded at his birthday party. Tom is distraught, but he doesn't get much sympathy from the Mayor or anyone else. Whenever Tom brings it up people just laugh at the hilarious way his son died. Tom has trouble letting go and carries a framed picture of his stepson, and also builds a shrine to him in his front yard.
Ever since getting a Tivo a little over a year ago, I no longer watch TV shows when they actually air. When I'm not catching up with what's on my recorder, I'm either reading, listening to podcasts, or pounding out a blog post about what I'm watching on television. The big deletion from my Tivo Season Pass this year is House. I still admire the show, but for me the magic is gone. The season opener sat on my Tivo for quite a few days, unwatched. When I finally sat down to view it I realized, about fifteen minutes into it, that I had completely lost interest in it. I didn't even finish the episode, and took it off my Tivo for good. Perhaps my attitude will change in the coming weeks, but who knows? Anyway, some of these shows are winding down their current seasons, some have yet to air. All times are Central because I live in Minnesota.
(S02E14) The city of Jefferton has a problem: dangerous levels of starch are plaguing the residents, and Tom Peters is very concerned for his family. He's even purchased an Eez-Zee Stool Strips tester so he can make sure his stepsons don't have too much starch in their system. The machine, as demonstrated in an infomercial, is easy to use. In fact, you can test your stool on a bus in less than ten minutes. All you have to do is lick the tester, stir it around in your stool, enter the number that comes up into the machine, and then hold your thumbs on the special identicators for two minutes (it helps if you have some stool on your thumbs).
It turns out Tom's stepsons do have high levels of starch in their system, which he suspects to be the fault of the food they're eating at school. The Mayor suggests he and Tom go undercover, Tom as a student, and himself as the vice-principal. To fit in with the young crowd, Tom has a special surgery in which his knees and shinbones are removed and his feet are reattached to the bottom of his thighs. Also, his vocal chords are removed and stretched on a tiny rack in order to change his voice. The result is a dwarfish version of Tom with a voice that sounds like he's been inhaling helium.
(S02E14) If you check out the Adult Swim schedule grid, the words "Worst episode ever" are written next to this particular episode. The men and monkeys who run Adult Swim have never been above a bit of self deprecation, but I actually thought this episode was pretty damn hilarious.
The show opens with the Mayor poking Tom in the eye with a sharp metal rod. It's okay, though, because Tom's eye is made of glass. It seems he had an accident while playing with his step-sons. Tom, however, isn't there just to have his eye poked buy the inquisitive Mayor, he's there to sell hoagies for the annual Father/Son Barrel Goat Hunt, in which the father/son teams hunt the dreaded barrel goat, a creature that is driven insane by the scent of pickle barrels. The Mayor has never heard of a hoagie (he pronounces it "hoogie") before, and he can't get enough of the sandwiches. He also takes a liking to Tom's glass eye and buys two for himself, which of course makes it difficult for him to see and move around.
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