Though Scott Aukerman’s arch, character-driven Comedy Bang! Bang! and Eric Andre’s manic, explosive The Eric Andre Show play on standard late-night tropes drawn from Johnny Carson and beyond, much of the humor in these talk shows comes from the curious imaginations of their hosts. Before Aukerman and Andre bring live versions of their programs—which air on IFC and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, respectively—to town, TONY thought to turn each interviewer’s skills on the other. What follows is the battle that ensued.
Scott Aukerman: So, Eric, you are originally from Boca Raton, Florida.
Eric Andre: [Belches] Yeah.
Aukerman: You now live in Los Angeles and perform every night of the week.
Aukerman: You bring a manic energy to the stage, combining autobiographical experiences—
Andre: [Laughs] Are you reading my fucking Wikipedia [page]?
Aukerman: —politics and experimental psychedelic rambling. You were a finalist in NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity showcase.
Andre: [Laughs] I was!
Aukerman: You were featured in the documentary special The Awkward Comedy Show and your sister’s name is Amy—
Andre: That’s on there?
Aukerman: So I guess my question is, can I be the one to update your Wikipedia page?
Andre: You sure can; I just took it down. So, here’s a true story: Scott Aukerman was a musical-theater major, got a starring role in Oklahoma! on Broadway and broke his leg. He was replaced by his understudy, Sidney Poitier.
Aukerman: It was weird for him. He’s such a huge star, an Academy Award nominee, if not a winner—I never asked him; everyone wondered why he understudied a nobody. He was playing my horse. That’s the strangest thing; I used to ride Sidney Poitier onstage and slap his butt to get him to go faster.
Andre: I’d pay $4,000 to see that.
Aukerman: Eric, what do you see yourself doing in five years? Follow-up question: How did you acquire your precognitive powers?
Andre: Five years… I’ll probably have been dead four years by then.
Aukerman: Out of everyone I know, you are the most RTD: ready to die.
Andre: I’m like one of those kids: “Oh man, did you hear that fucking Johnny drowned?” Don’t you think I’m in that category? Drowned tragically at a pool party or something?
Aukerman: Yeah. Your demise will be met with, like, an, “I figured.” Shrug. Eric, I would categorize your show as dangerous.
Andre: Oh? I would categorize your show as sexual. I end up masturbating every time I watch it.
Aukerman: You got arrested and spent the night in jail for your show, didn’t you?
Andre: Yeah, but you’re going to get me in trouble. I’ve gotten fucking scolded by every one of my reps not to talk about it until I go to court.
Aukerman: Well, I hope that you get off, because I want everyone in the world to know that celebrities can basically do whatever the fuck they want.
Andre: [Laughs] It’s true! We are above the law! [Singing] Time to murder and rape civilians! And then, a jihad! How about a Scott Aukerman–Eric Andre tour where we jihad into a building in every city we play?
Aukerman: After the first night, someone might try to stop us. But at the same time, I don’t think anyone is paying any attention to either of our shows, so they may not notice.
Andre: All right, Scott: You and Reggie Watts, what’s your relationship? Purely sexual?
Aukerman: Did you ever see Chinatown, where Faye Dunaway says, “He’s my brother and my son”? Well, Reggie and I went to see Chinatown together, and that’s how we met.
Andre: [Laughs] You want to switch black cohosts for a day? You get Hannibal [Buress], I get Reggie?
Aukerman: I think that I’d prefer to get you, and Hannibal gets Reggie. They can have a trying-to-interject-off. And meanwhile, you and I can fight over who’s going to interview the people.
Andre: Not-listening-to-the-guests-off? Okay, I’ve got a question, Scott: What’s up?
Aukerman: Great question. A lot of people would consider the North Pole to be up.
Andre: A little dad humor. Classic. I’ve got another question, Scott: So, like, what’s up?
Aukerman: Hmmm, let me think. Airplanes. Okay, Eric: You have sort of a reputation onstage and in your show for being something of a wild man. How much of that is an act?
Andre: It’s all CGI. We actually only shot one episode and just CGI’d the rest, because that’s all we could afford. So, Scott, what’s happening on your tour?
Aukerman: I’m bringing a lot of cool people along, like Paul F. Tompkins and James Adomian, and we’re going to do some prepared stuff, some stand-up and live bits that we do; and then about halfway through the show, we’re going to do a completely improvised podcast recording where people are in character. You?
Andre: It’s a live version of the talk show: I break everything, everything is rebuilt, we show videos, I interview fake guests, I interview real guests, we have a band play. It’s kind of like a GWAR show. And then, Scott, we will hang glide into the side of a building in honor of Allah.
Andre: Wow, I think we fucking nailed it. This it he best thing that’s ever happened to Time Out New York.
Aukerman: It’s a weird feeling when you know you’ve just given the best interview of your life.
Andre: [Laughs] It’s really all downhill from here.
Aukerman: We need more middlemen to talk through. It’s too contentious between talk-show hosts.
Andre: You’re right. I love you.
Aukerman: I love you!
The Eric Andre Show happens Thu 19 and Sat 21. Comedy Bang! Bang! happens Aug 7.