Of all the wackiness Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have gotten themselves into over these last five seasons, churning out a super-sized half hour-long episode seems like the tamest of propositions. Not surprisingly, the two guys rose to the occasion of last night's episode and the form fit their comedy just fine. Though I guess more accurately I should say that not much changed or was even all that noticeable.
Like many of Season Cinco's episodes, "Man Milk" utilized a Tim and Eric-centric framework of scenes to come back to every once in a while, ending when all hell broke loose in that world. Last night Tim and Eric made preparations for the holidays by milking each other's swollen nipples and suckling at the teets. A few sketches would go by, then it was back to using the milking machine or antagonizing Coy, hiding behind the tree, all very squirm-inducing and wonderfully unbearable. It ended with a montage of all the supporting characters doing whatever it is they do—apparently James Quall is a stand-up comic—and drinking the milk, collapsing because it's spoiled. Happy holidays, the end.
Because there were far more sketches to fill the longer timeslot, both Tim and Eric made appearances in them, unlike the majority of this season. They popped in alongside Fred Armisen in a sketch about an Italian massage parlor, returning later to show a customer pulling back hair out of his pizza and, consequently, mouth. They also helmed a fake commercial for two friends who suffer from "pools of blood" in their stomach and in a bit that found them pitching Ben Stiller on the idea that his career has plateaued and he needs to become part of a duo (I wish Stiller had been given more to do, his part was flat).
The rest were familiar, starring a mix of the usual players like David Liebe Hart and Steve Brule, and even gave Paul Rudd an excuse to don elaborate costumes and dance seductively, which is never not funny. There was also a fake commercial for a device called the Privacy Helmet that looked like something straight out of the Kurt Vonnegut short story, "Harrison Bergeron." Technology has emerged as an unofficial theme of this season, and "Man Milk" had that in spades.
If there was anything disappointing about "Man Milk," it's that this very special extended episode whipped by just like any other Tim & Eric episode. Perhaps it's unfair to want for something more, but I know they're capable of rising to the occasion. Their season five opener, for one, was a brilliant parody of Saturday Night Live that could have occupied the entire episode. "Man Milk" wasn't as strong, but had me consistently squeamish and giggling to myself. It's comforting to know that Tim and Eric have honed their comic sensibilities, and can now repeat it with some regularity. I'm grateful to have them around, and hoping for a Season Seis announcement soon, however far-fetched. But regardless, it's been a hell of a run, boys. Keep up the good work.
- More Celery Man. More Tayne.
- James Quall should have his own advice column.
- Who else is super pumped for the Steve Brule show?