Eric Andre: Legalize Everything

2 out of 5

Directed by: Eric Notarnicola

A standup set from Eric Andre.

I undeniably like a lot of drug humor; that is: humor that is apparently better when you’re on drug.  Adult Swim revels in this type of stuff, and the random nonsense of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and the like have cracked me up for years… without partaking in the apparently required paraphernalia.  I mean, I know I’m not alone in that: not every viewer of stuff like The Eric Andre Show has to be high to laugh at it.  However, I don’t particularly like humor about taking drugs.  Sometimes the “I was so high…” stories can have a certain level of amusement, but very, very often it’s an inclusion-style joke that relies on a “you know what I’m talking about, right?” nod, meaning there’s not actually a punchline so much as someone giving you a fist-bump for also having taken acid at some point.

Eric Andre’s ‘Legalize Everything’ starts out with a confrontational-humor sketch that ranks with some of the best stuff from Andre’s TV series, as he – dressed as a cop – stumbles out of a cop car on a New Orleans street and starts asking people to do drugs with him.  I laughed at that.  When we transition to the actual live act, though, it’s just a lot of yelling, and swearing, and “you know what I’m talking about, right?” references to crystal meth and coke that you can see people in the audience cheering along to.  Now, some of this is, for sure, purposefully subversive, in that Andre is poking fun at the same culture he’s celebrating, but without the surface layer of the randomness his sketches provided on his filmed skits, there’s nothing for that subversiveness to play off of, and so its just the yelling and the swearing and the drugs.  Noise and crassness can be funny, I guess, but not so much to me.

Once Eric exhausts himself, we do get to some (in my opinion) more inspired bits, but it’s right at the tail end of the set.  I definitely appreciate Andre’s energy, and I’d by foolish to say this humor wasn’t, to a degree, in line with other material I’ve seen from him, but the presentation wasn’t what I was looking for.