By Thomas Infante
Arts & Entertainment Editor
In between raving like a madman and saying blunt, uncomfortable statements, comedian Eric Andre spotted junior communication studies major Nick Wodeshick sitting in the front row, wearing a Bob Saget shirt. After complementing the shirt, Andre commanded Wodeshick to take it off in front of the audience.
“I felt pretty excited and starstruck when he noticed the shirt,” Wodeshick said. “I didn’t expect him to ask me to take it off. It went from ‘Wow, Eric Andre noticed me’ to ‘Wow, I’m stripping for Eric Andre.’”
Although Wodeshick was wearing an undershirt, Andre immediately started talking about his love of large nipples after Wodeshick sat down.
Kendall Hall was packed on Friday, Feb. 3, for the College Union Board’s Welcome Back Comedy Show. Comedian Jordan Carlos, best known for his appearance on the MTV2 show “Guy Code,” opened for Andre.
Carlos, who could have been Andre’s twin, covered a variety of topics with a more laid-back approach. He incorporated impressions and personal stories into his jokes about race, relationships and New Jersey.
Andre took the stage after Carlos, telling the audience to “spread your legs and get comfortable.” His presence radiated a manic energy throughout the audience members, many of whom were familiar with his show, “The Eric Andre Show.”
On his show, Andre conducts outlandish interviews with a litany of guests, often shocking them with uncomfortable and strange questions.
“This is a nice place,” he said looking around the Kendall theater. “Let’s tear it down!” Wearing bright red Nike sneakers, he kicked the microphone stand over and proceeded to do the same to every object on the stage.
Andre interspersed personal details about his life throughout the madness. A proficient double-bass player, Andre graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2005, which he called “bullshit.”
He also referred to himself as “Blewish,” a combination of Black and Jewish.
“It’s cool, lots of famous people are Black and Jewish, like Drake and Jesus,” Andre said. “It’s crazy how parents that look like Arthur Ashe and Howard Stern can have a kid that looks like Macy Gray.”
Several of his jokes were one-liners that were more absurd than clever. The result was hilarious, as the audience struggled to keep pace with Andre’s frenzied mind.
“Last week, I saw Precious in 3D while on salvia,” Andre said to an audience in disbelief. Musings like this were expressed without context and warning, adding a level of surprise to already ludicrous statements like “I want to invent a beer helmet, but for cocaine.”
“A lot of comedians stay on their bits for a long time, but Eric jumps from topic to topic,” Wodeshick said. “His energy and unpredictability are great.”
There were some topics that he stayed on for a bit longer, including abnormal and sometimes depraved aspects of sex. He told the audience about a sexual practice that is apparently common among Mormon teens.
“These Mormon teens aren’t allowed to have premarital sex, so they do this thing called ‘soaking,’” Andre said. “The guy puts his penis all the way inside the girl and then they just stay there. He lets it marinate inside. I guess the idea is that if they don’t move then God won’t catch them.”
His material is often inherently offensive, which showed on the faces of some audience members. One student sitting near the front row even got up to leave during the set, which Andre refused to let go unnoticed.
“Where the fuck are you going?” Andre yelled at the bewildered student. Andre then flipped his four-legged stool upside down and told the student to “get three friends and come sit on the stool.”
Just when he seemed too crazy, Andre would ease up the subject matter of his material. He told the audience a story of his membership in a rap-metal band called “Ill Minded Prophet” when he was a teenager.
“One time we were playing a gig in a burrito shop at 2:30 in the afternoon,” Andre said. “Our singer, who looked like a fat Criss Angel, steps up to the microphone and says, ‘This song is for my dad…wherever he is.’ Then his dad who was inside the store raised his hand and said, ‘I’m right here, son.’”
Andre then shared a list of potential band names with the audience, including “Dry T-shirt Contest,” “Sister Restrictions” and “Alien vs. Predator vs. Brown vs. Board of Education.”
After his set, Andre asked for volunteers from the audience to be interviewed onstage. He chose sophomore interactive multimedia major Steve DiBlasi.
“Would you rather fuck your mom or dad?” Andre asked him. When DiBlasi refused to answer, Andre said, “If you don’t pick one, you have to fuck both.”
He then asked DiBlasi to freestyle rap for the audience. While DiBlasi tried to think of lyrics with his back to Andre, the comedian dropped his pants and underwear, tucking his genitals between his legs. He then crept up behind DiBlasi and began to hump him while the audience cheered.
Andre ended his performance after a question he posed to the audience: “Who here likes ranch?” He picked two volunteers to come onstage and gave them each a bottle of ranch dressing to chug.
One student took a few sips before giving up. The other wore a shirt that read “Ranch Me Brotendo” and held the bottle almost vertically to his mouth as he downed it.
Andre’s performance ended as abruptly as his train of thought. After listening to his bizarre humor, it took some time adjust to people saying normal things.