‘Billion Dollar’ talk with Tim & Eric

By Sophia Coleman

They’ve made you laugh. They’ve made you cry. And they probably have made you barf in your mouth a little.

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have never been the kind of comedians eager to appeal to a mainstream audience. Since 2007, the comedic duo has been the kings of uncomfortable, crude comedy with “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, which served as the perfect platform for their bizarre and deliberately squeamish-making brand of comedy. After five seasons, the two moved on to the big screen with “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie”—which is full of awkward moments, psychedelic “glitch-outs” and plenty of bodily-fluid jokes—premiering March 2.

The Chronicle sat down with Heidecker and Wareheim to talk about the film, whatline they will not cross and what exactly will be on their blooper reel.

The Chronicle: Were there any particular comedic inspirations?

Eric Wareheim: It was really based on our kind of humor you know, [looking] back at all of our TV shows and all of our stuff is based on what we think is funny. But at the same time we are watchers of movies and wanted to make fun of movies and movies within movies.

The Chronicle: What are some of the movies you guys made fun of?

Tim Heidecker: “Flashdance.” There a bunch of references to that and other subtle references of that [movie].

EW:“Crocodile Dundee.” Actually we’ve gotten into some legal problems with some of the jokes. It was really close to the “Dundee”-style. But we were like, “It’s the “Dundee”- style, it’s not like a word verbatim thing. It’s just in the tone of “Dundee.”

TH: It’s because he said the word “knife.” He goes “look at this knife,” and they said you can’t show that kind of knife. It was some sort of trademark thing. We fought it, [but] we didn’t get it.

The Chronicle: Did you face any challenges adapting your style from TV to big screen?

EW: Yeah. It’s a big deal.

TH: The TV show didn’t matter. There was no real reason to do it. With [the film] there was a real investment opportunity. It became something where we had an opportunity to make a couple bucks. Suckers be buying s–t all day long.

The Chronicle: What amuses you guys most about animated movies? You seem to hate on “Shrek 3,” “Rango” and “The Lorax.”

TH: It’s kind of a coincidence. I happen to love the Pixar movies. I’m not against animated movies or anything. It was more about the over-promotion of the “Shrek” films. With “The Lorax,” it’s coming out the same day as our film. So we said, “let’s go after ‘Lorax’ and try to take [it] down.

The Chronicle: Did they respond yet?

TH: Nobody responds. They just think they’re so cool, so big and high and mighty that they won’t talk to little people like us.

The Chronicle: With how graphic the film is, did you worry about receiving the NC-17 rating?

TH: We have friends on the MPAA. We know people there, so, you make a couple calls. There were a couple scenes we had to add, actually. Generally, you just put a little envelope under the door. A little goes a long way, do you know what I’m saying?

The Chronicle: Any plans on making more movies?

TH: Yes. No official plans. All we know is we loved this experience and can’t wait to get back into that, [and] mixing pot and just goofing around.

The Chronicle: Have you thought about doing work on the other end of the


EW: Yeah, we just did a movie called “The Comedy,” which Tim stars in. It’s a drama. It’s a f—-d up movie that’s great.

TH: It’s about a bunch of aging hipsters living in Williamsburg, [N.Y.] who are wealthy and horrible people. It’s sort of like a modern day “A Clockwork Orange,” except nothing happens.

The Chronicle: What kind of preparation went into filming some of the more disturbing scenes, like having your arm cut off or the Shrim scene?

EW: Not a lot. It’s kinda fun for us, to be honest, to play with prosthetics. The challenge [was] to direct while suited up with a fake arm or while in a tub with all these boys, and I’m like, “OK, how does the camera look?”

The Chronicle: What was used to create the feces in the tub scene?

EW: Almond milk and oatmeal. And they warmed it up for me. It was nice, it was very spa-like. I was very impressed with the whole team with that.

The Chronicle: Is there a certain line you won’t cross with comedy?

EW: Killing babies.

The Chronicle: Is that the only line?

EW: Killing mamas. Killing llamas.

TH: I think the line is constantly changing.

The Chronicle: How do you hope audiences react to the film?

TH: I hope that they enjoy it.

EW: We’re doing this to make people laugh and to give people an entertaining experience.

TH: I want them to enjoy it and realize it’s just a movie. There are thousands of them every year and most of them suck.

The Chronicle: Do you guys plan on putting out a blooper reel of any kind?

EW: The DVD will be filled with f—–g stuff. You can imagine. You get zingers, extended ding-dongs.

TH: Wack jokes.

EW: We’ll probably do the “Dundee” stuff if we get clearance.

TH: There’s a big salute to Chicago just on the DVD. Everybody from the cast sings “Sweet Home Chicago.” Anybody that loves movies about Chicago, this is for them. We couldn’t make it work in the movie, but what an extra. It’s a seven-minute version of the song. We’re right by the [Chicago] River [and] the [Willis] Tower. We’re just jammin’ with the whole gang.