Eric Andre Reveals the Wildest Guest of The Eric Andre Show Season 6
Exclusive: Eric Andre reveals what it's like to be back with a new body and new cohost for The Eric Andre Show season 6.
This article appears in the new issue of DEN OF GEEK magazine. Get your copy here.
Ever a man of extremes, Eric Andre, who by all accounts buffed up into the best shape of his life as a bit for the new season of his late-night prank show, shows up to our interview in a bright green Newport Cigarettes tracksuit.
“I’m polluting my body yet again,” Andre tells Den of Geek magazine. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a Newport in my life. [Laughs] I’m a poser. I’m a fraud.”
When we meet Andre, he’s a handful of days into a trip to Austin, Texas, where Adult Swim screened two episodes of The Eric Andre Show’s sixth season on the opening day of the SXSW Comedy Festival to a raucous sell-out crowd with supporting sets from his new co-host Felipe Esparza and comedian friend Reggie Watts. Any extended stay in Austin is enough to throw a healthy lifestyle to the wind, but for Andre, the proof of his hard work is on screen. Merely seconds into his opening monologue in the first episode, he strips down to a leopard print man-thong to reveal a toned, slimmed-down physique to the approval of Esparza, who’s making it rain Jacksons in the background.
The new season arrives at a time when Andre’s career continues to ascend. In 2021, his long-gestating prank film Bad Trip was released on Netflix. Initially set to premiere at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, COVID led to the cancellation of both the premiere and theatrical release. Ultimately, it may have played into the film’s favor as Bad Trip did become a global hit for Netflix and quickly reached the top of their charts upon release.
Back on the small screen, the caliber of guests that the producers of The Eric Andre Show continue to somehow rope into appearances only gets more impressive as the seasons go on. This time around, celebs like Natasha Lyonne, Jon Hamm (much more on that below), Raven-Symoné, Diplo, Daymond John, Meagan Good, Cypress Hill, and Lil Yachty are tormented like never before on Adult Swim’s fever dream of a talk show.
In honor of what is undoubtedly his sexiest season yet, Andre graciously let us shower him in rose petals before we sat down to discuss more than a decade of man-on-the-street pranks, gross-out moments, and the evolution of the show’s physical comedy.
Den of Geek: The question on everybody’s mind right now is, how did you do it? How did you get swole, jacked, goosed for season six?
Eric Andre: Oh, it’s just food and exercise. It’s nothing crazy. I was looking into doing steroids. But I’m scared of cancer. So I just ate a ton of meat. I constantly snacked on meat.
Did you go the Kumail Nanjiani route and spring for Marvel Cinematic Universe trainers?
No, I had trainers that I worked out with before. I tried to get jacked. So they really helped me, but it’s mostly just like you gotta eat meat all day. It fucking sucks. In season four, I tried to perm my hair like Katt Williams, and I tried to get as skinny as I could. I wasn’t good at it.
Season five, I gained 40-45 pounds. But I wasn’t even good at that. My weight fluctuated throughout the shoot. Then this season, I lost 40 pounds and got my body fat down to like the best I’ve ever been since high school.
How did that feel?
It felt good, but I was hungry. And it’s no quality of life. Because you can’t drink alcohol. You can’t go out to restaurants. The joys of life are taken away from you.
Seems like you’re taking it back with this [gestures to Eric’s Newport Cigarettes tracksuit].
Yeah, so I’m polluting my body yet again. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Newport in my life [laughs]. I’m a poser. I’m a fraud.
In the clips of season six Adult Swim sent us in advance, there are moments where you try to get the guests to acknowledge that you got ripped, but they wouldn’t do it. Were there any guests that actually validated you?
I got completely naked in front of Jon Hamm. He complimented me, and he’s a handsome man, so it meant more. It felt good. He saw my whole cock. We had this gag where my clothes were attached to a fishing line. And right when I got up to greet him, our special effects team pulled all my clothes off. Cock out. And he was shocked. But he said I was in great shape.
You guys pulled some really good talent and guests on the show this season. Tell me a little bit about what your producers did to…
Our producers lie. They lie to every publicist and agent. We’re duping celebrities.
Is that the only way?
[Laugh] It’s the only way to get people on there. Nobody knows what they’re getting into. Some people think they know what they’re getting into. But a lot of people wouldn’t even tell them my name or the name of the show. And I’m meeting them for the first time on camera.
So they walk onto set, and then they realize they’ve been lured into The Eric Andre Show?
No, as long as the guest is over 35, they have no idea who I am. Daymond John from Shark Tank had no idea who I was. Meagan Good had no idea who I was.
Daymond has a moment where he looks directly into the camera lens like he’s questioning his entire life.
He goes, “I’ve never experienced anything like this in my entire life, and I never will again.” And I was like, “That’s accurate.” And he was really cool. At the end, he was like, “I gotta have your number, man. We got to hang out.” [Laughs] He was shook. He was in too deep. I think at the end of the day, people know I’m just joking around. There’s no malicious intent.
For the people that don’t know that you’re joking around when you’re doing pranks in public, what do you do when they’re about to call the cops?
You don’t want them to call the cops because then the bit is over. So you gotta throw them off the scent and keep confusing them.
Or I’ll send a producer with a cell phone that’s out of frame, and they’ll go, “I’m calling the cops—don’t worry about it, you take care of him.” And then they’ll walk away just to keep the person on the hook. Or I’ll say to the person, “Don’t call the cops. The cops aren’t who they say they are.” Or I’ll say, “Don’t call 911. Call 912. Call the better cops.” Just to keep their brain scrambled.
The pacing of this season is noticeable. It just seems like you guys were packing a lot more into these episodes.
I think we’re yielding a higher result than the previous seasons. There was a lot of trial and error in the previous seasons, and now we kind of know what to do a little bit better. So I think it’s more pound-or-pound quality per square inch.
Does that mean you’re doing more or leaving less on the cutting room floor?
I just think we’re going into production with a better sense of what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. I think the trial and error of like, the previous 10 years and the movie [Bad Trip] made us dialed in in a way that we never had been before. So, just add a bit more quality from top to bottom.
Do you feel pressure to top yourself?
I always feel a massive amount of pressure. There’s always pressure.
We heard you landed your dream interview this season: Chet Hanks.
Yeah, yeah. [Laughs] My dream interview. I don’t know if it was my dream. It was a nightmare. It was a wet nightmare.
Did he bring his emotional baggage?
Yeah, he brings it everywhere he goes. He’s always bringing his suitcase. It was difficult, though. Our crew was very upset. He stole a motorcycle and almost knocked a bunch of light operators off their ladders.
Was that the craziest on-set guest interaction you’ve had?
Yeah. It’s up there. Sometimes you do the show, and sometimes the show does you.
Now that you’ve had this experience, can you rank the members of the Hanks family?
I will put Tom at the top and Chet at the bottom. And Colin and Rita somewhere in the middle. I try not to pit the Hanks against each other.
Your new co-host this season is Felipe Esparza. He absolutely killed during his set at your season six sneak peek gig that Adult Swim put on during the SXSW Comedy Festival. What qualities do you look for in a new co-host?
He’s really fucking funny. Felipe has a little bit of something that Hannibal has where they’re both completely unpredictable. They never try to be funny. They’re just naturally funny. They’re not trying to be clever or witty. They exist in their own world, in their own space. Felipe is just like, completely, uniquely him. There’s no one on television like him, and he’s just completely unpredictable. He reminds me of Benicio del Toro’s character in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which is one of my favorite characters. He’s just incredibly talented and funny and sweet and easy to work with. And I just really enjoy his company. And he’s got crazy stories. He used to like speedball heroin and meth and stuff back in the day.
It seems like the whole group of producers who took the stage at the SXSW gig are really proud of the “Cold Episode” in season six. How did you come up with that?
We were trying to come up with like a holiday episode or a themed episode, and we kind of started giving up. I can’t remember who it was. Somebody in the writers’ room was like, “Why don’t you do a cold episode?” I was like, “Like, the temperature?” I was like, “As related to winter or Christmas?” They’re like, no, “just purely like the idea of the temperature.”
The episode introduces a new character, The Fridge Keeper.
An instant hit. An instant classic.
Is the merchandising ready to go?
You’re telling me. Tell that to Adult Swim. Get that budget going!
The sixth season of The Eric Andre Show premieres June 4 at midnight ET on Adult Swim.