The Looney Bin: The Trickster Logic of Eric Andre and Bugs Bunny

Eric Andre
By  · Published on November 2nd, 2017

The Eric Andre Show is always unexpected, which makes it almost as powerful as animation.

About a year ago, friend of the site Sam Fragoso did a long, surreal, and introspective interview with one of the most creative comedians working today, Eric Andre. His self-titled Adult Swim program, barely holding onto the framing device of a talk show, goes out of its way to alienate its audience and guests.

How does this work? Why is this comedy so confrontational?

Essayist Michael Kaplan’s got an idea. His comparison of Andre to Bugs Bunny gives both the logic of the trickster. They gain power through misdirection and the unexpected, but always end up with you on their side. Explaining over some of the wildest clips of TV you’ll see, Kaplan finds meaning and skill in Andre’s techniques where others see only randomness for randomness’ sake. There is commitment to doing something different, something innovative, and ultimately, something that is entertaining – if only in that you can’t look away from it.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).