REVIEW: UNCW’s “Evening with Eric Andre”


Netflix/ Eric Notarnicola

William Becker, Staff Writer

There’s a sense of dread that is prevalent waiting in a zoom meeting room for something to happen. Some of us are used to doing it in waiting for class meetings, others are used to doing it for clubs or work. There’s something very surreal about waiting for Eric Andre to go absolutely nuts over zoom. “Legalize Everything” and four seasons of the wonderfully nuts “Eric Andre Show” that are both extremely explicit, I instantly felt fear of watching a censored, watered-down version of Andre on zoom.

On Wednesday night, September 2 UNCW’s ACE (responsible for battle of the bands, on-campus movies, 2019’s on-campus appearance of Aly & Aj, and more,) hosted a virtual “An Evening With Eric Andre” had a lot of promise. What isn’t to love about Andre? He is funny and one of the most entertaining comedians of this generation.

For ACE, the energy and effort were there. Inviting Eric Andre to a college campus seems like a perfect recipe for madness, even if that is happening online. If there’s something to be said about “An Evening With Eric Andre,” it felt like a really bad episode of the Joe Rogan Podcast and I mean that deeply and passionately. DJ Douggpound served as something of a moderator and sampler, while Eric Andre lazily answered questions from students asking for advice about how to deal with the stresses of the COVID-19 virus and becoming an entertainer. Perhaps I was expecting something with the cracked out energy of his show or his standup, but Andre felt so oddly sluggish and uninspired in his answers.

Eric was missing much of the charm with almost no specific standout moments. After almost an hour of watching the livestream, I found myself bored by the mostly irrelevant conversation. I knew most of their musical references and sample sources which brought my enjoyment up a little bit but not by much. Even though I was staring directly at the two men talking, I felt like I was listening to a background podcast for noise.

After 45 minutes of this, they decided to bring students on to ask questions, which was about the most interesting and interactive part of the whole experience. These questions seemed to bring the most energy out of Eric, prompting him to go into different impressions and actually crack some jokes with effort. This was the definite standout of the entire show but it only lasted for around 15 minutes.

That being said, the whole experience seemed to fall flat. Eric Andre might’ve had an online show at UNCW, but this was diet, gluten-free, PG Eric Andre interlaced with standard interview questions. By the end of the show, I wasn’t in tears with laughter; I merely wanted to watch the “Eric Andre Show” and zone out. It certainly wasn’t ACE’s fault; the idea was golden, but the execution fell flat on its face.