'Black like Drake and Jesus': Comic Eric Andre makes waves in Tel Aviv

The comedy star bared it all – literally.

Comedian Eric Andre (photo credit: Courtesy)
Comedian Eric Andre
(photo credit: Courtesy)
“Let’s see what references work... let’s see what TV shows you’ve illegally downloaded! There’d be no audience here if you didn’t illegally download,” he opened with. The audience, made up largely of Israelis, responded in kind.
While comedy is usually all about timing, Andre’s was even more to the point: the half-Jewish comic – who is half-Haitian and describes himself as “black like Drake and Jesus” – made use of his fair share of Passover-themed jokes just in time for the first Seder on Friday night.
He began with a heavy-metal inspired rendition of “Dayenu,” finishing it with “I don’t know who the f*** ‘Enu’ is, but if ‘Enu’ came back to life tonight we’d f***ing kill him!”
At one point, an audience member called out “oh my god!” to which Andre quickly quipped, “on Passover, you’re using the Lord’s name in vain?!”
At age 22, he traveled to Israel – “for the shwarma” – on Birthright. “Does that even exist anymore? What’s it called? Tag-a-leet?” While he may not exactly be in touch with Israel and the American Jewish community, he appreciates a good dish of hummus and shwarma, and even brought on stage with him a bottle of what he called “cat juice” that he said a Yemeni man had sold him before the show.
The show, however, wasn’t without its awkward moments. If you’re a fan of drugs, alcohol and nudity – yes, real-life nudity – it might have been just the right place for you.
Comedy fans may have gotten more than they bargained for at his show when Andre bared it all – literally – on stage.
Midway through an hour-long set, Andre invited a fan on stage, put on the song “Whole New World” from the film Aladdin and promptly dropped trou. That is to say, he left little to the imagination: boxers and all were around his ankles. He kept it relatively R-rated, employing what is known in the world of drag queens as “tucking.” We’ll let you use your imagination here.
Perhaps the most bizarre and memorable moment of the night was the Ranch dressing chugging contest. Andre, with no explanation as to why, said he was going to pick two audience members to join him on stage. Israelis, not ones to waste an opportunity, decided that they wouldn’t wait for Andre to pick them and instead stormed the stage. The comic let two of them stay, and then brought out two bottles of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing – he’s a fan, to say the least – to chug. One of the fans threw up almost immediately, leaving a puddle of white goo on the stage, while the other brave fan was pronounced the “champion” and given a prize of $5.
Andre’s self-deprecating humor was neither a total hit nor a miss; he gave what could reasonably be described as a warning to his “like eight-year old jokes” which he then followed up with a bit about the movie Precious, which was actually released nine years ago.
Some of his jokes were tired, and have been heard time and again before. Ripping on his hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, he said that it’s where “old people go to die.” If you’ve heard that before, it’s because your dad has been making that joke for decades. Much of Andre’s humor, too, is raunchy to an extreme. Jokes about sex push past typical boundaries to the point where it was difficult to distinguish whether the audience’s laughter came from a place of pleasure or discomfort.
Just before the end of the show, Andre aired a video of a pilot that he had filmed some 10 years ago with friend and fellow comic Hannibal Buress. He prefaced with a joke about how the video was three-and-a-half hours long, and though it clearly wasn’t, it felt almost like it could have been.
The only notable sketches throughout the clip, which may best be described as flailing, were two notable shorts. One showed Andre dressed as Ronald McDonald, seemingly drunk and alternatively stuffing a McDonald’s burger in his face and yelling “I’m a failure” to the restaurant’s patrons. The other showed Andre being bitten by a Orthodox Jewish vampire and the aftermath of the incident, which included a naked, blood-thirsty Andre, complete with peyot, ­running around a field of llamas.
It was an interesting show to say the least, and Andre is full of surprises.