Eric Andre talks comedy in Q&A with students
Eric Andre talks comedy with SU students
Eric Andre, the host of The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim and a well-known comedian, paid a virtual visit to Syracuse last night. Andre answered questions submitted by SU and SUNY-ESF students in a virtual Q&A hosted by University Union. Fellow comedian Sarah Sherman moderated the event.
An actor, comedian, and producer, Andre is most known for his live comedy and role in his eponymous show. He has also starred in the Netflix series Disenchantment and is set to appear in the upcoming film Bad Trip —which he co-wrote and produced.
Andre said he was intimated by comedy at first because he “enjoyed it so much” but it seemed “way too nerve-wracking to be on stage and tell jokes.” He thought he would “never have the gumption to be able to stand up there [and tell jokes].” As Andre pursued comedy, he found a good routine to help him cope with his anxiety that comes with comedy: self-care.
“Self-care is actually hugely important. Healthy stuff. I try to meditate twice a day, I go to therapy, and sleep is important. I firmly believe you need 8 hours of sleep at least,” Andre said. “It’s my foundation. If I get under 6 hours of sleep, I’m like a waste of a human being.”
Some perceive his comedy as provocative and harmful, suggesting that people might get offended. Andre denies this and said his original intent with his comedic style and pranks were never to be malicious. He perceives comedy as a way to distort people’s truth.
“I don’t think it was meant to be like ‘ha-ha gotcha!’ like now you’re a loser on TV,” he said. “The show wouldn’t be watchable if it was like that.”
Recently, internet culture has made moments from “The Eric Andre Show” into viral memes. The memes spread online and boosted Andre’s popularity because of the amount of engagement they get. The comedian added that the byproducts that come with his pranks and jokes have tremendously helped him. The show host said he’s happy the jokes from the show become memes and people like to quote and screengrab them.
“I’m just happy that my show is popular enough to have the ‘memesters’ making memes,” he said. “They’ve been sending them out and they’ve just caught on like wildfire and kept the momentum going.”
When it comes to the most important thing when doing comedy, the comedian claimed that being authentic to yourself is the only thing that matters. Andre believes that deep down inside he knows what’s right and wrong and what truly matters is authenticity when it comes to his craft.
“Listen to your gut, trust your intuition,” he said.
The comedian stressed the importance of mental health and the use of therapy and meditation to help him cope. Andre talked about the amount of stress, anxiety, and depression that came with his role at the time of the start of “The Eric Andre Show.” His experience with therapy and meditation during that time tremendously helped him deal with his depression and anxiety.
“Everyone has traumas big and small and everyone has stress. I think the misconception is you don’t need therapy unless you’re completely schizophrenic or like in another mental world or universe but that’s not true I think everyone needs therapy,” he said. “I’ve benefited very greatly from it.”