Glass Wall

There is a fantastic one-time gag on The Eric Andre Show, where the host, Eric Andre, hits his head on a glass wall during the middle of his interview with Tyler, The Creator. Isolated from the simultaneous dialogue between Hannibal Buress and Tyler, the Creator, the gag lasts maybe three seconds. Not even. After the glass to head collision, the camera cuts away, only to return to Andre waving his hand around where the invisible wall supposedly was, only to find nothing there.

This is a tame gag when considered in context with the outrageous comedy permeating through the show – a show that features an intro composed of an always-changing selection of debauchery and destruction. But for some reason, although I enjoy gags like Andre getting his head pulled off while attempting to pull a tooth out, enjoying carnal pleasure with a disco ball, or a Sprite plug superimposed on an actual wolf that is staring at the host, there is something about the glass wall that is so totally pleasing.

The pleasure of the glass-wall-gag cannot be considered with the sole factor of nonchalance – a trait that pervades almost every gag on the show. It is also not as shocking as the other jokes. However, it is incredibly concise. Although each episode is short, resulting in an often-disorienting segmentation of gags, the combination of nonchalance and oddly banal delivery leads to a gag wide open to interpretation. In other words, the show suggests that it does not have the time or patience to spell out the joke for you, or even explain it to you in conjunction with the ferocity of the surrounding content. It does not even spend the time to say, “That happened.” Instead in my first viewing, I found that I’d actually missed the gag entirely. It kind of happened and I never consciously registered the joke.

From a metaphysical standpoint, the gag has many ramifications. Considering how I had to return to the short interview to discover the gag, is oddly reflected in the characteristic of the gag itself – did I just hit a glass wall? Following question: never mind, what were we talking about? Simultaneously, it is just funny to watch Andre’s physical comedy at nothing beyond the basest form of comedy. Perhaps that is why this gag has forever left an imprint in my psyche. It kind of happened and now I know it happened and I keep considering how it happened and enjoying it while ironically, it is a joke that kind of happened.

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