“Man, America’s nuts right now. I’m going to Paris.” Immediately, we’re launched into a montage of ridiculous proportions that only Eric Andre is capable of. Rife with his laughably obnoxious yelling, out-of-place emergency sirens and Eiffel Tower stroking with vivid sound effects, the introduction to “Eric Andre Does Paris” promises a special filled with the host’s genius brand of absurdist humor (or what some may think of as juvenile garbage). Unfortunately, even ardent fans of Eric Andre’s convention-defying talk show will find that this special leans more towards the latter.
The special plays out in a series of rapid-fire segments with little use of transitions or coherence. That in and of itself is not a drawback of the special, as those familiar with “The Eric Andre Show” will not be surprised at the crude animations or sound effects that litter the episode. While “toilet humor” is a staple of Andre’s work, the special tends to rely on it at the expense of more clever jokes. There are segments — such as a short trip through a neighborhood home to quite a few African immigrants and a jaunt through the streets of Paris in roller blades, that have potential — but they too barely draw out a few chuckles.
Overall, the segments contain none of the inventiveness or insanity that his usual work contains. They focus too often on the simple language difference between Andre and the French without actually providing any humor regarding specific cultural differences or attitudes towards a certain topic. While it is hard to cover much in 10 minutes, the special quickly feels one-note, which is extremely rare for anything that Eric Andre does.
Eric Andre’s comedic strengths lie in subverting audience expectations and satirizing common talk-show tropes. In doing so, he does often exploit crude, somewhat juvenile humor. While one shouldn’t expect “Eric Andre Does Paris” to feature insightful cultural commentary, it is disappointing that the special contains an abundance of cringe-worthy, unfunny material with none of the satire or surreal humor of his usual work.