Tim and Eric are a unique comedic duo and Tom Goes to the Mayor, their inventive semi animated/semi live action Adult Swim show is their greatest creation to date. It's super surreal, with one foot planted firmly in the reality of ugly America and the other in lunacy. They mine the cultural wastelands of our surroundings and national identity to fuel this bizarre, distinctive and, frankly, quite complex masterpiece.
Mini malls, strip malls and malls with stores like Tiny Chairs, Pipe's Buffet, Rea$onables Grill, “Mart”, Gulliver's Buffet, and Pete's Zah pepper the landscape of Jefferton. The residents are obsessed with their shopping almost as much as their big size food and drinks. In one episode Tom's three step sons all have heart attacks; in another he opens a store called My Big Cups, which sells 1.8 liter cups to hold almost all of your 2 liter bottle of soda (every purchase includes a free disposable cup and baggy you can pour your remaining .2 lites into, seal up and throw in the trash). In general, food is a major character on the show: ugly, fatty, garish food like cheese flavored fries and fatty goat shoulder.
Overall the show is less grotesque (i.e. has less vomit) than their Awesome Show, Great Job, but the aforementioned food shots can be nauseating and the character Joy, Tom's obese and mean wife, is hideous — she rides around on a Rascal for fats.
But Tim and Eric don't just examine our excessive desires, they also have fun with the idea of local customs (like Toodle Day, where all the town's dogs are legally married to each other) and local news (the area's only married news team of Jan and Wayne Skylar).
Bad clothing trends accepted as everyday wear is also called out by Tom's wardrobe which consists of women's paisley or sunflower printed vests, cut off shorts, overly pleated pants, ripped up sandals, and bolo ties.
Lots of expected progressive comedians make guest appearances like producer Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Zach Galifianakis, and Brian Posehn as annoying best friend Gibbons (awesome) — and then there are some guest appearances that are more surprising like Gary Busey and Sir Mix a Lot. Clearly, their cult following includes more than just stoned college students, though it's still too out there to ever be considered mainstream.
The plots of the twelve minutes episodes (sometimes brevity is one of the most important aspects of comedy) usually center around Tom going to the Mayor with an idea. Tom lives the American dream of a wanna be entrepreneur and businesses like a t-shirt company with the logo Rats off to ya, a boys health camp funded by a pipe store, Pioneer Day, Spray a Rug or Carpet, and my favorite My Big Cups are just a few of the ideas Tom and the Mayor collaborate on that go totally wrong, usually resulting in death or destruction.
It's a superb show that has really gotten under my skin.
Also! Tim and Eric are coming to NYC live April 22, at The Highline Ballroom, so if you got your tickets, I'll see you there!