The Eric Andre Show hasn’t lost a step during its four-year hiatus. In spite of his time away, Andre seems just as committed to turning in half-hour after half-hour of surreal, extreme dispatches from his smashed-up and reassembled talk show purgatory. That held true on his latest Season 5 episode, where he tortured Grimes using candlewax, a feather, and a bucket of liquid cheese.
Andre told Complex earlier this year that the segment (called “Grimes & Punishment”) was born while Andre and Grimes were hanging out at his home. During a barbecue Andre was throwing, Grimes questioned the fact that he never booked women as musical guests on the show.
“I explained to her, it’s because we always torture the musical guest. I’m always beating them with bats or electrocuting them, so it’s not a good look if I’m like torturing a woman,” he said. “And she goes, ‘Yeah, that makes sense but I wanna do the show. Fuck it, you can torture me!’”
Andre didn’t realize that Grimes was pregnant at the time of the filming, as she hadn’t made her pregnancy public.
“I was like, ‘You just talked me into torturing a pregnant woman!’” he said. “And she was like, ‘Yeah, but it was fucking awesome!'”
Andre has maintained his ability to shock viewers and guests alike. While the stage on which he hosts his talk show parody is a little ritzier than before, it’s impossible to think he’s sold out watching bits like LeVar Burton appearing during an interview segment to yell “I wish I was Lance Reddick!” or Andre pretending to get his penis caught in his bike spokes on the streets of New York.
Andre thinks the show will only get stranger and more extreme from here. He told Complex he’s figured out the basics of how to make television and can focus his energy on getting ever more weird.
“I feel like I’m just getting started. I feel like I’m really figuring it out now,” he said. “I’ve demystified the process of writing and performing and filming in a way that I feel like I could look at the project objectively.”