Film students make Cartoon Network hit

Dave Bolger

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has made its name by hosting some of late night television’s most recognizable cult characters.

In November 2004, two amateur film students, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim created an obscure short program called “Tom Goes to the Mayor.” The 15-minute program had Adult Swim viewers laughing and shaking their heads in wonder at the strange plots and Photoshop animation.

“Tom” gained its popularity and then featured obscure celebrity cameos by Michael Ian Black, Jeff Goldblum, Sarah Silverman and Fred Willard.

Heidecker and Wareheim met at Temple University in Philadelphia. They began creating short comedy sketches and mailed them to comedian Bob Odenkirk, best known for his work on HBO’s “Mr. Show.” Odenkirk liked the sketches and eventually became producer for “Tom” and played a few small roles on the show.

Cartoon Network approached Heidecker and Wareheim to ask them to create a new show for their Adult Swim lineup.

“We were looking to do a sketch comedy show,” Heidecker said. “We pitched the show to Lazlo. We warned them that it would be a little strange, but they seemed to like it.”

The show is Adult Swim’s new “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” It features the stars of “Tom” in a live-action sketch comedy show. The show is a blend of Heidecker and Wareheim’s peculiar blend of comedy including mock karaoke, the infamous “married news team” and hackey sack extreme. The show features a clueless health expert named Dr. Steve Brule, played by John C. Riley.

“Awesome Show” is also in a 15-minute time block. Its non-linear format follows a theme such as cats or dads.

“We signed on for 10 episodes for now, and we’re going to see how it does,” Heidecker said. “We’ve made a decision not to read the (Adult Swim) message boards. Those people can be so cruel.”

Other upcoming celebrity cameos on “Awesome Show” include Weird Al Yankovic and William Forte.

Heidecker and Wareheim are taking their unique comedy style on the road for the “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” Tour.

“It isn’t like conventional stand-up,” Wareheim said. “It is sort of like a recital. Like a children’s recital. There will be a lot of surprises.”

“Tom” will be released in a DVD package April 3 that will include commentary on every episode. Tim and Eric merchandise is available at, and a “Tom” soundtrack is available for free downloading at Adult Swim’s Web site.

‘Tim and Eric Awesome

Show, Great Job!’

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim

When Sundays at 11:45 p.m.

Contact Dave Bolger [email protected].