Tim Heidecker, born and raised in Allentown, PA, and Eric Wareheim, a native of Audobon, PA, met in 1994 as freshmen film students at Temple University. They became friends and collaborators on each other’s film and video assignments. After graduating, Tim moved to New York to pursue writing and acting, while Eric stayed in Philadelphia working as a professional photographer. They stayed in close touch and met on weekends to make short films and strange bits of comedic nonsense.
One of their first pieces, Tom Goes to The Mayor, a short, dry conversation between two nuts talking about restaurants, ended up in Penn University’s Institute of Contemporary Art and landed a slot in the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. Fueled by Tom’s success, the duo, by then officially known as Tim and Eric, created several other short films and video pieces.
Stuck in a dead-end job in New York, Heidecker began sending tapes to his comic heroes in Hollywood. One such recipient was Bob Odenkirk, creator of HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob & David, who loved what he saw and called Tim to offer his support. Over the next year, Tim and Eric worked with Bob to develop a TV show.
Meanwhile, Tim and Eric got lots of cool screenings in New York, showing their work before gigs from acts like The Shins, Les Savy Fav, Canned Ham and Neil Hamburger. They also performed at Tinkle (David Cross’ comedy show), the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre, Cinema Classics, The Knitting Factory and Galapagos.
Tim and Eric’s website, timanderic.com, started getting lots of hits from links on the Mr. Show site. Bob suggested Tim and Eric make another Tom Goes to The Mayor. This time, David Cross was a guest. In 2003, they released their own DVD called The Ultimate DVD Collection Vol. I and sold them through their website.
Then one night, Eric went to an Adult Swim party in Philadelphia and met Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-creator Dave Willis. Eric gave Dave a copy of Tim and Eric’s stuff. The DVD floated around the Adult Swim offices and found its way to Mike Lazzo, Cartoon Network’s senior vice president, who was responsible for Adult Swim – and who loved Tom Goes to The Mayor. He asked Tim and Eric to pitch a show. They liked it so much they gave Tim and Eric funds for development. Bob was brought on as an executive producer. Tim and Eric used the development money to move out to Hollywood and work on the show full time. Tom Goes to The Mayor premiered on Adult Swim in 2004 with a 30-episode, two-season run.
In 2008, Tim and Eric collaborated with Zach Galifianakis in a series of viral Absolut Vodka ads that subsequently won the Webby Award for Best Online Campaign (over four million views and counting). Between 2010 and 2011, they wrote and directed multiple segments for HBO’s Funny or Die Presents, and in 2012, they wrapped their fifth season of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, as well as the first season of their spinoff show, Check It Out! With Dr. Steve Brule. The same year, their first feature film, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay), premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Tim and Eric continue to dabble in brand content, directing commercials for global clients such as Google, Old Spice, Jet.com, Milk, Wrigley’s, Totino’s, Red Stripe, GoDaddy (featuring Jon Lovitz) and a Boost Mobile commercial that premiered during Super Bowl XLIV. Their faux-infomercial for GE’s new smart LED bulb featuring Jeff Goldblum went viral almost immediately, not necessarily because it captures Mr. Goldblum soaking in a hot tub wearing a marvelously coiffed hairpiece. The spot earned them One Screen’s award for Best Branded Content in addition to a Gold Pencil for Film: Consumer Television and Silver Pencil in Video Craft: Scriptwriting at the 2015 One Show. The duo returned to the Super Bowl in 2015 with a highly lauded spot for Loctite, which featured funky dancing to a reggae dancehall track and some very inventive ways of using the super glue. In 2016, their HomeAway spot earned them a Bronze at the CLIO Awards. More recently, their Jet.com campaign was honored with the esteemed Cannes Lions Grand Prix at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Eric has also ventured into music videos, directing Charlie XCX’s “Famous,” MGMT “The Youth,” Major Lazer “Pon de Floor,” Blonde Redhead’s “Dripping,” and John C. Reilly in Mr. Oizo’s music video for “HAM.
On the TV side, Tim and Eric continue to spearhead various successful projects. In 2016, Tim wrapped new seasons of Adult Swim productions On Cinema (Season 8) and Decker (Season 1). Eric directed several episodes of the highly acclaimed Netflix Original series Master of None, which took home the Emmy for Best Comedy Writing and returned in 2017 for a successful season 2. The comedic duo’s popular Adult Swim sketch series Bedtime Stories — which mimics the sort of dark tales of human nature that fill the schedule of reality channels like A&E and Investigation Discovery, turning them into absurd and creepy yet unsettlingly ordinary vignettes — will air for a second season in 2017.