More widely known as the comedy duo Tim & Eric, filmmakers Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have been engaged in a vibrant creative partnership, lasting over 15 years and yielding multiple successful projects, including commercials, television series, and films.
Both Pennsylvania natives, they met as freshmen film students at Temple University in 1994. After graduation, they continued filmmaking together in New York and Philadelphia. One of their first shared projects, Tom Goes to The Mayor, an animated comedy short featuring a conversation between a local politician and his constituent discussing a proposed buffet restaurant, ended up in the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute of Contemporary Art. The short then went on to land a slot in the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. Fueled by the film’s success, the duo continued building their career.
In 2001, they compiled their films into tapes and sent them to a number of their Hollywood comedy heroes, including Bob Odenkirk, the creator of HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob & David. Bob loved their work and reached out to them.
After Tim & Eric’s website, timanderic.com, started getting numerous hits from links on the Mr. Show site, Bob suggested that Tim & Eric make another Tom Goes to The Mayor. Over the course of the next year, they collaborated with Bob to develop a television show, expanding on their short. It was then picked up by Adult Swim and lasted for two seasons. 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. Soon after, they pitched the show to Adult Swim and Tom Goes to The Mayor premiered there in 2004 with a 30-episode, two-season run.
In 2008, Tim & Eric worked with Zach Galifianakis in a series of viral Absolut Vodka ads, receiving over four million and subsequently won the Webby Award for Best Online Campaign. Together, they wrote and directed multiple segments for HBO’s Funny or Die Presents between 2010 and 2011. In 2012, they wrapped their fifth season of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and 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 & Eric have also developed a formidable career in the advertising industry by infusing spots with their signature humor, which thrives on confrontations between the ordinary and the absurd. The two have directed commercials and branded content for global clients, including Google, Old Spice, Jet.com, Duracell, Milk, Wrigley’s, GoDaddy and Boost Mobile, the latter of which premiered during Super Bowl XLIV.
Their faux-infomercial, featuring actor Jeff Goldblum, for GE’s smart LED bulb went viral almost immediately. The spot earned them the One Screen’s award for “Best Branded Content,” in addition to a Gold Pencil in the “Film: Consumer Television” category and a Silver Pencil in the “Video Craft: Scriptwriting” at the 2015 One Show.
The duo returned to the Super Bowl in 2015 with a highly lauded spot for Loctite, in which dancers gyrate to a reggae dancehall beat and find new and inventive ways of using super glue. In 2016, their HomeAway (recently rebranded as Vrbo) spot earned them a Bronze at the CLIO Awards, and their Jet.com campaign, which aired during the Super Bowl in 2016, was honored with the esteemed Cannes Lions Grand Prix at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Outside of commercials and music videos, Tim & Eric continue to spearhead various successful project. In 2016, Tim wrapped Adult Swim’s 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 Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories — which mimics the dark tales of human nature on reality television networks, like A&E and Investigation Discovery, while turning them into absurd yet unsettlingly vignettes of ordinary life — also aired for a second season.
Eric has ventured into doing his own short-form directorial projects, directing a number of music videos including: Charlie XCX’s “Famous,” MGMT’s “The Youth,” Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor,” Blonde Redhead’s “Dripping,” and John C. Reilly in Mr. Oizo’s music video “HAM.” He also directed commercials for IHOP, Trojan, Dr. Pepper, PlayStation, and BMW.
In 2019, Tim acted as a writer, co-host, and executive producer of Jenny Lewis’ On the Line Online, a three hour, live listening party and variety show in anticipation of her album release. Other stars included St. Vincent, Beck, Jim James, Mac DeMarco, and Danielle Haim, among others. This same year, Tim directed a commercial for Kaiser and played a supporting role in Jordan Peele’s blockbuster horror film Us.
Even though they are pursuing projects as individuals, the duo is still committed to their creative partnership and will continue joining forces together.