“Forty is the brand new 69!”
Standing onstage on the Knockdown Heart in Queens, New York, sporting a powder blue swimsuit and holding a tropical, umbrella-adorned drink, Eric Andre gazed out upon his kingdom. The comedian-television host-provocateur celebrated his fortieth birthday on Saturday at a public occasion with roughly 3,200 folks, a mixture of ardent supporters and clout chasers there for the ‘gram.
Promotional materials for the occasion promised “a weird circus of freaks, drunks, drug addicts, and Pilates instructors” whereas inviting attendees to “witness the funnyman’s midlife disaster.” The scene was really even wackier, that includes Santa Clauses in attendance, professional wrestlers, and several other folks being guided round on leashes. (There have been additionally pretend 69 greenback payments with Andre’s face on them scattered round, with one aspect studying “Federal Stank Word,” and the opposite, “In Ranch We Belief.”) It was like stepping right into a meme: You both received it otherwise you didn’t, however both method, you have been totally immersed. The general vibe: Coachella for Grownup Swim followers.
JPEGMAFIA carried out the tune “SCARING THE HOES” off his new album of the identical identify, maintaining in step with each the general theme of the night and the kind of internet-speak that has made Andre a god to the terminally on-line. The occasion was randomcore come to life, a bonanza of stoned concepts assembly drunk vitality. Think about a 14-year-old’s thought of what they’d need their fortieth celebration to be: Ball pit? Verify. Petting zoo? Yup. A halfpipe sponsored by Jimmy John’s? After all. (Somebody within the crowd held up a do-it-yourself signal studying “I’m too previous for this shit,” and when it caught JPEGMAFIA’s consideration, he responded with a figuring out chuckle.)
If it was overstimulating the viewers, it appeared genuinely cathartic for Andre. As anybody who’s seen his work is aware of, he does all the pieces to the acute. Onstage together with his boisterous karaoke band, someplace in between slurring renditions of “Kiss from a Rose” and “Since U Been Gone,” Andre received earnest in his personal distinctive method and talked about how he wasn’t in a position to do something like this for his final three birthdays due to the pandemic. (“I haven’t had a celebration since my quinceañera!”) He inspired everybody to stay round till the venue kicked them out at 4 am after which be a part of him at his Crimson Hook house to smoke Newports till the solar got here up.
That sincerity didn’t carry over to the free stand-up routine that adopted, as he riffed on all the pieces from Ice Spice to the G practice. However when somebody subsequent to me yelled “present your dick,” he didn’t oblige. Possibly that was the newfound maturity that comes with turning 40. Possibly he’s not curious about doing full nudity anymore. Or perhaps he simply didn’t hear her, as a result of later within the night time, lengthy after I had bailed, he apparently did take his pants off.