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Eric Andre Yackety Yaks in ‘Sing 2’

Eric Andre Yackety Yaks in ‘Sing 2’

Comedian and actor Eric Andre is known for his subversive and oftentimes controversial brand of comedy. His last film, Bad Trip, was a cult hit, and he also appears in the new Jackass movie. Creator and host of The Eric Andre Show on Comedy Central’s Adult Swim, Andre delivered his irreverent and in-your-face brand of comedy to new and dedicated fans. His brilliance lies in the ability to pull cringe-worthy pranks one day and grounded comedic performances in projects like The Internship and ABC’s Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 the next. 

Currently, Andre brings his talents to Garth Jennings’ animated sequel Sing 2, playing the overly confident and vain Darius. As a yak with an undeniable head of hair and the voice to match, Darius channels his love for himself into every swoon-worthy performance. Darius is paired up with Meena, voiced by Tori Kelly. Meena is a young elephant tasked with performing a love song. But there’s a problem — she’s never been in love. 

The number she and Darius are set to perform is crucial in the space opera Out of This World put on by Buster Moon (Matthew McCaughnahey) in the fabulous Redwood City. Along with friends Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Gunter (Nick Kroll), Ash (Scarlett Johanssen) and their wiley admin Mrs. Crawly (Garth Jennings), the gang stages a musical to prove they’ve got what it takes to get to the big leagues. Along with equal parts help/hindrance from a cast of celebrity faves, Sing 2 infuses an ordinary jukebox musical with a lot of laughs and a lot of heart. 

Andre is no stranger to voice-over and has voiced characters in Netflix’s Disenchantment and Disney’s The Lion King. I had a chance to Zoom with Andre and talk about Darius, and how Sing 2 mirrored his own Hollywood journey. 

You have a prank show and that kind of humor on The Eric Andre Show with subversive Adult Swim–type humor, and then you have The Internship and Don’t Trust the B and some really grounded comedic performances. How do you juggle the two? 

Well, I just needed money! During The Internship, I lived in a studio apartment in Hollywood on the corner of Santa Monica and Cockroach Ave.

Do you find that you do the bigger money projects to fund the smaller more alternative humor projects like Bad Trip

Now I’m at a place where I can be a little pickier. But it took me a quick 18 years to get there! That first decade was rough on ramen. 

Where does that confidence come from? Especially with alternative humor, you really have to look at the audience and say, “No, you do think this is funny — you just don’t know it yet.” 

I felt like I was doomed to my own personality. I can only express myself. I don’t know how else to do it. 

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How did you get involved with Sing 2?

They reached out to me! I was shocked they knew who I was. I think once I did Disenchanted and The Lion King they were like, okay, two companies can vouch for his voice-over skills. 

Did you do the singing? 

I did! That is me. They might have sweetened the sauce in editing, but I belted it out! 

So we won’t be expecting any albums?

Oh no, I don’t want to torture and burden America like that. 

In general, how do you describe who Darius is and how the audience should view him? 

Darius is a very conceited, arrogant, and self-absorbed yak. If you don’t know, the yak is the cow of Tibet. He’s just wrapped up in his own world. He’s the perfect narcissist, but he’s also a bit of an idiot. And he’s so idiotic that you kind of root for him through the shortcomings in his personality. 

There’s something endearing about a good oblivious hot mess. Like, he lives completely in his bubble and good for him.

I envy those people! [Laughs.]

Now that you mention your quick 18-year rise, there’s something about having a dream and seeing that dream realized. The people who you looked up to become your peers. Is there anyone that you have like that?

I look back on the last few years, and I’m so fortunate. I’ve gotten to do stand-up with Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. I’ve gotten to do a cartoon with Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons. I got to work with all of the Jackass guys I grew up watching. It’s very surreal. 

An underlying theme in Sing 2 is to never give up on your dreams. The whole reason they go to Redwood City is to prove that they have what it takes to make it. Throughout your journey, I know there have been several times where you could have just gone home and worked at Best Buy. 

I still have those days. Those days never end. You have to take a beat and acknowledge the good times because it’s very easy to be traumatized by the first 10 years in comedy. It’s really, really rough. 

What helps you to keep going? 

I honestly don’t know what else to do! There’s nothing like it. Somebody told me in college to quit if you can, and I was like, I can’t. I’ve tried other jobs and I’m horrible at it. I’m a horrible employee, and there’s nothing else I want to do. So I would rather be poverty-stricken and try than have a cushy whatever job and be miserable. 

Next, Eric Andre will appear on the second season of The Righteous Gemstones on HBO Max alongside Danny McBride. He will also appear in the new Jackass film. Sing 2 is currently showing in theaters. 

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