In the pilot episode of Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories, “Haunted House”, the duo mocked horror anthology series with their take on House on Haunted Hill. It was a funny special that eventually turned into a full season of questionably horrific segments (one in particular, “Toes” with Bob Odenkirk, is a shining example of when they get the formula right), and they managed to pack a lot of cliched haunted house moments into a quick 13-minute short, and even a song sung by Zach Galifianakis.
But the best part of the episode was the after-show, which added another 7 minutes to “Haunted House”. Tim and Eric adopted their “normal” personas for this special, and if you’ve watched any of their shows before, you know that they’re always stuffed with meta moments that turn Tim and Eric into characters besides their real-life selves. In the after-show, they mock specials like Talking Dead, Bates Motel: After Hours, and the live specials for ghost hunting shows.
For nearly two minutes, Tim and Eric go back and forth suggesting (very nearly harrassing) viewers to head over to the Bedtime Stories Facebook and Twitter pages to write in to the show. Users can find new updates about the after-show, or they can send in questions or comments to Tim and Eric! Ridiculous usernames and letter-filled @ tags abound, and there’s a great back-and-forth between Tim and Eric that forces the viewer to question whether the entire rest of this special will just be prompts to visit Facebook (“Go to the Facebook home page. Type in ‘Bedtime Stories’ in the Search bar”) and Twitter (@tebtswrapupshow).
Eventually, though, they do get to their guest – Zach Galifianakis. But it’s a guy who is clearly not Galifianakis. They also show us a behind-the-scenes clip from “Haunted House” – except the clip was already included in the show. It’s the kind of thing that drives me nuts about the wrap-up shows for The Walking Dead and Bates Motel, stuffed into a fake show’s fake wrap-up show.
It’s great metacommentary, something Tim and Eric always do well. While Bedtime Stories definitely had its ups and downs (at least from the horror anthology standpoint – the later episodes in the season seemed to lose some of the disturbing content), its a series that knows how to throw out some funny – and warranted – criticism of new media.