It’s been a rough year, and it’s tempting to seek out someone to blame, but Tim Heidecker is not that person. The comedian assured us of this when he sat down with his longtime collaborator, director Jonathan Krisel, on this week’s episode of Two Friends: A Nice Time Hanging Out With People Who Know Each Other Well. Their upcoming new project, Showtime’s Moonbase 8, is about three guys who are isolated together in a NASA moon-base simulator, which may force you to ask that big question: What did they know, and when did they know it? But their lockdown is just a happy (?) coincidence. Krisel noticed it during quarantine when he started showing friends the show, which was made well before the pandemic and he just had sitting on his laptop. “That’s just dumb luck, right?” Heidecker said. “I mean, I don’t think we had any way to predict that. We didn’t cause this awful virus.” Phew.
The rest of the episode is a real treat for fans of Heidecker and Krisel’s work together, which includes Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Tom Goes to the Mayor. Heidecker credited Krisel with bringing technical knowledge to their projects, like adding the cinematic quality to Moonbase 8 that Heidecker thought the script needed in order to work. For his part, Krisel shared a bit of what it takes to successfully direct a shoot where John C. Reilly, Fred Armisen, and Heidecker felt free enough to improvise. “What I always try to do is, like, have all the technical knowledge but don’t be like, ‘Guys, we can’t shoot it this way because there’s a thing’ — like I hate when people try to like micromanage a shoot with their tech knowledge,” he explained. “It’s like, you better have better tech knowledge so you can get the funniest thing that’s possible. Always lead with that and go, ‘What’s the coolest way I can shoot this that doesn’t step on the comedy?’ I know how you guys work so I’m like, ‘Okay, how can I fit around that?’”
If you enjoyed this episode, follow Vulture on Instagram and tune in next week, when Jen Kirkman and Sara Schaefer will be catching up on November 12 at 7 p.m. ET.