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The Truth About Eric Andre's Infamous Lauren Conrad Interview

For almost 20 years, the Adult Swim programming block on Cartoon Network has been the place for boundary-pushing series to make their mark on the alternative side of pop culture. And for the most part, that's exactly what Adult Swim series have done, with the likes of exceedingly off-beat fare such as Space Ghost Coast to CoastAqua Teen Hunger ForceThe Boondocks, and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! scoring legions of fans over the course of their small screen runs.

In the spring of 2012, however, Adult Swim found itself pushing boundaries in ways they never had before, thanks in large part to the debut of a delightfully demented little talk show satire called The Eric Andre Show. Okay, "satire" may not be the right word to describe The Eric Andre Show. It's actually more of a demented little prank series that finds unsuspecting celebrities turning up for seemingly casual interviews, only to find themselves tormented in ways they never could've anticipated by a lunatic of a host (Eric Andre) and his absurdly aloof sidekick (Hannibal Buress).

If "satire" doesn't quite cut the mustard in describing the "anything goes" nature of Eric Andre's antics on his show, "demented" does; though it may be an understatement for the tortures to which Andre and crew regularly expose their guests. For proof of that fact, look no further than The Eric Andre Show's now infamous season 3 interview with fashionista-slash-actor Lauren Conrad. That genuinely appalling event remains a high-water mark for the series, as it found Andre pushing his pranking art form well past the brink of decencyIt also found his guest desperately fleeing the interview, and viewers wondering just what in the holy hell they'd just witnessed. 

Here's a few things you might not know about Eric Andre's infamous Lauren Conrad interview. 

Lauren Conrad's reactions were 100 percent real

The natural reaction to watching Lauren Conrad's spot on The Eric Andre Show would be to assume it was an elaborate hoax agreed to by everyone involved. Such assumptions would apparently be completely misguided. That's just what Eric Andre claimed in a 2019 interview with Esquire. "My show is all real. You never, never fake reactions," he said. "You can tell when the reactions are fake. You can just smell it. The audience smells it. And then that ruins your reputation."

That "keep it real" ethos is genuinely terrifying, as The Eric Andre Show regularly indulges in grossly inappropriate social and political commentary, full frontal nudity, and simulated sex actsIt also frequently finds Andre himself using a wide array of power tools to lay waste to his own set, and playing with literal fire for the purpose of getting a rise (and/or a laugh).

If you've watched the actual interview, you know he got more than a rise out of poor Lauren Conrad during her time in the hot seat. But for her part, the unsuspecting guest was a trooper for much of the insanity, sitting pat while Andre threw a barrage of wildly inappropriate questions and comments her way, and even stayed put when he drew a lipstick swastika on his forehead and simulated fellatio on the tube. That's not to say she wasn't genuinely puzzled by what was happening, as evinced by her repeatedly looking off set, presumably for guidance from her publicist.  

The straw that broke the camel's back came when Andre appeared to vomit all over his desk, then slurp it back into his mouth. In the utterly nauseating moment, Conrad reacts with genuine shock before gagging and nearly vomiting herself. Moments later, she stormed off stage never to return. And it was all totally real.

Eric Andre did not actually eat his own vomit during the interview

Needless to say, The Eric Andre Show's utterly bizarre, genuinely unsettling Lauren Conrad interview continues to live in infamy. But even as Andre is fervent about the pranks on his show being completely real, it seems even he has a limit to what he will and will not do on the show. Case in point: Andre did not actually throw up and then eat his own vomit during his interview with Lauren Conrad. 

Andre spilled the beans, as it were, behind how he and the show's creative team pulled off that grossest of gross-out gags during a 2016 interview with talk show legend Larry King. In response to King's inquiry about what drove Conrad to flee his show, Andre admitted the vomit gag was indeed quite "low brow." When pressed on what he actually vomited, Andre explained, "She was talking to my co-host Hannibal, and as she was talking to him, I had a little cup of oatmeal. So I put it in my mouth, and when she turned back at me, I went 'buuugh.'"

So there you have it, folks — Eric Andre's most legendary gag was actually completely bogus, and found the man himself simply slurping up expelled oatmeal instead of actual vomit. We're not saying that makes the gag itself any less gross, though, because even if you know what it is he's slurping up, in the moment it's still quite a disgusting bit of theatrics (especially the slurping sounds). Even still, it's sort of a comfort to know that in spite of Eric Andre's penchant for stirring up trouble, and often getting himself in plenty along the way, he at least drew the line at eating his own vomit.   

Lauren Conrad's PR team was not happy with Eric Andre after the appearance

Lauren Conrad clearly wasn't happy with the way things went down in her Eric Andre Show appearance, with Andre claiming in a 2015 Maxim interview, "Lauren Conrad was really upset and mad at me, and she kind of walked off set during the interview. After, I gave her a bottle of wine and was like, 'Oh, you know I'm just f**king around. It's all love.' And then she just stormed out." 

Per the same interview, Andre explained that Conrad's PR team weren't exactly pleased with the experience either. "Her publicist was so f**king pissed, screaming at us, 'You'll never work in this town again! I'm going to ban you guys, blah, blah, blah!'"

In a separate interview with The AV Club, Andre claimed that matters got even more heated after the fact. "Her agent tried to get us banned from clients. The publicist tried to get us banned from all their clients," he recalled. "They called us and said, 'You can't air this!' It was chaos. They were like, 'He drew a swastika on his face!' The publicist literally said this: 'He drew a swastika on his face, and my grandparents died in the Holocaust!' I'm black and Jewish. Hannibal's black. My two directors are both Jewish. We're not exactly the Aryan Nation. Pipe down."

Still, it seems Eric Andre harbors zero ill will toward the subject of his most infamous interview, going on to tell The AV Club, "I'm not doing it to be purposely mean to Lauren Conrad. I explained to her afterward, as she was running out of the studio, 'I'm just playing a psychopath talk-show host. It's all love, it's all in jest.'"

Jesting aside, one could hardly blame Conrad for bolting; even if her disastrous Eric Andre Show appearance did make for fascinating television.