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Eric Andre Reveals His Bad Trip Code Word - Exclusive

Eric Andre's new movie, Bad Trip, is an inventive mashup: a buddy comedy with a clear narrative form, but a prank movie at its core. The best comparative in the market is probably Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat duology. In Bad Trip, the three main characters — Andre, Lil Rel Howery, and Tiffany Haddish — travel from Florida to New York, pranking people along the way. Individuals, groups, private locations, the public square — no one and nowhere is safe, least of all Andre and Howery.

Viewers will notice that one important thing separates Andre's pranking style from some of his prominent forebears: He doesn't disguise himself. In BoratSacha Baron Cohen deployed convoluted disguises and extensive prosthetics to establish a cast of reusable characters. By the time Borat 2 came around, even some of those characters had become recognizable, requiring additional layers of prosthetics and disguise. Even the Jackass crew was known to hide behind a costume or two. Not Andre and Howery. These bold comedians deigned to travel the country without any makeup or distinct costuming, which begs the question: How often did someone yelling "It's Eric Andre and the guy from Get Out!" interrupt production? 

Looper asked Andre this very question during an exclusive interview, and we got our answer.

Code word: Phyllis

"How did you not get noticed?" is a frequently asked question, according to Andre. His answer: "We basically avoid the demographic. Most of my fan base is under 40, under 35, pretty young. So we weren't doing any pranks at skate parks or college campuses or places that I would get recognized a lot. You see the majority of the people in the movie are over 40. And as long as I stayed over 40, I wasn't really getting recognized that much."

Every now and then, however, they couldn't avoid running into a young fan. They had a system in place for that: "We had a code word. 'Phyllis' was our code word. So if I saw a young kid that would probably recognize me, walking towards me or close to the location we're about to film, I would just talk in my hidden lav microphone. I go, 'Hey, my friend Phyllis is here in a green shirt.' And my stunt coordinator or PA would intercept the person and go, 'Hey, you know what we're kind of trying to do here. Let's be cool.' And kind of just shoo them out of the scene."

This all comes from experience. "We deal with that on The Eric Andre Show all the time," Andre explained. "You just got to wait it out. You give the person a hug and just give them like a 'Shh,' and then pirouette into the different part of the location and continue filming."

Bad Trip debuts on Netflix on March 26. Stay tuned to Looper for more exclusive coverage.