July 17th, 2014 | by MATTHEW SINGER Arts & Books | Posted In: Comedy

Why You Should See TJ Miller at Helium This Week

These five Silicon Valley clips should be enough to convince you.

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T.J. Miller is one of "Those Guys"—an actor whose face you vaguely recognize but can't quite place. Though perhaps, in his case, it's his voice that's most recognizable. Up until this year, his major credits included How To Train Your Dragon and Cloverfield, which mostly involved him making snarky comments from behind a camcorder while getting chased by a giant monster. 

That's changing, though. Thanks to his role on HBO's tech-skewering Silicon Valley, the public is getting more familiar with the almost intangibly hilarious comic. He plays Erlich, a deluded, potheaded Steve Jobs wannabe who, despite his penchant for gobbling hallucinogenic mushrooms and slapping pre-teens in the face, manages an odd sort of charm. Next to the late Christopher Evan Welch—who passed away before the conclusion of the show's first season—Miller is perhaps the funniest part of what is possibly the funniest show currently on television. He starts a three-night stand at Helium tonight, and to be totally honest, I can't vouch for his standup. But I'm confident in saying that his show is worth seeing based on the following five clips alone.

1. Erlich smacks up an asshole drug dealer for selling his buddy-slash-meal ticket Richard (Thomas Middleditch) fake Adderrall and delivers a Gus Fring-level threat. That the dealer is a barely pubescent teenager is sort of beside the point.

 

2. Erlich eats a bag of shrooms and goes into the desert to figure out a name for the new startup he's forced himself onto the board of. They end up sticking with the original idea, Pied Piper.

 

 3. Erlich gets sneak-attacked by the guy he's twice cuckolded while making Pied Piper's first presentation, proving Miller takes a punch as good as he doles one out.

4. Miller is hilarious just saying the name of Erlich's former company, Aviato. Seriously, it's the show's best running gag.

5. It's not embeddable, and it's probably too NSFW to post here anyway, but if you're so inclined, go to YouTube for this scene from Season 1's final episode (spoilers, obvs) featuring the most technical dick joke ever told. It's more of an ensemble piece, but he's a big part of it. 


SEE IT: TJ Miller is at Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday and 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday, July 17-19. $20-$32.
 
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