Tim and Eric have been fixtures of late-night television for the past decade, exploring the strange and beautiful world of Jefferton in Tom Goes to the Mayor, and then going next level weird with Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. But now the supposed jokesters are leaving that all behind in pursuit of an even greater goal—cold, hard cash money. To that end, Tim and Eric have gotten into the self-help game, releasing Tim and Eric's Zone Theory: 7 Easy Steps To Achieve a Perfect Life.Maxim spoke with the self-help gurus about their new book, the importance of cash, how to reach a higher plane, and the mysterious turkey god/shaman, Ba'Hee Nodaramoo Priss Dimmie.
Rats off to them both.
So, Zone Theory… how did you guys come to the seven steps?
Tim: So, it’s my lucky number. Eric’s was eight, but he didn’t really care so much about that kind of stuff. There are actually several more zones.
Eric: We’re gonna release a follow-up to this book. There are the others. The next seven or…
Tim: Ten more zones…
You guys are both on plane eight?
And what is plane eight like?
Eric: Like Nirvana. You do the seven steps, you’re smarter, your business senses are fine-tuned. You’re happy.
Tim: You’re no longer wearing baseball caps, for example. You’re no longer walking into public spaces with a cap on.
You guys say everyone starts at around zone two. Is that right?
Tim: Well, most people. There are certain zone zeroes and ones. But we don’t even feel like it’s worth working with them.
And you guys say that women are not ideal for this program?
Tim: No, it’s not what we say. We say women are prohibited from this program. Big difference there…
And why is that?
Tim: The way that system’s designed. It’s designed for men—exclusively for men. We have respect for women, and we believe them to be equal in every way to men, but the book is designed to work for men. We didn’t go about it as exclusionary, necessarily. And we’ve felt the backlash now from that. So, we are preparing to release a zone theory for women in the near future. We’re not saying, “Don’t buy the book.” Get the copy, put it away, give it to an uncle or something. Do something with it, because you won’t be able to return it.
Poetry seems really important to the whole theory. How does the whole zone theory get poetry that might be latent in you come out?
Eric: Ba'heePrissDimmie was the guy who taught us all the zones, pretty much. He’s taught us how to unleash your poems. It takes a long process of hypnotism to relax and to kind of get those poems out. The first time is just words. Ba'hee taught us that those are actually beautiful poems that don’t necessarily even rhyme.
Who is Ba'hee Priss Dimmie?
Tim: That’s a great question. That’s a big one. That’s the big one.
Eric: We’ve promised, as in the book, to never mention the word Ba'heePrissDimmie again.
Tim: I like to say that he set us on a path, but we don’t look back towards that—to where that path begins. So, why spend time on that.
When did you guys decide that you needed to put this whole theory down into a book?
Tim: February 3, 2012. It was my birthday. I showed up to Eric’s house very early morning – dawn. I said, “Here’s what we’re gonna do, and take it in.”
Eric: At first I was angry. Like, why would you come here so early in the morning?
Tim: I hadn’t slept. That’s why I was there.
How important is the "You Zone" in terms of the whole theory?
Eric: Very important. On a scale of 1-10, 9.
Tim: On a scale of 1 to 12, 8, for me.
Reading through the book earlier, it seems as though spaghetti pots play a fairly large role. How did you guys come across the power of the spaghetti pots?
Tim: It’s just a great receptacle for certain liquids. We analyzed different pots. It’s also regional. It’s where we grew up, spaghetti pot—you get a spaghetti pot.
Eric: We looked at the chunky liquids growing up when momma would make that sauce all day. We had a bingo moment.
Tim: There’s such a big market there for spaghetti pots right now. There are used spaghetti pots that are just fine.
Eric: A couple of bucks at a garage sale.
Tim: You can get them online easily. So, we found that—as we said, we’re gonna make things easy for ya.
What’s the most profound thing you heard from Ba'hee or even when listening to the diarrhea spaghetti pot?
Tim: Often it’s very simple things: “I’m hungry,” “I’m sick,” “we’re sick.” And “help.” A lot of times it’s, “Help.” But if you’re doing well, positive reinforcement is very useful too. So, it might say like, “You’re having a great week. You’re having a good week. Things can only get better.” It’s a lot of stuff you might find in fortune cookie once that we’ve been able to tap into.
Eric: Short phrases. Generic.
What would you guys say is the difference between your biological father and your "zone father"?
Tim: I mean, the only thing that connects you to your biological father, of course, is your DNA—your relationship biologically. Other than that, he’s a complete waste and doesn’t have any value at all. Your zone fathers are designed by zone priests to be complimentary to who you are, so you’ll have a great relationship with that one.
Eric: Deep friendship, and you’ll get a deeper understanding of the zone system, and it’ll also help you shepherd in your new zone family, which is a lot of love. It can help you with the worst in your family. It can help you find a new zone wife.There are a lot of things you can tell you zone father about that you wouldn’t wanna tell your biological father about.
Tim: You can’t talk to him about anything.
What’s the most profound thing that Ba'hee has said to you guys?
Tim: He said, “You have an opportunity to make a lot of green from this book if the right number of people buy it.” We said, “We’re creative entertainers. We’re not in that business.” Your business is dying. This is basically a pyramid scheme that works. So, if you buy one of these books, then it’s your responsibility to sell more of those books. He said, “Buy ten books. Then sell them to bitches.” So, I said, “Well, that sounds like a good plan.”
Eric: He basically told us, “Get over yourselves and think about the big catch—what matters.”
Tim: Do your work now and then clean up later.
Were you guys wealthy before the theory?
Tim: But there’s nothing more satisfying than making more money than you ever dreamed of. So, when you’re at this one level of cash where you’re like, “Wow. I’m making millions of dollars. Dumb, fat mommy is just completely a waste.” That’s satisfying. But then when you say, “I can make a business model where I’m scheming people who are selling books for us, and the money won’t stop rolling in. Wow…”
Eric: Some theories scream as exponential growth. For example, you’re gonna buy ten books. You’re gonna give them to friends, they’re gonna buy another ten books, and that growth pattern is huge, huge cash.
Tim: They’re not gonna stop printing the book, right?
Eric: It’s not gonna run out of books.
Tim: It’s an infinite supply. You can’t say that about, say, oil, or something like that. A commodity—coal or corn. There’s a limit to how much you can grow of corn. A book is limitless.
Has anyone been resistant to Zone Theory that you know?
Tim: Well, the book hasn’t come out yet. It comes out tomorrow, so we haven’t had any negative feedback expect from our female fans who are disappointed our book isn’t to them. But everybody else can’t wait to get up to zone 28. Standing in line. We got a report from Powell's Books out there in Portland, Oregon, and there’s a line 25 miles long to buy the book, which is insane. It’s closing all kinds of traffic. They had to close the bridge. They only have one way to get into the city, and it’s not on the national news. Mainstream media hasn’t covered it. It’s insane though right now. The line pretty much goes out Mount Rainier or whatever mountain there is over there.
Eric: If you think about just one mile of people, that’s 5,120 people for one mile.
Tim: Times 25.
Eric: It’s a lot of people, and it’s a lot of sales.
Tim: I don’t know if Powell's has that many books in stock.
Photos by Michael Waldrep