My Lord, Herman Cain: Tim Heidecker Takes On Presidential Candidate

I’ve decided that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is my lord and master.

Well, at least when I’m listening to Tim Heidecker’s new album “Cainthology: Songs in the Key of Cain.” Otherwise, I’m not really riding the Cain train. Too much baggage, I guess.

The cover of Tim Heidecker's "Cainthology."

Heidecker is part of the comedy duo, Tim and Eric. They are responsible for such comedic genius as “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job” and “Tom Goes to the Mayor.” Admittedly, their comedy is not for everyone. I happen to love them and had the pleasure of seeing them perform live in Kansas City last year.

Heidecker is apparently just as surprised as anyone that he put out an album full of songs praising Herman Cain.

He talked to Slate about it recently:

On October 24, Herman Cain’s campaign released an impenetrable Web ad featuring the candidate’s chief of staff, a cigarette, a wall, and a slow-motion head-turn set to patriotic music. Almost immediately, fans of the absurdist comedy duo Tim and Eric (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim) started tweeting at them, saying it looked like the kind of intentional schlock they would have put on their show.

Heidecker agreed. Fueled by Vietnamese iced coffee, he recorded a minute-long jingle for Cain, an inexplicably odd ballad with hints of Jandek and John Philip Sousa. Over the next 15 days he recorded eight more songs, all absurd, all in slightly different styles—skiffle (“King Cain”), riff rock (“Cain is Able”), gospel (“Pray for Cain”), and spoken word with an electro beat (“My Master, My Master”). The result: Cainthology, the first album of Cain music not by Cain himself, with proceeds going to the VIP Medical Clinics for Abused Children and Community Mental Health Center. It is, Heidecker says, hopefully the last music he will write about the GOP’s fading frontrunner.

Slate talked to Heidecker on Thursday.

Slate: How much attention were you paying to the campaign before people started joking about Cain as a Tim and Eric character?

Heidecker: That’s a good question. My hindsight is probably distorted. I was paying attention to it in a sort of general way. I watch all the debates and stuff. I’m a little bit of an amateur political junkie. So I was pretty aware of how silly he was. But I think… the smoking ad really was the first time I saw just how ridiculous. I spent all afternoon making that first song, just in an attempt to try to out-weird the Cain campaign, to see if I could make something that really sounded like a mental patient had made it…

So once I did that first song, I realized I had created a character. He was a little bit of a schizophrenic, or mentally incapable. It just became fun to write songs in that character’s voice.

Slate: All nine of the songs are in that voice? These are very different musical styles.

Heidecker: They’re different styles of music, but that might play to the fragility of this person’s mental state. I think as the songs progressed, they became more paranoid and angry that people weren’t seeing what was going on. I didn’t anticipate any of this sex scandal stuff when I started, but as that started coming out, the songs sort of reflected that. This character was accusing the media, saying he knows what’s going to happen to Cain. And I also came up with the idea that this crazy person saw Herman Cain as his lord, as the second coming of Jesus Christ, which has played pretty well into the craziness of it all.

Read the rest of the interview at the link above.

I’ve been listening to the album pretty regularly, because it’s 21 minutes of craziness that makes me laugh. Plus, the tunes are good.

If you’re looking for some substantive information on Cain and his candidacy, check out this recent post on fellow South Dakota blog Madville Times.

In the meantime, enjoy some more “Cainthology”:

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