The Way We Get By: Tim Heidecker on The Tweedy Show

The comedian and singer has been making it through coronavirus lockdown thanks to the Wilco lead singer's nightly shows on Instagram Live.

I’ve been really enjoying the nightly concert that Jeff Tweedy has been performing with his sons that his wife has been streaming on Instagram. It’s really loose and fun, and they’re just hanging out. He’s got his guitar and seems to be taking some requests, but is mostly just playing what he wants to play.

I’ve been a big Wilco fan since the band’s second album, Being There, which is a record I really cherish, and I’ve seen them live a handful of times. (I don’t go to a lot of rock shows anymore, but I’ll probably be excited to go and see some live music when the ban is lifted!)

InstagramLive is a new, neat opportunity for musicians and comedians, as it’s such an easy-to-use technology. I’ve done it a few times. You just turn on the Live button and have got an audience looking for something to watch. It’s very intimate and can be a place to experiment, and I think a lot more people will be encouraged to do it. The press are writing about how Jimmy Fallon is doing his show from home, but everybody can do that! There are funny, interesting people out there who can be at the same level as Fallon or Stephen Colbert, and this format can give them exposure.

I have two kids, aged three and six, who are taking up a lot of my time and energy at the moment. Last week my daughter was on spring break and my son’s daycare was still open, so this is the first week of having them at home all day, every day. We have this schedule that I posted on Instagram which suggests a structure for the day, balancing activities, exercise and creative time. The temptation is to turn the TV on, but my wife and I try really hard to hard to avoid that. We let them watch TV and movies, but try to restrict it to a reasonable amount.

It’s a little annoying to my wife, but I can’t really control when I’m creative and when I’m not. If I get a song started or if I get an idea in my head and I want to work on it, I tend to drift off and do that. I know I have to grab the moment, because otherwise I might not find it again. I get really antsy – “Oh shit, I gotta record this thing” or “I gotta write this.” It’s hard to say, “OK, I’m going to be creative from 1 to 3pm today,” but I’m trying my best!

For the last decade, Tim Heidecker — along with his comedy partner Eric Wareheim — has proven to be one of our cult-comedy greats with his Adult Swim series Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories. He’s starred in indie films and played sold out stand-up sets around the world. Heidecker’s latest show, Beef House, premieres on Adult Swim on March 29. (Photo by Cara Robbins)