If you haven’t heard of “Workaholics,” the work-place comedy from Comedy Central that’s now entering its second season, you’re missing out.
The comedy, from creators and stars Adam DeVine, Blake Anderson and Anders Holm (as well as director/co-creator Kyle Newacheck) is an irreverent look at life for 20-somethings right out of college, focusing on old friends who work together at a crappy telemarketer job. The show speaks to universal themes of growing up and dealing with the real world for the first time.
Last week, I got a chance to actually talk to the cast in a live phone interview with other college newspapers.
The first few questions asked were pretty standard and informative. There was a question about how much of the show is based on their own lives, in which the cast responded that the characters are indeed based on themselves, but that they “juiced them up” for the show.
Another question was about who their comedic influences were, which ended up including Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Tim and Eric of the “Tim and Eric Show” on Adult Swim, as well as the cast of “Jackass.”
They were also asked, more than once, about the extent of how improvised and scripted each episode was. The cast said they were given a detailed script in the beginning, but as time passed they were allowed and encouraged to improvise. However, when pressed, DeVine conceded that the percentage was probably “79 percent scripted, and whatever other percent improvised. I’m not great at math.”
There were a few ridiculous questions, like one about how the cast members had bad-mouthed Amy Winehouse’s death (which turned out to be a mistaken misquote and attributable to only one cast member).
There were also questions about whether or not the show has gotten them laid more, to which Holm responded “Yes, me and my long-time girlfriend have had a lot more sex since the show got on the air.”
That was followed with a seemingly pointless question about Anderson’s hair regiment (after a really tired and dated Slim Shady reference), to which Blake responded that he just wetted it down and put his jeep’s roof down to dry it (which is how I am going to have to dry my hair from now on. Maybe not such a stupid question after all).
As for me, due to the large volume of schools present for the interview, I only got to ask a couple of my own questions. The first part, of a two-part question, was “How collaborative is the writing process on an average episode?”
They answered graciously, stating how they each individually go to pitch meetings with “kernels” and “nuggets” of ideas on v-cards, and go through each idea and see which ones stand out. For instance, Holm gave a hypothetical example of writing something on a card about the character’s finding their “house with the roof off,” and then if they like that idea they’d go and find a way to contextualize and structure it into a cohesive story.
Since he came up with that plot off the top of his head, the other cast members riffed on it, and they mentioned that this is similar to how they typically hammer out episodes.
The second part of the question was, “How long does it take to write an average episode”? Again, the answer was encompassing. They explained that the amount of time it took to perfect each episode varied. For instance, some episodes take only a few weeks from inception to production, while others like the Juggalo episode took over five months to complete.
The final question I asked, which was a bit after everyone else had gotten a chance to ask one, was “How was it working on the movie ‘The Legend of Awesomest Maximus?’” At that point you could hear the fatigue in their voices. They just sighed, and Adam responded with “terrible” and talked about how the alcohol was weak — “about .2 percent” — since they filmed in the primarily Mormon state of Utah. But he did give a shout out to Will Sasso as a great guy and funny comedian.
They did not comment on the quality of the film, however. And having seen the trailer for it, I can definitely understand why.
Overall, I have gained a greater appreciation for this show, and for the cast. To be honest, when I first heard of “Workaholics,” and saw the promos for it about a year ago, I was not impressed.
It looked like another variation of the lazy, pop-culture spewing slacker comedy that has permeated pop-culture since “Clerks” came out in the mid-90s.
But having watched episodes to prepare for the interview, as well as witnessing the cast’s quick wit and affability first hand, I am now looking forward to their second season and continued success.
Keep working hard, guys.