The third season of Workaholics, everybody's favorite inebriated slacker comedy, premieres tonight. In anticipation, Complex catches up with the stars who put in hard work to make it look like they do nothing at all.
This feature is a part of Complex's Workaholics Week.
Adam DeVine, Anders Holm, and Blake Anderson are in Van Nuys, CA, shooting an action sequence with pyrotechnics at the crib where Adam and Blake used to live. Their old dump has been transformed into a dumpy set for their Comedy Central series Workaholics.
Two years ago, big production days were just a dream. Along with co-creator/director Kyle Newacheck (who also plays the show’s drug-dealing “rape van” owner, Karl Hevacheck), the guys were making Internet videos as the sketch group Mail Order Comedy. And that was their side hustle. Adam worked the door at the Improv and did stand-up, Anders wrote for Real Time with Bill Maher, and Blake delivered pizzas. Then Walter Newman, an exec at Comedy Central, saw their videos and asked them to pitch a show, then shoot a pilot.
The guys expanded their online series 5th Year, about three recent college grads and roommates (Adam DeMamp, Anders Holmvik, and Blake Chesterfield Henderson—guess who plays who…) who barely hold down shitty telemarketing gigs and are unmotivated to do anything more than get fucked up. The network was impressed. It ordered a 10-episode season. Workaholics premiered in April 2011. Fast-forward to 2012 and Adam (28), Anders (30), and Blake (28), are now filming season three.
Back on set, a pyrotechnics expert warns Blake, “Don’t look over your shoulder.” The crew is preparing to shoot a scene on a hovercraft… in the backyard pool. Sparks and a five-foot flame are going to shoot out of the vessel’s rear, where Blake, and his trademark mustache and frizzy blonde locks, will be crouched. There’s a good chance this will be his “Pepsi setting Michael Jackson’s hair on fire” moment.
It’s evident from watching the guys at work, that the irony suggested by the show’s title only applies to the characters. These dudes share a love for partying but they were grinding at comedy before Comedy Central happened: Blake with the Groundlings and Upright Citizen Brigade, Adam and Anders with the Second City Conservatory. Despite a growing legion of fans, they still put in work like it could all end tomorrow. But unless they pull a Chappelle, it’s unlikely they’ll disappear any time soon.
After an initial misfire, when the special effects rig did little more than blow smoke up everyone’s ass, fire shoots out of the hovercraft’s ass and the guys launch a fleet of abandon-ship jokes. With the shot secured, Adam, Anders, and Blake retreat into a room adjacent to Uncle Blazer’s former, real-life bedroom and current, television bedroom to talk to Complex about male nudity, getting trashed with fans, and comedy beef.
Written by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)
The workout theme of your Complex photo shoot is fitting, considering how frequently you guys take your clothes off on Workaholics. Was that a calculated move to advertise the goods?
Anders: There was a clamoring that had to be addressed.
Adam: Naked dudes are inherently funny.
Blake: And we grew up with some of the best shirtless dudes in history: the Hulk Hogans, the Stallones, the Arnolds.
Adam: And our dads.
Blake: All our dads look pretty good with their shirts off.
Adam: Dads in the late ’80s, early ’90s did not wear shirts. Too many dads nowadays are wearing shirts. They need to take those off, and let those titties breathe.
Anders: I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad with his shirt off. It’s always been V-necks.
Blake: Didn’t he used to be a bodybuilder?
Anders: Yeah, but then I happened.
Blake: But I bet he looked tight with his shirt off.
Is it fair to say that, as comedy troops go, the Workaholics are the most athletically gifted?
Adam: 100 percent.
Anders: We got a natural hard body sitting catty-corner from me over there. Look at this guy.
Blake: What can I say? It doesn’t take a lot—except for riding the bike every day.
Adam: Working out. Eating right ev-er-y day.
Anders: For like six hours. But the answer is, yeah.
Adam: We’re willing to fight any three-man sketch group to the death.
Anders: Three or four.
Would you prefer a non-lethal physical competition?
Adam: I guess we could work out instead of fighting to the death.
Anders: All physical competitions are a metaphor for fighting, so we might as well get down to the nitty gritty.
Blake: We’d have Kyle as our fourth, and he can beat up anybody. [Everyone nods.] He’s pretty fat, but when he gets to fighting he throws his weight around.
Adam: A lot of people don’t know Kyle is 6’ 9’’.
Anders: On the Richter scale.
Adam: One time, Kyle and me fought. Afterwards, when it had diffused, he says to me [whispering menacingly]: “Big! Czech! Hands! Oh, you’re lucky I didn’t hit you with these BIG…CZECH…HANDS…” [Everyone laughs.] When he gets drunk, Kyle is one of the worst people. [Laughs.] Sometimes he’s great but most times he goes to a dark spot.
Anders: He’s a psycho.
Adam threw pizza in my butthole once. We fought about that. We were in Chicago on our first comedy tour. Drunk. Livin’ life.
What were you two fighting about?
Adam: We were having a party and this girl was sitting on my lap on our old roommate’s bed. I was talking to her and things were going great. Then Kyle comes in and says he needs to talk to her real quick. So she gets off my lap and goes in the hallway. They take one step back—I can totally hear them—and Kyle says, “So what’s up?” Just starts hitting on her. I came in the hallway yelling, “What the fuck, man? She was just sitting on my lap, bro!” She got all weirded out ’cause I’m like half-crying…
Anders: [Laughs.] I was gonna marry her!
Adam: She left and I threw my beer at Kyle. He swung at me but it was just the drunkest swing ever. Then I crawled up him like a koala—’cause he’s a lot taller than me—and squeezed him with all my might and all he could do was swing at me like a T-Rex. That was also the night Kyle met Ders for the first time.
Anders: He tried to fight me, too.
Adam: Kyle was back on my team at that point. Ders was taking back the Jamie Foxx DVD he’d loaned me, and Kyle says, “Who the fuck are you, bro?” Ders was like, “I’m taking my Jamie Foxx DVD back,” and Kyle goes, “You can’t take that! That’s Adam’s friend’s Jamie Foxx DVD!”
Anders: Then Adam comes out of nowhere and says, “This is the guy,” and Kyle’s like, “I don’t fucking know this guy, bro.” [Everyone laughs.] The next day we all went and saw Kung Fu Hustle. The rest is history.