This week we talked to the fastest-rising stars in comedy on a four-way party line and it was better than the ’90s. Meet the boys from Comedy Central’s telemarketing hit, Workaholics. Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm talk to Playboy.com about their new season, hurling insults and being catcalled. Catch the new season on Comedy Central on Wednesdays, 10/9C.
Playboy.com: It’s incredible that sayings, catchphrases and even a bear jacket from the first season are still sticking around in terms of slang and whatnot. Was there something that you guys were completely surprised by that caught on with your fanbase?
DeVine: The Bear Coat was pretty bizarre. We all thought it was a pretty cool thing. We were like, “What do rappers wear? Maybe Blake wants to wear a big fur coat?” And then we thought, well, what if it’s an actual real hollowed-out bear as a coat? At the time we just thought it was kind of funny to have him wear something like that and now Blake can’t go anywhere without someone screaming “Straight grizzly” at him or “Bitch better have my honey!”
Anderson: You could definitely have worse things yelled at you.
Playboy.com: I’m sure there are worse things that are yelled at you in terms of what’s been on the show.
DeVine: Yeah, I have “Tight butthole!” yelled at me on the regular.
Playboy.com: People even buy that bear suit, it’s crazy!
Anderson: It’s worth it, though, very warm. It’s practical, too. Definitely a good wintercoat!
Playboy.com: That’s pretty badass that you guys are doing so well! I love that you guys are so positive on the show, I think that’s one of the biggest strengths.
DeVine: Thank you! We did that consciously. It was during the whole recession era where everyone was broke and people were watching The Office, a show where everybody hated their job, and we thought it wasn’t really cool, since they have a job and they’re with people they like… So we said let’s make a show about dudes who feel like they’re lucky to hang out with each other all day long and kind of make the best of it.
Anderson: There are a lot of those types of comedies that I think are super funny, but we’re just not those types of people. We’re not bummed on everything, so I think it would’ve been harder for us to do a show about being super neurotic and not finding any joy in anything when in fact we love the dumbest stuff. So that’s kind of where we came to writing the show.
Playboy.com: I know writers from Community check out the Community Subreddit at times. Do you guys ever sneak fan-made concepts into episodes for fun?
Holm: Not that I can think of. Can you guys think of anything?
Anderson: I don’t think we’ve ever on purpose went like, “Oh this was a fan’s idea, we’re going to use it.” But when we did the flashback episode where we went back to the characters’ days in college I got comments like, “Oh I tweeted that at you, you totally did my idea! Awesome, tight butthole, keep it sleazy!” Uh, but yeah, I didn’t steal that idea. Wait, who am I kidding? Thank you! Thank you for that idea that I totally stole from you!
Holm: First flashback television episode ever, we did it!
Playboy.com: I guess that’s why you guys were nominated for that Emmy!
Holm: Yeah, well now you’re lying, but we are widely considered one of the smartest and funniest shows on television. By a lot of people, I think. I’m not sure who exactly these people are; mostly relatives of mine.
Playboy.com: So being friends and writing a show together, what’s been the hardest scene to get through?
Anderson: We kind of lucked out. Our personalities are varied enough that we all bring something different to the table, so it’s not like one of us is totally indispensable.
DeVine: And I think that’s how groups sort of implode. You know, there are three guys and two guys are really talented and really good and the other guy is a dumb piece of shit. But luckily we’re all the same amount of dumb pieces of shit, so we’re at the same level.
Playboy.com: When did you start writing together as a group?
Holm: In 2006. The guys knew each other before Adam met me in L.A.
DeVine: Blake and I have been writing sketches together since ’02. But we got serious after we met Ders. Anders told us about these computer programs that take words and put them into a script format. Thank you, Ders! We really appreciate that.
Holm: When I met them these guys were just hiring skywriters to write the sketches and they’d be visible for only like 20 seconds.
DeVine: Yeah, it took a long time. Our comedy was very slow-paced back then. And then a gust of wind would take it away and then you’d kind of have to guess, it’d be like “I think that says ‘Tight butthole,’ but no one can really know.”
Playboy.com: The film you guys are working on with Seth Rogen: is that going to start shooting this year?
Anderson: God, we hope so!
Holm: It better!
DeVine: We’re polishing the script right now. We’re trying to get it out there in the next few weeks so we can start doing preproduction and then shoot it before we get back to Workaholics.
Anderson: TV is all set on a schedule, it needs to get out there at a certain time and there are so many wheels to turn. But with movies it can take years and years to get a project off the ground, so we’re pretty excited to get the movie out there and to actually get going and see our big fat heads 40 feet high. It’s all close-ups; that’s what I’m pitching to our friend Kyle [Newacheck], who’s directing it. All extreme close-ups.
Holm: That sounds pretty cool.
Anderson: Yeah, we’ll see if that works, who knows?
Playboy.com: What can fans look forward to in the new season of Workaholics?
DeVine: We went back to having episodes where we smoke weed on the roof and get into crazy adventures. If you like Workaholics you’re going to like this season. We’re not really trying to do anything crazy and different. A baby isn’t going to suddenly show up on our doorstep and suddenly now it’s like My Three Dads on Workaholics.
Anderson: Not yet! For all you big fans, that’s what happens in Season 9.
DeVine: Right now we feel like we still have a lot of stories to tell and fun adventures that these characters can get into without totally going outside of the world that we built for them.
Holm: This may be our sexiest season.
DeVine: Oh yeah! Probably four times the amount of babes. Yeah, we kiss girls now, so there may be some sexing happening. Actually I think last week there was some sexing going on.
Playboy.com: You guys got to go to San Diego Comic-Con! That must be pretty crazy for you guys at this point.
Anderson: It’s almost a little intimidating. Because we like to go out on the floor and look at all the comics and see the graphic novels, and I know Ders likes to buy a fun hat every year.
Holm: You have to.
Anderson: So now we all kind of have to wear masks. At least, I did when we went out—you just sort of wear a mask and blend in. I wore this crazy Iron Maiden mask like Eddie, this Satan dude from the band. So yeah, I wore this crazy expensive mask from the first place I ran into—they only had this 200-dollar mask, so I bought it and I ended up getting stopped like 20 times by people yelling “Awesome mask! Can I take a photo?” So it backfired a little bit. Everyone down there is so awesome and all the love is coming from the right place. What’s cool about our fans is that they’re excited to see us. There isn’t any “YOU SUCK, WE HATE YOU!!!” blowback.
Playboy.com: On Etsy there are some pretty incredible art pieces based on your show. What’s the greatest thing you’ve seen?
Holm: I’ve seen some pretty spot on drawings of us which seemed to have taken quite a bit of time to make. It’s weird to have somebody draw you, but also an honor. So cool, thanks!
DeVine: Yeah, it is weird that there’s some 15-year-old girl out there staring at shirtless photos of us and really working on the dimensions of our nipples.
Holm: Hey, better that than the other way around is what I always say.
DeVine: You always say that?
Holm: Yeah, I always say that.
Anderson: Yeah, I think I’ve heard him say it before, so.
Holm: Yeah, I have a lower back tattoo that says it!
Playboy.com: This will be going up next Wednesday before your next episode. What can we look forward to in that episode?
DeVine: It’s “Snackers”! The guys go through hell to maintain the level of snacks in the office. It’s sort of a cool, stylized heist episode, which we’re pretty pumped on. Sometimes it’s kind of cool to step out of the box and do some more stylized stuff. We wanted every episode to feel like a little mini movie, like a little adventure and not just a regular sitcom that you could see on ABC. We’re trying to bring the weirdness every week.