Hoping to join the ranks of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and cult favorite Office Space, is the new single-camera Comedy Central show, Workaholics; starring Adam Devine, Anders Holm, and Blake Anderson. The new series gained it’s footing with the web series 5th Year, which can be seen at Funny or Die. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with one of the stars of Workaholics, Adam Devine.
Adam: Hey Mendie, it’s Adam.
Me: Hi Adam, it’s nice talking with you. I am from Lost in Reviews; we are a website based out of Kansas City. I do thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I understand that you are going to be in a new show on Comedy Central called Workaholics?
Adam: Yes, that’s very true. It comes out Wednesday (April 6th, 2011) at 10:30/9:30pm Central.
Me: I did get a chance to catch the first couple of episodes, and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. Congratulations.
Adam: Surprisingly, I didn’t hate it. I thought I was going to hate it. (Laughter) That’s awesome. Thank you, thanks. That is very cool.
Me: No problem. I do have just a couple of questions for you, if you don’t mind.
Me: How did the concept of Workaholics begin?
Adam: We’ve been doing internet videos for years. Everything for the most part….we’ve probably done 60 or 70 (videos), and probably 50 or 60 of those have been sort of the characters you see on the show. We did a web series of us working together and living together (5th Year), and somebody from Comedy Central stumbled across the link and really liked it and brought us in. Thank God, or I’d still be eating Ramen Noodles. Although I still do. Their delicious.
Me: Yeah, don’t knock Ramen Noodles. When you first found out Comedy Central was interested, how did that feel?
Adam: I truly, I lost my brain. I was in a Coffee Bean — which is like a Starbucks in LA. I’m hanging out with all my friends and they are all other comedians and actors and stuff. We are just drinking coffee, hanging out, and I get the call and I just screamed like a little girl! ( Imitates screaming like a little girl). People were looking at me funny, and I was getting looks of disgust by angry failed screenwriters. But for the most part, everybody was very happy for me in the Coffee Bean. I got a free small iced coffee out of the deal.
Me: Well you know, that was probably worth like, $8.00, so that was a pretty good deal.
Adam: Actually it was a great deal.
Me: Since finding out, have you ever thought that someone was going to come up to you and say, “No. I’m sorry, it’s time for you to get a ‘real’ job?
Adam: April Foooool’s. Actually? Totally. We keep saying that we think it’s one big giant hoax. Like Comedy Central put hidden cameras around our house, and they’re making a really horrible reality show based on us getting the show. Very elaborate.
Me: I don’t know, I’ve seen some horrible reality shows. If this was a reality show I would probably watch it, because there are just enough Bachelorette’s in the world. Now, I did notice that people have been saying Workaholics is in the same vein as Office Space and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Do you think that is a fair assessment of the show?
Adam: Yeah like as far as….we’re a little more grounded than Philadelphia. We’re not quite as ‘slacker-ish’ as the people in Office Space, but I could see how people could make that correlation between the shows. It’s Always Sunny is one of my favorite shows. It’s a really good comedy, so to me that’s a huge compliment. At least they’re not comparing it to two failed shows. They’re not like “It reminds me of Better Off Ted and Samantha Who.” Like what? Really? OK…sure.
Me: Though the thing about if you were to be compared to those two shows, they were decent shows. I mean, it could have been compared to a show that is still on and is just horrible.
Adam: That is very true. Actually, my first big part was Samantha Who. I did a recurring guest star as Christina Applegate’s assistant in her office.
Me: I think I remember you.
Me: Now that you mention it, I did watch Samantha Who. I actually thought it was one of those smart comedies.
Adam: I liked it. I was actually surprised it didn’t get another season.
Me: Can you tell us a little about your character?
Adam: My character Adam is… Well, it’s based on reality – in that I’m a real buffoon. My character is kind of the wild one. Like the one you have to watch around grain alcohol and sharp objects. He’s sort of like the kid of the group, and is just really aggressively wrong on things. Like, he’ll be so wrong, but confidently wrong. Which I always find funny. Some of my favorite comics are Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, even Jack Black and those guys. They’ll play really, really dumb, but they’re so egotistical about it. You know they’re so wrong, but they think they’re so right, and I’ve always thought that was really funny. So that is kind of what I’ve tried to base my character off of. It’s also a lot easier as far as acting goes to create the character yourself, and be able to play it so that in the writer’s room you will be able to go, “Will I be able to deliver this line? Nah, let’s change it. That’s too many words. Let’s dumb that one down a little.”
Me: I was watching the show and I kind of got the impression that Adam was the type of character who really wanted to be successful, but had no idea how to do it, though he thought he knew how to do it. Does that make any sense?
Adam: Yeah, he was just trying to emulate people he’s seen be successful, but he has no idea how to do it himself. As far as putting in real work, he’s not prepared to do that either. He’s just trying to skate by on his animal magnetism.
Me: Well, I can see that working. (Laughter) Besides working on Workaholics, are you going to be doing any more webseries?
Adam: As of right now, I don’t think so. We’re pretty busy. They picked us up for like, 10 more episodes, so we did that and we’re still writing the other 10 episodes. Hopefully, (if Season One goes really well and they want to pick us back up) we can start shooting Season Two, because we are ready. We’re working on a movie together that is still in the very beginning stages, but yeah, we’re trying to stay really busy. But we love doing internet comedies, so I am sure once we find some time we would love to get back and do something.
Me: Well, I do know that with websites such as Funny or Die and Crackle gaining ground, and with the success of webseries like The Guild and Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog, it seems that webseries are having more of an impact. Do you think that’s true?
Adam: It sure was for us. We just got so lucky. As far as an internet following goes, we had a pretty small one. We always joke and say we have four internet followers who are HUGE fans.
Me: Well I did see it, and hands down I loved it.
Adam: Oh thanks.
Me: No problem. If Workaholics continues to be anything like that — or even follows the same format — I’m going to love it.
Adam: That’s cool. Yeah, we really lucked out. We have been doing internet videos for a long time, and it’s cool that the industry is starting to take notice of it. It’s kind of the Wild West. If you want to do it, you can just go out and do it now. You don’t have to wait to be cast in something and sit around and wait for something to happen. Basically, you can go out and shoot your own stuff and write your own thing. It might take a few years – or it might take 10 years – but if your stuff is good, people will notice.
Me: Do you feel that Comedy Central is providing you with the same amount of creative freedom as filming your web series did?
Adam: Well, a little bit less, because ‘Standards and Practices’ won’t let us have quite as many dick jokes as we wanted to have.
Me: I don’t know; from what I saw, a lot got through.
Adam: They’ve actually been really cool. It has been such an amazing experience. Other people that I have talked to were like, “They’re going to take your stuff and turn it in to something it’s not. You got to be careful of those executives.” And actually they were cool. They are supportive of everything we do. It’s insane.
Me: I know that you are a stand-up comic as well; will you do more of that?
Adam: Yeah, I won’t be travelling as much because we’re busy with the show, but I will definitely keep doing stand-up — and start doing a lot more colleges and clubs near you.
Me: Well, thank you so much for speaking with me today, and good luck with everything.
Adam: Thank you very much Mendie. It was good talking with you. Thanks a lot — I appreciate it. Bye.
Until next time,