Q&A: The ‘Workaholic’ Life of Adam Devine
Adam Devine has been on the phone for less than a minute, and he’s already apologizing for something he’s said. That probably wouldn’t surprise the millions of viewers who have caught on to the Comedy Central’s Workaholics, a surprise runaway hit that Adam co-created with his partners-in-crime, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson. The single camera raunch-fest has been known to feature storylines involving masturbation circles, psychedelic shroom consumption and plenty of public intoxication, just for starters.
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The group, which also includes director Kyle Newacheck, was first known as Mail Order Comedy when they hit internet notoriety with the viral music video “Wizards Never Die” and leveraged it into a pilot deal with Viacom. Expectations were low; now, the ratings Workaholics are climbing every week, Devine his own stand-up comedy show—Adam Devine’s House Party—and he’s fielding movie offers after costarring in Pitch Perfect. Devine called in from his manager’s office in Burbank and chatted with Rolling Stone chatted about what the future holds for TV’s favorite telemarketing trio.
So you’re writing your comedy show at your manager’s office?
We write that here in my manager’s office and half the time at my house. It’s better here of course, there are too many distractions at my house, the internet isn’t blocked so there’s always a chance I end up watching porno.
Is that so? What’s your go-to site?
Porn Hub. They know what the guys like.
Where do you and the guys write Workaholics?
We have an office space in Van Nuys, but it’s really terrible. Honestly, it’s the worst place ever. When we look out the window, there’s usually just people smoking crack in the alleyway. It’s next to a Target though — so we’ve got that going for us.
When do you start writing again?
We’ve got a fifth season coming up, so we’re going to start writing again in about five months. We generally start writing the next season three months before we have to start shooting it.
The show keeps getting more and more popular.
There is a little more pressure there now, because when the show first started we were just imagining that we’d have maybe eleven eyeballs on it, tops — probably just our parents. Now that we know there are few million people seeing it, there are expectations. You want every episode to stack up against your favorite one.
You say your parents watch? Is that a worry, you’re doing some pretty depraved things on a daily basis.
[Laughs] Disturbingly so. My parents are very cool and wildly supportive —m aybe almost too much. I want to tell them to chill out. Recently, there was an episode where Karl cuts his dick off and gives it to Blake for a documentary. My mom called me and said, “That was just one of the funniest episodes!” Are you kidding me? I would be much happier if she was just watching Frasier re-runs and calling it a day. Nothing against Frasier, that’s just what you want your mom watching. I think the fact that our parents are watching makes us want to go a little harder with the jokes. It’s that weird seventh grade mindset: You can’t tell me what to do!
Are you ever disturbed by the people who enjoy the show?
I was at a Chipotle not long ago, and this old man came up behind me and was like “DeMamp! Big fan, man.” I just thought, this guy is 85 years old and he likes our show — this is one badass grandpa. His dick probably still works. That’s actually a medically proven fact, if you’re over 80 and you like our show, your dick still works. We’re like TV Viagra.
Not long after that, I was at a music festival and this mom came up to me and said, “Can my son take a photo with you?” I thought he’d be like a 15-year-old — but it was a fucking 8-year-old! I assumed he was a fan of Pitch Perfect, which would be age appropriate, so I said, “Are you a song and dance man?” He said, “Heck no, I love Workaholics.” Right on. Now go back to your horrible mother.
Anders Holms directed an episode last season. Is that something that you want to do?
Yes, I’m going to direct one this next season. I just want to know if it’s something that I can do. I want to see if I’m a natural Scorsese or will my episode be the Gigli of our series.
How much longer do you see the show going?
Creatively I like where we’re at, but who knows? Maybe the guys won’t always work at TeleAmericorp forever. But it’s not just going to be like suddenly Ders is the city councilman now and I’m his head of security. Actually wait, I like that — maybe that will be in the movie. But what I’ll say is, we’re not just going to find a baby on the doorstep; we’re not just going to get married. It’s not going to happen any time soon. Season 12, who knows? Maybe he does get married. We’re just going into season five now, and I feel like we still have a lot of stories to tell about these guys who like to smoke weed and drink booze.
You have a lot of actors and interesting people who watch the show. Do you ever get tempted to throw people into the show that could make a splash?
Justin Bieber has said that he’s a big fan of the show; we’ve been talking with his manager. I recently ran into Miley Cyrus at a party. and she freaked out and said, “We’ve got to hang out sometime!” I mean, I’m honestly living the weirdest life right now.
That being said, we wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make sense for the show. Our guys are small town dudes who live in Rancho Cucamonga and do wacky stuff, but on such a small scale. We didn’t set it in LA or Hollywood for a reason. We didn’t want to have to make it look like broke-ass Entourage. It would be cool to get Justin or Miley on, but only if we write a story that is really funny and won’t take people out of it. It’s a trap that you don’t want to fall into, just having celebrities on for celebrity sake.
I’m sure filming with Bieber would be a crazy day of filming.
Oh yeah, like 14-year-old girls all over the place stalking him. That would be an interesting episode. Maybe he’d rough us up; he’s pretty ripped these days.
I hear you guys are developing a movie with Seth Rogen? Can you talk any more about that?
I’m going over to Anders’ house tonight to work some more on it. It’s a fun idea, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are helping us produce it. It’s surreal for guys like us to be in a room with the guys who made 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up when we were just messing around with Internet comedy a few years ago. It’s cool to be in their clique.
What’s the plot?
It’s kind of Die Hard-esque: We play three dudes who are trapped in a hotel as terrorists hold everyone hostage. It’s going to be crazy.
Who’ll play your Hans Gruber?
We’ve got a great list of villains, and we’re going to be approaching some amazing people to be in it. If anyone of them say yes, we will just flip out.
I hear Pitch Perfect 2 is happening and Elizabeth Banks is directing the sequel. Have you talked to her about it?
I haven’t had a chance to read the script yet, but I would love to come back and do something. I actually pitched them an idea already, which I’m not sure if they used or not, that we had a baby in the off-season, and now I’m a huge K-Pop star and I don’t have a time for the family at all. I like being the villain.