There’s a good chance, at some point in your adult life, you’ve felt (or will feel) like one of the characters in Comedy Central’s “Workaholics.” Whether you’re working in a dead-end job, killing time by partying with your friends, or struggling with the opposite sex, it’s easy to identify with the trio of Blake, Anders, or Adam. That’s part of what’s made the show so successful. We recently had the chance to sit down with the writing and acting masterminds behind “Workaholics” just a few days after the show’s fourth season kicked off. Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, and Anders Holm share their thoughts on games, their inspiration for the characters in “Workaholics,” and their worst jobs.
Xbox Wire: So what are you guys doing on your Xbox Ones these days?
Adam: As far as games go, I’m playing “NBA 2K14” a lot. That takes up most of my time.
Blake: I’m still playing “Grand Theft Auto V” on my Xbox 360, it’s hard to beat that. I always keep up with the NBA games, too. A lot of Netflix too.
Anders: Yeah, I’ve been using mine as more of a media hub, I’m not a huge gamer. The user interface on that thing is off the hook though.
Xbox Wire: What sort of media have you been consuming?
Anders: You know, renting movies and going online and stuff. My brother is a huge football nut, so he’s like, “Yo, you gotta get in on the NFL stuff.”
Xbox Wire: You mean the Playoff Face Off?
Anders: Yeah, that’s it, I need to get in on that.
Xbox Wire: When you game, what are your favorite genres?
Blake: Well, I like anything where you can blow peoples’ heads off. I’ve also been really into the retro stuff. I just got “Golden Axe” and “Toejam and Earl” and it’s cool to see those types of retro games on my big screen. We’re actually working on a movie that revolves around the video game world, so I’ve been downloading a lot of independent games as well, so those are awesome to play.
Adam: I played a lot of “Gears of War,” that’s so much fun, and I like the “Call of Duty” games a lot. I only play campaign though, those thirteen year old kids will destroy you and they’re too vicious.
Xbox Wire: So when did you know that you wanted to do comedy for a living?
Anders: I definitely always liked comedy growing up, like “Animal House” and “Caddyshack.” But then, as far as writing comedy, I remember watching the Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson movie “Rushmore” and that was the first time I really heard a voice in comedy. And I was like, “Oh, someone wrote this and I want to try and do that.” That was my A-ha moment.
Blake: I didn’t realize I wanted to write comedy really until I met Ders. He was kind of like my Obi-Wan of comedy writing. He sat me down and showed me a few rules. That’s when I really started to see it as a cool sort of math equation and art form, I suppose. So shout-out to Ders for being my inspirational English teacher of comedy writing.
Anders: How about instead of Obi-Wan, I’ll be your Obie Trice?
Blake: OK, yeah, he’s definitely the Obie Trice of the group.
Xbox Wire: How about you Adam?
Adam: For me it was more that I wanted to write because I wanted to perform my own stuff. I’ve never really wanted to write for other people, I just knew that the guys who I thought were the funniest comedians wrote for themselves. You know how you’re the funniest. So I met Ders at Second City and he was more of a writer and I knew that I was kind lacking in that area, so I also saw Ders as my Obie Trice.
Xbox Wire: The new season of “Workaholics” premiered last week and the first episode of the season was great. What can we expect for the rest of the season?
Adam: Farva from “Super Troopers” makes an appearance as a funny guest star, I think people will get a kick out of that. Last season we tried to do a lot more episodes that were stylized. Like, it’s the Halloween episode so it’ll be shot like a horror movie or it’s a futuristic episodes so everything’s from the future. This season we really focused on getting back to what we did in Season One or Season Two. There’s more of a focus on the crazy situations you could believe these guys getting in and less about some supernatural stuff or something. Now, when they do hallucinate, it’ll be because they’re on drugs. We wanted to get back to more of that. I’m really happy with how the season turned out, it’s funky, it’s fresh, it’s dope.
Xbox Wire: “Workaholics” is about having bad, dead-end jobs that you just keep because you need money. What are the worst jobs you guys have ever had?
Anders: Telemarketing, actually. Adam and I both did it. He did it in high school and I did it out here in LA. When we were kind of figuring out the show we wondered where these guys were going to work and thought, “What’s the worst kind of job that people could identify with?” And telemarketing came out really quick.
Adam: I mean, it sucks doing it, but I think it’s kind of cool because the hours are really good and it’s hard to get fired from those jobs because they need people to make those calls. You really have to be a true f–k up to lose one. Also, the characters in that world, in the office setting, are pretty hilarious. So we were able to take from our life experiences and put it in the fictional world of TeleMeriCorp pretty easily.
Xbox Wire: So are any characters from the show loosely based on anyone you worked with in real life?
Adam: Well, Ders knew a real guy named Montez.
Anders: Yeah, I grew up with a Montez, but he wasn’t anything like the character.
Adam: I had a guy I worked with who would walk around with one pant leg rolled up and would kind of walk up and whisper in your ear when he made a sale, “Sellin’ sellin’ sellin’ sellin’, whatchou doin’ boy?” Then he would go off and ring the bell and do a C-walk. I just thought it was so awesome. I was 16 years old and he was like 35 and I loved that he was just so amped that he was selling more than me at this shitty telemarketing job. We always try to base characters on someone we know or have heard stories about. Even if it’s not someone we know, we wonder about what’s a cool name and Ders will just pull out someone from his high school.
Xbox Wire: I think we all know someone like Jillian.
Blake: Oh yeah, a little offbeat for sure. But Jillian’s tight, we’ve actually known her for a long time, she used to do sketches with us on the internet. So it’s definitely really cool to have her involved and to see her be as successful as she’s been.
Adam: All of these characters are definitely exaggerations of who’s playing them. Jillian is way more normal than her character on our show.
Anders: It’s OK Adam, you can tell them. She’s crazy. We actually keep her in a cage, then when we come to the office we let her out.
Adam: Yeah, we have to take the muzzle off.
Blake: In real life, Waymond is an asshole.
Anders: Yeah, seriously.
Adam: What a prick. Total jerk.
Xbox Wire: Do you guys have a favorite episode of the show?
Adam: Well, these are kind of like our little comedy babies. Every episode. Sure, there are some where you’re like, “Wow, that was a great episode.” I could make like a top ten probably, but it would be impossible to point and one and call it the best. “Real Time” is up there for me, the “B-Rad” episode is a great one, the business trip when we do acid, that’s a good one. We’ve actually got a few episodes this season that are right up there. I really like our show. It would suck to do a show that you just hate. It’s like, “Hey, do you have a favorite episode?” and you’re like “Nah, I just don’t like it, I’m not a fan. I’d watch anything instead of my show.”