Comedy Central’s hit single-camera comedy series Workaholics, recently renewed for Seasons 4 and 5, tells the story of three friends who live, work and party together 24/7. Even though they sometimes do their jobs well, they’re more concerned with sleeping in, getting drunk and partying like there’s no tomorrow.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, while they were at the Comedy Central portion of the TCA Press Tour, creator/actors Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, Anders Holm and Kyle Newacheck (who also directs the show) talked about how surreal the success of the show is, that they always had the goal of doing a TV show but that there were several attempts that fell through, the moment they realized just how many people were actually watching the show, and what fans can expect from the all-new episodes they have airing on Wednesday nights. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Collider: Does it ever seem totally surreal that you have your own show and that you have so much freedom with it?
ANDERS HOLM: We have agents now.
DEVINE: We were just talking about how surreal it all is that now we’re doing Seasons 4 and 5. To get five seasons on any network is a real amount. People will remember five seasons. One or two seasons, you’re a flash in the pan. People have to remember five seasons.
KYLE NEWACHECK: That’s a collection of DVDs.
DEVINE: It’s pretty cool and it’s pretty surreal.
NEWACHECK: I’m proud of our audience.
How did this originally come about for you guys? Did you just decide you were going to do a show, however you had to make it happen?
DEVINE: This was always our main goal, but we were doing internet comedy (as the sketch group Mail Order Comedy). We were getting to the point where people were noticing us a little bit, but not really. Nobody was banging down our door. And then, Comedy Central came to us and sent us a message on YouTube, which we didn’t check for about a month because we never check those messages. It was always the same three super-fans. And then, one day, we were editing a video and we all showed up to do the edit session and Kyle [Newacheck] was like, “We need to contact Comedy Central!” A week later, we got back to ‘em.
DEVINE: It had happened a couple times before, where someone wanted to talk to us, but then nothing happened. But, Comedy Central was like, “We really like what you guys are doing. Come in and pitch us a show.” So, we did. And then, they said, “We want you to pitch again in a week to the Vice Presidents,” and we did. And then, they said, “Come again in the week for the President,” so we did, and we got the show. It was actually really intense. We had little sessions with Kyle’s brother and his now wife, who was his girlfriend, at that time. The three of us lived together, and we practiced that they were the President and Vice President, asking us questions. Luckily, they gave us a shot. They could have easily just gotten scared and said, “These guys haven’t done anything. Let’s not give them a shot, at all.” But, they did and here we are.
Because you’d had past interest that fell through, were you waiting to find out that the offer wasn’t really legit?
HOLM: Yes and no. We had had a lot of close calls, leading up to this, where we were excited to the point where we were like, “Let’s just do a good job,” but we weren’t psyching ourselves out of it. There had been a couple other things that were close to working out, that didn’t work out.
BLAKE ANDERSON: Because they wanted it to premiere after South Park.
NEWACHECK: So for me, it didn’t even become real until I was able to turn on Comedy Central and watch the show. And then, I was like, “Oh, my god, we have a show! That’s a real show! We made that, and everybody is watching it, right now!”
ANDERSON: I think that it’s also taught us a lot. Out here, in this industry, it isn’t happening until it’s happening, so don’t psych yourself out of it. You’re making your show when it’s in the can and it’s on the air ‘cause anything can happen.
DEVINE: You can shoot a show and have it not air. It’s not real until it’s airing. I think we got way too excited about a few things, prior to this happening, and then had it not pan out. We were a little jaded. We were still excited, but we were like, “Well, we’ll see. It might happen.” And then, it did and we were really excited. The opportunities that have come from it are just really cool and surreal. Why I like the four of us so much is that we truly always believed that it was going to happen with the four of us.
Did you have a moment when you realized that people were really watching and following the show?
DEVINE: Bonnaroo was where we first saw it. We went to Bonnaroo, not last summer but the summer before, right after Season 1 had just aired. I was doing stand-up prior to us doing sketches. I was doing a mic test and they went outside, and then they came running back into the comedy tent and said, “It’s fucking crazy out there, man! People recognize us! We just got bombarded!” And I was like, “What?!” And then, I went out there and a bunch of people were like, “I love the show!” It was really cool.
ANDERSON: They were high, but they were fans. They were drunk and stoned, but you’d be surprised how cool drunk and high fans are. It gets old, after a couple hours of it, but the first initial, “Oh, my god!,” is cool. Bonnaroo was definitely the first time we experience live fan interaction, and it was good.
DEVINE: And it’s cool now. It seems like, with every season, it’s gotten bigger. It’s for real now. It used to be a very small sect of people that would recognize us. It was college potheads, basically, which is great. That’s what I was, when I was in college. That was my crew, so it was cool that my crew was coming up to me. But, now it’s broader than that. It’s people who don’t smoke weed. It’s people who aren’t in college. It’s older people. It’s much, much younger people. There will be some 10-year-old where we’re like, “Tell your mom not to let you watch this show anymore.”
What can you say to tease the new episodes for viewers?
DEVINE: What’s cool about this season is that the show has gotten to a point where we’re starting to get to a place where people want to do our show, instead of us begging people to do a show that they don’t know about. We’ve got Tom Green. We were all such huge fans of Tom Green, when we were kids, and now he’s doing a cameo on our show. We’ve got Daniel Stern, who was the voice of The Wonder Years and in Home Alone. Since I’ve known Kyle, and I’ve known him for over 10 years now, he’s been like, “I want to work with Daniel Stern. I’m going to direct Daniel Stern in something.” No joke, he’s always said that. And then, we got him for an episode and Daniel Stern ended up being the coolest guy that any of us has ever met.
NEWACHECK: He was the first face that I just laughed at. I was like, “This dude is hilarious!”
DEVINE: What’s so cool is that he does all these huge sculptures. We had just done Comic-Con a few months before, and we were walking on the street. There were these huge sculptures and we all had to pee, and we just pissed on art. We were like, “We’re pissing on art!,” like a bunch of dickheads. And then, when we asked Daniel Stern where his art was, he said, “In San Diego, right along the boardwalk.” We were like, “Oh, my god, we pissed on his art!”
ANDERSON: The same with any season, I feel like it’s a whole lot of the same. I don’t think our show has changed much, from Episode 1. If you liked the show then, you’re going to like the show now. We try to surprise people, here and there, but it’s still a show about us.
DEVINE: We like to have surprising stories, but the dynamic and the friendship is the same. When you go out with your crew of friends and you get into trouble, at the end of the night when you come home, you’re still the same crew of friends. It’s just the story that you have to tell.
HOLM: And if you’re not with the same crew of friends, that’s weird.
DEVINE: Yeah, that’s a pretty weird night.
HOLM: Then, you’d better go find your friends.
Workaholics airs on Wednesday nights on Comedy Central.