The title of their show is meant to be ironic—or at the least a portmanteau of “working” and “alcoholics”—but the three stars of Comedy Central’s Workaholics show up late at night and sober, having just pulled a double shift. We’re on the patio of Hollywood’s Black bar, and the boys are relaxing after a grueling day of shooting a fifth season, which premiered Jan. 14.
Adam DeVine, 31, Blake Anderson, 30, and Anders Holm, 33, play Adam, Blake, and Anders: three inveterate bros who have mastered the art of underachievement. But these comedians aren’t slackers, pursuing individual careers with spots on shows such as Parks and Recreation and The Mindy Project and in films like Pitch Perfect and The Interview, all while working on an as-yet-untitled script with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. We grabbed beers with the guys—a drop in the bucket that is their livers—and talked about the same thing anyone ever talks about: work.
ROUND ONE: ST. ARCHER IPA
EW: It’s 10 p.m., and you guys have been filming for the past 13 hours. Are you almost done with this season?
ADAM DEVINE: We’re so close.
BLAKE ANDERSON: Our last day is Friday of next week. I can taste it.
ADAM: But we also produce the show, so we’ll be editing for the next month and a half. It’s way less strenuous, a lot of me going, “My neck fat is too fat.”
It seems like each season you guys have been getting…
Bigger. In scope and popularity, that is.
BLAKE: Two nights ago I watched an episode from season 1, and I’m proud of where we are today. We really have grown into a cool show that does whatever the hell it wants and it feels, I hope, slightly organic.
ADAM: We’re like a batch of weed that grows underneath a freeway overpass. You find it when you’re 16 years old and you roll it up and you think, “This is going to give me a headache,” but then you smoke it and it doesn’t. That’s us.
ANDERS HOLM: That’s beautiful.
That’s an oddly specific analogy.
ADAM: That actually happened to me. Wild weed. We hung it in my buddy’s mom’s shed and dried it and smoked it. It 100 percent gave us horrible headaches, but it made us feel high.
ANDERS: Maybe that wasn’t weed.
ADAM: We didn’t have Judd Apatow to bless us when we started, or Amy Poehler, like the Broad City girls. So we had to build it up. This season we were lucky enough to have Ben Stiller play our landlord and Jack Black will play my dad.
You guys were really some of the first to make the jump from YouTube comedy to a TV show. Those old clips are still up there. Do you ever get drunk and binge-watch them?
ADAM: I feel like me and Kyle [Newacheck] are the most nostalgic. Maybe every six months or so one of us will come in and say, “I stayed up until five in the morning watching the old vids.”
ANDERS: We never had a big breakout viral video.
ADAM: We really concentrated on doing stories because we really wanted to do TV and movies, when a lot of the viral videos were funny cats.
The house in Van Nuys where you film the show, a couple of you lived there at one time, right?
ANDERS: I didn’t because I had a girlfriend who loved me. We’re talking sex almost every week.
ADAM: Your life ruled at that point. Blake and I were in that house for two to three years.
ANDERS: Does it seem like set now or does it seem like the place where you live?
ADAM: It feels like set. We had a rat problem when we moved in. We set traps and stayed up drinking beers and you’d hear them go, “Pah pah pah pah,” like gunfire in the jungle. They would come in our kitchen and I’d spray Windex at them and hit them with brooms.
In last season’s finale, you guys kill hundreds of rats in a bloody spree. Was that revenge?
BLAKE: That was very much a retelling of that.
ADAM: People were like, “Oh my God, that’s so disgusting!” But it was a battlefield in that house.
You should have gotten a cat. Then you could have killed the rats and gone viral.
BLAKE: We got a cat, but the rats killed the cat. Stuck its head on a stake as a warning.
ROUND TWO: STELLA ARTOIS
What do you guys smoke and drink on camera?
ANDERS: Nonalcoholic beer and this fake weed called Ecstasy.
BLAKE: It’s harsh, man.
ANDERS: But you tell that to the fans and they’re going to light your magazine on fire. They’re not going to believe you.
BLAKE: We’re not Seth Rogen, man. We can’t handle it.
ADAM: Seth’s helping us produce a movie, and he’s so good at smoking weed and still having his wits about him.
BLAKE: But to be fair, Seth had dreadlocks in high school. This dude is a f—ing pro.
ANDERS: He has THC in his DNA.
You guys clearly work harder than your fictional counterparts.
ANDERS: Look at our eyeballs! Just look at our eyeballs.
Since you’re playing professional slackers, when you procrastinate, it’s still kinda like working.
ADAM: That’s how we rationalize it.
ANDERS: We hear nightmares from other writers’ rooms where you don’t talk unless you have a great idea that will move the day forward. That sucks.
ADAM: A lot of times someone will tell a dumb old story from high school and we’re like, “You went to jail and then that happened? We can do something like that.”
BLAKE: A lot of room bits make it to the show. Like, “Oh, Adam can deep-throat a whole kielbasa? Let’s put that in the show.”
ANDERS: And porno. Porno has actually shown up a lot of times.
They say, “Write what you know.”
ROUND THREE: (MORE) STELLA ARTOIS
You three have a really solid comedic dynamic. How did you fine-tune it?
ADAM: This is how we interact with each other. We justtook our personalities and amplified them.
ANDERS: [Points to Adam] Green light, [points to Blake] yellow light, [points to self] red light. He’s all, “Go!” I’m like, “Well, hold on a minute,” and Blake’s [high, scratchy voice], “Guys, chill out!”
BLAKE: That’s not my voice.
ADAM: He’s doing a great
It’s very similar to the Three Stooges. Anders is Moe, Adam
is Curly, and Blake even has Larry’s hair.
ANDERS: [Feigning ignorance] Who were they?
ADAM: Never heard of them.
I think Iggy Pop was their leader.
ADAM: The thing is, we didn’t truly think of that. We didn’t sit down and say, “You’re the go guy, you’re the red guy, you’re Larry.” It took an interview five seasons in to even realize it.
Even as you continue on Workaholics, you’re also all off doing your own projects. Adam has Pitch Perfect 2 coming out, Anders was in Top Five and
The Interview, and Blake was just in the premiere of Parks and Recreation. How do you decide what you do by yourselves and what you do as a package deal?
ADAM: We’re not the bosses of each other. We want to work together for as long as it makes sense.
ANDERS: The coolest thing is that we always have us. We can go work on other stuff and that’ll be fun, but we know we can make stuff together and it will be satisfying.
ADAM: Our fallback is working with other people. Plan A is for us to do Workaholics for as long as it makes sense to do Workaholics. Then go on and do movies and other TV shows and just create stuff, and build our careers together.
ANDERS: What I love about our show is the relatability of a s—ty job out of college, where your sights aren’t that high; you’re not out to conquer the world. You’re just trying to make it to the next day and get down to your basic desires, which is get drunk, meet a girl, have fun. Our characters aren’t out to make it big or start a jeans company.
ADAM: Well, in season 8 we start a denim company.
ANDERS: Nine-pocket jeans. Nobody’s doing nine pockets
This article appears in Entertainment Weekly‘s Jan. 30-Feb. 6 issue.