When any group of friends volley priceless banter back and forth to perfection, they often follow it with a phrase similar to “Dude, we should have our own TV show.” That dream has become a reality for the group of comedic comrades who star in and write for the Comedy Central show “Workaholics.”
Now in its second season, the show follows three friends fresh out of college who work as telemarketers. Stars Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm play caricatures of themselves – a trio of beer-chugging, pot-smoking best friends whose antics are not only morally reprehensible, but also downright hilarious. Think “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” made for and by 20-somethings.
“It’s about the mind state of just out of college,” said co-creator and director Kyle Newacheck in a conference call interview. “You don’t have all the responsibilities of an adult yet, so you can kind of just f— around.”
Though the show’s dialogue is far from elegant prose, never has stupid seemed so smart.
“Workaholics” doesn’t offer classic sitcom punchlines -rather, it blends body language, extreme sarcasm and ’90s references to provide a consistently affable story from start to finish.
The appeal stems from the balancing act between relatable characters and situations with utterly ridiculous outcomes.
“We draw a lot of the stuff from real life; of course, you’ve got to kind of juice them up for TV a little bit,” Anderson said in the conference call. “We take details from who we really are – I think that’s what makes the characters seem real.”
For instance, the second episode of the new season begins with the guys waking up hungover from a house party the night before. Anders wakes up in the trunk of their car wearing a Speedo with his hair dyed blonde. Blake and Adam start to call him “Blonders,” and Slim Shady and Ric Flair references ensue.
Though the crude nature of the show might not attract some outside their target demographic of white males ages 18 to 25, “Workaholics” perfectly embodies TV’s “Rugrats” generation as new adults. In the season premiere, the three friends steal a dragon statue from a local playground and then fight over what to name it. Adam suggests “Reptar” and then remarks: “That was so Tommy of me.”
Later in the premiere, Adam goes undercover at a local high school donning baggy JNCO jeans, a Blink-182 T-shirt and yellow visor. Even if stupid comedy doesn’t hit home for some audiences, the ’90s humor will definitely work for anyone who grew up watching “Kindergarten Cop” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” – a few of the guys’ favorite movies.
The chemistry between characters comes from the tight-knit friendship between the three stars and director. Anderson and Newacheck have been “best buddies” since third grade. The friends met Holm and DeVine in improv classes in Los Angeles.
“Then we began kicking it on the regular, making internet videos and falling in love with each other,” Anderson said.
The group’s perfectly timed conversational dialogue and linear storytelling derives from the Larry David school of realistic interaction.
“I know we’re all big (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) fans, and I think a lot of writing and humor in general comes a lot from that school,” Anderson said.
Newacheck and Holm added that they are inspired by shows such as “Tim and Eric Awesome Show” and “Cheers.”
Though much of the show seems like it was made up on the spot, they said their stories are much more script-driven than people think.
“There’s a pretty detailed script, but then we like to get loose,” Holms said. “Kyle lets us go off the leash a little bit.”
The guys also spoke about their collaborative writing process.
“Somebody will come with a little nugget of an idea and then we sit around a table and talk out the story,” Newacheck said. “And then Anders and (producer Kevin Etten) take it to the computer and write the script.”
Holm added that the group has a strong consensus about what will work.
“You kind of know the ones that stand out when you can see an episode right off the bat,” he said.
The third episode of the new season of “Workaholics” airs tonight at 10:30 on Comedy Central.