A Conversation with Workaholics Comedian Blake AndersonJune 10, 2012
Blake Anderson is one third of the hilarious comedy trio that is responsible for Comedy Central's hit slacker comedy Workaholics. With their third season debuting last week and a Blu-ray set of Season 1 and 2 available in stores as of June 5, the guys are on the verge of total domination.
I had the opportunity to talk with Blake Anderson about the show, the creative process, penis dermals and big hair upkeep.
Hey, what's going on Blake?
How are you doing today?
How are you?
I'm doing quite lovely, actually. Thank you for asking.
Oh man, I like that. I haven't heard someone being lovely in a while.
That's a shame. More people should be lovely.
Yeah, that's a good answer. I'm going to use that.
Lovely or swimmingly; both are personal favorites.
Oh, very good! I don't know if they're verbs or adjectives, but they're both very good!
Well, the new season of Workaholics has begun. How does it feel to be going in to your third season of the show?
It feels awesome! I wish it had come quicker! Sometimes we sit on these episodes for so long and I just want people to see them, so I'm excited.
I am always curious with the time frames of show productions. Has it been a while since you've had the episodes done?
Well, we're still filming right now and editing, so there's some that aren't done yet and some that we just finished yesterday, but the ones that are about to air we've been done with for a while and I've been excited about them for a while.
On top of the new season, you've got the Blu-ray of Season 1 and 2 coming out this week (June 5, 2012).
Yes, the Combo Doggy! A little bit o' One and Two. That's pretty cool.
Even though the DVD for Season 1 had already been out, I'm glad Comedy Central went back and got it added to the Blu.
Yeah, when they released the DVD we were like, "Why aren't we doing it on Blu-ray?!" and everyone was like, "it's too expensive." or some shit. We were like, "That sucks!" because our show actually looks kind of good.
I completely agree. Having had a chance to preview the Blu-ray the show looks phenomenal, especially considering that the discs are loaded with a season per disc plus special features.
Yeah, well that has a lot to do with Kyle (Newacheck), our director (who also portrays beloved drug dealer Karl on the show. You know, the guy from the shirt.) He's cool about striving for excellence thus the show looking so good. We happen to like it too. It goes really well with being drunk or high. It looks even better.
(Laughing) Indeed! The show itself always seems very well thought out and written, but there's that constant element of spontaneity, especially knowing that the three of you are best friends in real life and have been for years, that leaves one to think there's also a good bit of improv going on. Is there a fair balance between the two or does it lean more to either side?
You're right. It has a lot to do with the fact that we do hang out a lot. We definitely labor over writing the script and we make sure that the story is there and that we do have a solid script and idea. You can't really ad-lib a storyline, you know? Then once we get on set we'll change the script and sometimes add stuff in and play around a little bit. There's where you get the most natural moments. We're not afraid to improv!
Between Twitter and Tumblr, the Internet has become a huge aspect of fandom nowadays. Does that affect the writing process knowing a certain scene might become gif'd or a certain phrase will be the latest hashtag popping up on screen or is it more, "if it happens, it happens."?
I think it's very much, "if it happens, it happens." Not for the people that are in charge of Internet marketing for Comedy Central. I'm sure they are dissecting the show in a weird way that no one else does. Buy yeah, we don't sit around and think, "This moment will be a gif!" or whatever, but it for sure happens. It's something that definitely happens. It's weird sometimes to see what people take out to cling on to, you know? It's also kind of cool.
Definitely! It's kind of funny and surreal to think about someone working for Comedy Central and being like, "Hashtag: Tight Butthole. We got it!"
Usually like the week before they'll tell us what the hashtags will be. Sometimes I have my input. I know for a fact that I picked the hashtag "Free Karl" in the first season. I was like the hashtag needs to be "Free Karl". I don't know if that was the most successful one, but that's my favorite one.
I'm pulling for "Thick Bitch". That line may be one of the funniest things I've heard ever (laughing).
(Laughing)Yeah, that one's pretty cool too. I think the one that took of the hardest was the bear coat one. Or "Let's Get Weird". That one was pretty big.
Yeah, the bear coat! I seen around the Internet, and you've tweeted some before, of people with tattoos of you in the bear coat and there's tons of fan art of it on Tumblr. It's kind of taken on a life of its own.
Yeah, it's wild! I don't know, I guess it's a pretty iconic image or something.
Do you still have the bear coat? Did Mark Summers give it up?
It's now in the possession of Comedy Central. I stole it for a little while last year and wore it to Comic Con. Just in case we decide to bring it back or something I decided to let them hang on to it because if I had it I would get drunk and light it on fire. It's safer with them.
One of my favorite aspects of the show is the dialogue you guys all have with each other and the various slang you use. Is there any sort of pressure to continue coming up with new slang?
I think that's just kind of the nature of our friendship, in a nutshell. We might be hanging out for two days and all we'll say is, well, just yesterday Ders was in the office and was like, "From now on we're just going to call each other Josh. That's just what we're going to do. Our names are Josh with each other now. ", and that's actually kind of cool. I'm just going to call everyone in the office Josh. We'll do that for like three days and then that might actually make it in to a script. So it's always just the flavor of the moment. It catches on in the script and then gets into the episode and people catch on to it there and you find yourself saying it. Like, I just started re-saying "tight butthole" recently. I kind of like it now.
(Laughing) I was just explaining to my wife before she had seen it about how you guys came up with it and how "tight butthole" is good and "loose butthole" is bad. She wholeheartedly approves.
That's good because whenever I take girls out to dinner and strangers come up and say it to me they never seem to approve of it. It's weird. It's a weird reaction. It's a weird life.
Speaking of leading a weird life, about a month ago via Twitter you were striving to become the first image when someone searched "penis dermals." I wanted to congratulate you on not only becoming the first image, but as of today, having the top three pictures.
I know! It's like going to the Olympics and winning every medal!
I was just striving for gold and I just got them all. They were like, "no contest. This dude's it!"
Surprisingly, when searching Penis Dermals to see where you were, there's no penises.
Yeah! Well, always make sure you put an "S" at the end because if you leave of the "S", it is the worst Google image search ever.
(Laughing) Oh no!
It's so bad. Keep it plural!
Right on. I was hesitant to search it initially even with the "S", but now I know to make sure to keep the "S".
Yes! Always keep the "S"! People got pissed at me on Twitter. They were like, "Whoa, man! What'd you do?!"
You just have to tell them that you're trying to get this. It's not about them. It's your dream.
Yeah. I didn't mean to do that.
Your Twitter feed is also full of lots of wrestler photos. Were those any inspiration for your amazing IMDB profile image?
Well, that was just a stroke of luck. My whole idea was to get this cheesy, 80's beer commercial look, but I ended up looking like Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
You know, sometimes you get lucky and that was one of those times.
Indeed! It's probably the best IMDB photo out there. The only person giving you a run for you money is Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger on Game of Thrones). He's disheveled and has a kitten hanging out on his shoulder.
Oh man! I gotta check that out!
You can just get the Odd Future dudes to photoshop some cats into your picture. They love putting cats on stuff.
That'd be nice. They're pretty good at that. They're good with cats.
It's their form of that Portlandia skit. Just put a cat on it.
You seem to be pretty good friends with the Odd Future guys. Now that they have a show on Adult Swim (Loiter Squad), think there's any chance you'll pop up on there?
Well, we had that very smallest of cameos for Taco in our second season. That's how we got wrapped up with those guys. Well, I was already into the music and I saw Taco was this guy kind of working in the background. We had this high school episode and thought it'd be cool to throw him in and, whether people know him or not, acknowledge that we think they're cool. Then they got the show, and it was like, "Awesome!" I'm rooting for those dudes. It's (Loiter Squad) actually pretty funny. It's like a young wacky Jackass, so I could feel that. I was definitely drunk at Coachella and I for sure said you gotta put me on the next season of Loiter Squad. So, we'll see.
I'll keep putting it in their ear. I don't mind getting hit with shit!
(Both Laughing) Along with that possibility of branching out, you've had some small parts on House and Community in the past year. Anything else outside of Workaholics looming on the horizon?
I'm always open to doing little stuff when I can fit it in. We get so jam packed with Workaholics that its seems pretty "Workaholics or die" but when we have the off season or whatever it'd be cool to pop into something. I'm never against it.
Hell yeah. Someone I know wanted me to ask, as they wrote it, "How you make dat hair bounce?"
(Both Laughing) Um, there's not much too it. I shampoo sometimes. I do have a Jeep that, when I take the top off it, I think the wind in my hair might have something to do with it. Other than that it's really just showering as little as possible.
I'm there with you. I definitely have giant curly hair myself. It definitely maintains itself.
Nice! Keep it going! Friends don't let friends get haircuts. That's my motto.
Exactly! It makes you almost less of a person. You get to a point where you're almost identified by your giant hair.
That's right. The "mane"!
Out of the whole of Workaholics, is there any one moment that really stands out as something special to you?
Yeah, for sure! It's a very specific moment at the end of the episode 'Checkpoint Gnarly' where we're driving around with Alice (Maribeth Monroe)'s brother, B-rad (Edward Barbanell). We're all in the car and it's our first season and there's this surreal moment where we're getting towed around but we're listening to the Lakers during the (NBA) Finals. We pulled over and stopped production and just sat there and listened to this basketball game and I'm like, "I'm in the car with my best friends and we're shooting a TV show. We've got the street shut down and we're listening to the Lakers just win the Finals." And I don't know, it's like I'm living the dream and getting to do it with my best friends and I've got nothing to complain about. So, I'm just gonna keep trying to do that for as long as I can, basically.
You're for sure living the dream and that's the tightest of buttholes.
Many thanks to Blake Anderson for taking the time out to talk with me. Don't forget to watch the latest season of Workaholics on Comedy Central every Tuesday at 10:30/9:30 Central and to pick up the Season 1 and 2 Combo Doggy, now available for purchase at Amazon.com. Also, Thank You Based God.
- Matt Hardeman
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