Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Comedy Central rolled out Anders Holm, Adam DeVine, Blake Anderson and Kyle Newacheck, the co-creators, writers and executive producers of its hit comedy Workaholics.
It’s been a whirlwind two-plus years for the offbeat show, which was just nominated for an Emmy Award for best stunt coordination. As moderator Tom Green began the introductions, the Workaholics crew was greeted with cheers usually reserved for global rock stars. In turn, the four playfully squirted each other with water bottles before turning the spray to the front rows of the audience.
Green, who recently guest-starred on the series as a robot/cyborg, began the discussion by asking the panelists whether they pinch themselves because of just how successful Workaholics has become.
“We pinch each other,” Holm quipped. “It’s a game we play when no one is looking.” DeVine added, “It’s actually a very, very, very late-night game that we play where we pinch each other until we bruise.”
“It’s crazy-bizarre,” DeVine continued. “Rosseane Barr just came up to us 15 minutes ago, and was like, ‘My kid is a big fan. I don’t know who you are, but my kid is a big fan!’”
Asked whether Anderson, DeVine and Newacheck still lived together, DeVine replied that he and Anderson shared a home until four months ago. “People would be like, ‘You guys are, like, uh, gay dudes together, right?’” he deadpanned.
“Kyle and Blake and I lived in the same house that we shot Workaholics in. It was a very weird first season,” DeVine said. “We were saving a lot of money. We thought we were going to do one season, and get canceled because we were gonna keep saying ‘tight butthole’ on TV.”
Of course, “tight butthole,” elicited a loud, cheering reaction from the crowd, prompting Green to ask about the origins of the popular catchphrase.
“It actually predates the existence of Workaholics,” Holm said. “We were talking about how some people say ‘tits’ instead of ‘cool.’ Like, ‘That’s tits!”
“Which, y’know, is disgusting, by the way,” DeVine interjected.
“So it became arbitrary,” Holm continued. “If you can say ‘tits’, then you can say ‘tight butthole.’” Anderson posed the question, “What do we do if we really need to explain how tight someone’s rectum really is?”
“It’s a tight rectum!” Holm answered, to the approval of the panel and the audience.
Asking about their writing process, Holm said, “We sit in a room much like this, but with rats and cereal, and just josh each other.”
“So much joshing,” DeVine added.
“It’s a lot of joshing,” Anderson offered, which DeVine emphasized with, “Non-stop joshuas.”
“Has anyone starred in a hit reality show starring a guy named Josh called ‘Just Joshin’?” he asked, following the laughter by claiming he has copyrighted the idea.
When Green asked Newacheck how difficult it is to direct the other three, he replied, “Yeah, it’s the worst. These guys are divas.” That led the trio into another round of bantering, this time in diva-like tones: “Excuse me?” (Holm) “No, we’re not!” (DeVine) “Bitch!” (Anderson)
“It’s a lot of fun. Honestly, these are my best friends in the whole world, and we get to work every day together,” Newacheck continued, feigning emotion as he confided to his friends, “Fuck it, man. They (the audience) just need to know how I feel.”
The humility in the group’s answers continued when Green asked about the biggest changes to how they approach making episodes now that their production budget seems to be growing.
“Well, we can turn you into a cyborg,” DeVine responded, in reference to the laser-beam sword that Green’s character wielded.
“It hasn’t changed that much. We still attack the comedy like we did when we started,” Anderson said in a tone that evoked a football coach. “We’re still grinding, guys. Hard.”
As the crowd picked up on his wisecracks, and began to chuckle, Anderson singled out an audience member: “You’re gonna get in trouble over there, lady. I can hear everything -- I’ll bite your nipples off.” The crowd immediately erupted with laughter.
Asked what can be expected in the upcoming season, the panelist literally hemmed and hawed for a good 30 seconds or so, until the subject of women came up.
“There’s a lot of chicks in the upcoming season,” Holm said in a way that suggested their characters may experience spicier sex lives. DeVine offered, “The guys almost get laid this season. It’d be hilarious if the dudes hooked up with a ton of hot babes.”
On that cue, and to the combined horror and laughter of the audience, Holms began to dry hump the table.
During the question-and-answer portion, an audience member asked, given the popularity of “tight butthole,” whether the group could give a hint as to what the show’s next big catch phrase could be. Or, as the questioner put it, a “sneak phrase.”
“It might just be sneak phrase,” Holm wondered aloud before continuing in a street-tough accent. “Walkin’ in here tryna drop a sneak phrase!”
Anderson added his own spin on the one-liner: “Are you trying to sneak-phrase me? Don’t sneak-phrase me in front of my parents!”
On the possibility of a Workholics movie, the panelists they’re working with Seth Rogen, Evan Golderberg and Scott Rudin on a feature project, although it has nothing to do with their show. As the panel began to wind down, Holm was asked to “spit some mad fiya,” and graciously began to freestyle rap while even working in a little “sneak phrase.”
To close out the panel, Anderson and DeVine feigned an argument in which both stormed off stage in opposite directions before making up by way of all four engaging in a spirited rendition of “Best Friend.”
At a certain point toward the end of the hour, DeVine made an astute analysis of the panel: “Is this the dumbest panel all day? I feel like others are giving you all this information, and we’re just like -- wah-wah. Like all of our answers, are like, ‘I dunno. Maybe?’”
New episodes of Workaholics debut on Comedy Central in 2014.