Comedy Central’s unabashedly lowbrow sitcom Workaholics recently began airing the second half of its third season, which on its own would be reason enough to celebrate but the network has also ordered two more seasons of the series. If that news isn’t Tight Butthole then I don’t know what is. The show is a raunchy, wildly absurd Office Space for the 21st century about three happily directionless man-children, Adam (Adam DeVine), Blake (Blake Anderson), and Anders (Anders Holm).
The guys are roomies, they work for a telemarketing company, and they’re pathologically incapable of doing the right thing–in two and a half seasons they’ve tried to barter for clean urine with a playground kid, wrecked a garage door with a soap-box-derby car, and schemed their way into getting a handicapped parking pass. Workaholics is sophomoric in the best possible way and if you have yet to sample what these lovable slackers are serving up, here are a couple of reasons why you should give this show a try.
1. Adam DeVine
In a every great comedy team, regardless of how seamless or synergized the unit is, there’s always one performer who dominates. When it comes to the Workaholics crew, that person is DeVine. All three actors are uniquely charming and funny (Anderson has a virtuoso’s gift for absurd wordplay; Holm is able to imbue his straight man role with a touch of waggish lunacy) but DeVine is a comedy dynamo and, hands down, one of the most reliably entertaining people on TV today.
As juvenile, deluded Adam, he’s masterfully idiotic–whether he’s stripped down to his Speedo, flexing and doing toe-touch jumps while competing in a bodybuilding competition or defending The Love Guru while dressed in full Guru Pitka regalia, it’s practically impossible not to laugh at the guy.
2. Actually they’re all kind of fantastic
Now, with every great comedy team, there’s also always some debate about which member is the funniest (I once got into a strangely heated, not at all lighthearted fight with a friend about whether Dave Foley or Bruce McCulloch was the standout Kid in the Hall–it’s obviously Dave Foley, right?) and really all three of these guys along with series co-creator Kyle Newacheck (he plays the trio’s drug dealer on the show) are pretty amazing. So, an argument could be made for any one of them being the standout.
As a group, though, their distinct comedic styles and talents meld together effortlessly.
3. ’90s references galore
In one episode there’s an argument about whether or not Global Guts is better than Double Dare (both, of course, are ’90s Nickelodeon game shows and the correct answer is Global Guts > Double Dare) and also features a Marc Summers cameo; another episode basically revolves around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and more recently Lori Beth Denberg from Nickelodeon’s All That shows up playing herself.
Isn’t it nice to know that someone you’ve never met basically had the same childhood as you?
4. It’s the slacker-stoner answer to HBO’s Girls
Some people aren’t too impressed with Lena Dunham’s Girls and while I understand the criticism, I still think that it’s a clever and perceptive comedy. Though it may seem odd, at least one of the themes that I find most entertaining and profound in the HBO show is also present in Workaholics. As far as tone goes, Girls and Workaholics are probably as dissimilar as it gets (one is subtle and the other has guys throwing cups of pee on each other and eating boogers) but both, I’d argue, are trying to achieve a kind of verisimilitude.
These two shows grapple with that post-collegiate purgatory–the sort of lame period in a 20-something’s life when he or she is broke, has very few prospects, and is ostensibly an adult but still quite immature. Hannah Horvath of Girls frets over her situation while Adam, Blake, and Anders of Workaholics are happy to simply spend their time smoking weed and drinking beers on the roof of their house–both responses are relatable. Everything over-the-top about Workaholics is grounded in how recognizable the characters are–sure, they write hip hop songs about wizards and wind up befriending a pedophile but ultimately they’re three inert, irresponsible guys, not unlike tons of other 20-something dudes.
5. It’s a raunchy, gross-out comedy with heart
The gags on Workaholics are similar to the ones you’ll find on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia–booze, drugs, and poop are topics that both series cover pretty extensively. Both shows are also about groups of slackers who come up with amusing but increasingly moronic schemes week after week. The one thing that distinguishes the two shows, though, is that there is an underlying sweetness on Workaholics–yes, beneath all of the talk of bodily fluids and boners is a rather adorable show.
Adam, Blake, and Anders mercilessly prank each other but also genuinely care about each other–theirs is one of the most enviable modern TV best friendships, ranking right up there with Community’s Troy and Abed. You get the sense that the guys are content with their dead-end telemarketing job because they get to work together–their friendship is so fulfilling that they are okay with their unimpressive lives and there’s something kind of beautiful about that.