TV

Adam DeVine, 'Workaholics' Star/Co-Creator, On Their Fanbase And Justin Bieber Cameo Ideas

03/13/2014 11:41 EDT | Updated 03/13/2014 11:59 EDT
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Don't get it confused: Adam DeVine and his "Workaholics" co-stars and co-creators Anders Holm and Blake Anderson may play a trio of slackers named Adam, Anders and Blake on their hit show, but in real life they're anything but.

The show's been taking off as a result, spurred on by a vocal fanbase that's steadily adding new members (count "Arrested Development" creator Mitchell Hurwitz among them, resulting in a cameo for the trio on the show's recent fourth season). It's also led to a growing number of side projects -- from Holms' recent string on "The Mindy Project" to DeVine's own recurring gig on "Modern Family" and new stand-up series "Adam DeVine's House Party," along with an upcoming movie produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

With Season 4 of "Workaholics" currently airing and the show already renewed for Season 5, expect to see even more from the three friends in the future. HuffPost TV Canada recently spoke to DeVine about the show's growing popularity, their movie plans, and why the guys are more interested in getting former Nickelodeon stars to cameo than famous fans like Justin Bieber.

HuffPost TV Canada: It feels like the fanbase and the mainstream attention surrounding this show has been steadily building with each new season. Does this one feel different at all to you guys?

DeVine: It is getting bigger and bigger every season, but it hasn't been such a drastic jump. Like what you said, it's just getting steadily bigger and bigger, which is exactly what we want. But it wasn't like HBO's "Girls" or something, where they had like three episodes in and all of a sudden Lena Dunham was on the cover of "Rolling Stone" and her life is totally upside-down. We really got eased into people loving the show, and then now when we go out, you'll be driving and people will honk at you or whatever. But it's not like all of a sudden we went from being three guys who just lived in a house and did comedy together to on the cover of "Rolling Stone." So we were able to get used to it, but our fans rule and it's cool that more and more people are still finding the show. It's nice to know that four seasons deep we haven't peaked quite yet.

Can you tell when people have just caught onto the show vs. the fans who've been with you guys from the beginning?

Well, fans that are just catching on will know the last like three episodes or something and they'll come up to you and you're like, "Oh cool, yeah!" And then you're like, "Well, what's your favourite episode?" I like to do that sometimes just to see what random people like, and then I feel horrible if I put them on the spot and they're like, "Uh ... the last one?" [Laughs] You're like, "Oh, sorry man. You came on pretty strong. You were pretty aggressive, I thought you were a fan from the jump."

Are you seeing any changes in the fanbase as the show gets more mainstream?

It's just broadening out a little bit. It used to be college kids or that age range, and now people in their mid-30s will be like, "Hey, I love the show." And you're like, "Very cool, that's awesome. You're not 17-years-old with a YOLO snapback. You're wearing zero neon, thank you for loving the show!" [Laughs] It's fun, and at the same time it's weird, because now you have little kids coming up to you like, "Hey man, can I get a photo?" You're thinking, oh, they might know "Pitch Perfect" or whatever, and then they're like, "Keep it tight, butthole!" And you're like, "Oh my God, you have horrible parents. They shouldn't allow you to watch this show." [Laughs]

Are you guys still making the show pretty much the same way these days, or has that process evolved at all or become more streamlined over the years?

It's basically the exact same way, we just get in a room together and we'll all pitch out ideas, and we'll all break the stories together. I guess the difference is now we have a little bit bigger of a writing staff, so the workload has gotten a little bit less. So that way we've had time to go off and do things, like Ders did "The Mindy Project," and I did "Modern Family" and "Pitch Perfect" and that sort of thing. Which is great, but we still are 100 percent invested in the show, and we break all the stories together so we know that this is a story that we'd like to tell as a group.

With the side projects, do you end up taking anything away from those experiences that you're able to bring to your own show? Is there value in getting to see how somebody else does it?

Yes, 100 percent. It's cool, just because we haven't been on a lot of big TV or big movie sets prior to getting "Workaholics." We weren't working actors yet, we were just doing our own thing, so we really only knew our way of doing things. So it's kind of cool to go on "Modern Family" and see how quickly they shoot, or go on "Community" and see what they do, or how Mitch Hurwitz does "Arrested Development." We feel like we've been winging it -- like since we've started doing this, we feel like we don't know what we're doing, but it kind of works for us, and so we're going to keep doing it. And then we go on other shows and realize, oh no, that's just how everything is made. We're not doing it that much different than every other show.

Because I've done a few other shows, I did "Samantha Who?" back in the day before I got "Workaholics" -- which was a short-lived sitcom that starred Christina Applegate, and I played her assistant. But back then, no one respected my comedic opinion. They were like, "Oh, he's a funny actor, and he can say these lines." But now when I go on "Modern Family" or I go on these other shows, they respect my opinion a little more and when I say something, they're like, "Oh yeah, we'll take that into consideration." As opposed to just, "Get out of here kid, go kick it at craft services. We'll call you when you're needed."

One other benefit is you're also gaining some pretty famous co-workers and fans that you could probably hit up to cameo on "Workaholics." Are you wary at all of leaning too heavily on that though?

Yeah, and that's why really we haven't done a lot of that. The guest stars we have pulled have just been people that we idolized from childhood, like Daniel Stern and Jeff Fahey, who was the Lawnmower Man, we had in an episode in Season 2. And Lori Beth Denberg, people like that from Nickelodeon that we grew up going, "Oh man, they're so cool." And then now when we have a show, it's cool to have them on our show, like Marc Summers. But yeah, we are a little wary of just throwing Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus in an episode just to be like a bad version of "Entourage." Like a broke-ass "Entourage." [Laughs]

Where all of a sudden we're walking down the street and Miley's like, "Hey Blake!" And Blake's like, "Oh, I forgot to tell you guys, I went to middle school with Miley Cyrus." So if we do anything like that, we want it to be an organic way in, and not holy shit, why the f**k is Justin Bieber in an episode, this is throwing me off. Instead we want people to be like, "Oh my God, is that Justin Bieber? Weird. That's cool. He plays a homeless crackhead? That's awesome."

That could work. That sounds like a good idea.

Yeah, I mean, he's skinny. We just throw some mud on him, make him lose a tooth. Tousle those locks a little bit.

When the news first broke that you guys had landed a movie deal, I know people automatically assumed it was going to be a movie version of the show. Obviously now we know that that's not true, but did it get you thinking at all about what a movie version of "Workaholics" could possibly look like?

Yeah, we're always thinking about stuff like that. We just didn't want to pigeonhole ourselves. We want to be guys that make content together, no matter what it is, whether it's online, whether it's our TV show, whether it's us as gangster-rapping wizards in a cartoon or it's movies. So we didn't want to immediately go with a "Workaholics" movie for our first one. We want to do something a little different so people are like, "Oh yeah, I could see these guys as different characters and doing different things and telling different stories without being Ders, Blake and Adam."

Is transitioning to movies eventually the end game for you guys, in an ideal world?

Yeah, I think so. We teamed up with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to produce the movie and they brought us into their fold a little bit and we got a peek behind the curtains to see how they make their movies. And it's awesome, man. It's so much fun. What's so cool about movies is once you're done with the movie, you put it away and come up with a whole new different idea with different characters and a different world. But in TV, you build these characters and you build this world and then you're there for however long you do the show. So it can be cool to flex that creative muscle and think of different stuff, and being able to build out different worlds and see what all sorts of situations we can put ourselves in.

So you already know that you'll be back for a fifth season. Was it a nice vote of confidence that the show got renewed for two seasons at a time?

Oh, it was the best. I was so pumped. It was just the nicest. I went out and bought a house. Like, I'm sitting in a house that I own right now, which is totally f**king insane. So it was so nice to know that they believed in the show enough to renew it for a few years, and we love doing it, we're not sick of it. So after we do Season 5, we hope to come back and do a few more seasons.

It's almost like an athlete getting a multi-year deal. You don't have to immediately start playing for that next contract.

[Laughs] Yeah, except for there's a very, very low salary cap.

Have you already started thinking about your plans for Season 5, or is that still a ways off?

It's still a little bit off. I'm working on my "House Party" show, which is my stand-up comedy show that I do, that I did a season of last year. I'm going to do another season now, we're going to shoot it in New Orleans, so I'm pretty pumped about that. I'm writing that right now, and then we're still working on our movie. What's nice about doing 13 episodes is you have some breathing room at the beginning of the year to figure out the other stuff that you're going to do for the year, and work on our movie, and work on our other side projects that we have so we can come back to "Workaholics" with the freshest dick jokes possible. [Laughs]

Season 4 of "Workaholics" is currently airing on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on Much.

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