The untold truth of Workaholics

Workaholics is one of our favorite shows about a group of white dudes doing stuff. Since the show is ending (for now), we've decided to take a look back and discuss things you normally don't hear about the show. Like…

How the group came together

A couple of the Workaholics creators have been making each other laugh since they were little kids. Kyle Newacheck—co-creator, episode director, and the guy who plays drug dealer Karl on the show—grew up with Blake Anderson in northern California. Their first collaboration was an elementary school-era comic called Funyun Protectorsabout anthropomorphic Funyun snack rings who were also superheroes. They started performing together in high school and after graduation moved to Orange County to attend community college…which is where they met Adam Devine in an improv class. Anders Holm joined the group when he met Devine at the famed Second City in Los Angeles, and then they all started making web videos.

The actors actually lived in the house where the show was taped

While taping the first season of Workaholics, Adam Devine and Blake Anderson were convinced that the show was going to be a flop when it aired, and that it would be summarily canceled. So to save money for the rainy days ahead, they actually lived in the disgusting party house where their characters resided, and where the show was taped. (Anders Holm lived in a real home with his girlfriend.) Devine and Anderson moved out when the show's success enabled them to afford proper shelter, but Anderson says the old place has "turned into this weird, like, flophouse" where their friends and family have crashed. Anderson's younger brother lived there for a spell, as did Devine's best friend from high school. Nevertheless, Devine says the place remains infested with giant rats that are "the size of a newborn."

They made a board full of stale jokes they could never use again—and it's MASSIVE

That was the best. intro. ever. Are we right? But, ah, we have fun here. Spoiler alert: this is the next entry. Too soon? No? Just us? Okay, we think that came out wrong. Alright, real talk. Does all of this sound like we're having a stroke? That's because we're attempting to cram as many terrible cliches that pass for jokes into one paragraph as possible, just to annoy the people behind Workaholics, who hate these stale "jokes" so much, they've outright banned them.

Workaholics has a huge–as in, two whiteboards full–list of jokes that they're never going to use again. It includes, well, basically everything from our first paragraph, plus "X dot com," "white people problems," "uh, define X" and "English please!" among about eight million others. You know, all the classics. Thanks, Obama!

It actually makes a lot of sense for a show that is, at its core, a pretty cliche sitcom, to create a list terrible phrases to never allow into their scripts. We admire them for attempting to be unique, and not just regurgitate hacky, middle school-level jokes. That doesn't mean we'll stop, just that we admire them for making the effort. Go sports!

Perhaps the highlight of the entire list is one small section that says "Bacon anything." Presumably that means not to make jokes about disgusting bacon-flavored ice-cream/gum/etc., but it also reads as a sort of absurdist mantra–"bacon anything." We will, Workaholics, we will, because that just sounds awesome sauce.

The group had a show on MySpace

Remember MySpace? If not, think of the worst parts about Twitter and Facebook, and imagine an entire website that was nothing but that. Everyone was emo, or had a band, or was emo about not having a band (or was in an emo band). But it was the it place to go, so there was a lot of media made exclusively for it. Songs, comic books, and even web series, like the one the Workaholics guys did!

Back before Workaholics was a thing, the same guys–the Mail Order Comedy sketch group–had a bunch of comedy shows, did tours, and were basically every comic's beginning. Then, MySpace took over, so this group–that was already successfully touring, made shows for YouTube, and had their own website–created not one but two MySpace-exclusive comedy shows. "Special Delivery" was a prank show because every comic has to get the prank stuff out of their system at one point or another. And then there was "Crossbows and Mustaches," an action/comedy show that should probably make a comeback because everybody loves mustaches nowadays. Crossbows are beloved forever, of course.

Eventually, MySpace developed necrosis and the Mail Order Comedy team left to make Workaholics. After all, why keep telling jokes at some dive bar that died long ago and only three sad people show up anymore, when you could move on and yuk it up at Carnegie Hall instead?

One of the co-creators directed most of the show's episodes

You might not know the name "Kyle Newacheck," but you definitely know some of the things he did. Like Workaholics, the show he helped create. In addition to that, he's directed most of the episodes, which is super weird and rare. See, most shows have dozens of directors–a lot of which work solely on one episode before leaving. Having one person being the writer, co-creator, and director is like finding a unicorn, which could be why Workaholics is as good as it is.

Newacheck has also spread his wings and directed episodes for other shows, like Community and Parks and Recreation. Neither of those shows exist anymore, and Workaholics is ending and … why, oh god, why is this the worst timeline?

The show ticked off the Coast Guard with a scene about anal hazing

(Note: as we do have a small sense of decency, we're not including the clip directly on this page. However, since it's a SMALL sense, here's a link to the video described below. Also, note that the below does feature a description of an incredibly bizarre, fictional case of sexual assault.)

So how exactly does a show about wacky hipsters kids in an office make the Coast Guard mad? Did they advocate swimming after dinner? Did it litter? Well, no, but it did feature an anal hazing scene featuring the Coast Guard.

Wait, what? (That's another joke the show banned, but oh well!) See, in one of the episodes, a main character is hazed by the Coast Guard. He's held down, stripped of his pants … and then has Mountain Dew (because of course) poured inside his butt. Then a dog licks it up. Again: a character is sexually assaulted by the Coast Guard, using a bottle of soda and a dog. So you can kind of understand where the Coast Guard was coming from when complaining about the show.

And they were not happy. Their statement read, "Sexual assault is a crime. It's not humorous and it's not funny." It then went on to talk about how the members of the Coast Guard's feelings were hurt by it, which undermines their message a bit, not to mention their reputation as tough military people. That said, we're kinda with the Coast Guard on this one–that actually is a pretty intense joke. Maybe Workaholics should've put "sexual assault jokes" on their banned list too? Griping about "note to self" is pretty small potatoes in comparison, you know?

One of the actors (almost) got hit by a drunk heckler

Yeah, this was an incredibly weird and awkward episode, the video is really tough to watch, and we don't recommend you do so … Here's a link.

Basically, a female heckler got mad at Erik Griffin for telling Erik Griffin-esque jokes. He responded by egging her on in the most offensive ways possible. He called her the r-word, the b-word, and a couple of other no-no naughty words. Finally, she gets to angry, she takes a swing at him and … misses by about a mile.

Yep, Griffin didn't actually get hit by the heckler–see, most hecklers are very drunk, and if you add that to the fact that the person they're heckling is normally on a stage several feet above them, it makes it a little difficult for them to actually get a swing in. But at least she tried, because seriously? B-word? R-word? In this decade? HARD PASS.

It's constantly called an "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" rip-off

A show about a bunch of terrible people doing horrible things? Of course it's called an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia rip-off. Of course, it's been called that since before it even aired. By the creators, to boot. Even better, they said it straight to the Sunny people's faces.

Yep, before the show even aired, the cast of Workaholics drunkenly rushed up to the cast of Sunny to tell them that their upcoming show was basically a rip-off. For what it's worth, the Sunny crew reacted positively, even recently posting a tweet saying "crossover?" Imitation being a form of flattery and all that.

Despite the fact that it's admitted to being a rip-off and that the show that it ripped off is cool with them, there are still Sunny fans who complain online about it, and even refuse to watch Workaholics because it's a "rip-off." But c'mon, that's silly–both of them are obviously just Seinfeld rip-offs.

Yep, we said it. SHOTS FIRED. And with that, we've nailed our last banned-cliche joke of the article, thereby guaranteeing Workaholics will never want to work with us. Rut-roh!

The wizard rap thing is real

The Season 1 episode "Muscle I'd Like to Flex" begins with a stylishly shot rap video sequence in which the Workaholics guys perform a song about being wizards while dressed in long robes, beards, and floppy hats. In the plot of the show, it's for a performance at a Renaissance fair, but the wizard rap schtick is something the trio had been pursuing for a while. Under the name the Wizards, they recorded and released a full album of wizard rap called Purple Magic in 2009. In fact, they wanted to pitch a show to Comedy Central about "gangsta wizards," but a network executive told them to go with their other idea, a show about slackers, instead.

The origin of that vulgar catchphrase

Workaholics set forth into the vernacular the catchphrase "tight b*******," a bluntly vulgar phrase that instantly conveys the opinion that something is good or pleasing. It originated due to one of the Workaholics guys getting tired of another blunt, vulgar catchphrase that was once in wide use: "that's the t***." That one was used for similar reasons, but according to Adam Devine, Anders Holm "got sick of it and thought, 'what is something better than t***?' He said 'tight b*******.'" It made its way into the show and into the mouths of others, particularly Devine's family. "Last Christmas was literally just, 'pass the gravy, it's tight b******."

Blake Anderson could've died in a party stunt gone wrong

In 2011, Blake Anderson lived out a real-life event that sounds like it could've happened on an episode of Workaholics. At a wild house party in Los Angeles, he raised the stakes in a game of beer pong by attempting to dunk a ping-pong ball in a cup of beer—by jumping off the roof. He landed on the table on the ground below, but in doing so suffered a spine fracture. Anderson underwent back surgery but made a full recovery and didn't miss a single episode of playing a character who would've done the same thing.

How Mitchell Hurwitz wound up on Workaholics

One of the most random and surprising cameos on Workaholics came courtesy of Mitchell Hurwitz, TV writer and creator of Arrested Development. After the first season of Workaholics aired, he contacted the troupe and told them they were "doing great work" and that he'd "like to be a part of it in any way." They offered Hurwitz the opportunity to write an episode, but he wanted the chance to act—so they wrote the part of Cool Eric, the human resources guy, for him. Hurwitz later repaid the favor by casting the three main stars of Workaholics in cameo roles as airline employees in the 2013 revival of Arrested Development.

The Workaholics cast decided to end the show

The creative team behind a show almost always stops doing their series when the network pulls the plug. Not so for Workaholics. Anderson, Holm, Devine, and Newacheck all decided together that the seventh season of Workaholics would be the last. In a statement, the crew thanked Comedy Central, its executives, and the show's fans "for turning us from Boyz II Men. It was an incredible run but we've decided to leave on a HIGH note. Get it?" While the show is ending, the team's collaborative efforts are not. They've got a movie for Netflix that's been in the works for a long time, and the conclusion of Workaholics will leave more time to focus on films like that one. Written by Anders Holm, the movie has been described as an action-comedy akin to "Die Hard in a hotel."