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Tight Butthole: We chat with Adam Devine

It’s a weird, wonderful world out there. Adam Devine knows this, and he’s heading to theatres around Australia to tell audiences exactly why on his Weird Life stand-up tour. 

“I'm basically talking about my life and the weirdness of growing up and getting older, and our society now and how weird it is,” says Devine. “And how you don't look at your girlfriend as you're going to bed anymore. I just stare at Instagram and say ‘Goodnight’ and ‘Don't touch me. Don't touch me while I'm ‘gramming.’”

Of all the weird things that have happened in Adam Devine’s life, it’s the immense success of his cult-hit TV show Workaholics that astounds him the most. When Devine first started goofing around with the show’s co-creatorsBlake Anderson and Anders Holm, they had no idea how much their shameless exploration of dick jokes, sharehouse living, hallucinogenics, and friendship would resonate with viewers around the world. After all, things had started on humble terms – they were just a couple of mates messing around trying to make each other laugh.

“I talk about that all the time with the guys,” says Devine. “How insane it is that we went from shooting little YouTube videos to suddenly getting to the stage where people know who we are, that are excited when we come out with stuff. It started so organically. We didn't have a corporation behind us, we didn't have a huge producer that plucked us out of obscurity. We did everything ourselves. It's pretty unbelievable and it's super weird that I'm able to go to Australia and have absolutely anyone know who I am. I'm sure I'll get there and people will be disappointed thinking that they were going to an Adam Levine show.”

Most people know Devine from playing Adam DeMamp, a character based on himself — albeit, a character that takes his personality and turns it up to ten. Wrapping up after seven critically acclaimed seasons, Devine says Workaholics needed to end to preserve what made it great in the first place.

“It felt like we'd told every story that we wanted to tell and at some point we were like, ‘We'll have to change the show.’ The guys would have to grow up a bit; they get girlfriends, maybe they move out. That's not the show we wanted to make. We wanted to make this show about guys that are stuck in adolescence. Once it felt like it was the right time to shift and to change the show, we realised it was time to put it to bed.”

The show acted as somewhat of a springboard for Devine — going on to star in Hollywood movies including Pitch Perfect and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Recently though, the gang has gotten back together to create a new feature-length movie of their own entitled Game Over, Man!

“If you liked Workaholics, and you like the three of us together, you're going to love this movie,” he says. “We get to do something on a much larger scale. We were able to make it an action movie and at the same time make it really scary, really intense and really funny. We were able to do a lot of what we always wanted to do on Workaholics but never had the means to.

“The crux of the movie is that we arrive at this hotel and it gets taken over by terrorists. We decide to finally quit being losers for the first time in our lives and step up and be heroes. Which is an insane, horrible plan. Definitely don't do that if you're in a building and terrorists take over. You don't try to be heroes. Our dumb characters are like, ‘Yeah, we're sick of it’. They work at the hotel – they’re maids – and they're like, ‘Enough is enough. We're gonna take this guy down.'

Released through Netflix, the movie features Devine in full Diehard mode — pairing the slacker comedy that was loved so widely in Workaholics with bold action sequences and stunts.

“We're stepping outside of what subjects you might expect,” he says. “We’re going to keep shifting those expectations of what we can do and hopefully keep people interested and surprised.”

In times of political turmoil and social unrest, it’s easy to understand why great comedy becomes increasingly important. After all, sometimes people just need a solid laugh to shake off an endless torrent of bad news.

“I feel like right now, it's a good release for people who really want to laugh," says Devine. "They don't want to wake up every morning, grab their phone and go ‘Oh, no. What happened today?’ They would rather just turn their brains off for a minute and go into a theatre or turn on Netflix; just tune out and laugh at something really funny. That's what we're gonna try and exploit, as much as we can. Get 'em gigglin', that's our motto.

Adam Devine will appear at The Athenaeum Theatre on January 31 and February 1. Tickets via Live Nation