Workaholic’s Blake Anderson speaks in Blackman

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Workaholic’s Blake Anderson speaks in Blackman

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Claire Wallace, deputy lifestyle editor  

Writer and comedian Blake Anderson took to the stage in Blackman Auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 16 for a Q&A discussing his Comedy Central hit “Workaholics, his work on the YouTube series “Mail Order Comedy” and his future projects as a director, actor and producer.

While the Q&A session addressed many different topics throughout the evening, the biggest focus was Comedy Central’s “Workaholics,” a TV show which Anderson co-wrote, co-produced and co-starred in. Many students in the crowd came out to hear Anderson speak because of the series.  

“He’s in ‘Workaholics’ and he’s a funny dude,” said An Vu, a first-year computer science and design combined major. “I’m excited for anything he does.”

The moderator for the evening was Alex Kagy, a main-stage performer at Boston’s Improv Asylum and the coach for Northeastern’s NU & Improv’d. Anderson set up the ever-present tone of vulgarity early on in the discussion, beginning the evening by walking out on stage with a bold remark.

“(Expletive) sports am I right? We’re proud freaking drama kids. (Expletive) sports,” Anderson said.

Anderson said that before Workaholics, he and his co-writers Anders Holm, Adam DeVine and Kyle Newacheck were just scraping by. The team spent their weekends creating and posting episodes of their series “Mail Order Comedy” to YouTube in order to gain attention from the comedy community.

“Every weekend we would set aside time to make an internet video,” Anderson said.  

On the side, all four were working odd jobs to pay their rent, living in a home together in California. Anderson said Comedy Central’s offer to create a show was a huge game changer for the gang, one that ended up changing his life.

“To us at the time, getting offered a small chunk of money [from Comedy Central] was like, ‘Quit all of our jobs, let’s do this,’” Anderson said. “At the time I was delivering pizza on the side. Now that’s God’s work.”

Much of the comedy that Anderson writes is considered racy by a lot of viewers, and he did not shy away from vulgarity by any means. Anderson said he actually appreciated Comedy Central’s censorship, since no one on YouTube stopped them from saying or doing whatever they wanted. However, when Kagy asked Anderson if he thought that there were any taboo topics that should never be discussed in comedy, his answer was a hard no.

“No, I don’t think so, as long as it’s funny,” Anderson said. “If you find a funny way to explore something, that is the best way to address taboo subjects. If it’s not funny, then stop.”

Many of the crowd members appreciated Anderson’s openness.

“He’s going to do what he wants and I like that,” said Kristen Haarstick, a second-year undeclared student.

 Anderson is also known for being a big fan of hip-hop and even creating some of his own music on the side. When the audience applauded him for discussing his on-the-side career as a DJ, he goaded them saying, “Don’t clap for that. That’s not impressive. Even (expletive) Paris Hilton is a DJ.”

When Kagy asked Anderson what sort of music he was listening to right now, the answer was unexpected.

“What am I listening to right now? The Nutcracker,” Anderson said. “I just wanna rep The Nutcracker really hard. It’s dope. That (expletive) is sick. That and Yung Thug.” Anderson even treated the audience by singing his own rendition of “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies.”

Anderson talked about his partnership with Netflix in the last film he created and shared his intentions to collaborate with them again in the very near future.

“Me and the dudes are writing some movies for Netflix,” Anderson said. “Netflix is not intrusive in our process, they are very hands-off. [They] let us make what we want to make.”

Audience members who have been supporters since “Mail Order Comedy” and “Workaholics” concurred that they will continue to stick by Anderson in future projects.

“I don’t really know what to expect, but I am excited for anything he does,” said Elise Kenney, a first-year political science major at Simmons College.

After Kagy finished questioning Anderson on his own, he opened up the floor to student attendees of the event. Many of them wanting to ask questions about a topic that is very important to Anderson: his hair. Three students asked Anderson about his hair products of choice, his daily routines and a rumor circulating on Wikipedia that he cut off his hair in high school. A rumor that Anderson said is appalling to him and untrue

“I don’t know how to use Wikipedia, but can someone change that for me? Can someone do that for me?” Anderson asked. “Go in, edit that (expletive). Erase that.”

At the end of his audience Q&A, Anderson brought students onto the stage for a huge audience selfie. He even hung around, taking photos with individual students.

“I like how he included everyone at the end,” Haarstick said. “Normally you’re not allowed to do that here.”

Many students left the event commenting on how much they enjoyed Anderson and his offbeat, vulgar show and sense of humor, including second-year health science major Katie Trovato.

“(That was) by far the most entertaining question and answer session I think I have ever seen,” Trovato said.