Anders Holm talks 'Workaholics,' Phelps

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
10:15
AM ET
WorkaholicsMatt Hoyle/Comedy PartnersFrom left, Adam DeVine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson are Comedy Central's "Workaholics."
"Workaholics" star Anders Holm is a former collegiate swimmer who loves hip-hop and drives Volvos because he's "keeping it real Swedish."

In quite a stretch, on the show he plays TelAmeriCorp's Anders Holmvik, a former swimmer who loves hip-hop and drives a Volvo.

The series, written primarily by Holm and his co-stars Blake Anderson ("Blake Chesterfield Henderson") and Adam DeVine ("Adam DeMamp"), has added several odd new phrases to the lexicon and been a success for Comedy Central. Season 3 premieres Tuesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The TV version of the 'Ders has name-dropped Michael Phelps ("Phelps changed everything") and offered to represent Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte to improve his Q Score and get him "Saturday Night Live" hosting gigs.

Playbook spoke with Holm about swimming, Phelps, the new season, and how Wes Anderson inspired him to write a terrible screenplay.

So you were a swimmer at Wisconsin?

Yeah, I swam there for two-and-a-half years before I was terminated from the team for bad behavior.

Got kicked off the team for being too fresh?

I was too fresh, yes. But I'm a Badger 'til I die. I still got the letter jacket, and I rep it. You can't take that away from me.

Which would be The Ders' dream? Winning a Source Award, or an Olympic race?

I think it would be an Olympic race, because he could get on the podium. You know how they play the national anthem? You could have one of the homeys go into the sound booth and put on that Marvin Gaye version. That, like, disco version. And he would be up there just kinda trottin' back and forth. Just steppin'. I think that's how it would go down.

Will there be new catchphrases on the show this year that we also can't print on our website?

Yes. Yeah, yeah, sure. There will be. It's funny they're, like, catchphrases when really it's just all the bulls--- that we say in the writer's room to each other. Like when I go off to write a script, I'll just be like, "Oh, he'll say this because it's what we say all the time." We just get bored with our slang very quickly and come up with new stuff. Then we put it in the scripts and it ends up being catchphrases. Some comedians or comedy people think it's corny, but I'm just like, whatever, man. This is our language. This is how we speak with each other. It's not necessarily supposed to be like "That's the ticket!" from "SNL" or something.

Since you've got this juggernaut of a show, how many Volvos are in your fleet now?

I have one Volvo. I had one back in the day before the show, which wasn't as old as the one on the show, and I thought, "Ahh, I think it's time to upgrade." So I got the new one. So I could be like the dude from "Twilight." I got the car and they were like [in movie commercial guy voice] "It's in 'Twilight.'" And I was like, "Ahh, s---." Now I'm just a vampire dude.

Did you get the glitter as well?

Well, uh, glitter just goes with me? So...

Do you have any trouble deciding who to root for in the Olympics between the U.S. and Sweden?

Oh, no, man. I was born in the U.S., and that's who I rep. Although when the winter Olympics come around, I'm pretty partial to Norway's success and what they do.

Norway?

[Incredulous] Yeah. They're off the chain in the Winter Olympics. They run it.

You dropped Michael Phelps' name on the show. Is he your hero?

Noooo, I don't think so. I mean, I will say, and I don't think people outside the sport understand, but his last Olympics was insane. It's craaaazy what he accomplished. Not just the few races you saw on TV. It's also the prelims, the semifinals and then the fact that he's not doing short distances. He was doing like the 400 IM [individual medley]. And the 200 fly. And then coming back and doing the 100 fly. That's all muscle right there.

So you've got to compete with those dudes that are all rested when you just did a 400 IM a few times in the last couple of days. It's crazy. And the fact that he got world records in all of them except for one is like ... it's like what?! It's hard to talk about with people who don't know swimming because they don't understand the insanity of it.

Phelps trains with a pretty ridiculous food intake, about 12,000 calories a day. Did you have a regimen like that?

The sad thing about when you're done swimming is that you were doing that, and then you continue to do that. And that's why I have my quote-unquote bodacious C cups on the show. Because I'm still wolfing food like I'm doing 22 hours of exercise a week and that's just not the case anymore. In Madison, at Wisconsin, we would go to Mickies Dairy Bar and slam these things called scramblers, which were a bed of hash browns, covered with scrambled eggs with bacon or sausage or whatever you want in it. Then gravy on top. And it's, like, the size of a Denny's dinner plate. You'd have that and, like, a caramel milkshake and you were good.

Which other swimmers do you root for?

Aaron Peirsol was the man. Ryan Lochte is also insane. Like, if Phelps wasn't around, we'd all be talking about Ryan Lochte as the dude who changed everything, because he's insane as well. And then there's Cesar Cielo, who's a Brazilian sprinter who's a beast. When people were doing 19s, and everyone thought a 19 was fast, this cat just came out and went an 18.4 in the 50 free at the NCAAs a few years ago, and it was like, "Oh, so that's possible."

You're throwing this down like it's a rap song.

Well, this is just my vernacular, man.

So you will be following the Olympics closely?

Yeah ... I do hate hearing results before I can watch them. Like last time the Olympics were around, I was out to dinner for my wife's friend's birthday. And we parked the car and we walked past this Korean restaurant that had the Olympics on in the window, so I was like, "Umm, OK, so I know it's on there." Then we went down the street to this restaurant and I knew the race was going to be on at this certain time. So I just ducked out to go to the bathroom, then went down the block and watched Phelps do the 100 fly, which was the one -- if he was going to lose a race it was going to be that one.

If you can remember, he won by one-hundredth of a second and it was just a total mind-blower. Then I came back to dinner and I looked like I saw a ghost. They were like, "Where have you been?" I just said, "I snuck down the street to watch the 100 fly. It was insane." So I guess I'm die-hard. But you know, it's the Olympics.

Is it true you got inspired to write after watching "Rushmore"?

I think I saw "Rushmore" my senior year in high school. You know, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, there's such a voice to those movies. It's not like "Die Hard" where it's like, "Oh, this is an adventure. It just happened." It's like you can hear the voice. I was like, "Oh, I want to do that." I was writing part-time while I was swimming and going to school. Then when I got kicked off the team, I had all sorts of free time. That's when I wrote my first piece of s--- movie.

Which was?

It was called "The Last Summer." It was about, like, a psychologist or a psychiatrist who dealt with ex-cons who just got out of prison and were on suicide watch, and they would go to him every week. It's a comedy, by the way.

They go to him for group therapy. And then this doctor, his life just goes to s---. And then he's like, "You know what, guys? You want to kill yourselves? Let's do it. Let's go on a road trip and you can kill yourselves in style, the way you want to." And then there's this crazy road trip where they kind of find out what they're good at, and they want to live again. But then by the time they've come around, they've committed crimes kind of by accident, because they don't know any better, and the cops are chasing them. None of them want to go back to jail, and the last 10 pages is all of them just killing themselves [laughs]. There's this crazy car chase. It's pretty f---ing ridiculous.

Maybe a slightly dark comedy?

Uh, just a little dark. Little dark. Yeah.
Dave Wilson is a college football editor for ESPN.com. He joined ESPN.com in 2010 and previously worked at The Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune and Las Vegas Sun.

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