A very specific segment of the Internet exploded last week when Lori Beth Denberg turned up for a cameo on Workaholics, the celebrity client of the guys’ temporary new drug dealer played by Rumer Willis. In an episode that continually built more outrageous comic setpieces on top of each other, Denberg’s All That reference is a strong contender for quote of the season, even in just the second episode of the longest season of the show to date.
It makes sense that Comedy Central juggled the first three episodes of this season (tonight’s episode was the first one produced), since “Fat Cuz” is the weakest so far this season. There are still moments of shit-for-brains brilliance, like the almost throwdown in the break room, or “The Dragon’s Lair” as Adam calls it, but compared to an acid trip at a business conference and experimenting with a crazy new drug dealer, exploiting a fat man for a parking space doesn’t measure up.
Telamericorp shifts its office location, and the boys won’t show up for work on time to get a parking spot. They notice two handicap spaces, but they only have one handicapped employee, so they set out to find a way to get a parking pass to allow them an easy spot. They could make up a disease, but then douchenozzle-in-chief Adam suggests they get his obese cousin Devon—also know as Big Fat—a job to secure the pass.
The plot on Workaholics follows the path of least resistance. It’s not designed to pack twists and turns or anything dramatically unexpected; it’s supposed to be a reliably mutable spine off of which the trio can spin out densely layered quips and throwaway lines. That’s why the trio spends no time at all thinking of a plan and jump straight to Devon’s basement, where he sits with jerky, a dozen cats, and makes plenty of references to his masturbation habits. He’s supposedly a hero, his injuries the result of saving a little car from getting hit by a car, but that doesn’t make up for his severely perverted attitude.
Devon doesn’t really want a job; he just wants his mom to think he has a job, despite the fact that his disability is going to run out. So the guys leave him in the break room, where he fails to hit on a “co-worker” and snatches another guy’s yogurt out of the fridge with his Grabber. He’s a total slob, but of course he manages to fall for Jillian, since they can connect over having so many cats. The strangest thing about Big Fat is that despite all of the degrading things he does, he still has some modicum of dignity: refusing to work as a telemarketer. He may have to recreate his heroic moment to save Anders from a street cleaning truck in order to surreptitiously earn workman’s comp for a compound fracture, but his sleaziness has limits.
These guys are so outlandish and get away with so many shenanigans in their dead-end existence—and when an obese handicapped man riding around on a Rascal with a holster of Slim Jims doesn’t want your job, you know it’s a dead end—that in some sick way it’s uplifting to watch their perpetually juvenile failures. Scrambling to score a handicap-parking pass so they can keep showing up to work late and maintain their barely-scraping-by slacker lifestyle makes me feel okay about my daily schedule and occasional lack of motivation. Workaholics is frequently compared to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and the inability to sympathize with these corporate slacker jags makes that comparison fairly accurate. Anders, Adam, and Blake are hopelessly and permanently circling the drain, and that’s just the way they like it.
- Does anyone else see this show as a more adult version of Ed, Edd, n Eddy from Cartoon Network?
- The bookend jokes in the episode about the guys destroying the old office location was sort of funny, but Workaholics leans on the suspended juvenile delinquency of these twentysomethings as though it’s a never-ending fount of comedy. It’s not.
- The guys think of a $60 parking ticket in terms of how many corndogs they could buy with that money.