AS ONE OF THE STARS OF COMEDY CENTRAL’S “WORKAHOLICS,” I guess you can say that comedian Erik Griffin is doing okay. Having been a performer for just over a decade – and a “Workaholics” cast member since it’s 2011 inception – he’s earned the title of an accomplished actor and has garnered an impressive fanbase, many of which were introduced to him through the series. To go with that, Griffin has just released his debut stand up album, “Technical Foul: Volume One.”
He recently spoke with TSJ to discuss the new album, his experience on “Workaholics,” and turning a dream into a reality.
The Smoking Jacket: Congrats on the debut album. It’s a strong one. How are you feeling about it?
Erik Griffin: I feel good man! It’s my first comedy album. I’ve always wanted to do it. I remember when I was a kid listening to comedy. I’d always listen and think I’d love to do that. So now that I have it’s great.
Now that it’s done I’m real busy because it’s a lot of mastering and promotion, things that are outside of the actual comedy. It’s a little nerve-wracking but since it’s a finished product and out there I’m very excited about it!
TSJ: How long have you been performing stand up. I know there was an eight-year or so break?
EG: Yeah, but I look at it from 2003, because that’s when I really decided to go for it. So it’s been a little over ten years now.
ERIK GRIFFIN AT THE LAUGH FACTORY
TSJ: Is it true that you worked at a school beforehand?
EG: Yeah, but I decided ultimately that I didn’t want to live with any regrets so I just went for it.
TSJ: Was there a particular moment that made you decide I’ve got to give this a go?
EG: Well, I ended up having to leave my job anyway so I found myself sitting there thinking what am I going to do with myself now? And I had always loved comedy so I just made the choice.
TSJ: Stand up is surely not an easy thing to do. Did you find it to be an easy transition?
EG: Oh no way, it wasn’t simple at all. I wish it was, but it was a long and tough road. Though honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
TSJ: And now, of course, you’re on “Workaholics.” Was the goal television or was it merely to get up onstage performing like the guys you grew up loving?
EG: In my mind stand up had always been one goal on the road of being a performer. I always thought about television and movies and all that. And now, having been on television, I can see how they relate to each other. The better stand up, the more recognition you get.
TSJ: It seems performing stand up would definitely help working on a show like “Workaholics.”
EG: Yeah, there’s definitely an overlap of some of the skills.
TSJ: Having loved the show for a while, I’m a big fan of Montez. There’s something very funny to him. Maybe it’s the way you’ve developed him. Was it just an audition process that landed you the part or did they see you perform?
EG: It was just an audition. I read it, did it and here we are!
TSJ: That show seems like an absolute joy to work on.
EG: It really is. And it runs like machine, you know? We get each episode done pretty quickly. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of laughing. Real good times. I definitely appreciate being on there.
SJ: How much do you develop the character?
EG: They give me what they want, and then I basically just take that and interpret it how I see their vision. So it’s my interpretation of what they want. And they haven’t stopped me so far so I think I’m doing a pretty good job. [laughs]
TSJ: Are either your stand up or the show at all improvised in the moment?
EG: I sometimes do in my sets, but the show is pretty scripted. It’s their voice and their tone. The other actors really fell easily into it. We improvise very little. You’d think we do more but we really don’t.
TSJ: That’s pretty shocking to me because the dialogue is incredibly tight. It flows so easily.
EG: It’s really kind of magical. Those guys are so great. Sometimes I’ll add something that they end up using but for the most part it’s all them.
TSJ: I’ve started watching ‘The Other Cubicle.’
EG: Oh yeah, I love that! That’s our show runner, Kevin Etten. He writes and directs those. Him too, he’s right in line with the boys and Kyle. They have a certain vision and they all seem to blend together tremendously.
TSJ: You recorded a Comedy Central Special recently. How was that experience?
EG: Yeah, we recorded it last month in Boston. It was great; I had a real good time. There were a lot of “Workaholics” fans in the audience, which made me feel so comfortable. It made it feel like a regular show. I really loved it!