Erik Griffin’s life has changed drastically since he last performed at Hilarities three years ago. He returns to the club on July 31 for a five-night stand. Since then, he’s become a regular contributor to the hit TV comedy Workaholics. On the show, he plays cubical co-worker Montez Walker, a friend of three drugged-out party idiots. Montez often interrupts the three’s grand schemes while telling them all about the explicit sexual acts he performs with his wife (Alex Borstein). Griffin has also released the new comedy album Technical Foul Volume One.
“I’ve always wanted to do a stand up album,” he says of Technical Foul. “When I was younger, that was the thing; you would listen to people’s CDs. Technology has changed all of that but I still always wanted to make one.”
The album was picked up by indie/punk label SideOneDummy Records as the label’s first comedy album. The record label is known for rock groups like Gogol Bordello and Anti Flag, but Griffin saiys punk and comedy actually have a lot in common.
“Musicians and comics live the same kind of lifestyle, just traveling place to place, struggling and trying to make it,” he says.“And the fans of punk rock music are very much Workaholics fans. I went to the Warped Tour a while ago and all the fans were there being very interactive and supportive. I thought 'this is an easy cross over.' ”
Ohio natives, The Black Keys, were even once on the show because, they too, are big fans, Griffin says. In the episode, the Akron band members sit in the back of a courtroom arguing over the length of their respective fake ponytails (drummer Patrick Carney measures his from the base while singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach measures his from the top of the forehead).
The Black Keys are huge fans of the show and Griffin says when he was looking for them to take a picture and get an autograph they were looking for him for the same reason.
The stunts and sketches performed on the show are over the top and completely outrageous but that’s what draws viewers in. When he first read the script for Workaholics, Griffin was shocked by the how far the writers would go for a laugh and knew that they weren't pulling there punches when it came to drugged out behavior or sexual prowess. Now he expects it.
“My first episode I was in, I read the script and it said ‘Montez visits naked.’ I thought, ‘Wow. From the very beginning they’re going for it,’” Griffin says. “There’s nothing that can surprise me anymore.”
While recounting one sketch from the show in which Montez’s overtly sexual wife makes a mold of her genitals for the couple’s 10th anniversary, Griffin says the heavy mold was such an exaggeration, it made him laugh. The same sort of over the top comedy isn’t as prevalent in his standup special, in which Griffin gives his own hilarious take on social events happening now.
“My comedy is just my take on whatever is happening at that particular time: observations, advice, whatever’s happening with me.” Griffin says. “People just laugh about how I think about things.”