Iowan Adam Devine wants to get weird with Des Moines
Comedian and Waterloo native Adam Devine is coming to Des Moines on Feb. 18. Here are some things to know about the "Workaholics" actor. Wochit
Comedian Adam Devine wants to get weird with Des Moines.
But weird in the best way, he stressed.
What he means is he wants to talk about all the awkward, grody, strange things we think, but hesitate to say out loud.
For those familiar with Devine’s turns in Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” and the films “Pitch Perfect” and “Mike and Dave Needs Wedding Dates,” his desire for weirdness is nothing new. In fact, it’s key among the ideas the Waterloo native has proselytized for years: “TMI” isn’t a thing; not saying what you’re thinking is bad for your health; and we’re all a lot weirder than we care to admit.
Devine plans to put an extra special batch of weird out into the universe when his “Weird Life” tour stops in the capital city Feb. 18, he said during a phone interview from his L.A. home.
Before checking out Devine’s standup show, here are eight things to know about the former Iowan, including that he’s a Huskers — not Hawkeyes — fan. (But we’ll let that slide.)
1. He hails from Waterloo.
Devine moved to Omaha when he was 9 but frequently traveled back and forth to eastern Iowa to visit family members. He still has a lot of family in the city and visits as often as he can, he said.
His most vivid memory of Waterloo — aside from “Dairy Queen, Chuck E. Cheese and the old Showbiz Pizza” — was the plethora of kids his age in the area, he told the Waterloo Courier in 2012.
“We liked to get into mischief and throw rocks at cars,” he told the Courier. “For most of my childhood, I mostly remember throwing rocks and/or water balloons."
2. He got into comedy after being hit by a cement truck.
“I feel like a lot of comics have something that really solidified them as a person when they were a kid, like a divorce or maybe they were in an abusive relationship or something that was horrible,” Devine told the Register. “I lucked out. My parents loved me so much and I didn’t have to deal with anything horrible other than learning to walk after being hit by a cement truck.
“But I was starting middle school when that happened and that’s just a rough age to go through something like that. Kids are their worst selves when they are in middle school. They are monsters that will just fully crush your soul.
“So kids would pick on me. They would say ‘Why can’t you walk?’ and stuff like that and I had to fight back. I couldn’t defend myself physically, so I decided I would defend myself with words. I was going to be better at making fun of them than they were at making fun of me.
“From there, I quickly developed a sense of humor.”
3. He bleeds Huskers red.
Growing up in the '90s in Omaha, did Devine have any other choice than to be a Huskers fan? No, not really, Devine wrote in a piece for Rolling Stone. But when he began to drink the Big Red Kool-Aid, he had no idea just how important the Huskers would become to him.
In 1995, the Huskers were on their way to a national championship right at the same time Devine was recovering from the 26 surgeries he had after the cement truck incident.
“As I would do my rehab, I remember thinking ‘I am training just like the Huskers. I am the 10-year-old Grant Wistrom.’ But instead of training to destroy the offensive line, I was training to walk in a straight line without falling over,” he wrote in Rolling Stone. “Everyone has a reason they like their particular college football team. Mine is that the Huskers helped me through a time in my life that would have been unbearable without having Saturdays to look forward to.”
4. He owes his career to YouTube.
"We thought, ‘Oh my God, we can make our own videos and put them up and people can see them.’ So we started making a ton of videos,” he told the Waterloo Courier.
The group’s most famous video,"Wizards Never Die,” has been viewed more than 1.5 million times.
5. He thinks Midwest is best.
“People in the Midwest are nice and pleasant people. Don’t get me wrong, there are jerks in the Midwest, believe me, I am related to some of them. But when people in the Midwest don’t like something, they will let you know. And when they like something, they will just like it a lot. What can I say, I like niceness.”
6. 'Workaholics,' the show that gave him his big break, is ending.
Devine and his two best friends got their big break in Hollywood on their terms: They got to write, produce and star in a show of their own creation. After six critically acclaimed seasons, “Workaholics,” which follows the hijinks of three best buddies who seem to attract trouble, will end when the season airing now finishes.
“I think we were ready to be done with the show. It was a dream come true for all of us, but we have careers now and it was a ton of work for us. We were looking for a time and place to put our baby to bed and after seven strong seasons, we decided now was the time.”
7. His standup set is R-rated, but he’s performed it in front of his parents.
“I did a show in Cedar Falls two years ago and my aunts and uncles and cousins came. I tell crazy stories during my set, stuff that I probably wouldn’t share at Thanksgiving with my family, so I was nervous, but that was the most fun show I’ve ever had.
“My show is just fun. So much of what is going on right now, no matter where you stand politically is draining, and I think people just want to forget about politics and news and what side of the fence you are on for just a little bit. I want people to feel like I’m their friend and we are just in someone’s living room laughing and having a good time."
8. He really wants to get weird.
Considering Des Moines is almost smack-dab in-between Omaha and Waterloo, Adam Devine is sure to have some friends, flings and family members in the crowd. As such, he wants to “lay the weird on thick.”
“I think things are going to get extra weird there — in a good way,” he said.
Adam Devine — Weird Life Tour 2017
8 p.m., Feb. 18, Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave.
For tickets, call 515-244-0507 or visit hoytsherman.org.