‘Workaholics’ star Erik Griffin shoots the shit before headlining the Motor City Comedy Festival

Erik Griffin.
Erik Griffin. Courtesy of the artist

Comedian Erik Griffin is about to begrudgingly wander out of his Boston hotel room to dine on overpriced breakfast foods.

The actor best known for his portrayal as Montez Walker — the mustachioed sexual healer, smoothie lover, and husband to Colleen on the Comedy Central series Workaholics — says in real life he is indifferent about families and kids, but also says that the kid-friendly 2003 Jack Black comedy School of Rock is his personal comedic security blanket and admits to disappointing his mother by not appearing on Dancing with the Stars.

At any rate, the host of the Riffin' With Griffin podcast took a break from comedy to live a real workaholic life before returning to his first love: comedy. And he regrets it. Not the comedy part, but taking a hiatus — when the topic comes up, he offers some Montez-esque wisdom:

"There's nothing wrong with having regrets because those regrets turn into motivation." Preach!

While contemplating the risks and benefits from snacking on items concealed in his hotel mini-fridge, Griffin talks to Metro Times ahead of his headlining performance at this year's Motor City Comedy Festival about his dream role, his current nightmare, and celebrity status ratios.

Metro Times: Do you like hotel life?

Erik Griffin: No, I hate it. I'm shooting this movie in Boston and I've been at this hotel for like 15 days and I've only shot like three days and like, you know, the oatmeal is $20. It's a nightmare.

MT: That must be tough considering you're on the road a lot.

Griffin: But that's like two or three days and you're not staying in a fancy hotel. I'm staying at a hotel that probably gives you a free breakfast. You know, it's weird that the fancier the hotel, the less they give you for free.

MT: Not to mention the hotels that, like, the minute you open the mini-fridge and touch something they know that you fucked with it.

Griffin: Well, there was like a mini-fridge Nazi that comes around every day at five o'clock with a little notepad.

MT: They've got an eye on you. They don't want you replacing items with gas station shit.

Griffin: Which I would, but for some reason, hotel stuff is a little bit different in size.

MT: What are you most tempted to take from the mini-fridge right now?

Griffin: Oh, these potato chips, which are $6 a bag. And there are exactly four chips inside each bag, you know what I mean? But it's like I already ate $37 in chips.

MT: You're right, this is a nightmare. Are you able to tell me what you're working on?

Griffin: It's a movie called The Sleepover for Netflix. It's like a family action-comedy. That's kind of the new mandate at Netflix for now because I think they lost all their Disney movies. A lot of kids content they lost. So they're in the process right now of making a bunch of movies for families and kids.

MT: Do you like families? Do you like kids?

Griffin: Um, yeah. Kids are OK. These kids in the movie, they're fine, you know? I like other people's kids. I'm not necessarily ready to have kids right now, but you know, it's fine. I guess movies that you could sit down with the whole family and watch is probably nice.

MT: Speaking of families, if they were to re-cast a major film or show, who would you be? Like, on Game of Thrones, who would you play?

Griffin: Who would I even be in Game of Thrones? I would have to be Hodor, unfortunately.

MT: That's a good role, though.

Griffin: Yeah, it wasn't too bad. Maybe it'd be Luke Skywalker, you know, like Vader's illegitimate fat kid. But I always said my dream job is to be a CSI lab tech. Like, a main character comes in. I'm playing music, I give them a little sciency stuff, and then I can go on the road for the rest of the year, you know?

MT: Oh yeah, that's a good gig. Just say something kind of snarky while you're looking at a pube under a microscope and take that paycheck and enjoy the rest of your year.

Griffin: You know, my mom would love that. My mom wants me to be on Dancing with the Stars, but I'm not ready for that yet.

MT: I think you need to build up your career so that you have a really public fall from grace and then you're eligible for that show.

Griffin: So, ultimately she's right. The sad part is I'm not famous enough to be on Dancing With the Stars.

MT: Now that Workaholics has been off the air for two years, has Montez mania died down, or do you feel like you'll never really disassociate from that role?

Griffin: I do feel that way, unfortunately; it's a good and bad thing. Especially with it living on the internet, I mean people are just breaking it [in] for the first time. So it's the kind of thing where I don't know if it's ever going to go away, you know. I'm not mad about it, but it was a blessing and a curse.

MT: Do people just shout your character name or is there a specific reference?

Griffin: For a long time I was getting a lot of white people sending me pictures of them drinking smoothies.

MT: Lucky you!

Griffin: It is what it is. But you know, it's like half and half. Now that I've been doing a podcast, Riffin With Griffin, and even toward the end of Workaholics when I was doing other things, it was like, say, 50-50. It's like people know me and are like, 'Oh, are you, Erik Griffin?' And then they'll say, 'Oh, I really loved Workaholics.' So it's great that people know my real name, too, and they know me as the character. I'm happy with the ratio.

Erik Griffin will perform as part of the Motor City Comedy Festival at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Ant Hall; 2320 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-365-4255; motorcitycomedyfest.com; Tickets are $25.

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