Published in the September 2014 Issue of Nylon Guys Magazine.
Up in the Hollywood Hills, zillion-dollar homes are typically hidden behind towering hedges or menacing gates, forever obscuring the identities of the famous folks who live within.
There is, however, an exception to this rule: the house belonging to Blake Anderson, the effusively maned stoner-savant of Comedy Central’s Workaholics. His is marked by a Jeep painted in the pattern of an American flag. “Yeah, that’s my car,” says Anderson with pride. “I saw it on set once, and I knew it had to be mine. Of course, I called all my friends first, to make sure they wouldn’t unfriend me if they saw me driving around in it.”
It’s the off-season for Workaholics, the millennial answer to The Office, and Anderson has just returned home from a daylong writing session with co-stars Adam DeVine and Anders Holm at their office in the San Fernando Valley. It’s dinnertime for his baby, Mars Ilah Anderson, who is perched in a high chair chomping spoonfuls of green mush delivered by Anderson’s wife, model-blogger Rachael Finley. This sounds like a thoroughly domestic scene, but visually, the home is anything but. Previously owned by skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and featured in his MTV reality show Rob & Big, the house is basically Anderson’s character’s dream pad. The walls are papered with clashing patterns; a framed Swamp Thing poster overlooks the dining room table; a replica E.T. squats in the corner, sporting costume jewelry.
Above the table is an upside-down, iron prickly-pear cactus chandelier, inspired by one Anderson saw at a Mexican restaurant in Burbank. This collection of oddities reflects the same aesthetic anarchy that he has channeled into his latest creative endeavor, the T-shirt company Teenage. “You could say a little bit of our home goes into these shirts,” he concedes, laying out a few tees on his table. The images, which Anderson and Finley design together, offer sensory overload of the pharmacological variety, mashing up appropriated ’90s pop-culture flotsam with digital detritus from the Internet age—if an iPhone app could convert an animated GIF into a shirt, Teenage might be the result. One shows a seven-eyed, devil-horned Stimpy emblazoned over polka dots and pot leaves, while another features a blue skeleton melting away on a distant desert planet. Tie-dye and aliens are recurring themes. Anderson says Teenage takes inspiration from psychedelic fashion lines like Mishka—and even from hip-hop troupe Odd Future, who stop by the house from time to time. Downstairs in his pseudo man cave, a thrift store painting of Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil has been reworked with a sketch by Tyler, the Creator; this hangs next to a print by illustrator Johnny Ryan that mixes Garfield the cat with the satanic Baphomet.
While the name suggests a nostalgia for Anderson’s teenage years in the ’90s, the idea actually came from a different source. “I was thinking about how we were moving into the teen years—like 2013 and 2014 and so on, and that something new was happening,” he explains. So instead of looking backward, Teenage emphatically gazes into the future: “We are trying to make clothes that will someday show up in a thrift store and make people say, ‘What the hell is this?’”