How Tragedy Made Adam Devine Funny

Adam Devine is one of the funniest men in Hollywood — but he might not have become a comic if he didn't experience a terrible childhood tragedy.

A workaholic at heart

Adam Devine is one of Hollywood’s funniest leading men. But his comedy actually comes from overcoming a childhood tragedy.

“I think you had to have overcome something or currently be overcoming something in order to be a good comedian. For me it was — I was hit by a cement truck when I was a little kid. I was 11, and I was hit by a cement truck and I couldn’t walk for like 2 years. So 11 to 13 like — you’re doing a lot of growing in that time. Obviously physical, but a lot of mentally as well. So I feel like, for me, I was overcoming my physical ailments but also trying to figure out who I am as a person. And I found out that by using comedy I was able to deflect bullying and also make friends. I was horrible at sports, so I knew like if I could get girls to laugh maybe they would like me because I can’t catch a football. My first time doing like standup — I was 16 or 17 years old and I had a fake ID, and I drove from Omaha, where I’m from, to Kansas City, which is about 3 and a half hours away, and did an open mic night at their comedy club, and I tanked. I ate it. And the waitress felt so bad that they accepted our very poorly made fake ID’s and let us drink beers in the comedy club all night and then we slept in our car,” Devine tells Brut.

Devine first dipped his toe into comedy as a teenager. Since then, starring roles in Pitch Perfect, Workaholics, The Righteous Gemstones and the new film Jexi have placed Devine in the shoes of his comedy heroes.