The first real vacation I took was two years ago. My future fiancée, Chloe Bridges, and I went to Italy and Greece and Paris. Before that, I was concentrating on my dream of becoming an actor and writer and comedian, and I never took time off. But that experience really opened up my eyes: I realized that if I had just a week, I could hop on a plane and explore the world. I could go and do something crazy… Which is how I came to find myself in Peru, wearing a meat suit and swimming with piranhas in the Amazon.
We’re Not Going to Die!
Let me back up. Earlier this year, the streaming service Quibi was cool enough to give me money to travel the world with my best friends, as long as I did the craziest things imaginable and filmed it for a show called Bad Ideas. The first trip I did was to Peru, with Anders Holm, who created Workaholics with me. For every other guest on the show, I told them what they were getting into, because I didn’t want to blindside them, but Anders was like, “Do not tell me. I just want to find out when I get there.” I think his wife wouldn’t have let him go if she’d had all the information, so this was his getaround. He did ask, “We’re not going to die, right? ” “No,” I told him. “We’re not going to die!” But my voice got all high-pitched, like when you might be lying.
When we got to Peru, we traveled up the Amazon River, deep into the jungle, to what was billed as an eco-lodge but was really just huts with no A/C—with nothing, really, except for a waterslide in the shape of an anaconda going into a dirty pool. Did we swim in that? Yeah, we did.
At this point, I showed Anders what the goal was: to get piranhas to attack me. I put meat all over my body—a stringy, carne asada–like cut and basically swam naked in the Amazon. I let Anders be on watch—I figured he might want more children one day. The piranhas were sleepier than you’d think, but they ate that meat, and I did get bit a few times on my leg and my thigh. You know how when you were a kid someone would give you a “spider bite” and come up with four fingers and pinch you really hard? It felt like that—if at the end of those four fingers were a thousand little teeth. As soon as I got bit by a piranha, I was like, Oh, this is a really bad idea. We should not do this. I might actually want kids one day. I should take off this meat suit.
The next day, we went to the Andes Mountains to drive one of the most dangerous roads in Peru. Unbeknownst to Anders, I’d only just learned how to drive a stick the night before. My plan was to take this big truck, deck it out like an ice cream truck, and drive it up this single-lane dirt road with 400-foot cliffs on one side to the village of María to deliver ice cream to all the children. I figured the drive was a bad idea, but it was a good idea to serve up ice-cold, tasty treats to the kids of Peru.
The drive was absolutely terrifying. It had just rained and the conditions were about as bad as you could get—muddy and foggy, so you couldn’t see the turns. We spun out on one side, I hit the side of the mountain, I broke the rear-view mirror off. And, to make matters worse, I didn’t realize how long the trip would take, so I didn’t pack enough ice. Some of those kids ended up with melted popsicles. That was my bad.
Overall, it was a frightening trip, but it was so fun. I got to do the Amazon jungle in one day and the Andes mountain the very next. It was a trip of a lifetime, something I’ll never forget—and I know Anders will never let me forget, because I almost killed him a couple of times. I’d love to do another season of Bad Ideas—travel to some more amazing places and explore the world under the guise of this TV show—if my mother and fiancée will allow me to.
Adam Devine’s “Bad Ideas” is streaming now on Quibi. His stand-up special “Best Time of Our Lives” is available on Netflix, and he can be seen in “The Righteous Gemstones” on HBO.