Cops, drugs and comedy

By Rich Tupica
Steve Lemme (left) and Kevin Heffernan. Courtesy photo.

‘Super Troopers’ creators talk sequel and stand-up leading up to Connxtions shows

Wednesday, Oct. 17 — Filmmakers/actors Steve Lemme and Kevin Heffernan of the Broken Lizard comedy group prefer to write about real life in their flicks. Sometimes, the reality is your friends have to quickly scarf a large bag of psychedelic mushrooms while being pulled over by the cops.

That true story wound up being the opening scene of their 2001 comedy hit “Super Troopers,” which made $20 million at the box office and sold over 6 million DVDs. They also helped mastermind the comedies “Beer Fest” and “Club Dread.” But Lemme and Heffernan are now delving into stand-up comedy, performing as a duo. They’ll perform a few shows at Connxtions Comedy Club Thursday through Saturday.

While in California, the guys talked with City Pulse a couple days ago about their past and future projects.

Where did the idea for that opening scene in “Super Troopers” come from? That bit has become a stoner-film classic, for sure.
Lemme: “We had a bachelor party and one of our friends had a house right up on the Canadian border, literally five minutes away from the border of Quebec. But I want to stress something, this happened to friends of ours — not us. So the bachelor party was loaded up with some drugs, some pot and mushrooms. They rented an RV and were going over the border to go to some strip joints in Canada. They had to stop at the border to get checked and I guess the border control guy saw a joint on the dashboard and had everybody de-board the RV. One of the guys was carrying the mushrooms for the entire bachelor party. He had ten doses of mushrooms and he was so panicked he ate all of them.”

So I imagine your buddies got thrown in jail?
Lemme: “Yeah, the border patrol guys wouldn’t let them out of the holding cell until one of them took responsibility for the joint that was found. No one knew the consequences so no one would take responsibility. They were in the holding cell for four hours and this one guy who’d eaten ten doses of mushrooms was just tripping balls. His big brother finally said it was his joint and the Canadians said, ‘All right, well you’re not allowed back in Canada for two years, eh?’ And that was it. The kid was tripping for about two days and when he finally came out of it he said the only thing that was hard was that his cheeks hurt from smiling for 48 hours straight.”

So what’s up with a Super Troopers the sequel then? I heard that’s in the works.
Heffernan: “We’ve written a script for that, we’re just negotiating with the studios and working out some legal odds and ends. We’re planning on shooting it at the beginning of next year.”

How soon do you start casting for this sequel?
Heffernan: “Well, we’re going to bring back a lot of the same guys like Brian Cox. Then we’ll probably start diving into casting in the next couple months. But it’s kind of cool because now there are definitely a lot of fans of it, so it will be easier to get some fun people to join in for a day or two.”

What else are you working on right now?
Heffernan: “We just finished editing our stand-up special that’s going to air on Netflix. We just finished editing that. We shot it this summer. Other than that we sold a TV show that Steve and I are going to write for ABC so we’re starting work on that now.”

What can people expect from you two at the Connxtions show?
Heffernan: “We mix it up. We do some straight up stand-up and then we mix it in with stories from the making of the movie. So people who are fans of the movies can enjoy hearing some behind-the-scenes stuff. And if you’re not a fan of the movie, hopefully you’ll enjoy the stories and the stand-up. We try to do a little bit for everyone. We try to get the audience involved, maybe pull some people up on stage. Before we made movies we started doing sketch comedy. That’s how we cut our teeth on live performances. And that was before we had fans. So we’re well-versed in making people laugh.”

Your comedy has been described as “gross out.” What do you think of that?
Lemme: “I believe we’re one step smarter than gross-out. We’ve never done anything poo-poo related. It’s not like ‘Van Wilder’ where we’re clogging the toilets and they’ll explode and splatter you with shit. That, to me, is gross-out. We talk about real life.”

Broken Lizard Comedy Group
@ Connxtions Comedy Club
Oct. 18, 19, 20
Tickets and showtimes at: