On screen they like to cruise in impounded sports cars and screw with stoners’ heads. The stars of the new film Super Troopers (Fox Searchlight) are a rowdy bunch in the movies. Off screen, their antics, though not as dangerous, are certainly as rowdy. These aren’t your conventional comedy kings.
Super Troopers is the creation of comedy troupe Broken Lizard Productions; that is, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske.
This group of college buddies expanded their college inprov act into a live showcase featured in New York. They’ve gone on to make two films that were shown at the Sundance Film Festival and eventually released by Fox Searchlight.
Comedy stars? Sort of. Movie stars? A bit. At nine in the morning though, they’re just a bunch of hungover guys hanging out in a bus next to The Aston.
Hatchet: This is a huge bus. I mean damn.
Steve Lemme: Yeah, it used to belong to Alabama. We’re going everywhere in it.
H: So you guys are touring like a band on the road.
Lemme: We’re exactly like a band, you know, except for the music. We just go around and promote and do a little monkey act before screenings.
H: How do you write sketches, with a whole troupe of guys?
Erik Stolhanske: We’re trying to banish the word troupe. We were going by group for awhile, now we’re just a team.
Jay Chandrasekhar: Team has always been a two-man thing. We’re breaking the rules.
Lemme: A troupe marches with snare drums.
H: You resent the idea that you might march with snare drums?
Lemme: We don’t want to take the spotlight off of real troupes.
Paul Soter: Surely when you heard you were interviewing a troupe you though we’d be wearing like little pantaloons and frolicking across a field.
Lemme: We should be the super teamers.
Kevin Heffnan: The steaming teemers.
Stolhanske: No we’re the Cleveland Steamers.
H: I’m gonna leave that one alone. So you guys play troopers. What do you think of real cops?
Soter: They all have this western swagger. They intimidate you.
Lemme: It’s funny to see your friends who you think are tough getting pulled over because they have a completely different persona.
Soter: This guy will be like, ‘yo wassup, I’m a bad motherfucker. Love my bitches. I’m all street.’ Then he gets pulled over and he’s like ‘Y’sir, thank you. I’m sorry.’
Lemme: It reduces everyone to a quivering mass.
H: So I heard you did a pilot for NBC or something? You guys want to make the transition to television?
Stolhanske: Definitely not. No troupe, no TV.
H: Why not?
Lemme: Its just too restrictive. We’re used to having the freedom to do what you want.
Heffernan: He means we’re we used to cussing and taking our clothes off.
H: So you’re more into film then?
Soter: We hate film, we hate TV.
Stolhanske: Radio, that’s the only pure medium. No, not really. Movies are the perfect thing for us. I think we’re really good at it.
Lemme: Did you say we’re really good at it?
Stolhanske: I said we’re getting really good at it. But you know what I think we are really good.
Soter: Yeah, we’re fucking sweet.
H: That’s going in big letters. You’re fucking sweet.
Soter: I got your headline – “Super Troopers have big heads? You decide.”
Lemme: We’re fucking sweet. Riding the bus to the fucking bank baby.
H: How was it having your movie picked up by a big studio? I mean what’s it like having your head on a bus? I mean, geeze, I want my head on a bus.
Chandrasekhor: You didn’t know that you were missing that in your life until now.
H: I didn’t, but now it hurts.
Heffernan: Now we can never not have our heads on a bus.
Lemme: Next it’s our head on a plane, then on the entire Earth.
Stolhanske: Seriously, it’s happened in steps. We thought the movie might make it in a couple theaters, now we’re in a bus.
H: I’ve got friends who live across the street. They’ve been wondering what was up with your bus. I think they might be worried about you looking in.
Lemme: And for good reason. Are your friends hot?