Two comics performing at Wiseguys this week are from a group responsible for introducing these catch phrases into the national consciousness:
I swear to God I’m going to pistol-whip the next guy who says, "Shenanigans."
I’m gonna have to give you a ticket on this one. No butts, meow. It’s the law. Not so funny, meow, is it? Meow.
You boys like Mex-i-co? Yee-Haw!
Gimme a liter of cola.
If those lines don’t ring a bell — and aren’t the least bit amusing to you — then you haven’t seen "Super Troopers," the film about bored highway-patrol officers in Vermont. It grossed only $23 million at the box office, but emerged as a cult-comedy classic that fans claim you don’t even need to be stoned to enjoy.
"Super Troopers" fans will recognize Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme as members of the Broken Lizard Comedy Group, who also created the film "Beerfest." Heffernan played Farva in "Super Troopers" and Landfill in "Beerfest," while Lemme was Mac in "Super Troopers" and Fink in "Beerfest."
The pair are in negotiations to film the anticipated sequel to "Super Troopers." On the weekends they perform stand-up, and will be making their first stand-up appearances in Utah at the West Valley City WiseGuys on Jan. 10-12.
They have been to Utah before. The troupe’s first film, 1996’s "Puddle Cruiser," and second, 2001’s "Super Troopers," were screened at the Sundance Film Festival — really — while 2009’s "The Slammin’ Salmon" debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival.
Just don’t ask them about Sundance or Slamdance festival memories. Lemme, 44, said in a dual phone interview that all he remembers from one festival is staying in his hotel room, getting drunk and watching the 1989 buddy-cop film "Tango & Cash" for the umpteenth time.
As for Heffernan, also 44, he remembers suffering from altitude sickness. He added: "The drinking didn’t help."
Now planning another trip to Utah, Lemme said he wanted to snowboard, but Heffernan mock-yelled at him, "We’ve got work to do!"
The five members of Broken Lizard met at New York’s Colgate University, when Jay Chandrasekhar put together a sketch-comedy show that drew Heffernan, Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske, all members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. The group have worked together ever since.
The troupe supports Heffernan and Lemme’s standup tours. In their comedy shows, each performs his own material and then the pair shares the stage to tell behind-the-scenes stories from the sets of their movies. On occasion, they’re known to share a beer with the crowd. "It’s always a combination of the low-brow and high-brow," Lemme said. "It is what makes us laugh."
The Broken Lizard Comedy Group shares a simple, rigorous comedic standard. "To get a joke into one of our scripts, we have to impress the four other guys," Lemme said.
So even if you haven’t seen one of their films, go grab a liter of cola. They sell that at Wiseguys.
The Broken Lizard kings
Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, of the Broken Lizard Comedy Group and films such as "Super Troopers," will perform stand-up comedy sets.
When • Thursday, Jan. 10, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Where • Wiseguys West Valley City, 2194 W. 3500 South
Tickets • $20 at wiseguyscomedy.com
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