Broken Lizard

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Broken Lizard
Medium Film
Nationality United States
Years active 1996-present
Genres Physical comedy, Gross-out humor
Influences National Lampoon, Chevy Chase[citation needed]
Notable works and roles Puddle Cruiser (1996)
Super Troopers (2001)
Club Dread (2004)
Beerfest (2006)
The Slammin' Salmon (2009)
Members Jay Chandrasekhar
Kevin Heffernan
Steve Lemme
Paul Soter
Erik Stolhanske
Website brokenlizard.com

Broken Lizard is an American comedy troupe consisting of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. They collaborate on the screen-writing, acting and productions of their films, with Chandrasekhar and Heffernan being the primary directors. Broken Lizard does not have a single executive producer who serves as team captain and chooses its material.

History[edit]

The group formed at Colgate University in 1990 when Jay Chandrasekhar was asked by a student theater director to put together a comedy show. Chandrasekhar agreed and assembled a sketch comedy troupe which included Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske all members of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. The team performed a combination of live stage sketches and short videos under the name "Charred Goosebeak." Charred Goosebeak continues to exist at Colgate to this day.

After graduation, the members reunited in New York City and spent the next few years performing at various clubs, mostly Greenwich Village mainstay The Duplex, under the name "Broken Lizard." The group offered various explanations of the origin of this moniker over the years, ranging from a euphemism for loss of virility, to a tribute to Chandrasekhar's pet allergies. Most recently, the members admitted that Chandrasekhar simply made up the name "off the top of his head" when he had their first flyer printed. Another possible name that was discarded was "Chocolate Speedo."

Broken Lizard spent the next few years performing at clubs and college campuses. Its membership dwindled to the five current performers. By the mid 90's, the group's interests shifted away from live material as they became more interested in filmed content. They wrote and acted in Dante's Levels of Hell, a series of interstitial shorts for Comedy Central's "Is This On?" feature.

At this time, the Broken Lizard members also made their first foray into long-form film, shooting the 30-minute 16 mm project, The Tinfoil Monkey Agenda, an absurdist media spoof that earned them a trip to the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival, and cemented in the group's minds that they should be creating full-length feature films.

The group put together the script for their next feature, and first wide-release movie Super Troopers. The film, which portrays rural highway patrolmen as regular guys desperate to make their jobs entertaining, was shot in 2000, and was also invited to Sundance, where raucous screenings earned the film a distribution deal from Fox Searchlight Pictures, a unit of 20th Century Fox. The movie was released in February 2002 and only enjoyed moderate theatrical success, but it eventually developed a cult following.

Fox Searchlight sponsored and distributed the group's next feature, 2004's Club Dread, a parody of slasher films that takes place at an idyllic tropical resort.

After Chandrasekhar directed The Dukes of Hazzard for Warner Bros., Broken Lizard was offered a deal with the studio. This relationship resulted in Broken Lizard's third feature, 2006's Beerfest, about two brothers who discover an underground Oktoberfest beer-drinking Olympics and assemble a team to compete.

As of late May 2010, Broken Lizard had completed their fourth feature, The Slammin' Salmon, about a group of waiters who are terrorized over the course of a busy night by their unstable boss (Michael Clarke Duncan). Heffernan directed The Slammin' Salmon.[1]

Other projects[edit]

Receiving financial support from 20th Century Fox enabled Chandrasekhar to establish a career as a television director. He directed episodes of the Fox television shows Undeclared, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Arrested Development, Oliver Beene, and Cracking Up. In addition, he directed three episodes of Psych, including the episode "Bollywood Homicide," in which he also guest starred. Chandrasekhar directed the 2005 film The Dukes of Hazzard, in which each of the members of Broken Lizard also appeared. He likewise appeared in Jackass 2 as the taxi driver in the last main sketch of the movie, performing a "prank on a prank."

Heffernan co-wrote the screenplay to the 2005 film On the One and also acted in the films Sky High and Strange Wilderness.

Lemme was a co-producer of the movies The Decade and Boxes, and he appeared in Open Water and Big Helium Dog.

Soter wrote and directed the film noir comedy film Watching the Detectives, which starred Cillian Murphy and Lucy Liu. Soter, Lemme, and Stolhanske also appeared in the film.

Stolhanske acted in a number of television shows and films, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Feet Under, Undeclared, and The Onion Movie. Stolhanske was also in the Plyometrics DVD that was part of the P90X program that fitness expert Tony Horton created.

Planned films as of 2010[edit]

Other projects[edit]

Over the past few years, the members of Broken Lizard had expressed the intent to work on several projects:

  • Super Troopers 2. A sequel to the 2001 film Super Troopers has been talked about since the original became a cult classic. As of January 2008, Broken Lizard had a general outline and had begun negotiations with Fox.[1] Although rumored at one point to be a prequel set in the 1970s and following the fathers of the main characters in the original film, Heffernan had stated that the film would be "pure sequel." The group had already jointly written several drafts of a screenplay. February 2012, Heffernan told a crowd in Kansas City, Kansas that, "Come Hell or high water we are making Super Troopers 2 by the end of the year." In August 2012, Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan were interviewed by CNET's Jeff Bakalar from The 404. Jay and Kevin had confirmed that "Super Troopers 2" will be a sequel. They have also confirmed that the script is finished. All they are waiting for is the studio to okay everything.[4] In an interview with Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme on Funemployment Radio, the duo confirmed that Super Troopers 2 is being made. They stated the premise of a prequel was a joke, but that the actual story line will take place a few years after the last movie. They also confirmed that a Potfest script had received approval.[5]
  • Ambulance Chasers, a comedy intended to tell the story of a couple of ferociously aggressive personal-injury lawyers fighting over a new client.[6]
  • Take My Wife, a comedy directed by Chandrasekhar, was meant to revolve around an average guy who jokingly swapped wives with a Hollywood superstar.[7]
  • Greek Road/Rogue Scholars was to be an R-rated comedy set in Ancient Greece. The movie would follow Heffernan as a young Plato who was a freshman wrestling student at Athens University. Plato was planning to wrestle for the university in the Olympics, but he was failing his Basic Thought class; so the university hired Socrates, a senior played by Lemme, to tutor Plato. Plato ended up cheating and passing the class, and the two traveled to Mt. Olympus together. On the road, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades (played by the other three members) made bets on whether or not Plato and Socrates would make it and began getting in their way.[8]
  • Nutcracker was to center on the nastiest and dirtiest linebacker in the NFL who, when he started to lose his skills, reluctantly turned to ballet to get his game back.[9]
  • Pot Fest. This movie was mentioned as a sequel at the end of Beerfest. As guests on The Bob and Tom Show in September 2009, Broken Lizard's members mentioned that they were in the process of writing a film, Pot Quest, for Universal. As of August 2012, Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan were interviewed by CNET's Jeff Bakalar from The 404. Jay and Kevin had confirmed that Pot Fest would happen soon.

NOTE: Ambulance Chasers was the only film from this section that Broken Lizard's members had confirmed, on the troupe's official website, that they were working on as of late May 2010. The other projects were no more than ideas at the time, and no official word had been released by then on making any of them.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Broken Lizard". My Space. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  2. ^ Brown, Renn. "A film site for the brilliant". CHUD.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  3. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (2008-03-03). "Raboy takes wheel of 'Tow Truck'". Variety. 
  4. ^ Posted on 10 December 2009 by Rich Drees (2009-12-10). "Broken Lizard Film Update". FilmBuffOnline. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  5. ^ http://funemploymentradio.com/2013/07/19/funemployment-radio-episode-903/
  6. ^ Moviehole.net - After Beerfest, Ambulance called[dead link]
  7. ^ "Take My Wife". Killermovies.com. 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  8. ^ Moviehole.net - What's next for Broken Lizard?[dead link]
  9. ^ 0 Like0 Dislike0 Sep 30, 2005 by The MovieWeb Team (2005-09-30). "Nutcracker". Movieweb.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 

External links[edit]