the vulture transcript

Super Troopers Continues to Slow Burn

Broken Lizard reunited to talk soap, syrup, liters of cola, and the perks of having made a modern cult classic.

Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan (top), Paul Soter (hand on chin), Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme Photo: JJ Geiger
Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan (top), Paul Soter (hand on chin), Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme Photo: JJ Geiger
Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan (top), Paul Soter (hand on chin), Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme Photo: JJ Geiger

Super Troopers was one of the breakout movies of 2001, but you might not have known this in 2001. A hit at Sundance, the comedy — written by and starring the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, and following a group of Vermont highway-patrol officers who pass the time playing oddball pranks and trying out crazy stunts — was released in February of that year to decent if unremarkable box office. But slowly it became a cult item on DVD, entering the regular viewing rotation in dorm rooms, frat houses, and rec rooms across the country.

In retrospect, this should not have come as a surprise. Broken Lizard’s offbeat, wouldn’t-it-be-weird-if-we-tried-this style of humor is ideally appreciated in such settings, perhaps because the group itself was founded at Colgate University in the early 1990s. Since then, they’ve continued to make movies that demonstrate their irreverent, good-natured sensibility, including Club Dread, Beerfest, The Slammin’ Salmon, and the upcoming Quasi, which hits Hulu on April 20. And, of course, in 2018 they produced Super Troopers 2, reprising their roles for what may not have been the last time. In fact, the Broken Lizard guys — Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske — had been working on the script for Super Troopers 3 the night before they came together at Vulture Fest in Los Angeles last November to revisit the original.

This is special for me, because I was in the audience in 1997 in New York for a screening of a movie called Puddle Cruiser, which was your first film. After that, I spent about two or three years wondering when the hell Puddle Cruiser was going to come out.
Paul: That’s exactly what we were doing!

Then when Super Troopers came out, I was like Wait, I know these guys! These are the Puddle Cruiser guys! When did you first become aware that Super Troopers was developing a following?
Jay: I was surfing in San Diego with a friend of mine, and we went up to this bar. There’s a huge line out front, and the bouncer was like, “Hey, Super Trooper! Get on in here!” That’s when I knew.

Steve: That’s a good one. I was walking down Amsterdam Avenue in NYC, and a bartender ran out of the bar and said “Holy shit, you’re the Super Troopers! Get inside here, you’re drinking for free.” And we went inside and we drank for free. I think that was my first brush with fame.

Kevin: It was a slow burn, but it worked out all right. We got free drinks.

Paul: But it was a solid two years after the movie, wouldn’t you say?

Erik: I was parachuting in the Himalayas —

Paul: Here we go! And there was the Dalai Lama, and he said, “Get in here!”

Kevin: And you drank for free! I mean, it was the age of DVDs. Remember the age of DVDs? And they got passed around people’s dorm rooms and whatever, so it was a very slow burn. We were like, “When is this thing gonna hit?” And then it finally did.

Steve: It was the equivalent of a viral video in the aughts.

Erik: It was kind of like Jerky Boys. Remember the Jerky Boys tape? We were in college, and that would get passed around on cassette. I feel like Super Troopers was kind of like that on DVD.

Yeah, but Super Troopers had a nice festival run. And Puddle Cruiser was actually a success at a couple of festivals. Were there lessons from the making of Puddle Cruiser that you were able to use while making Super Troopers?
Jay: The opening of Puddle Cruiser was a little weak. It was a little soft. We would show the movie and the first ten minutes would be kind of silent, and then it would get going. So with Super Troopers, we were hellbent on making a funny opening. We really worked really hard on it, and then we shot it, and then the day before we were going to Sundance, Kevin and I were watching it with the color timer at DuArt Film Lab. We watched the whole opening scene and the title comes up and I’m like, “Stop the film!” and I look at Kevin and I’m like, “We blew it again! It’s terrible!” and he goes, “What are you talking about?” And I’m like, “It sucks! The opening of the movie sucks!” Then when we showed it for the first time on Friday night at Sundance, it was an explosion of laughter.

That opening scene does a great job of establishing the offbeat tone of the movie. It doesn’t start off with you guys; it starts off with these stoners in a car. And then it becomes almost like a horror movie with the car in the background that magically appears and disappears. 
Steve: It was the only time in the movie when we had to do a pullover from that perspective, because that was the only time you were gonna not know who the heroes were. We wanted to convey what it was like to get pulled over by these guys.

And it’s funny, because we did the development process with a couple of different studios, and one studio was like, “We don’t really like this opening scene. We have a great idea for you: We think you should start out with the Super Troopers as little kids and show them playing on the playground. Like, little Mac is crazy, and little Farva’s an asshole …” Which was a terrible idea, and for us a big welcome to the studio system. But we went ahead and did this opening, which was based on a true story that happened to us:

We were going to this bachelor party over the Canadian border in an RV, and had a bunch of weed and mushrooms. The Canadian border patrol stopped us just to say, “Hey, what are you guys doing?” We were going to a sex club, a dual sex/strip club over the Canadian border. And the border patrol found a joint on the dashboard and were like, “Okay, everybody get off the RV until we find out whose marijuana this is.” And there was a dude in the back holding the mushrooms for the entire bachelor party. He had like 12 doses of mushrooms, and he ate them all. We were in a holding cell for about four hours, and nobody wanted to admit whose joint it was because we didn’t know what was gonna happen. Were you gonna be put in international prison? And this kid is tripping balls in his cell, his eyes are dilated, and finally his big brother admitted it: He was like, “It’s my joint.” And they were like “Okay, then, you’re not allowed back in Canada for seven years. Get out of here.” And we were like, “That’s the fucking punishment? That’s it?” So we went back over the border and this kid tripped for like 72 hours and didn’t remember anything, and all he said was his cheeks hurt from smiling so much. That was the inspiration for the opening scene.

Let’s step back a little bit. Tell me about how Broken Lizard got together. 
Kevin: We all went to Colgate together in upstate New York, and Jay had taken the opportunity to put on a show, and he wanted to put together a comedy group. He had some experience in Chicago with improv and that kind of stuff, and so he started assembling this group of friends to do this sketch-comedy show at college.

Steve: What do you mean, “friends?” You didn’t like me at all.

Kevin: I didn’t like you. I fought against Steve Lemme joining our comedy show because I thought he was a little bit shady.

Jay: We had auditions, but there wasn’t a big theater scene there. Paul and Eric were in the theater, but these other two guys weren’t.

Kevin: Steve’s girlfriend talked him into trying out, and he was drunk when he came to the audition.

Steve: I was at the tailgate for a football game. You had the auditions on a Saturday afternoon.

Paul: That really won you over, Kevin. That broke the ice.

Steve: He fucking hated me. And my girlfriend was like, “You always say you want to be in a play or something. Well, these guys are holding auditions! Why don’t you go try out?” And so I went and he was like, “Okay. Let’s do an improv.” It was me and Ted Griffin, who’s a writer. He wrote Matchstick Men, Ocean’s Eleven, Tower Heist. He had us audition as two No. 2 pencils — I was one who had been cheating on a test and he was the wholesome one. And frankly, I crushed it. Jay wanted to put me in the comedy group, but Kevin still wouldn’t give me the part until Jay said, “Look, he can play the scumbag, he can play the thief, he can play the asshole.”

Paul: The greaseball, the slimy character. You need those in sketch comedy!

Kevin: True, and then I gave in.

Jay: Right, but there was another reason you didn’t like him.

Erik: He stole a candy bar from you or something, right?

Steve: Okay, here’s the deal. I was a freshman and these guys were sophomores, and I went to rush their fraternity house. It was wintertime at Colgate, and when these guys would have parties, there was a mountain of coats in the foyer. And it was kind of like a ritual that people would just select any random coat off the pile and take it home with them.

Jay: No, not true at all.

Steve: It was a ritual for me.

Paul: It’s called “thievery.”

Steve: I found this one coat, and it was huge. It wrapped around me twice. And then the best part was I reached into the pocket and found a jumbo Snickers bar, and I was like, We have a winner! And I walked up the hill to my dorm room and I ate the Snickers bar, and it was great. Now here’s the thing: I was blacked out, so the next day I didn’t remember where I got the coat or whose it was. And I guess I wore it back to the scene of the crime.

Kevin: I didn’t have my fucking winter coat for, like, two weeks. And then one day I walk in and there it is, sitting there, my coat’s back. I reach into the pocket — the thief had left his college ID inside it! “Steven Lemme.” And I go, “Holy fucking shit!” And I found him and I was like, “Hey, you stole my coat!” He goes “No, I didn’t.” I go, “I found your ID in it.” He goes “Holy shit! The guy who stole your coat must have been the same guy who stole my ID!”

Jay: Good answer.

Steve: I thought it was a good answer, but he didn’t go for it.

Paul: Have you ever replaced the Snickers bar in all these years? Have you ever bought him a fucking Snickers bar?

Steve: You know what, Kevin? Today, I’m going to treat you to a jumbo Snickers bar.

Paul: Let the healing begin!

We have clips that we’re gonna be showing throughout this event—let’s show the first one now. It’s one of the best-known scenes from the film.

Kevin: Try to get that scene through a development meeting, man. You can’t do it! People read it on the page and they’re like, “What the fuck is this?”

Erik: Two pages of “Meow”!

Kevin: They’re saying “meow”? What the hell is this shit? This is not gonna work!

Steve: Originally, George Clooney was the executive producer of Super Troopers, and he got us into the room with, like, the president of every movie studio. But all of them singled out that scene as to why they weren’t gonna make the movie. They were like, “You’ve got ‘meow …’ It might be funny to you guys, but nobody else is going to think this is funny. Pass.” “Is George gonna act in it?” “No.” “Pass.”

Erik: Somebody said, “If you get Ben Affleck to play Thorny, we’ll greenlight it.” I believe it was Fox.

Jay: We should have done it. It would have been a good movie.

Paul: Ben Affleck would be sitting there right now, staring out into space as we talk.

Jay: I’d be sitting in the audience just weeping.

Kevin: At the time, Jim Gaffigan was a relatively unknown guy. He was in NYC, we were all working in NYC.

Jay: You hated him, too.

Steve: You’re gonna notice a theme here. Kevin hated Jim Gaffigan.

Erik: It’s true.

Steve: And we were like, “This guy just killed his audition.” Kevin was like, “I don’t like this fucking guy.”

Kevin: He stole my pants at a party!

No, when we were in New York, I would go audition for commercials and in the room there’d always be this fucking guy, Jim Gaffigan. I was always up against Jim Gaffigan. I’d do the audition and not get it, and then I’d see the commercial come on and Jim Gaffigan had gotten it. He was the Rolling Rock guy, he was the Saturn guy, he was everything. And I was like “This guy … he is my nemesis!” So then he comes in to read for Super Troopers and I was like, “This is my chance. I’m gonna shoot this guy down!” and these guys loved him. They loved Jim Gaffigan. And I was like “No way!

Paul: “He’s like a funnier Kevin Heffernan! We love this guy!”

Steve: In the audition process, you get a veto if you got a beef with somebody and you’re like, “I know you guys love that guy, but we’re not casting him and this is why.” And we’re like “Okay, fine, we got you.” In this case we were like, “Fuck you, Heffernan. This guy killed his audition.”

Paul: It was four to one.

Steve: And Gaffigan got the job. The best part was that when we were there on the highway shooting the scene, Kevin won’t even come talk to Gaffigan. You think of Gaffigan as a clean standup comedian, but in real life he was dirty. He was telling dirty jokes! We’re laughing our asses off, and you’d look over and see Kevin 100 yards away at the craft-service table just sadly eating. I don’t think you ever came and spoke to Jim Gaffigan, did you?

Kevin: I did. He went on to great things and we became friends with him, and we put him in Slammin’ Salmon. And then he was super-nice enough to fly his private jet in and shoot Super Troopers 2 with us.

Steve: Only in the morning because he had like ten sold-out shows at the Wilbur Theater in Boston. But he flew out on his PJ and shot in the morning and then flew back to Boston. He’s come a long way.

Kevin: I love Jim Gaffigan. He’s fantastic.

Paul: I want to say, since we’re in L.A. right now: the whole “meow” routine was cooked up in a Travelodge on Pico. We’d all fly out from New York to try to get this movie set up. And it was always the five of us in one little hotel room. So there were long nights of partying and trying to make each other laugh, and you reach that point in the night when your jokes don’t even make sense anymore. We were like, “What if there’s a wizard and he did something to your tongue so that when you went to say ‘now’ instead it would be ‘meow?’” We took turns screaming “meow!” at each other, laughing and imagining that the people next door to us would call downstairs and then the kid at the desk would have to call our room and be like [does the squeaky-voiced teen from The Simpsons]: “Uh, we’re getting a lot of complaints of people screaming ‘Meow!’ in the next room!

Jay: About six weeks later, we were writing the movie and somebody had written on a piece of paper, “Meow = Now.” And they said, “You remember this joke?” and we were like, “Oh yeah, that’s a good joke,” and then we wrote it into the movie.

Have you ever come up with an idea or a joke where you thought, “Oh, this is funny, but it’s not us, it’s not the kind of thing we could do”? 
Kevin: Yeah, we avoid certain kinds of jokes. There’s always periods where you go through mean-spirited comedy, you know? Our philosophy was always, “Let’s make it like your five buddies are hanging out, and you guys want to hang out with us,” and it’s a more pleasurable thing. Once you start getting into more mean-spirited stuff, it always seemed to undermine that.

You can even see that in the “meow” scene, because Gaffigan’s character realizes what’s happening. It’s not cringe- or humiliation- type stuff.
Kevin: Fuck that guy! Nah, you’re right.

You seem very good natured about it.
Kevin: That’s the dangerous thing about making Super Troopers. You put yourself into this situation by playing police, and it’s comes with with certain baggage. The trick is to make sure that you’re not portraying the bad guy and that we’re all in on the joke together, having a good time.

Erik: There was one time the five of us were driving and we got pulled over. Jay was driving, and he was like, “I’m gonna tell this motherfucker off, all right?” And we’re like, “Okay.” And then the guy comes up and Jay’s like, “Yes sir, of course sir, whatever you need sir, yes, please.” And we’re like “Oh, you totally told him off, didn’t you?”

And then we’re like, “They have so much power, right? But what if they had a great sense of humor?”

Let’s do the second clip now, possibly my favorite gag from the movie and one I think about all the time for some reason.

Kevin: We’re so young looking, aren’t we? So young!

Steve: You’re so smooth and creamy, both of you.

Kevin: Yummy mustache in there!

And the mustaches were real, right?
All the guys: Oh yeah, definitely.

Where did this gag come from? I seem to recall there’s a story behind it.
Jay: There was a Burger King in Hamilton, New York, where we went to school. We’d roll through this drive-thru and get these large Cokes. And in the middle of the semester they got a new manager, and the manager was from Canada. And he just insisted that the large was now called a liter. And, you know, we were pretty jingoistic, anti-metric-system guys, and I was like, “I’m not ordering a liter, I’m ordering a large Coke!” And he goes, “We don’t have that.” He goes, “Order a liter!” I’m like, “I’m not ordering a liter!” And it went like that for a while — and we got him back.

Paul: We jumped over the counter and kicked his ass.

Kevin: That’s a buddy of ours, Charlie Finn, who played that character. He has such a punchable face, you know? It really came to life when he put that uniform on and got back there. We shut down a Burger King and shot all night long in there, and we beat the shit out of him. It was fantastic because later on in the scene, I jump the counter and I tackle him. We did multiple takes of it. We didn’t know it would resonate like that—we were just having a good time beating on this guy, and it worked out.

Steve: You can’t do that anymore, man.

Kevin: Can’t do that anymore.

He gives a great performance too, because you can’t quite tell if he’s being kind of dim and sincere, or just monstrously sarcastic.
Kevin: Yeah, and that’s the way Charlie is in real life.

Steve: That’s exactly how you describe him: dim, sincere, and sarcastic.

Farva is such a great comic creation. Does he have roots in any real people you knew?
Kevin: In those days, when we would write a script, one thing we tried hard to do is not cast it ahead of time, because when you did that, then everyone would start focusing on their character. If you don’t know who you’re going to play, then you’ll write jokes for everybody. We were very faithful to that process, so Farva was created as a character before any of us got cast.

Erik: We all read for it, right?

Jay: I think that’s right, and we named him after Brett Favre.

Kevin: We all wanted to find the most disgusting-sounding name, and Brett Favre at the time was big, but also we wanted to rhyme something with “Larva” because we thought “larva” was a disgusting-sounding word. But I think Erik and Paul created that character first, right?

Erik: I thought I was maybe gonna play it, and then we did the table read and you just knocked it out of the park and it was like, “Yeah, it’s Kevin.”

Steve: I was supposed to read Farva after Kevin, and I declined. There was no point.

Kevin: Because I’m the biggest asshole of us? Is that what you guys are driving at here?

Paul: You found something deep in your soul. I wish we taped that. We were having these table reads where we didn’t know who was who, and these alternate-universe versions of the movie would be cool to look back on.

Erik: Being friends with you, it’s fun to write because we knew you were eventually going to have to do those things. Like the powdered-sugar scene, we were giggling writing it because we were like, “Kevin’s gonna get naked and covered in powdered sugar!” And he was like, “Awesome, great.”

Steve: But we weren’t supposed to see his dick in that scene.

Paul: Nobody was supposed to see his dick.

Erik: Jay invited his whole family, right?

Steve: Jay’s whole family — nephews, nieces, there were like 20 Indians on set that day. Didn’t you ask the DP to dip down and check his dick?

Jay: No.

I said to Kevin, because the scene is an homage to First Blood, “Stallone is naked in First Blood, so if we’re gonna do the homage you gotta be naked.” He goes “Yeah — from behind. Just don’t show my dick.” And I’m like, “Don’t flatter yourself; nobody wants to see that tuna can.” Now we’re shooting the scene, and he’s naked from behind and we’re shooting him with a garden hose — with very cold water, he always wants me to tell people. And I say to the cameraman, “When he turns, put the camera above the waistline and make sure we don’t see his dick.” And the cameraman’s like, “Why would anyone want to see his dick?” I’m like, “Exactly.”

So he tilts up above his waist, and then a puff of powdered sugar lands right in Kevin’s mouth. And he goes, “Pah! Pah! Pah!” [spitting sounds]. And I’m at the monitor like, “God, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.” The cameraman felt the same way because he went like this [imitates laughing sound and panning up and down]. We got back to New York and Kevin and I were watching the dailies, and I’m like, “Oh my god, there’s your dick!” And he goes, “We’re not showing my dick!”

Kevin: It turned into a huge fight in the editing room. He was making all his arguments for why I should show my dick, like, “Think about Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant, how fucking gritty that is.” And I’m like, “We’re making a comedy! Nobody wants to see my dick!” But I lost the argument.

Steve: We did a live show, and a girl showed up with the photo of Kevin and his dick on her shirt. President Obama saw his dick. Everybody has seen his dick.

Staying on the theme of nudity, I’m gonna go to our third clip.

Kevin: We shot that on the grounds of the Fishkill Correctional Facility.

Steve: Maximum-security prison!

Kevin: The prisoners were watching us shoot this scene. We had to protect Lemme from the sun, so between takes they would put a kimono on him—

Steve: And a parasol.

Kevin: He’d walk around with a parasol and a kimono, showing his jock strap, and the prisoners were yelling from the windows, “I LOVE YOU! I WANNA LOVE ON YOU!” They were just raining shit down on us.

Steve: “I WANNA FUCK YOU!” Every time I’d take off the kimono, a cheer would go up from the prison. Look, in their eyes, there’s a cop getting naked and being shot. It was fucking horrible, actually. It was a good time.

Erik: That was the scene that almost wasn’t, because Jay as a director always wanted to make sure everything made sense. When we were writing it, Jay was like, “Nah, it would never happen. We should cut the scene. We’d never do this.” So we had to find a way to make it feel real.

Steve: I think we looked online and saw that bulletproof jock straps really existed.

Tell me about working with Brian Cox.
Kevin: Oh, Coxy. What we tried to do in our early movies was bring someone into the cast that has some gravitas. We were making a $1 million movie and we didn’t have anybody, and Cox came through. At heart, the guy’s a comic. When you watch Succession now and all that kind of stuff, you wouldn’t expect that. But he’s a big Jerry Lewis fan, he loves comedies, and he really wanted to do one, so he decided to come slum it with us. Here was a guy who’s a real fucking actor—and he would remind us about that. He did Shakespeare in Moscow! He would tell us that kind of shit. But he grounded us. When we did Super Troopers 2, it was a pleasure because we picked right up with him where we left off. I was happy he remembered my name.

Erik: At first, when the email came in with a picture of him that said “Brian Cox is interested in playing Captain O’Hagan,” we looked at the photograph and were like, “Hannibal Lecter?” He hadn’t done comedy up to that point. We were thinking about getting heavy hitters in the comedy world, like Bill Murray, to play Capt. O’Hagan. That would be the natural choice, but we didn’t really have the money for it. This was the original Manhunter, the original Hannibal Lecter. That was the reference we had, and we were like, “Are we gonna cast Hannibal Lecter as our captain?” And we did.

Steve: And in Super Troopers 2, we discovered he was a stoner. One day he’s like, “I love to smoke marijuana! I got high just last night!” And we were like, “What are you smoking?” and he goes, “Dank Sinatra.”

Paul: He was the first one to tell us to get into the edibles business, because he was starting to get into edibles, but he’s diabetic. He loves black licorice, and he kept trying to convince us, “If somebody could make a sugarless black licorice edible…” He didn’t understand that he’s probably the only person on the planet who would want that kind of edible.

Erik: We discovered he was diabetic when we were shooting the rookie scene where he’s about to eat the soap. He’s about to take a bite of it and goes, “Wait a second, is this white chocolate?” And we’re like, “Yeah, that’s what we cover the bar of soap in,” and he’s like “I’m a diabetic!” So we almost killed him right off the bat. And then the prop master at the last minute had to go run around and try to find sugar free white chocolate in a small town in upstate New York. I don’t know how she did it.

Jay: He bit a real bar of soap.

Erik: He did?

Jay: Yeah, a real bar of soap.

Speaking of diabetes, I want to ask about the syrup-chugging scene. Is it true you chugged real syrup for this?

Jay: Well, we tried to use very thick iced tea, but you could tell it was liquid when looking at it. So we sent a production assistant to the K-Mart and he came back with something like 8 bottles of syrup. I drank 2 ½ full bottles and I made Erik drink 3 ½. I didn’t think he had it right yet.

Erik: He was fucking with me.

Jay: I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but that’s one thing I would never do again. You’re not meant for that much sugar. At lunch, we were both feeling pretty bad. We went and laid in my trailer in the dark and just shook. Then he went back to the hotel, and I shot this love scene that doesn’t make it into the movie. But I was not well. We both tried to throw it up but it was too thick, it wouldn’t come up. When I got back to the hotel, he came out of his room and he goes “Have you pooped yet?” and I’m like “No.” And he goes, “Well, there’s a reason why maple syrup is part of the master cleanse. Good luck.” I went in and stuff came out of me from years ago! Like, I shat a fossilized robin fetus!” And when you’re finished, you’re like, “Never again. Never again.”

Paul: And now that’s all anyone wants you to do. When we go out, people somehow are always producing maple syrup out of their fucking pockets, and you’re like, “Thank god that’s not me!”

You mentioned there was a love scene that was cut out. Were there other scenes, other bits that were cut out of the film?
Kevin: Yeah, we had a whole separate ending. We originally shot an ending where we go undercover at a meatpacking factory, pull our uniforms off, and catch these guys selling meat that’s expired or something. We shot the whole thing. That was in the Sundance ending. And then when we sold the movie to Searchlight, they’re like, “Ah, that meatpacking ending doesn’t really fly,” so we reshot it. That’s sitting out there somewhere, that other ending.

Were there other changes made to the film after Sundance?
Jay: We took about seven minutes out of it. Searchlight connected us with a guy named George Folsey Jr., who was the editor and producer of Blues Brothers, Animal House, Trading Places, and all those movies with John Landis. He sat with Kevin and me and was like, “You can probably trim this here, trim this there,” and we all just got to work on it together and slimmed it up.

Erik: Was “Who wants a mustache ride?” a reshoot after Sundance?

Steve: Yeah, that was a reshoot. We shot that in New York City.

Let’s talk about Super Troopers 2. You had a very successful crowdfunding effort for that film. Was it a surprise for you that you had to go that route?
Kevin: Yeah, but it was also very reaffirming. We were having trouble getting the studio to feel that the audience was out there and wanted to see another movie, and that was the perfect method to do that. As soon as we proved that the fanbase was out there, it opened the doors and the studio was more comfortable. It ended up working out really, really well.

Steve: And that actually connected us with the fans the most, ultimately. We’ll meet people all the time who come up to us and go “I contributed to the campaign” and you’re like, “Thank you, you actually made the movie.” You don’t actually ever get that level of connection with your fans, but we got it, and that was the best part.

What are the weirdest experiences you’ve had with Super Troopers fandom over the years?
Kevin: We’ve had people walk up to us and have tattoos of us on them. That’s always weird.

Jay: There was the time we were all throwing the first pitch out at the San Diego Padres game. Kevin was late and was driving 105 mph down the 5, and he got pulled over.

Kevin: The cop was like, “Where you going in such a hurry?” And I said “Well, I’m going to throw the first pitch out at the Padres game?” And he said, “Who are you to throw the first pitch out at the Padres game?” and I said, “I made a movie called Super Troopers.” And he looked at me and went, “Oh.” He walked away and then walked back five minutes later and goes, “Can I give you an escort to the stadium?” And then they drove me to the stadium and, as you’re walking in, all the cops are standing around and you hear their walkies: “He’s here. He’s here. He’s here.” Playing a cop has its perks—sometimes.

You’ve talked in the past about Super Troopers 3. What’s the state of that right now?
Steve: We worked on it last night.

Jay: 10 drafts done. We’ll do another 18 or so and then be ready to go.

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