“Super Troopers 2” takes town

Four members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe discuss the sequel to their 2001 cult hit “Super Troopers.”


Kelly Holm

Preceding the roundtable discussion, four of the five “Super Troopers”- Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan and Jay Chandrasekhar pose for a picture.

Kelly Holm, Reporter

In 2001, the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, consisting of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske, wrote and starred in the cult classic  cop comedy “Super Troopers.” Directed by Chandrasekhar and distributed by Fox Searchlight, the film follows five mischievous Vermont state troopers as they attempt to get serious about their work for the first time in their lives.

Seventeen years later, Broken Lizard is finally releasing a follow-up to that runaway hit. The troupe met the production costs for “Super Troopers 2” entirely through crowdfunding, launching an Indiegogo campaign in 2015 that raised over twice the $2 million they originally asked for. In this sequel, the troopers must contend with a U.S.-Canada border dispute.

Chandrasekhar, Heffernan, Lemme and Soter held a roundtable discussion about the film at Bauhaus Brew Labs on Thursday, Mar. 29. They were eager to share the story of how “Super Troopers 2” at last unfolded.

“[Fox Searchlight] said ‘we’ll distribute it, but you guys have to raise the money.’” Soter said. “We found that the financiers were kind of… lukewarm on it too, ‘cause time had passed and the DVD market wasn’t interested anymore, and so [crowdfunding] actually turned out to be our only option… We put together a really great campaign… It proved to the studio that the fans really were still out there.”

Although awareness for police overreach has grown since the first movie was released, Broken Lizard is not worried that the film might be taken as a political statement.

“There’s really no dispute between the U.S. and Canada, so that’s the fun part of the movie,” Lemme said. “That’s something we really need, we just need to laugh.”

Another factor to the film’s reception is the reality that people who were not yet born when the original came out are now old enough to see its sequel in theaters without parental accompaniment. Broken Lizard, however, is confident they have what it takes to reach Generation Z.

“We have so many interactions with kids whose uncle or father showed them the movie,” Lemme said.

“It got passed down,” Heffernan added. “I think kids get to a certain age, especially in college, [where you] get brought in, you get indoctrinated at some point.”

“And he’s big on Instagram too, that helps,” joked Lemme.

Although crowdfunding might have been a daunting challenge, Broken Lizard says that the second film was much easier to create than the first.

“We know how to write movies now,” Chandrasekhar said. “Back then we were still testing out theories of how to write films… Now we just write a 3-act structure, get some twists and turns, and hang jokes in there.”

Heffernan added that the troupe’s familiarity with the characters made the sequel much smoother to write.

“I think the characters are the hardest thing to write- when it’s already set in stone it’s much easier,” he said.

Chandrasekhar believes that “Super Troopers 2” has better overall production quality than its predecessor, “but it doesn’t really matter, it’s all in how the audience experienced the movie.”

Super Troopers 2 will be released theatrically on Apr. 20 through Fox Searchlight Pictures.