The creators of the cult hit comedy Super Troopers, this group of friends got their start in comedy with the founding of the group Charred Goosebeak at Colgate.
After graduation, they reassembled in New York City as the Broken Lizard comedy troupe and set out to make it as entertainers on the club scene. In 1996, the writers, actors, producers, and directors
turned to filmmaking. Their first movie, Puddle Cruiser, which they filmed at Colgate, became an official selection at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and won the Hamptons Film Festival Grand Prize Golden Starfish Award.
Following Super Troopers in 2001 (voted #2 by Huffington Post readers in their Funniest Movies of the Decade poll, and considered a must-watch-before-graduation rite by Colgate students), Broken Lizard went on to make Club Dread, Beerfest, and The Slammin’ Salmon. They also appeared in The Dukes of Hazzard (based on the 1970s television series), which founder Jay Chandrasekhar ’90 directed. They still perform sketch and stand-up comedy together regularly — including several shows in Brea, Calif., this past February — but each also has his own independent projects, as well.
Erik gave us the inside scoop on what he and his buddies are up to these days.
Jay Chandrasekhar ’90
Says Erik: “Nicknamed ‘The Brown Clown,’ ‘Wheels,’ ‘Steam,’ ‘Dr. Nifty’ — the truth is ... Jay has always tried to give himself a nickname, but nothing has ever stuck”
- Directed episodes for various hit television shows, including Chuck, Happy Endings, Up All Night, Psych, Arrested Development, Cracking Up, Oliver Beene, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, and Undeclared.
- Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Director of a Comedy Series for ABC’s Happy Endings — “The Girl with the David Tattoo”
Kevin Heffernan ’90*
Says Erik: “Kevin passed the bar in both New York and Connecticut. By far the most organized of the group. He has a clipboard for everything.”
- Appeared in the family-adventure Sky High, starring Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston
- Co-starred with Steve Zahn, Jonah Hill, and Justin Long in Strange Wilderness
- Co-wrote the comedy Preaching to the Choir, starring Patti Labelle, Tichina Arnold, and Eartha Kitt
Steve Lemme ’91*
Says Erik: “Steve has more than 250 pairs of dress shoes. He’s the Imelda Marcos of the group.”
- Wrote a half-hour comedy pilot script with Fox called Green Card, based on his ludicrous, real-life, green card marriage to a Swedish woman
- Stars with Beverley D’Angelo and Steve Guttenberg in the family film I Heart Shakey, currently in post-production
* Lemme and Heffernan have recently embarked on a two-man comedy tour. Check out heffernanlemme.com for more information and a tour schedule.
Paul Soter ’91
Says Erik: “Paul has gigantic calves. Rumor is, he stores corn in them.”
- His directorial debut, Watching the Detectives starring Cillian Murphy and Lucy Liu, was an official 2007 Tribeca Film Festival selection.
- Since embracing his bizarre fascination with horror, he has written and directed Dark Circles (starring Pell James and Johnathon Schaech) for After Dark Films. He’s underway on the dark satire A Nasty Piece of Work, and a zombie deconstruction called unHUMAN and is developing the horror-thriller TV project Rapid Falls with New Wave Entertainment.
Erik Stolhanske ’91
- Recently wrapped up production as the lead — a narcissistic self-help guru — in the independent comedy RockBarnes: The Emperor in You
- Featured in the Plyometrics workout on the P90X video series with Tony Horton
- He and Soter are currently writing a script with NFL superstar Jared Allen — a comedy loosely based
on Allen’s life called Plus One
- Learn more about his speaking tour at his website, erikstolhanske.net