Have you ever seen “Beerfest?” How about “Super Troopers?” If so, or even if you haven’t, the opportunity to see Broken Lizard, the comedy group that created those movies, will be here on campus on Nov. 5. Broken Lizard consists of five members: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske. The group writes and produces their own films as well as touring and performing live shows.
Students can expect a lot of variety and plenty of laughs from the show, according to Kevin Heffernan, who played Rodney Farva in “Super Troopers,” as well as both Landfill and Gil in “Beerfest.” While some of the show will be scripted, Broken Lizard doesn’t pre-plan each element of their shows.
“We have a lot of written stuff, but we also love to interact with the audiences and there will be plenty of spontaneity there,” Heffernan said. “We feel like it [the show] has a little of something for everyone. We like to mix our high brow with a healthy dose of low brow. If you like the humor of our films, you’ll love the show.”
The performance will include stand-up, sketch, and even audience participation. According to Heffernan, there will be an opportunity for students to participate in a scene from “Super Troopers” with the real characters.
“[Students can expect] a lot of laughs and ridiculously funny humor,” said Katrina Williams, member of Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE), the organization that is bringing Broken Lizard to campus.
NAE chairperson Whitney Tapani agreed.
“[Students should] expect it to be like the comedy in their movies because I believe they wrote and produced those movies,” she said.
When NAE heard that Broken Lizard was touring, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring them to campus.
“When we received a list of comedians touring and realized who Broken Lizard was, we decided we couldn’t pass on them because really it was the price of five for one. And what college student hasn’t seen ‘Beerfest’ or ‘Super Troopers,'” said Tapani.
Junior English writing major and NAE member Stacy Milbourn said Broken Lizard’s stand-up is very similar to what they do in the movies and believes they’ll be bringing out some of their characters from “Super Troopers” and “Beerfest” for some their skits.
“I think fans can expect a really funny show. I think the type of comedy will be similar to the kind students have seen in Broken Lizard’s films, but I also think it’ll be unpredictable,” Milbourn said.
Milbourn also stated that she and her NAE counterparts thought bringing Broken Lizard to campus would be great for a college crowd.
“Super Troopers” and “Beerfest” are huge movies, and almost everyone has either seen one of them or knows of them,” said Milbourn. “We thought the event would be really funny and really please a lot of people.”
According to Dave Bonsall, director of the Center for Student Enrichment and advisor for (NAE), NAE tries to choose performers that they think students will enjoy seeing. Everyone agreed that the students of NMU would enjoy Broken Lizard.
“They used to perform in bars and colleges, and they formed in a college so they know how to appeal to the college crowd,” Williams said.
It turns out that Broken Lizard wanted to come to NMU just as much as NMU wanted Broken Lizard to come to NMU.
“We’re currently on a 40 city tour where we’re also visiting a lot of schools. We made a wish list of the top ten schools we wanted to visit. NMU was at the top. Our dreams came true.” said Heffernan.
According to Heffernan, Broken Lizard loves performing for college audiences, because the group started performing together in college. In fact, they’ve already performed at a number of schools on their current tour, including Kent State, American University, Tulane University, Missouri St. and the University of Miami.
Heffernan did say, though, that they had some concerns about performing this far north.
“At first we were afraid of the bears and the moose, but then we heard that the favorite thing to do in the Northland is laugh. Seemed like a perfect fit. We’ll bring our best jokes and our long underwear.”
Broken Lizard will perform on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. in the Vandament arena. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for the general public.