For quite a while I’ve been a fan of “Reno 911!” The program’s mix of improv, quick wit, and sheer lunacy captivated my attention for the first two seasons it had aired. I remember laughing my ass off watching episodes where Officer Jones was demoted to crossing guard duty and scenes with Jackie the hooker getting upset over pickle juice or Reverend LeCarp broadcast his weekly sermon from jail. My love of “Reno 911!” led me to discover the 1990s sketch comedy series “The State” and appreciate the method behind the “Reno 911!” madness. I would spend hours downloading and watching clips from “The State” such as "Muppet Hunter”, “$240 Worth of Pudding”, and my personal favorite which had a parody of the $25,000 Pyramid with Nancy Spungen (played by Kerri Kenney-Silver) and Sid Vicious (played by Ben Garant) in the winner’s circle. The fact that the members of “The State” started the group at N.Y.U. seemed too good to be true.
But that adoration waned with season 3, which aired last summer. The jokes were weak and the gags were increasable predictable. While I enjoyed the addition of Mary Birdsong to the cast as Officer Kimball, the chemistry between the actors seemed to be missing. For every classic scene like the massage train in “SARS Outbreak” there were several snoozers like “Fastest Criminal in Reno” or “CSI: Reno.” The season-ending cliffhanger did not hold my interest though I did not want to lose hope in my favorite television show. And so I held out hope for nearly a year that season 4 would be significantly better even though it was taped at the same time as the debacle that was season 3.
Though only about a month old, season 4 has absolutely redeemed itself. The last 2 episodes in particular were just unforgettable and had my slides splitting like I had been watching the first 2 seasons. How so? Well, there was Deputy Kimball in SWAT gear guarding the ski jet ready to shoot at the drop of a hat. There was Deputy Johnson and Lt. Dangle acting in a commercial for an anti-rape device. Of course how could one forget Rick from the Citizen’s Patrol getting away from every single crime scene via public bus. And then there was the piece de résistance- the botched panty raid!
With that, fondness of all things “Reno 911!” had blossomed anew. The other day I was messing around with YouTube and found the video for “Lorraine’s Car” by Cake Like, a rock group that Kerri Kenney-Silver used to be in. Then I found these two nuggets of joy off the same website – an interview of Carlos Alazraqui and a two-part video interview of Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant where they discuss the making of “Reno 911!” including [*drum-roll*] a movie based on the show! (To be released in theaters this January)!
Bliss. Complete and unfettered bliss.
And don’t forget- hug the police! (Even if they're obsessed with Morrissey).
reno 911, the state, cake like,comedy