It’s been 15 years since Super Troopers emerged as one of the most surprising comedies of its time. Built from the ground up by the comedy group Broken Lizard, which was largely unknown at the time, it was a raunchy, ridiculous movie that turned its leads into cult legends and still has a loyal following all these years later.
It’s also been many years since the group teased and then more or less promised a sequel to their best movie. But, Super Troopers 2 has proven surprisingly difficult to get off the ground. Broken Lizard went as far as to launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the sequel, and even then it didn’t seem like widespread fan support would be enough. Go figure as to why a studio wouldn’t jump on board and make the project happen, but fans were pretty pessimistic, until quite recently.
Throughout 2017 however there have been reports that the movie is actually happening, as well as that it has already been filmed and is moving quickly toward a release. Well, today we finally got proof. The teaser trailer for Super Troopers 2 was released, and its tone is reassuring for devoted fans. It looks like we’re back to the same old highway cop shenanigans, with the same lovable, ridiculous cast of characters.
Broken Lizard has produced hits and misses over the years (though fans will find something to love in most of their projects). Beerfest got some positive attention, while The Slammin Salmon was mostly a flop (albeit a pretty funny one). But if Super Troopers 2 exceeds the usual expectations for a comedy sequel, most of which are fairly bad, it will spark an interesting debate: where does Broken Lizard stand among cinematic comedy troupes?
The first competition that comes to mind is the late-‘70s Saturday Night Live gang, headed up by Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Bill Murray. Aykroyd and Belushi made The Blues Brothers together, and that’s the stuff of legend. But the biggest project from this group might actually be Ghostbusters, which has proven to have surprisingly strong staying power even today. It was remade just last year, and an online gaming site referred to it as an international brand when discussing a slot reel based on the film. That essentially makes two iconic films from this group, with plenty of other projects featuring one or two of them.
Perhaps the most dominant group Broken Lizard could be put up against is Monty Python, the British sketch comedy team responsible for numerous hits. People have plenty of favorite skits or even theatrical performances inspired by Monty Python, but it’s Monty Python & The Holy Grail that’s probably their crowning achievement. Incidentally it too is the subject of an online slot reel, as well as the inspiration for the popular musical Spamalot. There’s an enduring quality to Monty Python & The Holy Grail that may go even beyond The Blues Brothers in that virtually none of the comedy feels dated.
There are other nameless groups that are more difficult to define as well. For example, in the ‘90s Adam Sandler had quite a roll going with several of his good buddies. Throughout much of the 2000s, the foursome of Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Owen Wilson did a lot of overlapping work. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have started their own SNL alumni group (unofficially of course), and the younger group of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Michael Cera has been responsible for some extremely funny work as well. None of these groups go by names or organize themselves into specific troupes, but they’re more or less comedian clubs that do a lot of cinematic work together.
This is the kind of company Broken Lizard will join if Super Troopers 2 is good. Right now, they’re a one-hit wonder to a lot of casual observers, even if there are plenty of devoted fans who adore their other work. But with another hit, Broken Lizard will join the ranks of those recognized, successful comedy groups.
Here’s hoping they pull it off, meow.