A litre of comedy

Broken Lizard’s Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme hit town for stand-up gigs

The bantering of Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme is exactly as hilarious as you’d think it would be.

Heffernan: “Do audiences expect me to be more of a dick than I am? Because Lemme will tell you that I am that guy.” 

Lemme: “You don’t even know. The only thing that’s different about Kevin and Farva is 12 moustache hairs.” 

Heffernan: “It takes like eight months to grow a moustache.” 

Lemme: “He’s smearing fertilizer on his upper lip.” 

For the uninitiated, Heffernan and Lemme serve as two key members of Broken Lizard, the legendary comedy quintet responsible for birthing a spectacular array of films, including Super Troopers, Beerfest and The Slammin’ Salmon. Their work is, at best, excellently nonsensical. You can blame them for any jokes your idiot friend makes about shenanigans and snozzberries. 

“Our movies are supposed to be a communal experience, with people hanging out, getting kind of fucked up, watching movies and having laughs,” Heffernan says. “Sure, you’d love to get good reviews, but a long time ago we realized that if you make a movie called Beerfest it’s not like the snooty film critic is going to be like, ‘it’s a masterpiece!’” 

“Even though Beerfest is a masterpiece,” Lemme adds dryly.

Lemme and Heffernan have been performing live comedy together ever since the filming of Broken Lizard Stands Up, which is exactly what it sounds like. The duo’s debut special, Fat Man Little Boy, is emblematic of their style: each take turns doing a solo set, occasionally reuniting for some casual audience harassment or reminiscing about the absurdities of filming the cult classics.

“In general we have a pretty rowdy crowd that shows up at our shows, just by nature of who our fans are,” Lemme says. “We have a very positive form of heckling: basically our crowds just shout out lines from the movies.” Heffernan continues, “It’s flattering. The embarrassing thing is - and this just happened to us in Boston a few weekends ago - when someone throws a line at you and you forget.”

The most endearing part of anything Broken Lizard’s engaged in - films, or stand-up, or interviews - is the fact that they blatantly love the shit out of what they do. The five continue to hang out as friends: an impressive feat for people who’ve worked together since the early ‘90s. The crew isn’t slowing, either: Super Troopers 2 and an upcoming TBS show are in the works. But for now, the pair are happy to hang out in Winnipeg for a stint.

“We’re both healthy guys and trying to get in shape for upcoming projects, but we get on the road and away from the prying eyes of others, and we want a fucking slab of red meat,” Lemme says. “There’s a good chance I’m going to eat a fucking buffalo up there. It doesn’t matter if it’s the last one. They’ll say, ‘you should probably have a cow’ and I’m like, ‘nah I’m gonna take the first bite of that last buffalo.” 

Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme perform at Rumor’s Restaurant and Comedy Club from Thursday, Nov. 6 to Saturday, Nov. 8. Tickets are $20.

Published in Volume 69, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 5, 2014)

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