Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme are ‘Fat Man Little Boy’ [INTERVIEW]
Broken Lizard have performed together for over twenty years. First in college, at Colgate University, then in successful feature films like ‘Super Troopers’, ‘BeerFest’ and ‘Club Dread’ and on a massive comedy tour.
The troupe has been together a long time.
“You don’t have any new hair holes.” remarked Lizard member Steve Lemme to Kevin Heffernan while we discussed their latest project ‘Fat Man Little Boy.’
Heffernan mentioned the possibility of a ‘Super Troopers 2’ in the coming months and how he’d have to start growing out his mustache now. He’d had some trouble the first time around but thought maybe the maturation process of life would make lip hair easier to grow this time around. “Maybe I’ve got more hair holes,” he commented, a notion Lemme quickly shot down.
“I’d know. I would have noticed,” Lemme quipped.
Lemme would have noticed based on the amount of time the two spent together in preparation for their new comedy special which hits Netflix today. Lemme and Heffernan have worked together and lived together so doing a comedy special together seemed like the natural next step.
‘Fat Man Little Boy’ is the name of your special, but is also a reference to the bombs detonated over Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Does this mean your comedy is dangerous for Japanese people?
Kevin: We were more concerned that people would say our comedy bombed.
Steve: Fat Man and Little Boy was our nickname in college whenever the two of us were together. The idea for the special came from touring live with the rest of Broken Lizard. We got our start in sketch comedy but after the tour, Kevin and I had such a good time doing it live, we decided to start touring together.
Kevin: Many of the stand-up specials you see now are in big theater type venues but we wanted to do something in a smaller club atmosphere. We shot it at The Punchline in San Francisco, a very famous old club, but very small and intimate.
Did you every want to do solo set or have you always wanted to work together?
Kevin: Our show is a little of both actually – each of us takes some time and does a solo set and then we have material that we do together.
Broken Lizard is five guys and now it’s the two of you so is there a certain comfort to working with a partner(s)?
Steve: In the early portion of the career, when you’re suffering, it’s great because you’ve got four other guys to commiserate with. It’s always easier to have someone understanding exactly what you’re going through. Stand-up is tough because you’re always up there on your own. Also, on the road, you tend to be alone more. Stand-ups also tend to travel alone. The good thing about working with a partner is not just travelling together but going to the hotel after the show and continuing our routine.
Do you get big crowds in your hotel rooms?
Steve: Standing room only.
The special Fat Man Little Boy is available exclusively on NetFlix starting today correct?
Kevin: Right. It will eventually be available on DVD but for now it’s only on Netflix.
Comedy is usually broken into two groups – stand-up and sketch and many feel it’s hard to be successful at both. Do you feel that’s true?
Kevin: I think there is some truth to that idea. Stand-up comedy is a very different muscle. It’s something Steve and I didn’t do when we were younger. We did sketch and then made the move into movies but it was stand-up was something we always wanted to do. It’s such a different exercise. It’s a different culture and whole new world. It was one of the other reasons we wanted to do the special. We don’t get recognized for doing stand-up. We’ve been doing it for four years and we’re eager to show people another side.
Steve: In terms of how we compare to other stand-ups, we’re still kind of beginners. For example, hecklers, is something completely new to us. We’ve never dealt with hecklers before were as other guys our age have been dealing with hecklers for over fifteen years. They know how to handle hecklers. Our hecklers just shout out lines from movies. We spend the first 15 minutes at our shows just listening to people screaming movie lines at us.
Is that usually what fans expect when they come to your shows? The two of you dressed as Farva and Mac doing lines from ‘Super Troopers’?
Kevin: Well, in defense of the fans, for the Broken Lizard tour we did come out in costume and do scenes and characters from the movies. In this special, we touch on the movies but it’s more behind the scenes stories and some of the stuff that happened when making the movies. One of the parts things we enjoyed about this tour was getting to interact with fans.
The other guys from Broken Lizard are absent from the special so we’re just going to assume you guys ate them. If you did have to eat, which of the guys would be most delicious?
Steve: I think it’s pretty obvious it would be the brown guy.
Kevin: He’s probably a little spicy. He’s got a little Indian in him.
Steve: That’s interesting you imagine him tasting that way Kevin. I was under the impression he’d have more of a mocha latte kind of taste. One thing Kevin and I would probably agree on is that we’d pass on eating the two white guys. They’d probably just taste like milk. Especially after a little taste of the chocolate thunder. They would taste pretty bland.
We have to ask – will there be a ‘Super Troopers’ sequel?
Kevin: There will be a Super Troopers sequel. We put it off for a while and then came back to it. We wrote the script and handed in to Fox and now we’re just negotiating the time and the place and hopefully shoot it some time this year. I have to start growing my mustache now.
How long does that process take?
Kevin: Oh man. I have about eight hair holes above my mouth. I have to start growing now and they have to patch in the rest.
Steve: No one will notice he has facial hair for months. For the first half a year people will just think his face is a little dirty.
Kevin: Who knows, maybe I’ve matured since the last movie. Maybe I’ve got more hair holes.
Steve: You don’t have any new hair holes. I’d know. I would have noticed.