TV Article

The 411 on '911'

Reno ''911:'' The beginning -- Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and Robert Ben Garant reminisce about the Comedy Central series

''Reno 911:'' The beginning

Comedy Central's Reno 911! is about to begin a fifth season of cold cases and hot pants (Jan. 16 at 10:30 p.m.). For the occasion we asked stars/creators Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, and Robert Ben Garant to testify to how it all began.

TL The show came together as a result of a failure of another show, for which I blame Kerri. We were doing a Fox sketch show that got canceled at the table read.

KKS Listen, I can only blame myself and alcoholism for that.

RBG You can't use chardonnay as a crutch for that disaster.

TL Kerri was doing a character whose catchphrase was ''Oh, my God, I'm going to barf Twizzlers.'' We thought this was pretty much the greatest sketch ever written. And we sat there watching the faces of everyone around the table, and they seemed to not agree.

KKS If I had delivered a little bit better, the show probably would have gotten picked up. Here's the problem: I make big choices, and my choice that day was Cockney.

TL Reno is basically inspired by eight pints of beer and then half-watching one episode of COPS. We didn't even have an episode of COPS; we half-watched one Too Hot for TV! and I remember thinking, This is terrible. We recently took John Langley, the producer of COPS, out to lunch, and the lunch was like $200...

RBG And afterwards he said now we only owe him $14,900,700 or something.

KKS We're lucky because he could so easily have us imprisoned.

TL Well, it's a delightful parody, Kerri, that the whole family can enjoy — if the family likes hardcore gay undertones. And creepiness. And awkward nudity.

Originally posted Jan 11, 2008 Published in issue #974 Jan 18, 2008 Order article reprints