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New book brings ‘Super Troopers’ actor/director Jay Chandrasekhar to Comedy Club, Auntie’s

UPDATED: Thu., April 13, 2017

Jay Chandrasekhar will perform at Spokane Comedy Club and hold a book reading at Auntie’s Bookstore this weekend. (Courtesy photo)
Jay Chandrasekhar will perform at Spokane Comedy Club and hold a book reading at Auntie’s Bookstore this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Three stoners drive down the highway discussing the ins and outs of owning beach property. Suddenly, a pair of Vermont state troopers pull alongside them, sending the trio into a frenzy to get rid of their weed as quickly as they can.

Once the troopers have pulled the stoners over, after a brief moment in which the trio thinks they’re not going to be punished, Trooper Arcot “Thorny” Ramathorn, played by Jay Chandrasekhar, steps out of his patrol car and slowly saunters over to the stoners’ car.

“License and registration,” the mustachioed Chandrasekhar says.

So begins “Super Troopers,” the 2001 cult classic that put comedy troupe Broken Lizard, which features Chandrasekhar, on the map.

More than a decade later, his book, “Mustache Shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and Other Adventures in Comedy,” which was released in March, brings Chandrasekhar to Spokane Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday and to Auntie’s Bookstore on Saturday.

The book, which he wrote to commemorate his early standup career, “Super Troopers,” its highly anticipated upcoming sequel and other Broken Lizard films, comes after Chandrasekhar turned down numerous book offers in the past decade.

“I figured ‘Super Troopers 2’ would be generating a lot of focus on us, so why not time the book so that people can get excited about that movie by reading the stories of everything we’ve done before?” he said.

Revisiting the memories he included in the book proved rewarding for Chandrasekhar, as it helped him recall even more details about the shenanigans he and the Broken Lizard crew got into while making movies like “Super Troopers,” “Club Dread” and “Beer Fest.”

“Mustache Shenanigans” also chronicles Chandrasekhar’s time growing up in Chicago and the creation of Broken Lizard, which Chandrasekhar assembled in order to play the characters he wanted to play, not the store clerk, cabdriver or terrorist roles Hollywood reserves for Indian actors.

The book closes with a chapter on “Super Troopers 2,” which Chandrasekhar said he’s been asked about at least twice a day since the release of “Super Troopers.”

“We have to make it to quiet people down a little bit,” he said with a laugh. “I know once we finish it they’re going to say ‘When’s 3?’ ”

Fox Searchlight agreed to distribute the film, but Broken Lizard had to fund the movie themselves. Chandrasekhar said this was because movie studios are owned by massive corporations looking for films that can make profits worldwide. American comedies, which focus on language and references to the U.S., don’t tend to be those movies.

Undiscouraged (“To be discouraged by ‘no’ is to basically fail in show business,” Chandrasekhar said), Broken Lizard turned to the fans who never stopped believing in a sequel, creating an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

“It was a high risk that if we were able to make it happen … the studio would see that there’s an audience for this movie,” Chandrasekhar said. “However, if nobody had funded us … the studio would look at it and say ‘You know what, guys? Nobody wants to see this movie.’ ”

The campaign’s initial goal of $2 million was reached in just over a day. By the time the campaign ended, more than $4.5 million was raised.

Filming reunited Broken Lizard with “Super Troopers” actors like Brian Cox and Marisa Coughlan, brought actors/“Super Troopers” fans like Rob Lowe and Emmanuelle Chriqui to set, and gave Chandrasekhar reason to grow out his mustache.

“Super Troopers 2,” which Chandrasekhar directed, was filmed last year and is currently in post-production.

When not working on Broken Lizard films, Chandrasekhar often gets offered roles in TV shows. He’ll take them every now and then, but he prefers to work on his own projects, likening it to wearing a sweater that is tailor-made versus a sweater someone has made for themselves.

Having refused to let traditional Hollywood standards get in the way of his goals since creating Broken Lizard in college, Chandrasekhar doesn’t see any endeavor, which includes writing a novel, as insurmountable.

“Any kind of artistic adventure I can dream up, I’m going to just go for it,” he said.

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