As the members of Broken Lizard will tell you, law enforcement officers tend to be fans of the comedy troupe’s 2002 cult classic Super Troopers and its 2018 sequel.
But the Depew Police Department in Western New York may have broken new ground Monday with a Facebook post recommending the movie — one of the all-time stoner flicks — to weed-smoking citizens thinking about leaving the house on April 20, a.k.a. 4/20, the unofficial but widely recognized "holiday" for pot lovers.
"Stay home. Enjoy your day. Social distance yourselves. Eat your Funyuns and Snickers bars (try them frozen!). Watch Super Troopers. But please do not drive under the influence. The safety of everyone on the road could be at risk," the suburban Buffalo department wrote in an amusing and widely shared social media PSA while also acknowledging New York State's stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus.
"P.S. Don't be that person stopped at a stop sign, waiting for it to turn green. You'll make it easy for us. Just stay home."
"That is definitely a first," laughed Erik Stolhanske, who plays Rabbit in the films, when reached by Yahoo Entertainment Monday. "I loved it. I like that a police department is encouraging people have some frozen Snickers and hang out and watch Super Troopers at home. What a great way to keep our country safe — laughing and safe at the same time."
Despite New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's best efforts, marijuana has not been legalized for recreational use in the state. It is available medicinally, though under much stricter regulations than most other states that have made it available via doctor's prescription. (Given Buffalo's close proximity to Canada, though, the region is "legal weed adjacent.")
Released in February 2002 after premiering at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, Super Troopers follows the exploits of five goofy Vermont lawmen (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Stolhankse) who get their kicks by pulling pranks (such as the oft-mimicked "Meow" game) on the unsuspecting motorists they stop. Its follow-up, Super Troopers 2, was released on April 20, 2018, naturally. A third film is currently in the works.
Stolhanske says of one of his favorite things about Super Troopers' enduring legacy is the disparate fan bases that it unites. "We do screenings now and there will be cops and stoners arm-in-arm sitting next to each other in the theater together," he explains. "It brings together both groups, which is pretty funny, I think."
A year ago for 4/20, the Minneapolis native teamed with Minnesota's Wyoming Police Department for a similar "Don't Drive High" video PSA in which he played a stoner flagged for driving 5 miles per hour in a 55 mph speed zone. The actor says he has a whole box of police department patches from friends he has made in law enforcement over the years.
The comedy troupe's association with Super Troopers has unsurprisingly gotten them out of some traffic stops. It happened once when the whole gang was our tour together in Indianapolis and flew through a construction zone in Indianapolis. The officer immediately recognized Heffernan, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, as fan favorite "Farva." (Warning: Video below contains NSFW language.)
In his standup routine, Lemme ("Mac") tells a story of being stopped for doing 120 mph past midnight on Interstate 5 North in rural California. He was prepared to be booked for jail until the trooper fanboyed out, telling Lemme that the officer and his police pals play the "Meow" game, among other stunts. After some autographs, selfies and taste of his own medicine, Lemme was free to go.
They've heard other tales of police officers playing the "Meow" game, though Stolhankse is hesitant to narc out his real-life counterparts and say where. "Sometimes they'll try it when it's late at night and someone's drunk and they won't remember," he says.
So clearly it's not just the cops in Depew who have a good sense of humor.
Watch the cast of Super Troopers tell us how to properly meow:
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