I've never thrown a javelin. What kind of sport is that? It's hilarious.
I think there's a pedigree that comes with being from Chicago that gives you some cache outside of L.A. and New York, where, frankly, most of show business really is.
We can't make movies without scripts, and there's no cost to writing a script, so my advice to newcomers is do it yourself: Write your own script, shoot your shorts, edit your shorts.
If a joke makes our tribe laugh, we assume it will make other friend-tribes laugh.
When Broken Lizard writes a movie, we reject everything that doesn't have five guys as leads, so it needs to be cops or a basketball team; that's what we can do.
I always feel like any criminal who doesn't have a mask on is dumb: particularly the ones who don't realize that all mini-marts have cameras. I find that so hilarious. Or bank robbers without a mask. You're like, 'Have you seen no movies?'
I've been watching a lot of cable shows like 'The Wire' and 'Breaking Bad' and 'Downton Abbey.' I love how real the moments are.
If I had to be in the Olympics, I suppose I would do the javelin throw.
A lot of comedies in the 1980s and 1990s had all these colors and were so brightly lit. But John Landis had this dark style, like a Scorsese film.
In 2010, The Princeton Review ranked Colgate the most beautiful campus in America - I agree.
I would never be comfortable with an edited name. I have never hidden the fact that I am of Indian origin.
Our fans often tell us that they see themselves in us. The relationship between the guys in Broken Lizard rings a bell with them, because they have their own little friend groups, with their own complex dynamics, and their own private jokes.
'Super Troopers' benefited from the old way of watching films, the way we watched at Colgate, when you went to someone's house, looked at their DVD collection, and then just picked one.
I think, in a film that's supposed to last an hour and a half, I think you have to really pay attention to what kind of movie you're making, what is the audience experiencing, and does this joke fit with this joke?
'Spinal Tap' is interesting because it created a genre of film and ended it - all in one motion. If you do a mockumentary, you are always going to be compared with that film, and you are never going to be as funny.
Look at the opening sequence of 'The Blues Brothers,' which starts at the prison. The way it was filmed, it does not look like a comedy. I thought that was great.
'Super Troopers' did well but not crazy-well theatrically. But it did so well after that it - in ancillary markets - that it became impossible for us to get away from it. We'd get pulled over by cops who would thank us and then would let us go.
I was pre-med for a semester, and then I got a C- in organic chemistry and was washed out of that program. Then I imagined I'd be a lawyer. I was gonna go to law school.
The thing about people from Chicago and the Northwest suburbs is that they're very cocky. I think that serves us well in the show business world.
All I can do is keep my nose down and shoot the scene, shoot the scene, make it funny, make it funny, make it funny.
A lot of people come from small towns, and they come here wondering 'Can I really make it in Hollywood?' When I went to L.A., I knew I was going to make it. There's no doubt about it. Why? Because I'm from Chicago!
A lot of the original people on 'SNL' came through Chicago - and Toronto, I'm sure - but Chicago was the center of it all. When I was there, Chris Farley - I knew him; we hung out and stuff - he went off to 'Saturday Night Live,' it was like, 'It's possible to be from here and make it.'
Whether I'm performing or directing, I'm aways thinking about rhythm; sometimes it's nailing the right rhythm, and sometimes it's intentionally breaking the rhythm. Those two things are what make something funny or not. How long a shot is and where you put the camera are all part of that rhythm of directing.
I think that Broken Lizard movies typically have to be able to star five guys, so it's like, policemen, spacemen, a basketball team.
'Spinal Tap' influenced me, I think, specifically in making me really pay attention to tone.
When I started, there were no Indians on television or films, except for Sir Ben Kingsley. I was an actor in high school, college, and I played leads. And when I graduated, I knew that I couldn't go to Hollywood and audition for shows or films. I could try, but where was the evidence that it was going to happen?
Colgate is the epitome of having it both ways. Academically, it ranks in the top twenty schools in the country, but it is also a famous party school.
A lot of comedy films, there's the opinion, 'Well, if it's funny, put it in.' But I think you have to be more disciplined than that.
We write and write and write until we think, 'If we have to shoot this script, we'll be happy, and it's going to be a great movie.' I meet with all the actors two weeks before, and I ask them, 'What lines don't work? What is uncomfortable for you? What jokes do you think aren't good? If you're not getting it, here's what the joke is.' You fix it.
There was a Burger King in Hamilton, N.Y., where Colgate is, that had three sizes: Small, Medium, and Liter. I would go in there and order a large. And they'd say, 'We don't have large; we have liters.' So they'd make us order liters of cola, which I found to be just anti-American.
If you hang around people from L.A., they're, like, used to having their city being maligned.
Occasionally, we would shoot something and think, 'This is it; we are over the line.' But the test audiences didn't have a problem with it.
I myself downloaded and watched 'The Wire,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Downton Abbey,' 'Mad Men' and 'The Walking Dead' on my iPad while walking on a treadmill. I never turned a TV on once. I never inserted a DVD.
Many films you see in theaters are financed through outside sources. With big films, the studio will pay, hoping to reap the reward of their big bet. But with medium and small-sized films, outside production companies and financiers often foot the bill.
What I've found is that humans do laugh at the same things everywhere.
I find that there's so much funny stuff in real life, and I am much more interested in super grounded, real stuff, so now I just want things to feel real and authentic.
If you're not doing something or saying something in comedy, the camera is going to go somewhere else.
The film you know as 'Super Troopers' is a film that almost didn't happen. The script was originally commissioned and developed by Miramax, but when it failed to get a green light, Harvey Weinstein was kind enough to give it back to us so we could make it elsewhere.
With 'Puddle Cruiser,' the first 15 minutes are the weakest. When you're total unknowns and you have a weak opening, it's a real problem. At some screenings, we'd see the odd walkout before the movie even got going. But to counteract that, we'd do sketches before the show to introduce the film.
Often, when you're in some of these writing rooms for... and the most restrictive is network television, right? They say, 'Wow, that's a great joke, but we can't do that. Okay, let's try the second joke. Oh, you can't do that one. But the third joke you can do,' and hopefully it will be great, but it will remind people of what the joke really was.
We hoped to get a TV show, and we almost did, but 'The State' beat us out for this MTV show. So because they were there, and 'SNL' and 'Kids in the Hall' were there, we thought, 'Let's go try to do what Python did, and instead, let's make movies.'
When we had Brian Cox in 'Super Troopers,' we learned that when you put a great actor in the center of our lunacy, it grounds everything.
If you want to provide for your family, maybe show business is not a high degree of success. You will need to keep your day job until you make it, and know it's an odds thing just like the NFL. I personally wouldn't recommend anybody to go into this business.
This career is a relentless hustle because Hollywood is crowded with too many smart, talented people pursuing the same dream and the same pool of entertainment investment dollars. And unlike in law or medicine, there are no college degrees required - no barriers to entry.
In the summer of 2000, four college friends and I grew mustaches, bought highway patrol uniforms, and shot a $1.2 million budgeted independent film called 'Super Troopers.'