Life imitated art on March 8 in the Observatory when word came in that Erik “Rabbit” Stolhanske, of Super Troopers and Beerfest fame, would be late to his own performance after getting pulled over at the U.S.-Canada border by our nation’s own Super Troopers: The Mounties.
Apparently, one of Stolhanske’s opening acts, comedian Tom Garland, had unfortunately been barred from entering the country by our boys in red at the border, for what can only be assumed to be an instance of a deep commitment to method acting.
Fortunately, after a mad scramble, Kingston comedian Al Babcock stepped up to fill the void, coincidentally marking his two-year anniversary in comedy with the performance.
Rounding out the line-up was Ottawa comedian Tommy Fitz handling MC duties, as well as Vermont based comedian Travis Stealey who has been touring with Stolhanske on this tour and as of yet has not been barred from entering the country.
Stolhanske took the stage a little after 9 p.m., guitar in tow to play a couple of songs, including a rendition of Pinãcoladaberg from the movie Club Dread, a little song they wrote “seven and a half flippin’ years before Margaritaville was even on the map!” in tribute to the late Bill Paxton.
After the songs were over, Stolhanske treated the audience to an exclusive trailer for his new movie Super Troopers 2 then challenged audience members Matt Clarke and Kirby Morrison to a maple syrup chug-off.
Finally, Stolhanske opened up the show for a Q&A session, explaining the origins of the “Meow Game”, the law enforcement implications of an amorous relationship between a man and a grizzly bear, and although chugging maple syrup in small amounts may be fun Stolhanske does not recommend consuming nearly three full bottles on the set of a movie.
Stolhanske is touring back and forth across the border between Canada and the U.S. to promote his upcoming movie Super Troopers 2 which he stars in alongside his Broken Lizard funny men: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme and Paul Soter.
“We’ve got our new movie coming out in April,” said Stolhanske, “which has a lot of Canadian influence in it, a lot of Canadian actors, so I’m travelling around Ontario telling stories and doing the Q&A thing.”
The movie, which is set for theatrical release later next month on April 20 or 4/20/18 to be specific, is the product of one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for an independent movie, beating out the previous record for the Veronica Mars movie, surpassing their goal of $2 million within 24 hours and a final total of $4.6 million by the time the campaign ended.
“We had a large DVD audience but that market has disappeared with the digital market,” explained Stolhanske. “It’s a little bit harder for studios to monetize low-budget comedy films. So we had to target crowdfunding to raise money for this.”
Stolhanske hopes that if the new movie is successful, it could serve as a proof of concept for further projects like a Super Troopers 3 or the much-anticipated Weedfest.
“If we have fans who go see Super Troopers 2 in the theatre, that is our way of showing our ability to open a movie,” said Stolhanske. “That will be our litmus test.”
Although the original Super Troopers was released nearly 16 years ago, Broken Lizard has held on to a devoted cult-following which Stolhanske credits for the group’s success, but from the explosion of laughter it received when it closed out the show, maybe some of the credit is due to the lucky Rabbit’s foot Stolhanske takes wherever he goes.