(CBS Local)– Friends from a fraternity or sorority can last a lifetime. For Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme, the friendship that started at Colgate University has ended up becoming one of the most important relationships of their lives.
The stars of movies like “Super Troopers”, “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Beerfest” are back together again this week in a new show called “Tacoma FD.” Even after all these years as friends and colleagues, Heffernan still remembers that he didn’t like Lemme when they first met in college.
“I hated him when we first met,” said Heffernan in an interview with CBS Local. “He was a freshman and I was a sophomore and he was pledging the fraternity. On the weekends, we’d have these parties and people would come to the fraternity house and they’d take off their winter coats and throw them in a big pile on the floor. After this party one night, I went to get my coat and it wasn’t in the pile. New party comes up and I find my coat in the pile. I pick up the coat and the thief who stole my coat left his student ID in the pocket of the coat. I pull it out and it says Steve Lemme.”
After being confronted by Heffernan, Lemme tried to shift blame by saying that the guy who stole the coat also stole his ID. The two have come a long way since that moment. The comedy duo still remembers the very first time they screened “Super Troopers” for an audience at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001.
“We had never really screened it for an audience before,” said Heffernan. “That opening scene of ‘Super Troopers’ has become kind of iconic with the stoners in the car and people really love that scene. We had no idea how it would play. We literally walked off the plane with the film and we walked into the midnight screening at Sundance. We had already failed once at Sundance, so this was a nerve-racking experience.”
“We were scared,” said Lemme. “The midnight series was not in the competition and we were nervous because we were coming back for the second time and we were in this midnight series. I think for a few years after that, the midnight series became a great place to showcase. I think ‘Napoleon Dynamite played there.”
“Super Troopers” ended up being the first film sold at the festival. Fans of that movie will like the new TV show from Heffernan and Lemme because it takes the same shenanigans from the highway and puts them in a fire department in Tacoma, Washington.
“When we first approached truTV about doing the show, it became very clear that it would be a very good place from a creative standpoint,” said Lemme. “They’ve encouraged us to be as edgy and out there as we can be.”
“Basically, it’s ‘Super Troopers’ in a fire station,” said Heffernan. “When we did ‘Super Troopers’, the reason why those cops had down time to have fun was because they were on a remote stretch of highway. The equivalent for that with a fire department is the rainiest city in America.”
“Tacoma FD” premieres this Thursday on truTV.