With one tuxedo, thousands of postcards, and a Winnebago, the nine men of the New York Citybased Broken Lizard comedy troupe took Puddle Cruiser, their 1997 Sundance entry, directly to its college-age audience. During a four-week tour of 20 northeastern colleges, nearly 4500 students attended screenings and generated attention for a movie that hasn’t yet been able to secure a distributor.
The filmmakers attracted audiences to Puddle Cruiser— a genial college comedy in the manner of Clerks or Caddyshack— by handing out postcards on campus. E-mail endorsements from fellow students at previous points on the tour and cheap tickets ($1) also helped. “It’s not about the money,” said Steve Lemme, a Broken Lizard member who plays Puddle Cruiser‘s lead. “It’s all about butts in seats.” By the end of the tour, the troupe had a green light to write a pilot for NBC. Still without a distributor for their first film, they’ll begin filming their next comedy, Super Troopers, in May and resume the Puddle Cruiser college tour in the fall.