Jay Chandrasekhar is probably best known for his second dive into directorship in Super Troopers, as well as his appearance in the film. Responsible for the movie, his comedy troupe, Broken Lizard, all but pre-dates the first works by Judd Apatow and the collective of actors that seem to have usurped the world of pot-com from Chandrasekhar & Co. But that's not to say that Chandrasekhar and his cohorts aren't still working in the biz, although it might be in different and varied ways.
Having released The Babymakers last year, Chandrasekhar is still into making films, although that doesn't mean he's going about things in the manner which was considered conventional when Super Troopers first hit the big screen back in '01. Having written a rather lengthy article that appeared in the Huffington Post as well as having spoken at length about the changing climate in the entertainment business, Chandrasekhar seems to be hell bent on being able to provide Americans with entertainment sans the $100 million budget that most big screen comedies cost.
"I'm really focusing on my stand up right now," he says. "You know, it's just a really pure form of entertainment. You just walk up there with a microphone and start talking."
Stand up is more than just a cheap form of entertainment, however. For Chandrasekhar, it's a chance to share with his audience stories from the films many of them grew up with. Yes, we've mentioned Super Troopers a couple times already, but Beerfest, Puddle Cruiser, Club Dredd and Slammin Salmon are on the list of Broken Lizard's filmography as well and Chandrasekhar's guest-directed TV shows like Undeclared, Lipstick Jungle, Blue Mountain State, Royal Pains, Happy Endings and Community. Suffice it to say, he'll have plenty of anecdotes about directing some of this generation's funniest and most beloved comedies, whether they're TV shows or movies.
"There will be some stories and then there will be some jokes," he says simply.
And although he's spent more time recently behind a camera (or in front of it. He's appeared in episodes of Psych and Royal Pains and –as most of his fans will know—in all of the Broken Lizard films), Chandrasekhar hasn't forgotten what it's like to perform in front of a live audience, although he doesn't much feel the pressure of doing stand up like he once did.
"You go through phases in your stand up career," he says. "At first you get up there and you tell some jokes and some of them work and some of them don't. Now, people pretty much know who I am, so they're my fans that are coming out to the show. It makes a big difference when people are buying a ticket to come see you."
Although Chandrasekhar is returning to his first love (he started doing stand up at 19), that doesn't mean he won't continue to make movies or even delve into some very new things.
"We've kind of been flirting with the idea of filming Super Troopers 2 in Detroit," he says. And although he and the rest of Broken Lizard aren't quite sure yet where the movie will be filmed, the director does know he's going to be adding novelist to his resume pretty soon as well.
"I don't really know what it's going to be yet," he says. "I've been writing a lot of stories about high school lately. But so many things you do in high school like losing your virginity, getting high for the first time, trying alcohol, some of those things are illegal, so you kind of have to put a layer between the book and yourself, so I'm thinking of making it a novel."
As with everything Chandrasekhar touches, it's sure to be comedic gold. | RDW
Jay Chandrasekhar • 4/18, 8 p.m. • The Magic Bag • 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale • themagicbag.com • 248.544.1991 • $20