Reno 911! is back! Again! Appearing on Thursday’s Late Show, Lt. Jim Dangle himself, Thomas Lennon, told Stephen Colbert that he’s squeezing himself back into Dangle’s very-cutoff police shorts for the latest season of the cop comedy that just wont die. Reno 911!: Defunded premieres today on the Roku Channel, the latest startup streaming service to thankfully resurrect the former Comedy Central series. (After stints on the defunct Quibi and the still-solvent Paramount+.)
Looking dapper AF, as Colbert rightly noted, in turtleneck and distinguished salt-and-pepper temples, Lennon explained that, this time out, the perennially less-then-competent Reno Sheriff’s Department has indeed been the victim of budget cuts. From the clip Lennon brought, though, it appears that hasn’t prevented the beleaguered but unbowed Dangle from innovating the war on Reno’s particular brand of low-rent, improvisational comic crime, as we see him putting Reno’s new bicycle-riding riot squad through their paces. (It goes about as well as you think.)
Reno 911!: Defunded brings back pretty much everyone, including returning cast members Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Carlos Alazraqui, Cedric Yabrough, Ian Roberts, Joe Lo Truglio, and Mary Birdsong, and guest stars like Jamie Lee Curtis and George Lopez. Plus, as an added jolt of topical weirdness, Lennon told Colbert that one Mr. Weird Al Yankovic will be on hand, with the beloved comedy rocker playing decidedly unlovable gun freak/COVID denier/hate-filled has-been Ted Nugent. (Roku is clearly all-in on Weird Al these days, as is only right and proper.)
It’s a temperamental mismatch made in comedy heaven, according to Lennon, calling Al “one of the kindest, sweetest people in the world.” And he should know, since, as he also revealed to Colbert, he and Weird Al have been good friends for quite some time. And, since everyone’s dying to know, the way you become best friends with the universally loved Weird Al is that you walk up and ask him. Since both he and Al are “nerdy,” according to Lennon, their fateful meeting took place in the printer toner section of their local office supply store. “Weird Al?,” asked Lennon, offering his hand. “Lt. Dangle?,” deadpanned Al in return. And thus a bond was formed. As Lennon noted, it’s not exactly shots at the Viper Room, but for a couple of cult comedy icons such as themselves, it’s pretty on-brand.