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Reno 911!'s Thomas Lennon was filming a poop scene for Quibi when he learned Quibi was over

While promoting Reno 911!: It's A Wonderful Heist, premiering December 3, 2022 on Comedy Central, Thomas Lennon recalls the death of Quibi

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Thomas Lennon was filming poop scene when he learned Quibi was over
Thomas Lennon
Screenshot: The A.V. Club

Ah, Quibi, we hardly knew ye. The bite-sized streaming platform that attracted such illustrious talent as Sophie Turner, Laura Dern, Queen Latifah, Idris Elba, Don Cheadle, Anna Kendrick, and more shuttered in October 2020, just six months after its launch. It was also one of the many homes of Reno 911!, which aired its seventh season on the platform before getting the bad news in the middle of production on the eighth.

And we mean actually in the middle, as star Thomas Lennon tells The A.V. Club. “The minute that Quibi shut down, is we were filming a scene called ‘Dangle’s retirement plan,’ and I was training to be an amazing ballroom dancer with Wanru Tseng, who plays a character called Cindy the Sex Slave, who’s now the intern at the station. And so, they were basically just—it was like whiplash, where they were being horrible to me,” he recalls.

“So I was pretending, I had my pants completely down, and I was pretending to poop in a bucket in the scene, in this giant, like, empty soundstage,” continues Lennon, who was also set to write, star, and executive produce another comedy series, Winos, for the service. “And I’m pantsless on a bucket over here, and I see everybody kinda huddles up by the monitors, and they’re like, talking in hushed tones. And I’m just kinda looking, and I’m like, ‘Should I be worried about something?’ And then when we finally cut, everybody’s like, ‘Hey, Quibi’s… it doesn’t exist anymore.’ And I was like, ‘Oh! That was weird.’ ’Cause… the pooping on the bucket, that was definitely, this was for Quibi, so…”

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Thomas Lennon on “Cops,” “Reno 911,” and Quibi’s quick death

The eighth season went on to debut on the Roku Channel, after stints at the late Quibi, Paramount+, and Comedy Central. The latter, which hosted the beloved series’ first six seasons, will now be home to the show’s latest holiday special, Reno 911!: It’s A Wonderful Heist, premiering on December 3, 2022. Lennon says the key to the success of the Cops parody, which he calls “the greatest sketch game,” is that the characters are “always in conflict.”

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“You never enter a situation that’s not already a conflict,” he explains. “It’s fantastic. So it’s always about conflict, status, or unrequited love.” Though none of those things were enough to sustain Quibi, it’s certainly worked to sustain Reno 911! for nearly 20 years.