Reno 911! (TV Series 2003– ) Poster

(2003– )

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Shots Fired: Comedy Central scores a hit with this hilarious screwball farce
liquidcelluloid-16 July 2004
Network: Comedy Central; Genera: Comedy/Sketch; Content Rating: TV-14 (for strong language and sexual content; Classification: Contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4)

Season Reviewed: 5 seasons

From the outset, a full-length parody of 'Cops' wouldn't sound like any groundbreaking comedy. With it's well known traditions and often copied style, 'Cops' has long been the subject of parody for years before arguably becoming a parody of itself. However, 'Reno 911!' does you one better. From Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kennedy and Ben Garant - the creators of 'The State' and the now forgiven and forgotten 'Viva Variety' - 'Reno' takes that 'Cops' mold (and 'Rescue 911!' title sequence) and populates it with a world of realized original characters.

In 'Reno' this comedy troupe has found a perfect cross between the improvisational sketch comedy series and the episodic televisions series. The show, as you might expect, is largely improved which can be good or bad (as seen in last year's disastrous 'Life with Bonnie'). The show's hit-and-miss laugh ratio is lower than it probably would be if it was scripted, but what we gain in the trade-off is this wonderful naturalistic dialog. The crew have an ear for recreating that often witty but just as often dull, monotonous and uncomfortable naturalistic conversation. If 'Reno' were any funnier it would be in the stratosphere. I love the opening title sequences.

The entire cast is note-perfect. We have straight-laced Jonsey (Cedric Yarbrough), Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), a racist, lonely, complex shell of a man, Clementine (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is the truck stop waitress turned cop "with a full dance card", Junior (Garant) is the incompetent, fully of stories, young cadet and Rainessha Williams (Niecy Nash) is the sassy, booty-licious femme-fetal cop. The show bounces all these characters off each other, matching them up in odd pairs and letting the nuances in them create the sparks. Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kennedy have given themselves the juiciest roles and approach brilliance in them. Kenney's Trudy Weigel is superbly dysfunctional beyond any simple description and Lennon's Jim Dangle is poised to be the breakout character of the show. Like Mr. Garrison in 'South Park' and Stewie Griffen on 'Family Guy', Dangle is a character than can get a laugh from me almost anytime he opens his mouth. It has a knack for creating scenarios where, in an odd way, the set-ups can be funnier than the punch line. Just the idea that Jim Dangle is going to show up to Trudy Weigel's house and "give her the thrill of her life" is funnier than ultimately seeing the Asian man she's hiding in her kitchen.

'Reno' knows its way around the 'Cops' traditions, making ample use of streakers with strategically placed edit blurs (also brilliantly hiding the faces of the cast doubling up), belligerent roadside pull-overs, hookers with bad wigs and crazy domestic disturbance calls that reveal fetishes best kept behind closed doors. But it also knows it needs to be more than that. The episode plots are as hilariously strange as it comes and veiled thinly enough to support any number of tangential gags. In one episode the group is put on suicide watch for Trudy Weigel and she flips out because they look disappointed she didn't go through with it. In another, they venture to the Burning Man festival and get lost along the way in full rave gear. In a particularly inspired episode they compete for 2 tickets to an execution with a suspect scavenger hunt.The bumbling officers get visits from the FBI, Homeland Security, British officers and in 2 classic episodes a religious tele-evangelist and Reading Ron (Brian Unger) featuring a show-stoppping bit with a cat on a roof. Watch continuously and you'll see running gags and continuity coming out in what otherwise seems like randomized chaos. These cops view enforcing the law as a happy side effect to the real joy of holding their power over the citizens of the burned-out Nevada suburb, abusing it gleefully and not above pulling guns on themselves.

'Reno 911!' was originally produced as a pilot for Fox and sat on the shelf for 2 years before Comedy Central came calling (and it became an almost instant hit). Sounds like something Fox would do. It's all for the best as 'Reno' on Comedy Central is given free range to do things every week that would have gotten them throw off the air at Fox. Jokes around rape, accidental shootings, cops planting evidence and screwing with the citizens (in a time when the media loves to put a wedge between cops and the people), red-necks & every racial demographic known to man, discussions on when it's appropriate to use the N-word, terrorists in the post-9/11 world (with the greatest of ease I might add, a subject most shows trip over themselves to run from) and everything else you might imagine would give a network suit a conniption fit are peppered well into the show. It enthusiastically leapfrogs from one set piece to the next in an attempt to offend anyone and everyone it can and getting big laughs with it.

I largely consider Comedy Central a dumping ground, but admire their drive to take chances - which is more than you can say for the networks. 'Reno' is a show that isn't crude for the sake of it or the edgy in appearance only. It is a gutsy, frequently hysterical series in which the gags are expertly delivered (and edited together) by a well developed cast of comic talents. A real screwball farce that roams freely around without politically correct borders or boundaries, the likes of which you just don't see much of on TV today. And you want, silly slapstick? 'Reno' proves that even the age-old kick-in-the-groin gag, if done well, can still be funny. An acquired taste, but well worth it.

* * * / 4
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wolfmano6 August 2003
This show is a laugh riot, It follows the exploits of a group of Sheriff's deputies on they're beats and on calls. like a parody of "Cops" this show has it all. drunk hicks and stoned losers. If you like this show I highly recommend you go to the video store and rent "Broken lizard's Super Troopers" it's like Reno 911! on the big screen.
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A funny original series on Comedy Central?
knsevy16 December 2003
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

As much as 'Cops' just begs for a parody, I'm surprised it took this long for somebody to come up with one. Maybe it's because 'Cops' is kind of a parody of itself; it's so pitifully funny on its own merits that it's hard to spoof.

I read that the show doesn't really follow a tight script; they set up the situation and let the performers ad-lib it. Maybe THAT's why it's actually funny: No Comedy Central 'writers' ruining it.

I don't know how long this show will last - funny as it is, it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that's going to go very far - but I've enjoyed every episode, so far (the Scavenger Hunt and trying to break the microwave oven are my favorites).

Funny. Comedy Central. Original.

For once, that's not an oxymoronic concept.
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Everything you could hope for.
sthapns24730 July 2003
This show is one of those that delivers what it says it going to. It promises a comedy version of COPS and that is what you get. They make fun of every COPS scenario and more.

One of the first lines is, "Okay, would it be appropriate to sa-say, "Whi-which nnigger took the last doughnut?" In response to the use of the word "nigger" in the station area and I almost p***ed my pants. The show just got better and better.

The promos for this show where perfect: Showed just enough of the funny stuff to make you want to watch it, but kept enough secret to surprise you. And the slogan, "From the network that has no business giving you a cop show." It was perfect.

With I'm with Busey and this as new shows on Comedy Central they really have a good thing going. Perhaps this is a redeeming year for them... who knows.

8/10... as close to perfect as Comedy Central ever got since South Park.
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The Funniest Show on TV!!!
Tiger_Mark17 August 2003
This has to be the craziest comedy there is. Moreover, it is good fun. I eagerly anticipated another show from the bunch that brought us "The State" and "Viva Variety." Finally, the talent is back! Each week we get to follow members of the Reno Sheriff department as they investigate every weird kind of crime there is. However, it is the officers themselves that are the most deranged individuals out there. From the obviously gay Dangle to the equally worthless Junior. One of the great things is that each character is given a detailed and unique persona. Some are stupid, some are jerks, all are funny. These are outstanding improvs being given the freedom and comedic vehicle to be at their best. I eagerly await each new episode and will buy the DVD the day it is released. BRILLIANT!
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Very Funny Sitcom - Should be Primetime
windtar28 October 2008
3 words describe Reno 911 - Funny Funny and Funny.

Inept cops who have child mentality towards life and who should be fired run the law enforcement in Reno.

CLASSIC It's funny, stupid, silly, annoying, and literally begs you to break the law just to see what happens.

The characters all have their own unique quirks, with Weigel just being retarded. That woman just makes me cringe, hehe. The blacked out nudity is always funny.

I'm not sure if it would be successful in primetime, but i'd watch.

You need to enjoy stupid humor and have a guy mentality to appreciate
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onepotato214 June 2004
As much as I gripe about how rotten entertainment is, and my dislike of actors, it must be hard to know when filming footage to know if what you have is actually funny. Given the huge range of tones to comedy, how did they find actors who all knew how to do deadpan so well. The no-name ensemble are all amazing. They're ALL on the same page. No one is ruining things with cornball or mass-market line deliveries. Reno 911 could easily have been as stupid as most of TVs output. Instead it's a damned funny put-on. I was so grateful to find this series the week of the over-the-top, week-long, non-stop beatification of Ronnie Reagan. well-done!
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Just so hilarious!
warlorde30 August 2003
What more can be said? A spoof of cops and it hits all the right spots. I've actually laughed out loud watching this TV show, and it's been a long time since I've done that. I think the funniest thing is Deputy Garcia and him being and racist and a bigot. I laughed so hard when he was explaining his black eye to the guys he received from Deputy Jones. Saying Halle Berry was half-black and half-pollack and making a reference to programming VCR's was just priceless! Also when the kid on the bike went over the ledge and the deputies high-tailing out of there was just so great! There are so many others but I remember those two scenes best. I just can't wait until it goes to DVD. I'll be buying it as soon as I can!

10 out of 10! A great show and cast!
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Reno 911!: Pure gold but falls short of greatness
Platypuschow9 May 2018
And like that the six seasons of Reno 911! and it's spinoff movie are over and I'm a combination of saddened and relieved.

Saddened because it's a great show, relieved because the final season felt like a chore and really wasn't on par with the rest.

Now for those unfamiliar Reno 911! is a mockumentary show about the Reno police department which is made up of hilarious inept characters and the chaos that transpires during their job.

The trouble with Reno 911! is that it's quick fire dry humour, and though most jokes hit the mark (Many firmly so) a lot fail thoroughly as well and that's what prevented the show from being truly legendary. Had it been more consistent it would have easily been one of my favorite shows of all time.

Led by the excellent and criminally underappreciated Thomas Lennon the cast is on point until the final season when they suddenly replaced two cast members with a pair that simply didn't gel very well and damaged the final season.

Slapstick, silly and often satirical Reno 911! is a solid comedy show I would recommend to anyone and everyone under the appreciation that many jokes fall flatter than a dry fart.

Reno 911! You shall be missed, fantastic show.

The Good:

Excellent cats

Hilarious for the most part

The Bad:

No finale

Last season doesn't deliver

New characters fail to entertain

Things I Learnt From This Show:

At some point they ran out of ideas but chose to carry on anyway

Thomas Lennon needs more movie work
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Glad Comedy Central believes in this
KUAlum264 March 2007
A feeling of pride wells in me when I think of this show. I recall when this show premiered in the Summer of 2003. I've watched a lot of Comedy Central over the years,and I've sen a lot of shows come and go on that channel,some good,some not-so-good. Outside of Chappelle Show(which imploded under CC's unreasonable production demands after just threes successful seasons),Win Ben Stein's Money(which was quietly shelved)and The Man Show(which disassembled itself after five seasons),the network has retained few shows it has rolled out since 1996,the year the Daily Show was launched. But this show has survived,and the quality of the product bears it out.

A film crew follows the round-the-clock gongs on of seven Reno,Nevada Sheriff's deputies: Lt.Dangle(Thomas Lennon),Deputies Jones(Cedric Yarborough),GArcia(Carlos Alozraqui,spelling?),Johnson(Wendi McLendon-Covey),Junior(Ben Garant),Weigel(Kerri Kinney-Silver) and YAtes(?)(Mary Birdsong),a la the FOX TV institutional hit "Cops". Of course,nearly all of these deps have little good sense about them,and all seem to have increasing difficulty conducting their jobs as enforcers of the law with each episode. Naturally,one hopes that the REAL Reno police is not nearly this incompetent.

The improv talents of each actor is SUPERB,and the camera-work and seamless "documentation" of the events unfolding make this comedy that one has to stay acutely attuned to. For me,that is the sign of a strong comedy that's willing to allow gags and plot lines to hang back and let the viewer come TO it,rather than vice-versa. And as per my previous favorable critiques of comedies,one of the more favorable qualities of it is this show's lack of a laugh track,which would be absolute poison to it(even more so than some more "conventional" sitcoms),anyway.

With this show most recently going to the big screen--and the jury's out on if I want to see Reno 911!:Miami--I feel pretty good about this show's status on CC(perhaps wrongly so). Still,with four seasons in the books,I'm glad CC invested in this hilarious,smart show.
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Too Much Fun!
aurora77725 August 2003
A great ensemble cast makes this "Cops" bust-ass show a treat to watch. I look forward to every new episode. Each character is well-defined and engagingly portrayed. The situations they find themselves in are always amusing, and not so far-fetched as to be unbelievable. It looks like the actors have a lot of fun with this show...the viewers sure do!
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The best
trafficbabe200022 February 2019
I do not recommend the unedited version. There is just something about the original that makes it so much more funny. Such a great binge worthy show.
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Parody done right!
minister_of_silly_walks9 January 2019
A mocumentary of the show COPS executed to perfection with fun characters, surreal and hilarious story lines combined with great performances by the main cast. One of the best Comedy Central has ever made right up there with South Park.
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yogibear444-115 November 2003
This quickly became one of my favorite shows. The similarity to "Cops" is humorous. The realistic actions and reactions to situations is so far from what you'd expect that all you can do is laugh as they make a farse of law enforcement. Watch this show, again and again. It's too funny not to. Don't listen to those who watched it for 15 minutes and gave up.
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Funny, one of my favorites
josh-9810 November 2003
Great characters, clever writing and excellent deadpan acting. It all comes together to make a very entertaining show. I've been impressed by how they keep coming up with new ideas and make each episode so funny.
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911 - what is your emergency?
FeverDog4 September 2003
This troupe is hilarious! I was a big fan of both "The State" and "Viva Variety" (and let's not forget WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER), and so it's great to see these guys bounce back from being unjustly cancelled twice before.

Not that "Reno 911" has the same complete cast as any of those cult hits. The new faces here are a scream - PC considerations be damned. The black woman with Hugh Jass and the blonde bimbo are a welcome addition to this group who knows funny, despite the mainstream's shunning of their previous efforts. I can't explain it, but the warped style of humor in their work speaks to me more than even, say, The Kids in the Hall. Unencumbered by political correctness, the ad-libbers here bring on comedic anarchy like no other. I mean, c'mon: the scavenger-hunt episode, with the winner producing a tattooed, 6' Jewish transvestite hooker? Genius, and all the more so without the safety net of a script. Comedy just doesn't get any better than this nowadays.

Yes, it's SUPER TROOPERS meets "Cops." Entertainment Weekly wasn't wrong when it stated this show is about a decade too late. But who cares? Comedy Central is where it's at, with this and the equally entertaining "Insomniac." These great series make up for "South Park" jumping the shark years ago.
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Funniest Show on TV!
TodGemuese21 August 2003
This is, with the possible exception of BBC's "The Office," the FUNNIEST show on Television today. It shares much of the same cast as the BRILLIANT mtv series "The State" and is a worthy successor to that series!
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Funny -- thoroughly funny!
caa8219 December 2006
A lot of previous comments here were made sometime ago - during the program's initial year. I would simply add to those who feel it's about the funniest thing on the tube - I agree!

Its times of airing seem to move a lot, and I've often caught it "hit-or-miss." But when the channel on occasion will run several episodes back-to-back, and I have the opportunity to see (or tape) them - I still find them funny and throughly entertaining. The combination of scripted and (largely) improvised stories and situations make it a better show than if it relied upon one of these techniques exclusively.

These are a funny and diverse cast of regulars, and the guest actors have all been hilarious, as well.

I also agree with some of the comments here which mention the fact that the "Comedy" channel has often fallen short of living up to its name.

However, they hit the mark with this one.
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I Just think this show is sooooooooo amazing :D
alkady2 September 2006

i even set up my own scrubs/reno911 fan page on myspace because i love this show so much the whole cast crack me up i love Trudy and Dangle best but seriously love them all keep up the great work and cannot wait to see Reno Miami :D

This show is so underrated and i think they all deserve every award going here in the Uk it is played on the sky channel Fx and i wish it could be played on terrestial TV so more could love follow and enjoy this show as i do, each and every cast members role is just so believable i am hooked and love it. and to know the Thomas Lennon aka dangle is a Huge Jackie Chan fan is a cool thing too :D way to go to you all
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LotusSlinger31 July 2003
After seeing all of the commercials for Reno 911! I had to check it out.I was so happy that this was really a GOOD show.The whole cast is funny.Of course some of the jokes fall flat,but that should be expected since the show is loosely improvised.

I give it an 8/10
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Good for the first few seasons.
jcmcclurg14 June 2014
I watched the first four seasons, which started out being quite funny -- in the vein of Super Troopers: The writing was tight, the characters were likable, and seemed to hint at a layer of depth beneath the hilarity. That works well in a two-hour movie, but if characters aren't allowed to grow at all within a five-season TV show, the silliness can get old really fast. After a while, things started to get way too predictable, relying much too much on cheap gags and wacky twists to keep viewer interest than on actual plot/character development. The first episode of season 5 starts out with Dangle trying to "jump a shark." I stopped watching after that.
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ossray20008 January 2006
First off, I'll just say that this show is absolutely hilarious. Going into the show, it helps to know that most of the dialogue is improvised, while helps you appreciate that a lot of the good material is thanks to the actors themselves, not just the writers. Each episode generally has a main plot broken up by several shorter sketches featuring funny crime scenes and interviews with the officers. The combination of uncanny deadpan comedy, great improv work, and very creative writing makes for a great show. It has great rewatchability as you notice new subtle expressions and hilarious remarks within the improv. I would highly recommend purchasing the DVD's since you can watch the episodes in order and the special features are very good, specifically the "uncut" versions of some scenes, which is basically 5 minutes of the characters improvising off each other, then using the best parts in the show.
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Great Sendup of COPS
tculler-225 August 2003
One of the great things about this show is that, with the exception of the idiocy of the cops, it's only half a step from reality... so many of the perps that they deal with on this show seem to be real, and their situations are, as Weigel would say, 'funny as heck'.

I heard an interview on Bob and Tom that Carlos Alazraqui gave, and he mentioned that they have real cops on the staff to help consult and provide some realism. When the actors think they meay be going overboard, he said, the cops are there to let them know that the crazy people they're dealing with aren't as far off the mark as you might think.
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Loved it!! Very funny...
justicealan29 July 2003
Any fan of the great sketch comedy team The State(who also did the hilarious movie Wet, Hot American Summer) or just fans of over the top, spoof-style humor must watch this show!! Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney work so well together, as witnessed on "Viva Variety", but the rest of the cast really fleshes out the goofy, satirical humor quite well. Check it out!!!
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Very funny, one of the best shows on television
MovieAddict20165 September 2005
I hate reality TV so it's great to see Comedy Central satirizing the trend. Essentially this show is about the Reno Police Force and their consistent misadventures.

The show features at least one blurred naked body per episode and uses a few running gags, but for the most part it's totally unpredictable and very, very funny.

The show follows the cops as they go around stopping crimes and helping the public. It's kind of random - like the show "COPS" - and will jump from one segment to the next even if they're unrelated to each other.

The cast is great because they never let on that it's a comedy. They each have their trademark - the guy who wears shorty-shorts, the busty blonde bimbo, the minority figure, etc.

The show regularly features performers Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon and Carlos Alazraqui (who supposedly flubs up the most takes by laughing) - as well as a host of regular guests or cameo performers.

Overall this is simply one of the funniest and most irreverent shows on television, and it's quite a surprise to see it on Comedy Central, because they're typically known for having quite lousy shows. ("South Park," "Dave Chappelle" and "Reno" are about the only three original Comedy Central shows - currently airing - that I watch.)
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