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Reno 911 Stars Talk Getting Hilariously Inappropriate With The 'Fantastic' Jamie Lee Curtis In New Season On Roku

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the first two episodes of Reno 911! Defunded on Roku Channel!

Reno 911! has long been one of the most endlessly watchable TV shows, thanks largely to its brilliant cast and its jump-around episode formats. Its latest season, subtitled Defunded to truly make its stamp as a free-for-everyone Roku Original series, continues that hilarity-infused trend once again with full-length episodes following its lone comeback season on Quibi, even as it tackles largely sensitive topics regarding policing and race relations. (The episode “Jonesteenth” is truly something to behold.) Reno 911! Is also known for its stellar guest stars, and the new season’s second episode features an all-star in Jamie Lee Curtis.

CinemaBlend spoke with some of Reno 911! Defunded’s stars — Kerri Kenney-Silver, Robert Ben Garant, and Thomas Lennon — about the newest episodes, and I had to ask about the group’s experience working with Hollywood legend Jamie Lee Curtis. Her “Bad Lieutenant Woman” introduction as Lt. Donna Fitzgibbons stood completely at odds the Halloween franchise’s Laurie Strode, and in the most glorious of ways. For instance, one scene features Kenney-Silver’s Trudy Weigel sharing with Fitzgibbons that she’s always trying to get others around her to get turned on by her butthole. So it only made sense to ask the Reno 911! Defunded star about bringing her butthole up with Curtis. In her words:

Okay, I don't know what sort of Zoom awards they give, but you just got one for Best Question. Maybe in my entire career. How did I prepare to talk about my butthole with Jamie Lee Curtis? Well, I did not know that was gonna happen. That's the beauty of improv. We did not know what was gonna happen. She came to us to ask to come and play with us, and be on the show. And she came up with this idea for the character and so we just kind of went with it. So I guess what happens, I guess my years of saying inappropriate things - everything, saying the wrong thing, always at the wrong time, in my life - paid off at that moment. When she lobs at you, you go back with butthole. I went big, and it paid off.

As great and wonderful as fully scripted and plotted-out television can be, it doesn’t provide the in-the-moment pleasures and treasures that improv provides. Of the many excellent improvised comedy series out there, arguably only HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and its “genius” creator Larry David are the same hallowed ground as Reno 911! and its cast. (Maybe you’ll make it in a few years, Will Arnett’s Murderville.) But now it seems like Jamie Lee Curtis, who recently wrapped filming for Halloween Ends, deserves her own project in this realm. And I don't think anyone would cause a fuss if Kerri Kenney-Silver was her co-star. 

Trudy and Lt Fitzgibbons beneath a table on Reno 911 Defunded

(Image credit: Roku Channel)

Thomas Lennon called out that particular scene beneath the squadroom table as a standout moment, saying:

You guys clicked right away. You guys had a very excellent scene. You just went under the desk and started, like, hugging each other in a criss-cross applesauce scene. It was very strange.

To be sure, even though I mainly only mentioned Trudy's butthole mention above, the entire conversation between the deputy and Jamie Lee Curtis' new addition was completely bonkers from beginning to end. Both in terms of the wacky stream-of-consciousness dialogue as well as the physical comedy on display, with Curtis having zero issues putting her wowzers figure to work in short-shorts and a half-buttoned uniform shirt. Not to mention that non sequitur of an eyepatch. 

To that end, Robert Ben Garant revealed that not only did Jamie Lee Curtis reach out about being in the show, but she was also the one who pitched her character and those aforementioned costume details. (And also brought snacks to the cast and crew like a true champion.) Here's how he put it:

She was fantastic. She was also really nervous. Like, we were shooting in this big, giant abandoned police station, and when she came in the room and saw all of us there in our morning briefing, she came up. The first thing she said, 'Well, this isn't intimidating,' was the very first thing that she said. And she was great. She brought enough muffins and cookies for the entire crew. . . . She was great. She was really funny. She told us in advance she wanted to be from another department, and she wanted to have shorts like Tom and an eyepatch. That was all we discussed, and then she just came and bossed us around for two hours. It was really fun.

If only there was a way every minute of that footage would be available to viewers at some point. Perhaps Roku Channel will introduce such special features like that going forward. Or perhaps we'll just have to make do with the magic that already exists.

Check out the trailer for Reno 911! Defunded below!

All eleven episodes of Reno 911!: Defunded are available to stream now on Roku Channel (opens in new tab). Even with the longer eps, it will be hard for anyone to turn it off after starting, because this season is as funny as Reno 911! has ever been. While waiting for more down the road (hopefully), head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are popping up next.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.