Reno 911 is a television series that airs on the Comedy Central network and features members of the fictitious Reno Sheriff's Department. Envisioned primarily as a spoof of reality television shows such as Cops, Reno 911 has become a cult favorite for its improvised comedy sketches and willingness to cheerfully crash through boundaries of taste.
Homophobia, racism, kinky sex, and cruelty to animals are just part of a typical day for the sheriff's deputies, led by Lt. Jim Dangle, who wears a phenomenally tight pair of khaki hot pants. Dangle is played by Thomas Lennon, who joined with Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver in creating the show after working together on other comedy projects such as The State.
The location was chosen by coincidence when company members were working in the Reno area on another project and saw similarities between the terrain of Reno and Southern California, where their low-budget show would have to be filmed. Cast members pass Reno off as a small area. "I don't feel like we are on Al Qaeda's radar yet," said Lt. Dangle for a Reno 911 Miami media conference.
For the television show, a few shots of the real Reno are included in opening credits and incorporated briefly through other action. Reno production companies sometimes provide B-roll footage, and cast members have been to the area, with Lennon saying he's "met about four or five cops who are all huge fans."
Cast members demonstrate some accurate knowledge about the area: "Reno is a real nice town; we are also very, very close to San Francisco," though the roots of their fantasy are shown by the name Reno Sheriff's Department. In reality, Reno area citizens are protected by the Reno Police Department or Washoe County Sheriff's Office, depending on location, and the officers are rarely found wearing shorts.
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