Kerri Kenney-Silver Interview: ‘Reno 911!’
Kerri Kenney-Silver is very matter-of-fact in saying that no one on the cast of “Reno 911!” wanted to stop doing the show when it was cancelled on Comedy Central 11 years ago. “When the idea came around, ‘Hey, let’s maybe do this again,’ everybody jumped for it,” said Kenney-Silver in our recent webchat (watch the video above). She did single out two people who were the biggest cheerleaders of the revival. One was Doug Herzog, who originally bought the pilot for Fox, then again when he moved to Comedy Central and did so once more when he moved over to Quibi. The other was Emmy nominee Niecy Nash. “Every few years, she’d call or text Tom [Lennon] or Ben [Garant] or I and say, ‘Okay, are we gonna do this again? Let’s do this again.’” Nash would also drop hints about a revival during press interviews as well.
“Reno 911!” is a parody of the long-running Fox series “Cops,” using the same documentary-style camera work, but transferred to the sheriff’s department in Reno, Nevada. The show originally ran on Comedy Central from 2003-2009 but was brought back earlier this year through Quibi. Kenney-Silver plays Dep. Trudy Weigel, a neurotic and (literal) brain-damaged deputy who has issues with her self-esteem and was married to a serial killer who was executed. She earned her first two career Emmy nominations for the revival: Best Short Form Comedy/Drama Series (as one of the show’s creators) and Short Form Series Actress.
She first became familiar to people through the short-lived MTV sketch comedy show “The State.” Among the other members were Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and David Wain. Since the show’s cancellation, the members of the troupe have stayed closely knit and regularly appearing in each other’s projects. Kenney-Silver attributes this to how long they have all known each other. “I met Tom when I was 17 at theater camp at Northwestern. Then Tom and I met the rest of The State our freshman year of NYU and we’ve been together ever since. We’re all turning 50 or 51 these days, so it’s been a long time.” She adds that, even to this day, no one makes her laugh as hard as the other members of the state.
Kenney-Silver was absolutely floored when she found out that she had scored two Emmy nominations. “I never, ever imagined that this would happen. Now I get it when people say that it’s an honor just to be nominated. I didn’t expect it.” She also reflects that it feels strange for her to get her first nomination considering her age and how showbiz can view women of her age. “My first time getting a nomination, I’m 50 years old and I’m a woman in Hollywood. That equation doesn’t add up and I’m glad that it’s starting to.”