Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!, The Odd Couple) reunited with The State castmates Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911!, Bajillion Dollar Properties), Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Wet Hot American Summer), Kerri Kenney-Silver (Reno 911!, Superstore) and Michael Ian Black (Another Period, Wet Hot American Summer) in an Instagram video on Monday to endorse South Carolina’s Senatorial candidate Jaime Harrison. The five performers featured on Lennon’s Instagram make up about half of the original eleven-person comedy troupe known as The State. “Getting MTV’s The State to reunite for a project has been a near-impossible task over the past couple of decades,” commented Rolling Stone, since the cast have all gone on to find successful and busy careers since their MTV debut in the early 90s.
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The State’s Senatorial endorsement was delivered in the form of a bite-sized sketch in which members of the troupe feign anger at the existence of South Carolina’s newspaper The State. “[They’re] from 1891,” Lo Truglio huffed about South Carolina’s oldest paper “we’re from 1988, we had it first” (Instagram). “The real The State”, as Lennon referred to the gathered performers, decided to stick it to the South Carolina newspaper by endorsing Jaime Harrison’s political opponent, after the publication endorsed the Democrat on Monday, via Instagram.
When the gathered members of The State discovered the identity of Harrison’s opponent, they swiftly abandoned their plan and sided with the newspaper in endorsing Harrison. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham serves as the punchline of the group’s short political sketch without ever being named therein. According to Newsweek, the South Carolina Senatorial race between Harrison and Graham is a highly contested, and now both The States have used their platform to endorse Harrison.
The location of Lennon’s video was tagged as Greenwich Village where the troupe first formed as NYU students prior to their short-lived cult MTV sketch show. The eleven-person comedy troupe have worked together on many non-State projects after disbanding, including Wet Hot American Summer, Viva Variety and Reno 911. In fact, the five members in Lennon’s video were likely together to work on the reboot of Reno 911! as they have all appeared in the new episodes on Quibi. Though Quibi has gone under, the recently renewed and Emmy nominated Reno 911! reboot has continued production on it’s eighth season, according to Comicbook. Lennon credits Reno 911!’s return to Doug Herzog, an executive at Quibi who had been instrumental in getting The State on the air at MTV in 1993.
“Back in the day, we used to say that we’d be like Monty Python,” said former The State member Kevin Allison (RISK!, The State) “where we can come back together whenever” (Rolling Stone). Aside from projects such as Reno 911! and Wet Hot American Summer, which recently held a virtual table read reunion, Allison’s dream of periodic reunions of The State did not become a reality until 2014. All eleven members of The State reunited for the first time at Los Angeles’ Festival Supreme in 2014 and later on that year they staged a reunion on Comedy Central’s @Midnight.
Since their reunions in 2014, Allison’s vision has become more of a reality, with the gang having already reunited twice in 2020 prior to Lennon’s Instagram video. At the beginning of the year, The State staged a virtual reimaging of their sketch “Porcupine Racetrack” and, after the murder of George Floyd, they organized a virtual reunion and memorabilia auction to benefit the NAACP and UndocuFund San Francisco. Rolling Stone reveled in the novelty of seeing The State perform “Porcupine Racetrack” at the beginning of the year, suggested more sketches they’d hope to see recreated by the group. While Lennon’s Instagram reunion may not have recalled anything from the show’s past, it proved that The State could still come together to make new, timely content for the fans who continue to crave their antics.