If things had gone a little differently for Thomas Lennon and his lovable cohorts from The State, we might be celebrating Reno 911!’s 15th anniversary this year. Of course, that would have meant that Fox would have brought the Cops parody to the air when Lennon and team delivered the pilot in 2000, and we may have never gone on to enjoy what they instead produced for Comedy Central for six seasons. God bless the decisions that network executives make that end up being blessings for those of us who love watching Nick Swardson on roller skates.
Lennon was a guest on the Nerdist podcast last week, and he finally unleashed the never-before-aired Fox pilot for Reno 911! that reveals, well, a show that wasn’t all that different. I’ll save the great story of Reno 911!’s doomed pilot for another time (foreshadowing?). But because it’s Friday, let’s revisit Lt. Jim Dangle and the rest of the Reno Sheriff’s Department to see how things looked in the very beginning, several years before it became one of the best reasons to tune into Comedy Central.