Richard Belzer, who has become a familiar TV face solving sex crimes on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” is returning to his comedic roots.
The actor is teaming up with Madonna’s Maverick Films to create an episodic, sketch-style comedy feature called “This Is America.”
Belzer said the film project will take on everything from online dating to advertising and the justice system, and he wants to have animation segments, interstitials and even factoids on the screen. He hopes to turn out an “America” film once every 18 months.
“I think people are ready for a mirror to be held up to the culture in a really funny way — in a way the ‘South Park’ movie did or some of the Monty Python movies did — and really reflect culture, mores and politics,” said Belzer, who will star, co-write and executive produce. One of his earliest efforts was the 1974 sketch comedy “The Groove Tube.”
“I want to put something on the screen you can’t see anywhere else, push the parameters and be equal-opportunity offensive but not in a vicious, homophobic, misogynistic or racist way. I want this to be in the great tradition of satire and parody that I was brought up in, as were my friends.”
Belzer has enlisted a number of those friends as co-writers. Dave Thomas, Kevin Rooney, Jim Vallely and Ron Zimmerman are on board, as are newcomers Alan Donnes and Tanner Colby. The latter two co-write the new version of “National Lampoon Radio Hour” with Belzer, who also hosts.
Larry Charles, best known for writing and directing “Seinfeld” and “Mad About You,” will direct and co-write.
Belzer also is known for his work on the NBC crime series “Homicide: Life on the Street,” in which he originated the Detective John Munch character he plays on “SVU.”
Article by Borys Kit
Source: Reuters/Hollywood Reporter