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Local Heroes: Stella

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Not only does the deliriously absurd narrative comedy Stella (premiering this Tuesday at 10:30 P.M. on Comedy Central) film in Greenpoint, its creators, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain, have clearly been inspired by their lean days working the New York comedy circuit. In the late eighties, the three NYU students helped form the cult-hit sketch-comedy troupe the State, snagged an MTV series in 1993, and later created their masterwork, the underappreciated movie Wet Hot American Summer. In Stella’s pilot, the troupe play roommates who cope with a terrifying visit from their landlord by posing with, among other things, a mandolin: “We can’t open the door!” they scream. “We’re in a tableau!” Even better is their quest to win approval from a co-op board with a wacky costumed routine. Crushed by the rejection, they ask, “Was it the skunk tails?” “No,” a board member reassures them. “We love the skunk tails.” (The real obstacle is very Manhattan: an asking price of $3 million.)


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