Biography

Born in 1968 in Chicago, the Tamil-American writer/director Jay Chandrasekhar ignited his show-business career as the most active contributor to the five-member Broken Lizard sketch comedy team. Chandrasekhar -- a graduate of Lake Forest Academy -- attended Colgate University in the early '90s, where he met his contemporary Lizardians Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. The troupe initially christened itself "Charred Goosebeak," but quickly went with the name "Broken Lizard" instead. Club dates and, eventually, two feature films ensued, the 1996 Puddle Cruiser and the 2001 Super Troopers; Chandrasekhar took the director's chair for each. Rife with sight gags, scatological puns, double entendres, and slapstick, the movies (which premiered at Sundance) suggested influences by such laff-fests as the Police Academy series and the "Kentucky Fried Theater" films. Fox Searchlight picked up Super Troopers and it made indie box-office gold; a 2004 follow-up, the less successful slapstick/horror hybrid Broken Lizard's Club Dread, followed. At this point, Hollywood acknowledged Chandrasekhar's talent, not only by inviting him as a guest director to helm episodes of such hit series as Arrested Development, Undeclared, and Cracking Up, but via an invitation to direct the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard update, co-starring Jessica Simpson, Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Burt Reynolds, and, in supporting roles, additional members of the Broken Lizard team. The film revealed that Chandrasekhar had his hand on the audience's pulse -- unlike the director's prior motion pictures, it soared to number one across America (despite critical pans). Chandrasekhar then announced work on a fourth Broken Lizard vehicle, Beerfest, another wild comedy, about a couple of Americans who travel to Deutschland for the Oktoberfest. Chandrasekhar is married to the actress Susan Clarke; they have one child. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi