“Reno 911,” Comedy Central’s lampoon of verite police shows like such as “Cops,” seemed a little unnecessary when it debuted last year.

What, really, is there to parody about drunken suspects digging themselves deeper holes on national TV?

The deeds speak their own, eloquent comedic language.

But “Reno’s” interplay between the cops portrayed by creators Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney and Robert Ben Garant was immediately affecting, the kind of dry, slightly off-kilter character studies you might expect from people who had major hands in “The State” and “Viva Variety.”

Kenney portrays something of a racist wallflower, while Lennon, who runs the show’s Reno County sheriff’s squad, always wears the male equivalent of Daisy Dukes, and they and their cohorts manage to be joyfully inept and cop-serious at the same time.

As the series starts it second season, though, even the run-ins with regular folk seem funnier.

Naked man

There’s an amusing but familiar scene in Wednesday’s first episode (10:30 p.m. EDT), with the cops chasing a scraggly-haired naked guy at night.

But when they turn the corner and come upon half a dozen more scraggly-haired naked guys, who start chasing them, the scene is suddenly fresh and flat-out hilarious.

Perhaps that’s what happens when you give fertile minds the room – and the time – to move beyond their source material.


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