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Boxer’s comic punch

The irreverent comedy group Broken Lizard (“Super Troopers,” “Beerfest”) is returning to the big screen. Its latest movie, “The Slammin’ Salmon,” stars Michael Clarke Duncan as a former heavyweight boxing champ -- think Mike Tyson without the face tattoo -- named Cleon “Slammin’ ” Salmon. Now a restaurant owner in Miami, Duncan’s hot-headed character finds himself in hot water, owing a lot of money to the Yakuza.

Photographer David Strick visited the set in Van Nuys earlier this year to catch Duncan and the Lizards in action.

Lizard Kevin Heffernan, who makes his directorial debut with the comedy, explains that Salmon needs his restaurant to make as much money as it can in one night so he can pay his debts, “so he instigates this ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ contest where he will give the top-selling waiter $10,000. And the lowest-selling waiter? He will beat the crap out of them.”

Heffernan and his fellow Lizards -- Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske -- play the restaurant’s five main waiters.

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David Strick is a veteran photographer whose work has given him access to behind-the-scenes Hollywood.

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More David Strick photos on the Web

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For an archive of David Strick’s work during the last 20 years, go to latimes.com/ hollywoodbacklot.


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