With his curly blonde mop and occasional beard, Paul Soter has the distinction of being one of the most instantly recognizable members of the famed Broken Lizard comedy troupe.
Born in Sacramento on August 16, 1972, the son of an Air Force Major and a hospital administrator, Soter’s childhood situation will strike a chord with anyone who hails from a military family: shuttled around constantly as a youngster, whisked from Sacramento to Anchorage to Alaska to Phoenix to Denver. (Not, incidentally, an altogether uncommon dynamic for future comedians.) He attended Colgate University in Madison County, upstate New York, circa fall 1990, where he met Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, and Erik Stolhanske; they became acquainted not only via shared friends and associations with the theater department, but by a joint membership in the Beta Theta Phi fraternity.
Chandrasekhar was asked to direct a stage show, and — later — to assemble a sketch comedy troupe; this he did, with help from Soter, Heffernan, Lemme, and Stolhanske, under the name Charred Goosebeak. The troupe attained wide popularity in New York in the early ’90s, and — spurred on by the triumph of Reservoir Dogs — reasoned that they could begin producing low-budget films as a comedy troupe. Two efforts, the little-seen 1996 Puddle Cruiser and the 2001 Super Troopers, followed; the latter premiered at Sundance and became a runaway hit. Chandrasekhar directed both. Soter appears to have been one of the deciding factors in making the troupe’s third feature outing, Club Dread. Directed by Chandrasekhar, Club Dread hit cinemas in early 2004; it also became a massive hit.
Around the same time, Soter performed, with the other boys, in the ensemble cast of the “unofficial” Broken Lizard vehicle The Dukes of Hazzard (2005), starring Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, and Willie Nelson, and also directed by Chandrasekhar.
In the 2006 Broken Lizard vehicle Beerfest, Soter plays Jan Wolfhouse, who travels with his brother Todd (Stolhanske) to see “the old country,” and inadvertently becomes involved in an insane beer-drinking competition. Like his fellow schtickmeisters, Soter has co-written all of the Broken Lizard films. He is married to Katherine Davidson.