April 21, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

A prequel to Comedy Central’s cult series that was canceled in 2001, the big-screen Strangers is like an after-school special crossed with a Lifetime flick dosed with laughing gas. ”In superhero [talk] we call it an origin movie,” deadpans Stephen Colbert, who reprises his role as a not-so-ambiguously gay school-teacher. The film finds Amy Sedaris’ ex-crack whore/ junkie Jerri Blank released from jail and becoming Flatpoint High School’s proudest 47-year-old freshman. On the New Jersey set two years ago (the release was delayed due to a change in distributors), Sedaris admitted she had jitters about carrying her first feature: ”It’s terrifying! It’s like I’m drivin’ a bus — hey, no license!”

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