Today would have been the 75th birthday of the late Doug Kenney, who was possibly the funniest American satirist of all time, most remembered as the original editor and co-founder of National Lampoon magazine and co-writer on Animal House and for doing the same zany duty plus producing the film Caddyshack, two films which remain for many people, some of the funniest comedy films of all time.
In honor of the 41st anniversary this week of National Lampoon’s Animal House, the uproarious frat comedy that is still vibrant, raunchy, refreshingly un-PC, and hilarious as ever, Universal Pictures has released a “Best of Bluto” video that compiles some of the most memorable scenes by John Belushi‘s iconic and slovenly character.
Watch the 10-minute compilation video here below (note – it contains explicit language).
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by John Landis
Written by Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller
Starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Mark Metcalf, James Daughton, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst Universal Pictures
Rated R | 109 Minutes
Original Release Date: July 28th, 1978
If you are bored with the recent crop of 3D animation, superhero films, remakes, sequels, reboots, and reboot-quels, then perhaps you should step back in time and enjoy the classics. Turner Classics runs its TCM Big Screen Classics series where classic films head back to theaters for a few days at a time. This week, it’s the John Landis comedy National Lampoon’s Animal House starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, and more.
I went to the Sunday night showing of the film. Check out a retro review of this classic here below.
Animal House, the 1978 smash hit comedy which ushered in a new genre at the time in Hollywood known as the “gross-out picture,” was instrumental in making the magazine and brand name National Lampoon more prominent to the mainstream, and made a superstar out of last-of-the-rebels comedic kamikaze pilot, John Belushi, celebrated its 35th Anniversary late last month.
Produced on a small budget, shot up in Oregon for the most part, directed by John Landis, and written by Lampoon stalwarts as Chris Miller, Harold Ramis, and the late Douglas Kenney (who was the first editor of Lampoon and who has a role in the film as “Stork”), Animal House was originally released in the teeming summer of 1978 and surprised everybody by going on to make over $120 million and making a total and complete template of the juvenile delinquents taking on the school system which represents authority kind of comedic narrative that has been going on since The Marx Brothers’ Horsefeathers and probably even earlier.
4th Row Films has announced that they have acquired the rights to develop a feature-length documentary that will share tell the complete story of one of the more beloved banners in comedy history, National Lampoon.
National Lampoon began in 1970 as a comedy magazine, branching out from the Harvard Lampoon (which was started at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1876). Since then, the name has gone on to spawn many books, albums, shows, and of course movies — most notably of which were Animal House and all of the Vacation movies with Chevy Chase and friends. Since those great early days, sadly, many complications, financial troubles, and exchanges in ownership have resulted in the steady decline of quality and a pile of straight-to-DVD movies that don’t deserve to wear the National Lampoon title.