STONED BRIL­LIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NA­TIONAL LAM­POON

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Reviews -

(Dou­glas Tirola, U. S.). Rat­ing: NNNN Launched by Har­vard Lam­poon alums Doug Ken­ney and Henry Beard and pub­lisher Matty Sim­mons, the orig­i­nal Na­tional Lam­poon mag­a­zine repack­aged the sex­ism, clas­sism, racism and gen­eral hypocrisy of Amer­i­can cul­ture so sharply, it was ac­cused of be­ing sex­ist, clas­sist, racist and hyp­o­crit­i­cal by its own tar­gets. ( The Na­tional Lam­poon Ra­dio Hour, with its coarse racial stereo­types, prob­a­bly didn’t help.)

But it launched tal­ents like John Belushi, Christo­pher Guest, Chevy Chase, Bill Mur­ray, Gilda Rad­ner, Anne Beatts, Harold Ramis, John Hughes, Michael O’Donoghue and P. J. O’Rourke and pow­ered the break­out com­edy of An­i­mal House – though suc­cess came at a price.

Dou­glas Tirola lets the sur­vivors tell their own story, re­ly­ing on in­ter­views with Beard, O’Rourke, Sim­mons, Chase, Beatts, writer/edi­tor Tony Hen­dra, An­i­mal House direc­tor John Lan­dis and stars Tim Mathe­son and Kevin Ba­con. The anec­dotes are funny, the work we see is bril­liant. Tirola doesn’t shy away from the dark stuff, but of course nei­ther did the Lam­poon. NW Apr 28, 9: 45 pm, Bloor Hot Docs; Apr 29, 3:15 pm, Hart House; May 2, 9: 45 pm, Bloor Hot Docs

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