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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Sep 23rd, 2015

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

Drunk Stoned Brilliant DeadDrunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon is a fantastic documentary, telling the story of the National Lampoon from its start in 1970 as a magazine, through that magazine’s stuttering then growing popularity, its radio and stage shows, the stealing of its talent by Saturday Night Live and the mag’s movies. It is a story of the creators Doug Kenney and Henry Beard and all the talent they amassed over the years (people like Chevy Chase, John Landis, P.J.O’Rourke, Anne Beatts-all interviewed here, with plenty more) and how at one time this really was the place to be in American comedy.

Director Douglas Tirola presents a very enjoyable near two hours here, laying out the history of not only the National Lampoon, but the history of the times. The interview subjects are brutally honest and there is enough rare footage, of the Lampoon troupe on stage and recording in the studio to make this as much a fun film as a damn good historical document.

One forgets or maybe one wasn’t alive to know, but the men and women who made up this overly talented band of reprobates were the very best satirists we had at one time and other than Monty Python doing what they were doing in the U.K., National Lampoon was really it for subversive comedy back in the 1970s. The magazine was as much about what was written as how it looked and the entire dream actually worked for longer than it should have, given the personalities involved.

How much we need a voice like the National Lampoon today is surely evident as you watch this film and realize Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon truly celebrates a very special time and place in American culture.

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon opens in theaters September 25, 2015.

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon