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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (2015)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | 25 September 2015 (USA)
2:19 | Clip

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A look at the history of the American comedy publication and production company, National Lampoon, from its beginning in the 1970s to 2010, featuring rare and never-before-seen footage.


Douglas Tirola
5 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Danny Abelson Danny Abelson ... Himself - Lampoon Contributor
Judd Apatow ... Himself - Film Director
Kevin Bacon ... Himself - Actor
Henry Beard Henry Beard ... Himself - Lampoon Founder
Anne Beatts Anne Beatts ... Herself - Lampoon Contributor
John Belushi ... Himself / Actor (archive footage)
Judith Belushi-Pisano ... Herself - Lampoon Staff (as Judith Jacklin Belushi)
Richard Belzer ... Himself / Actor / Producer
Ed Bluestone ... Himself - Lampoon Contributor
Christopher Buckley ... Himself - Author, Thank You for Smoking
John Candy ... Himself / Actor (archive footage)
Christopher Cerf Christopher Cerf ... Himself - Lampoon Contributor (as Chris Cerf)
Chevy Chase ... Himself - Actor
Michel Choquette Michel Choquette ... Himself / Lampoon Editor (archive footage)
George Coe ... Himself / Actor


Featuring rare and never before seen footage, this is the mind boggling story of The National Lampoon from its subversive and electrifying beginnings, to rebirth as an unlikely Hollywood heavyweight, and beyond. A humour empire like no other, the impact of the magazines irreverent, often shocking, sensibility was nothing short of seismic: this is an institution whose (drunk stoned brilliant) alumni left their fingerprints all over popular culture. Both insanely great and breathtakingly innovative, The National Lampoon created the foundation of modern comic sensibility by setting the bar in comedy impossibly high.

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If You Don't See This Documentary, We'll Shoot This Dog


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site





Release Date:

25 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,842, 2 October 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$62,684, 22 November 2015
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Henry Beard, Himself: Its a time of dial telephones. There's no internet. There's no computers. There wasn't that much shared. But, what was shared was shared by everybody. They absolutely had everything in common and its, in a way, that will never happen again.
See more »


Features Vacation (1983) See more »


Super What?
By Lyle Workman
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Under license from Sony Pictures Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

solid overview of the Lampoon's glory days
11 August 2018 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

The edgy, twisted, often outrageously funny Lampoon died years ago, although I recall it continued as the walking dead for a few years. This documentary follows the magazine from its pre-creation with the Harvard Lampoon through its early success and then just the tip of its long, slow, painful decline. It is a talking heads documentary, but the talking heads are witty and illustrated with pages from the magazine that work as a Greek chorus and are often cleverly animated.

I probably started reading the Lampoon in the mid-70s - my favorite writers were Ellis Weiner and P.J. O'Rourke - but the documentary is most concerned with what it considers the magazine's glory days in the early 70s. Truthfully, the little bits of Lampoon stuff I've read by the early writers like Beard and O'Donoghue haven't really appealed to me, but the movie tells me they were amazing geniuses and perhaps they were.

The story the movie tells is a fairly superficial one. It gets into some of the drama and gives some nice background, but it sticks very closely to the geniuses-working-hard-and-having-fun. The decline is portrayed as the loss of geniuses to SNL and the movies, which seems simplistic, and there's not really much attempt to put the Lampoon into a larger societal context.

Which is fine, because it's an entertaining documentary, but for me it means people giving this 10 stars just have lower standards for a great documentary than I do. This is just a nice little history that fans of the magazine will enjoy. And it's probably pretty fun even if you don't know the magazine.

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