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A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

TV-MA | | Biography, Comedy | 26 January 2018 (USA)
In the 1970s and '80s, National Lampoon's success and influence creates a new media empire overseen in part by the brilliant and troubled Douglas Kenney.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Doug - Age 12
... Doug - Age 12
... Stephanie Kenney
... Harry Kenney
... Modern Doug
... Interviewer
... Henry Beard
... Douglas Kenney
... Harvard Jester (as Ben Campbell)
... Preppy Student
... Alex Garcia-Mata
... Peter Ivers
... Lucy Fisher
... Umpire
... First Publisher
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Storyline

An old version of humorist Douglas Kenney tells the story of how he and Henry Beard parleyed their success in their campus magazine, Harvard Lampoon, into the commercial magazine, National Lampoon. Drawing upon their checkered lives and an aggressively puckish sense of humor, the pair created a publication that would redefine American comedy with outrageous drollery that grabbed the zeitgeist of the decade that expanded across various media. Unfortunately, for all his success, Doug Kenney with his overhanging insecurities, ego and irresponsible appetites began to consume him until he alienates everyone who ever cared and supported him even as they imitated him. In the end, this iconoclastic funnyman would come to a tragedy that comes when your comedy doesn't have enough distance. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Taglines:

Being the King of Comedy is No Joke.

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

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Release Date:

26 January 2018 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine nutzlose und dumme Geste  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)
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1.90 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mark Metcalf, who plays the Second Publisher, is famous as Doug Niedermeyer from Animal House (1978). Also, the question he asks, "What do you wanna do with your life?" is said by Metcalf in Twisted Sister's music video "I Wanna Rock." See more »

Goofs

Just before his death in Hawaii, Doug was shown driving a '87-'95 Jeep Wrangler. He Died in 1980. See more »

Quotes

Kathryn Walker: [after seeing Airplane!] Surely you're not upset because someone else made a funny movie.
Douglas Kenney: Don't you get it? That's the movie that everyone's gonna love, not fucking Caddyshack. I've been replaced. What the fuck am I gonna do now?
Kathryn Walker: You're supposed to say, "Don't call me Shirley."
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Crazy Credits

After the end credits have rolled, Martin Mull is shown singing the song "Time of My Life" with members of the cast. See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Doggone It
Written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke
Performed by J.P. Robinson
Courtesy of Henry Stone Music
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable movie but a bit one eyed
28 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

This is a good movie. It's a story well told but it's certainly one sided. For one thing it ignores the fact that National Lampoon wasn't very funny. It is also a bit of a hatchet job on the parents and P J O'Rourke, whose least credit, as probably the funniest American print writer of the 20th century, is editor of NL.

Worth watching though.


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