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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.

Director:

David Wain
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Gingerich Frank Gingerich ... Doug - Age 12
Morgan Gingerich Morgan Gingerich ... Doug - Age 12
Annette O'Toole ... Stephanie Kenney
Harry Groener ... Harry Kenney
Martin Mull ... Modern Doug
David Wain ... Interviewer
Domhnall Gleeson ... Henry Beard
Will Forte ... Douglas Kenney
Ben F. Campbell ... Harvard Jester (as Ben Campbell)
Jon Klaft ... Preppy Student
Camille Guaty ... Alex Garcia-Mata
Brad Morris ... Peter Ivers
Carla Gallo ... Lucy Fisher
Beau Bassewitz ... Umpire
Rick Overton ... 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)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Being the King of Comedy is No Joke. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Doug and PJ are researching old high school yearbooks Doug spots one picture where the name is "Lawrence 'Larry' Kroger" which is the real name of 'Pinto' in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). See more »

Goofs

At Pete's Tavern, a few contemporary automobiles are reflected on the left window and swinging door. See more »

Quotes

Douglas Kenney: Between the magazine and the radio show, I barely had time for my other hobbies, like being a terrible husband.
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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 Saturday Night Live (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Doggone It
Written by Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke
Performed by J.P. Robinson
Courtesy of Henry Stone Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Well made biography worth to be told.
15 April 2020 | by deloudelouvainSee all my reviews

After looking up Douglas Kenney (quote: Though almost completely unknown, this man was one of the originators of a highly popular and groundbreaking new form of comedy and satire) and reading his full biography I admit I never heard of him before, even though I watched Animal House and Caddyshack, like everybody else probably. It's an interesting story to watch, a bit sad but told in a funny way, probably just like he would have wanted it. It's just too bad there wasn't a small part for the real comedians from those movies, that would have been a nice addition. But watching Will Forte is always funny. Since the series The Last Man On Earth I'm a big fan of him. The cast was just very good for this movie, mostly comedians better known from comedy series, but none of them has to prove anything anymore as they are all funny. The movie is well shot, never a dull moment, and it's a story that is worth to be told. National Lampoon is a name everybody knows or has heard of, and this movie is a nice hommage to one of the co-founders, maybe a bit excentric, certainly not a fully happy man, but with a fascinating life.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Futile and Stupid Gesture See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.90 : 1
See full technical specs »

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