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A Futile and Stupid Gesture ()


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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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Doug - Age 12
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Doug - Age 12
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Stephanie Kenney
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Harry Kenney
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Modern Doug
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Interviewer
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Henry Beard
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Douglas Kenney
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Harvard Jester (as Ben Campbell)
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Preppy Student
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Alex Garcia-Mata
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Peter Ivers
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Lucy Fisher
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Umpire
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First Publisher
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Second Publisher
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Time-Life Publisher
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Time-Life Publisher (as Mitch Hurwitz)
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Matty Simmons
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Mary Marshmallow
Michael Colton ...
Art Director
John Aboud ...
Art Director
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Michael O'Donoghue
Michael Sherman ...
Ed Sullivan
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Tony Hendra
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Sullivan Producer
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Anne Beatts
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Construction Worker
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Brian McConnachie
Ellen Colton ...
Waitress
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Skeptical Black Woman
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Skeptical Black Man
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Michael Gross
Peter Blake ...
Advertiser
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Advertiser
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Advertiser
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Tom Snyder
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Gilda Radner
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Bill Murray
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Christopher Guest
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John Belushi
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Harold Ramis
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Chevy Chase
Michael Farrell ...
Radio Hour Pianist / Premiere Party Pianist
Adam Wade ...
Radio Hour Drummer / Premiere Party Drummer
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Elaine
Jherek Bischoff ...
Lemmings Bass Player
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Lemmings Piano Player
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P.J. O'Rourke
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Kathryn Walker
Sam Mickens ...
Street Musician
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Lorne Michaels
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Chris Miller
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Ivan Reitman
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Brad
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Tim Matheson
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Stephen Furst
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John Landis
Julian Wass ...
Premiere Party Guitar Player (as Julian Margolin Wass)
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Premiere Party Guitar Player
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Harry Crane
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Party Guest
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Missy
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Michael O'Keefe
Erv Dahl ...
Rodney Dangerfield
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Paul Shaffer
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Studio Tour Guide 'Babs'
Eugene 'Hutch' Barbeau ...
Studio Tour Kid
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Dr. Rumack (archiveFootage)
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Ted Striker (archiveFootage)
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Randy (archiveFootage)
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Bartender
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Room Service Waitress
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Gwyneth Cravens
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christopher Arminio ...
National Lampoon Staffer (uncredited)
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Taxi Driver (uncredited)
James Bearb ...
Doug Niedermeyer (uncredited)
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Young Omega Chip Diller (uncredited)
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Rick Meyerowitz (uncredited)
Jack Andrew Cook ...
Dan Aykroyd (uncredited)
T.C. Daniels ...
Brian Doyle-Murray (uncredited)
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Dancer (uncredited)
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Stoned College Kid (uncredited)
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Mashed Potato Girl (uncredited)
Steffi Hill ...
Bikini Girl (uncredited)
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Ted Knight (uncredited)
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Student (uncredited)
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Pool Girl (uncredited)
Forrest Lark ...
Daniel Keeney (uncredited)
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Boy Scout (uncredited)
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Funeral Guest (uncredited)
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Guitarist (uncredited)
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Cheerleader Captain (uncredited)
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Additional Voices (uncredited) (voice)
Henry Nolin ...
Teen in Cadillac (uncredited)
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Kid Talking in Library (uncredited)
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Sketchy Party Guest (uncredited)
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Stoner College Kid (uncredited)
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Sound Guy (uncredited)
David Sampen ...
Caddyshack Film Crew (uncredited)
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Kroger (uncredited)

Directed by

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David Wain

Written by

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Michael Colton ... (written by) &
John Aboud ... (written by)
 
Josh Karp ... (based on the book by)

Produced by

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John Aboud ... executive producer
Michael Colton ... executive producer
Collin Creighton ... executive producer
Pauline Fischer ... executive producer
Trish Hadley ... Post Producer
Edward H. Hamm Jr. ... executive producer
Ed Helms ... executive producer
Sean McKittrick ... executive producer
Ben Ormand ... executive producer
Peter Principato ... producer (p.g.a.)
Ted Sarandos ... producer
Jonathan Stern ... producer (p.g.a.)
David Wain ... executive producer

Music by

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Craig Wedren

Cinematography by

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Kevin Atkinson

Film Editing by

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David Egan
Jamie Gross
Robert Nassau

Editorial Department

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Jim Carretta ... assistant editor
Greg Curry ... colorist: dailies
Alan Mackulin ... first assistant editor
Kenneth Rich ... assistant editor
Samantha Tinsley ... post-production coordinator
Charlie Tucker ... colorist

Casting By

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Allison Jones

Production Design by

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Justin Lieb ... (additional photography)
Jonah Markowitz

Art Direction by

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Austin Gorg
Michael Hersey ... (additional photography)

Set Decoration by

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David A Cook
David A. Cook

Costume Design by

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Debra McGuire

Makeup Department

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Lara Cilento ... hair department head
Liz Ferguson ... key hair stylist
Lindsay Garrison ... makeup department head
Meghan Heaney ... additional hair stylist
Bia Iftikhar ... additional hair stylist
Aubrey Marie ... hair stylist
Laura Peyer ... key makeup artist
Sabrina Wilson ... makeup artist
Jessica Lou Allen ... additional hair stylist (uncredited)
Cary Ayers ... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Ann-Maree Hurley ... makeup artist: additional (uncredited)

Production Management

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Loren Brock ... production supervisor
Korey Budd ... unit production manager
Ben Ormand ... unit production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Amanda Carrara ... second assistant director
Heidi Hinzman ... second second assistant director: additional photography
Bob Riley ... second assistant director: additional photography
M. Ryan Traylor ... first assistant director
Kevin Zelman ... second assistant director

Art Department

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Armando Abarca ... on set dresser
Laura Barker ... assistant property master
Steve Broussard ... construction coordinator
Anthony Carlino ... leadman
Maurice Steve Escobedo ... lead plasterer
Frances Lynn Hernandez ... art department assistant
Michael Hersey ... art director: additional photography
Tyrone Anthony Jones ... set dresser (as Ty Jones Jr.)
Attila Kiss ... assistant property master
Steven Light-Orr ... assistant art director
Richard Martinez ... laborer foreman
Timberly Matonic ... assistant property master
Cynthia Nibler ... property master
Lauren 'Ron' Penizotto ... on-set dresser: additional photography (as Lauren Penizotto)
Jason Perrine ... graphic designer
Eric Reichardt ... lead scenic
Randy Severino ... set dresser
Alana Shea ... set decoration buyer
Shelley A. Wallace ... set designer
Shaun Young ... art department coodinator
Scott Williston ... decorator gang boss (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Ryan Farris ... utility sound
Sean Garnhart ... re-recording mixer / sound designer / supervising sound editor
Chris Kahwaty ... mix technician
Billy King ... boom operator
Ed Novick ... sound mixer
Nicholas Renbeck ... supervising adr editor / supervising dialogue editor
Elliot Thompson ... ADR mixer
Yigit Tok ... adr recordist: turkish
Steven Visscher ... supervising foley editor
Alexa Zimmerman ... adr editor / dialogue editor
Anthony Enns ... additional production sound mixer (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Ryan D. Compton ... special effects
Sam Dean ... special effects coordinator
Joe Pancake ... special effects coordinator
Jake Valdez ... special effects crew

Visual Effects by

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Tara Acquesta ... visual effects producer
H Haden Hammond ... senior compositor: Savage Visual Effects
Paul Hill ... visual effects artist
Alex Knudsen ... visual effects producer
Brice Liesveld ... visual effects producer
Petra Mcelvenny ... Visual Effects Executive: Netflix
Eroc Moralls ... visual effects artist

Stunts

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Koby Azarly ... stunt double: Matt Lucas
Jeffrey G. Barnett ... stunts
Michael Duisenberg ... stunt double: Matt Walsh

Camera and Electrical Department

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Danny Ault ... electrician
Mike Bachman ... video assist technician
Shane Buttle ... rigging electrician
Nicola Caruso ... loader: additional photography
Michael P. Catanzarite ... key grip
Gabriel Diniz ... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Conrad Dobbie ... grip
Justin Duval ... gaffer
Louie Escobar ... grip
John P. Fleenor ... still photographer
Alex Gadberry ... camera utility
Luke Geissbuhler ... additional photography
Kirk Greenberg ... key grip rigger
Ryan Grzelak ... second assistant camera
Michael Brian Hart ... a camera, steadicam operator
Ryan Hogue ... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Willow Jenkins ... key video assist
Matthew Kistenmacher ... best boy electric
Stephen Martel Lucas ... first assistant camera: b camera
Robert J. Lynn ... video assist (as Rob Lynn)
Josh Miller ... first assistant camera c camera
Ian Myron ... rigging electric
David Richert ... camera operator
Josh Seifert ... grip
Stefan von Bjorn ... a camera: steadicam dailies
Lani Wasserman ... second assistant camera

Casting Department

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Emily Buntyn ... casting assistant
Dann Fink ... adr voice casting
Ben Harris ... casting associate
Brandi S. Hawkins ... extras casting
James B. Mackay ... extras casting

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Jennifer Betts ... costumer
Isabela Braga ... costume supervisor
Annie Garrity ... key costumer
Brad Holtzman ... set costumer
Caitlin Kramer ... costume production assistant
Mike Lutz ... key costumer
Gavin McGuire ... costumer
Andrea Medina ... set costumer
Gilberto Mello ... additional set costumer
Brittany Saberhagen ... costume pa
Sheryl Smyres ... set costumer

Location Management

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Melissa Areffi ... key assistant location manager
Rich Bokides ... lead key assistant location manager
Ryan Forkin ... assistant location manager
David Israel ... location scout
McKenzie Keough ... location coordinator (as Mckenzie Keough)
Lee David Lee ... key assistant location manager
Don Mann ... key assistant location manager
Taylor Moore ... assistant location manager
Zachary Quemore ... key assistant location manager
Jordan Thompson ... assistant location manager
Michael Wesley ... location manager

Music Department

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Jherek Bischoff ... composer: additional music
Bo Boddie ... composer: additional music / score mixer
Isaac Carpenter ... composer: additional music
Michael Farrell ... composer: additional music (as Mike Farrell)
Amber Funk ... music editor
Ginger Greaves ... music clearance
Justin Kamps ... co-music supervisor
Emily C. Kwong ... music editor
Jon Natchez ... composer: additional music
Alexandra Patsavas ... music supervisor
Alex Shenkman ... score assistant

Transportation Department

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Juan Anaya ... driver
Greg Armstrong ... driver
Mike Armstrong ... transportation captain
Mike Barton ... driver
Mark L. Basler ... driver
Colton Elliot ... driver
Elizabeth Galbraith ... driver
J.C. Garcia ... picture car coordinator
Dani Greva ... driver
Tony Hill ... driver
Sal Mejia ... driver
Silvio Mirando ... driver
Hector Padilla ... driver
Antonio Pineda ... driver
Ron Robart ... driver
George Rodriguez ... driver
Julie Sanders ... dispatcher
Ian Savage ... driver
Kevin Simmons ... driver
Jose Tafoya ... driver
Arturo Velasco ... driver
John Whisemant ... driver
Lazaro Zamora ... driver
Steve Zerweck ... transportation coordinator

Other crew

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Paul Angelo ... production assistant
Sarah Balboa ... set pa
Susan Bannout ... medic
Nick Barragan ... production assistant
Brock Bivens ... office pa
Victor Capoccia ... production assistant
Sarah Casolaro ... assistant: Mr. Wain
Deborah J. Chesebro ... post production accountant
Sasha DeMello ... assistant: cast
Paul Emmons ... medic
Neil Etman ... medic
Megan Fowler ... office pa
Dave Fulton ... medic
Gabriela Gil ... set pa
Gordon Greer ... medic
Veronica Hennessy ... medic
Thanh Hoang ... set pa
Anna Humphries ... set pa
Tomi Hutton ... production assistant
Mickey Jacobs ... assistant: Mr. Stern
McKenzie Keough ... office pa (as Mckenzie Keough)
Avi Levy ... financial controller
Marilyn Lindsay ... first assistant accountant
Kali Londono ... production secretary
Steve Martin ... medic
Jill McCullough ... dialect coach: Mr. Gleeson
Rory McGuinness ... office pa / office production assistant
Casey Neumeier ... assistant: Mr. Principato
Debbie Nodella ... payroll accountant
Jason Rico ... medic
Alexandra Sabolch ... production secretary: additional photography
Joshua P Spiegel ... set pa
Carder Stout ... consultant: drug use
Amanda Tucker ... second assistant accountant
Courtney Tunney ... assistant: Mr. Principato
Brooke Wilkins ... unit publicist
Robert Everett Williams Jr. ... assistant production coordinator (as Rob Williams)
John C. Wise ... set production assistant
Harrison Woliner ... set pa

Thanks

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Judith Belushi-Pisano ... special thanks (as Judy Belushi)
Chevy Chase ... special thanks
Sean T. Daily ... special thanks
Alan Donnes ... special thanks
Judith Godrèche ... special thanks
Christopher Guest ... special thanks
John Hamburg ... special thanks
Mitchell Hurwitz ... special thanks (as Mitch Hurwitz)
Ken Marino ... special thanks
Zak Penn ... special thanks
Ivan Reitman ... special thanks
Michael Shamberg ... special thanks

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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 Keywords
Taglines Being the King of Comedy is No Joke. See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Une drôle de fin (France)
  • Eine nutzlose und dumme Geste (Germany)
  • Un gesto estúpido e inútil (Spain)
  • Глупый и бессмысленный жест (Russia)
  • Fútil e Inútil (Brazil)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 101 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $30,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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Trivia Martha Smith, who played Babs in Animal House (1978), has a brief cameo as a bus tour guide at Universal Studios. This is a reference to the ending of Animal House, where Babs was said to have become a tour guide at Universal Studios. It's also referenced after the credits of several movies at the time in an advertisement for the studio tour ("Ask for Babs"). See more »
Goofs Just before his death in Hawaii, Doug was shown driving a '87-'95 Jeep Wrangler. He Died in 1980. See more »
Movie Connections Features Airplane! (1980). See more »
Soundtracks Chapel of Dreams See more »
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 »
Quotes Tom Snyder: Mr. Kenney, it's a fine line between being clever and offensive, isn't it?
Douglas Kenney: Look, if I could just say something in defense of National Lampoon for one moment...
Tom Snyder: Please.
Douglas Kenney: We come from a tradition of truth-tellers. A long time ago, there was someone else society found offensive. They thought that what he did was radical - dangerous. They persecuted him... and eventually killed him. Of course, I'm referring to Dracula.
See more »

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