A stupid and futile gesture book
Review: 'A Futile and Stupid Gesture' Is a Basic Comedy Biopic - The AtlanticScreenwriter Kenney Animal House ; Caddyshack , co-founder of National Lampoon , was one of the gifted gagsters who ignited the s revolution in American humor. Journalist Karp Playboy ; Premiere delivers an iridescent, polychromatic portrait of the humorist, framed within an amusing anecdotal history of National Lampoon. To chart the magazine's rise and fall, Karp conducted interviews, mapping every avenue of business decisions, feuds, romances, cocaine use and bizarre pranks. It all began at Harvard, where wild wit Kenney and misanthropic Henry Beard became "symbiotic creative forces," revitalizing the Harvard Lampoon. When they teamed with publisher Matty Simmons, National Lampoon was born in , filling the "gigantic void" between the New Yorker and Mad. Success led to heightened hilarity as the brand expanded with posters, products, theatrical productions and recordings. The National Lampoon Radio Hour cast resurfaced in on Saturday Night Live , but the anarchic Animal House in catapulted Kenney to Hollywood—as Karp writes, "He had transformed himself from nerd to preppy to hippie and now to unassuming millionaire artiste.
A Futile & Stupid Gesture - Shadow Banned Scene
A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever
Maybe they come across best in verse or novels. Maybe you had to know them. Doug Kenney is one of these. He definitely had one blowout decade. White space. The effect of this is to drum up suspense and ladle significance on a subject, as if the narrative were so panoramic it could be seen only incrementally with binoculars, or so drug-addled it could be rendered only as moments of scary lucidity followed by blackouts. So what did Kenney and National Lampoon actually change?
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Doug Kenney was one of a few people who re-created comedy at the end of the s. Joke writing had, a decade earlier, begun to move beyond its vaudeville-and—Borscht Belt past into the Mort Sahl—Lenny Bruce era, and now it was time to take it into the counterculture future. The National Lampoon itself was, as the movie establishes, created with the idea of taking the ethos of the Harvard Lampoon off campus and onto newsstands. What was most significant about the magazine, when it appeared in , was the deadpan intensity of its humor. There was, on most of its better pages, a joke or a headline or an image that could make you gasp and suck in your breath as you laughed and laughed hard. It was not for everyone, god knows: It was too mean and too dirty for a lot of people.
The following piece includes spoilers for A Futile and Stupid Gesture. How do you write a happy ending for subjects who made fun of sentimental crap like happy endings? You think Will Forte is 27? Having Modern Doug in the movie was a way for Doug to be nostalgic about his own life, to look back with irony and wisdom at where he went wrong. Compounding the difficulty: The fact that nobody knows for sure how Kenney died. What we do know is that after the initial negative response to Caddyshack , Kenney became very depressed.
It is a history of National Lampoon magazine and one of its three founders, Doug Kenney , during the s. The book was based on numerous interviews with people who contributed to the magazine, and people who performed in The National Lampoon Radio Hour , and the stage show Lemmings. As the book recounts, at that time the National Lampoon's performers included John Belushi , Bill Murray , Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner , all of whom subsequently went on to appear on Saturday Night Live and have careers in other media, including film. The book also includes stories about the making of the movies Animal House and Caddyshack. The main title of the book is a quote from Animal House , part of a line spoken by the character Otter.