24 Sep Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon Review


American Funny Business

Most Americans are familiar with the hit comedy series, Saturday Night Live, but did you know that much of its initial success comes from the publication and production company, National Lampoon? Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon is the documentary that takes us back to the 70’s and into the world of how the original humor magazine began. Director Douglas Tirola introduces viewers to the witty and satirical magazine covers, stories, and headlines that always provoked major shock and a good laugh. “Overboard”, or “too much” weren’t phrases used when it came to writing the Lampoon’s content. Instead, creator Doug Kenney and his best friend, Henry Beard wanted to take a relevant topic and combine sex, violence, and sarcasm as much as they possibly could to make people laugh. While it had offended some, the writers were so intelligent and passionate about every thing they created that people couldn’t help but recognize how clever it truly was.  Once the Lampoon crew (John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, Bill Murray, Gilda Rader, and Harold Ramis) became popular and received proper recognition, most of them moved onto “bigger things”. Saturday Night Live was filled with Lampoon’s writers and cast members that help give SNL its reputation today.

One of the most interesting aspects of Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead is how much of an impact this group of comedians had on society. Once they began creating movies, such as Animal House and National Lampoon’s Vacation, a whole new genre was opened up in Hollywood. It’s impressive how relentless and committed these Lampoon writers and actors were about getting their messages heard, although many people told them they would fail. The crude and sarcastic comedies created today can thank the National Lampoon for being the first to take the risk of offending people through humor.


Watch Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon on FlixFling.

This guest blog was written by Breelyn Starrett.