The fact that the words National Lampoon's still appear in front of films being released is just a small indication of how seismic the impact was that the magazine had on comedy and culture. Co-created by Harvard graduates Doug Kenney and Henry Beard, National Lampoon became the voice of comedy in the 1970s, and the new film A Futile and Stupid Gesture—based on the book of the same name—seeks to tell their story.
Directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models), A Futile and Stupid Gesture focuses on Kenney—played by both Will Forte and Martin Mull—and his wildly successful career that was marred by drug abuse. If you're unfamiliar with him, he's one of the minds behind not only the National Lampoon but also Animal House and Caddyshack, playing Stork ("What the hell we s'posed to do ya moron?") in the former.
There's a great documentary from 2015 titled Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon that tells this story as well. I highly recommend you check it out sometime as it tells basically this same story but with the actual people who were there being interviewed.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture looks pretty okay from the trailer up there, and Will Forte is an absolute manic presence in movies and I can tell he's gonna be perfect as Kenney. The Martin Mull thing is also super interesting, and getting to see Joel McHale play his longtime Community co-star Chevy Chase is gonna be brilliant as well. The film debuts exclusively on Netflix on January 26.