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Films: N is for...

National Lampoon’s Movie Madness

Let’s put our sneaking affection for Chevy Chase aside for a moment and admit it – National Lampoon is rubbish, isn’t it? Here’s a trio of tepid overlong spoof sketches of Dallas and other hackneyed targets. God knows what the magazine was like. Richard ‘Madigan’ Widmark, Candy ‘Mary Lou’ Clark, Robert ‘Greatest American Hero’ Culp, Christopher ‘Jim’ Lloyd, Rhea ‘Carla’ Perlman, Dick ‘Bucket of Blood’ Miller, Julie ‘Marge’ Kavner, Robby Benson and Harry ‘Deep Throat’ Reems all call in, on their way either to or from better things (except maybe those last two).



  1. Matt Patton

    December 30, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Actually, the magazine was pretty much shit as well–MAD had gotten to most of the juicy targets in the late 1950’s and 1960’s, and all this rag had to add was general misanthropy and pictures of naked women and something close to the clinical definition of homophobia (you know, hating homosexuals because you’re afraid you ARE one).

  2. Droogie

    March 5, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    I bought a huge coffee table book collection of National Lampoon magazine in a remainder bookshop for 3 quid several years back. Apart from the odd wry titter, the smug self-satisfied Ivy League humour is really pisspoor. They may have had less censorship issues than Mad Magazine had , but didn’t have an iota of the creativity or genius of Mad. Even Cracked magazine was funnier!

  3. richardpd

    March 5, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    John Hughes wrote a fictionalised account of his family’s drive from Chicago to Disneyland for the magazine that he later adapted into National Lampoon’s Vacation.

    For years someone bought up the rights to the magazine & released just the odd special to just about keep it in the public eye & stop anyone else from getting their hands on it.

  4. Droogie

    March 6, 2020 at 2:59 am

    I think the least funny comedy movie I ever saw was National Lampoon’s Class Reunion from 1982. I watched it on TV when I was a teen expecting a follow-up to Animal House and thought it the most moronic tacky film I’d ever witnessed . It’s unbelievable that John Hughes wrote the screenplay for this trash.

    • THX 1139

      March 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Have you seen The Breakfast Club recently? Not unbelievable at all, I find Hughes’s stuff hasn’t aged at all well in many cases.

      • richardpd

        March 6, 2020 at 1:07 pm

        Certainly the rule of comedy applies to most of Hughes’s scripts, even the mostly brilliant Home Alone 1 & 2 are even less believable since 9/11.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    March 7, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    National Lampoon’s European Vacation can still raise the odd laugh as Mel Smith is in it, they mock British late night television( which was pretty dire in the smaller ITV regions in 1985) and they demolish Stonehenge with an Austin Maxi.

  6. Richardpd

    December 16, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    National Lampoon also had a radio show in the early 1970s where several of the cast of the films started out in. Many went via Saturday Night Live.

    I think the radio cast might have released some records as well, possibly compilations of the radio shows or newly recorded material.

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