National Lampoon is thrilled to present the World Premiere of “Sketches From the National Lampoon,” conceived and produced by Matty Simmons, with original songs by Richard Levinson and directed by Pat Towne. “Sketches From the National Lampoon” has shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. It runs through March 17 at the Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.
“Sketches From the National Lampoon,” is National Lampoon’s first live stage production in over 25 years. Featuring the most hilarious and classic monologues, sketches, songs and other humor derived from the best known comedy company in entertainment history and written by more than thirty Lampoon magazine, radio and theatrical writers including Michael O'Donoghue, Doug Kenney, John Hughes, and PJ O'Rourke. “Sketches From the National Lampoon” will take an irreverent look back at the best of the best in Lampoon history. The show is being produced by National Lampoon founder Matty Simmons, who created, not only the humor magazine, but also the radio shows, albums, theatre and such films as National Lampoon’s Animal House and Vacation series. The show is also being co-produced along with the new President of the National Lampoon Alan Donnes, CEO Jerry Daigle and Patti Browne.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL LAMPOON – A BRIEF HISTORY
First, let's get this dog thing out of the way. The National Lampoon magazine cover featuring a dog with a gun to his head and the printed warning: "If You Don't Buy This Magazine - We'll Kill This Dog" was selected by The Art Director's Society of America as the "best magazine cover ever." It has certainly become the most popular.
The sketches and monologues in the new revue, “Sketches From the National Lampoon,” were written by many of the legendary humorists for the Lampoon magazine and its radio, recording, stage and film productions.
Much of the material was written by teams of writers, sometimes as many as four or five, occasionally, just one solitary funny individual.
The list of writers, actors, directors and editors who worked for the Lampoon would take more space than available here and then we’d accidentally leave some out so we will, with apologies to those unintentionally left out, list some.
The original editors of the Lampoon were Doug Kenny and Henry Beard. They were soon joined by Michael O'Donahue, George Trow, Ted Mann, Tony Hendra, Brian McConnachie, Anne Beatts, P.J. O'Rourke, John Hughes, Terry Southern, Dave Hanson, Jerry Sussman and many others. Later, came Al Jean, Michael Reiss, Andy Simmons, Larry Sloman, Michael Simmons, Larry David, etc., etc.
Introduced in various Lampoon entertainment projects were: John Belushi, Christopher Guest, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle Murray, Gilda Radner, Meatloaf, Richard Belzer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, Peter Riegert, Stephen Furst, Martha Smith, Dana Baron, Anthony Michael Hall, Harold Ramis and many others. Diane Lane was 14 when she appeared in a National Lampoon film. The aforementioned Michelle Pfeiffer made her first appearance as an actress on a Lampoon TV show.
The Lampoon was created in 1970. Its founder and CEO was Matty Simmons, who has produced “Sketches.” He ran the company for more than 20 years, selling control in 1990. In the two decades that followed, the magazine closed but a number of films were produced under the Lampoon banner, including van Wilder.
Now, new management, under the supervision of Jerry Daigle, CEO and Alan Donnes, President, there has been a Renaissance. A full-length documentary on the Lampoon will be in theaters sometime this year and films and other projects are in the works.
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