History Podcasts

'Animal House' released in theaters

'Animal House' released in theaters

On July 28, 1978, National Lampoon’s Animal House, a movie spoof about 1960s college fraternities starring John Belushi, opens in U.S. Produced with an estimated budget of $3 million, Animal House became a huge, multi-million-dollar box-office hit, spawned a slew of cinematic imitations and became part of pop-culture history with such memorable lines as “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

Set at the fictional Faber College (the University of Oregon served as a stand-in during filming), Animal House centered around the disreputable Delta House fraternity, whose members enjoyed beer-soaked toga parties and crude pranks such as putting a horse in the dean’s office. Animal House was the first big hit for director John Landis, who went on to helm The Blues Brothers (1980), Trading Places (1983) and Coming to America (1988). The film’s cast included a then-unknown Kevin Bacon (Footloose, Mystic River), Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Tom Hulce (Amadeus), all of whom were then just beginning their movie careers.

Animal House was co-written by Doug Kenney, Harold Ramis and Chris Miller, whose days at Dartmouth College in the early 1960s served as an inspiration for the film. Animal House marked the first film produced in affiliation with National Lampoon, a college magazine that was first published in 1970 and known for its dark humor. Other National Lampoon movies included Vacation (1983), which was written by John Hughes, directed by Ramis and starred SNL alum Chevy Chase.

At the time Animal House was released, John Belushi, who played party animal Bluto Blutarsky, was starring on the TV sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. Belushi, who was born January 24, 1949, appeared on SNL from 1975 to 1979 and co-starred in the hit movie Blues Brothers with his SNL castmate Dan Akroyd. Belushi died of a drug overdose at age 33 on March 5, 1982, at the Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood, California.

READ MORE: The Final Days of John Belushi: What Led to His Sudden Death?


15 Wild Facts About Animal House

Toga! Toga! Toga! On the 40th anniversary of its premiere, here are some fun facts about Animal House that’ll bring you right back to your college days.

1. THE MOVIE WAS ORIGINALLY ABOUT CHARLES MANSON.

The first draft of the screenplay by Harold Ramis and Douglas Kenney was entitled Laser Orgy Girls, and was about the cult leader and murderer in high school. The script was immediately rejected.

2. THE FINAL SCRIPT WAS THE RESULT OF A THREE-MONTH BRAINSTORMING SESSION.

During a cram writing session, the writers all contributed stories about their Greek life hijinks: Chris Miller of his time in Alpha Delta Phi at Dartmouth, Ramis in Zeta Beta Tau at Washington University in St. Louis, Kenney in the Spee Club at Harvard, and producer Ivan Reitman in Delta Upsilon at McMaster University.

3. THE FILMMAKERS HAD OTHER ACTORS IN MIND FOR THE LEAD ROLES.

They originally wanted Dan Aykroyd to play D-Day, Brian Doyle-Murray to play Hoover, Bill Murray to play Boon, and Chevy Chase to play Otter.

4. CHRIS MILLER'S REAL FRATERNITY PLEDGE NAME FOUND ITS WAY INTO THE FILM.

His pledge name, like Thomas Hulce’s character's in the movie, was “Pinto.”

5. DOUGLAS KENNEY HAS A BACKGROUND ROLE AS A FRAT BOY.

He plays Stork, the Delta brother everyone thinks is “brain damaged.”

6. YOU CAN THANK DONALD SUTHERLAND FOR THE MOVIE'S CREATION.

Universal Studios only greenlit the movie because Sutherland, who was a recognizable star, signed on to appear as Professor Jennings.

7. IT MADE JOHN BELUSHI A STAR.

Belushi had appeared on SNL for three years, but Animal House was his big screen debut. During the film’s production, he shot the movie Monday through Wednesday and flew back to New York to do SNL Thursday through Saturday.

8. IT WAS KEVIN BACON'S FIRST MOVIE.

Bacon plays Omega pledge Chip Diller.

9. FABER COLLEGE IS ACTUALLY THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON.

It was the only school that would let the production shoot on campus.

10. THE OREGON DEAN ACQUIESCED TO FILMING BECAUSE OF A PREVIOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

Years earlier, he had rejected the offer to have the production of The Graduate shoot on campus. Not wanting to let another go at Hollywood pass him by, he approved the production without reading Animal House’s script. He gave them such carte blanche that his own office was used to film Dean Wormer’s office in the movie.

11. THE STUDIO DIDN'T LIKE JOHN LANDIS'S CHOICE OF COMPOSER.

Landis tapped composer Elmer Bernstein to do the score because Landis was childhood friends with Bernstein’s son. At that point his career, Bernstein was known for scoring epics like The Ten Commandments and serious dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird, so the studio was skeptical he’d be a good fit for a gross-out comedy. They were won over after Landis had Bernstein score the comedy as if it were one of his serious dramas, thus playing up the absurdity of what happens onscreen.

12. LIKE ANY GOOD FRAT, DELTA TAU CHI HAS A LATIN MOTTO.

Delta’s motto is “Ars Gratia Artis,” Latin for “Art for art’s sake.”

13. BELUSHI DIDN'T ACTUALLY CHUG A FIFTH OF JACK DANIELS.

Contrary to rumors, it was iced tea—and not real whiskey—in the bottle that Belushi chugs after Delta is expelled from campus.

14. OTIS DAY CHANGE HIS NAME TO HIS CHARACTER'S IN REAL LIFE.

Actor DeWayne Jessie played Otis Day, the leader of the band at the Dexter Lake Club, and legally changed his name to Otis Day after gaining popularity following the release of the movie. He still tours with the band Otis Day and the Knights to this day.

15. ANIMAL HOUSE SPAWNED A SHORT-LIVED TV SPINOFF IN 1979.

Delta House, which aired on ABC, was cancelled after three months. Ramis, Miller, and Kenney wrote the pilot episode, while the actors who play Dean Wormer, Flounder, D-Day, and Hoover all reprised their roles. The show also featured the television debut of Michelle Pfeiffer, who played “The Bombshell.”


Contents

National Lampoon was started by Harvard graduates and Harvard Lampoon alumni Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman in 1969, when they first licensed the "Lampoon" name for a monthly national publication. The Harvard Lampoon was established in 1876 as a long-standing tradition of the campus, influencing the later National Lampoon Brand in its evolution from illustration-heavy publications to satirical wit, ranging from short fiction to comic strips. The magazine's first issue was dated April 1970. The company that owned the magazine was called Twenty First Century Communications.

After a shaky start for a few issues, the magazine rapidly grew in popularity. Like The Harvard Lampoon, individual issues had themes, including such topics as "The Future," "Back to School," "Death," "Self-Indulgence," and "Blight." The magazine regularly reprinted material in "best-of" omnibus collections. Its writers joyfully targeted every kind of phoniness, and had no specific political stance, even though individual staff members had strong political views.

Thomas Carney, writing in New Times, traced the history and style of the National Lampoon and the impact it had on comedy's new wave. "The National Lampoon," Carney wrote, "was the first full-blown appearance of non-Jewish humor in years—not anti-Semitic, just non-Jewish. Its roots were W.A.S.P. and Irish Catholic, with a weird strain of Canadian detachment. . . . This was not Jewish street-smart humor as a defense mechanism this was slash-and-burn stuff that alternated in pitch but moved very much on the offensive. It was always disrespect everything, mostly yourself, a sort of reverse deism."

National Lampoon was a monthly magazine for most of its publication history. Numerous "special editions" were also published and sold simultaneously on newsstands. Some of the special editions were anthologies of reprinted material others were entirely original. Additional projects included a calendar, a songbook, a collection of transfer designs for T-shirts, and a number of books. The magazine sold yellow binders with the Lampoon logo, designed to store a year's worth of issues.

Cover art Edit

The original art directors were cartoonist Peter Bramley and Bill Skurski, founders of New York's Cloud Studio, an alternative-culture outfit known at the time for its eclectic style. Bramley created the Lampoon 's first cover and induced successful cartoonists Arnold Roth and Gahan Wilson to become regular contributors.

Beginning with the eighth issue, the art direction of the magazine was taken over by Michael C. Gross, who directed the look of the magazine until 1974. A number of the National Lampoon 's most acerbic and humorous covers were designed or overseen by Gross, including:

  • Court-martialed Vietnam War mass-murderer William Calley sporting the guileless grin of Alfred E. Neuman, complete with the parody catchphrase 'What, My Lai?" (August 1971) [3]
  • The iconic Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara being splattered with a cream pie (January 1972) [4] looking worriedly at a revolver pressed to its head, with what became a famous caption: "If You Don't Buy This Magazine, We'll Kill This Dog" (January 1973): The cover was conceived by writer Ed Bluestone. [5][a] Photographer Ronald G. Harris initially had a hard time making the dog's plight appear humorous instead of pathetic. The solution was to cock the revolver the clicking sound caused the dog's eyes to shift into the position shown. This was the most famous Lampoon cover gag, and was selected by ASME as the seventh-greatest magazine cover of the last 40 years. [5][6][7] This issue is among the most coveted and collectible of all the National Lampoon's issues.
  • A replica of the starving child from the cover of George Harrison's charity album The Concert for Bangladesh, rendered in chocolate and with a large bite taken out of its head (July 1974) [8]

Michael Gross and Doug Kenney chose a young designer from Esquire named Peter Kleinman to succeed the team of Gross and David Kaestle. During his Lampoon tenure, Kleinman was also the art director of Heavy Metal magazine, published by the same company. The best known of Kleinman's Lampoon covers were "Stevie Wonder with 3-D Glasses" painted by Sol Korby, [9] a photographed "Nose to The Grindstone" cover depicting a man's face being pressed against a spinning grinder wheel for the Work issue, the "JFK's First 6000 Days" issue featuring a portrait of an old John F. Kennedy, the "Fat Elvis" cover which appeared a year before Elvis Presley died, and many of the Mara McAfee covers done in a classic Norman Rockwell style. Kleinman designed the logos for Animal House and Heavy Metal. Kleinman left in 1979 to open an ad agency.

He was succeeded by Skip Johnson, the designer responsible for the Sunday Newspaper Parody and the "Arab Getting Punched in the Face" cover of the Revenge issue. Johnson went on to The New York Times. He was followed by Michael Grossman, who changed the logo and style of the magazine.

In 1984, Kleinman returned as creative director and went back to the 1970s logo and style, bringing back many of the artists and writers from the magazine's heyday. He left four years later to pursue a career in corporate marketing. At that time, the National Lampoon magazine entered a period of precipitous decline.

Editorial Edit

Every regular monthly issue of the magazine had an editorial at the front of the magazine. This often appeared to be straightforward, but was always a parody. It was written by whoever was the editor of that particular issue, since that role rotated among the staff. A few issues were guest-edited.

Staff Edit

Comedy stars John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle Murray, Harold Ramis, and Richard Belzer first gained national attention for their performances in the National Lampoon's stage show and radio show. The first three subsequently went on to become part of Saturday Night Live 's original wave of Not Ready for Primetime Players, Bill Murray replaced Chase when Chase left SNL after the first season, and Brian Doyle Murray later appeared as an SNL regular. [10] Harold Ramis went on to star in the Canadian sketch show SCTV and assumed role as its head writer, then left after season 1 to be a prolific director and writer working on such films as Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and many more. Brian Doyle Murray has had roles in dozens of films, and Belzer is an Emmy Award-winning TV actor.

Gerald L. "Jerry" Taylor was the publisher, followed by William T. Lippe. The business side of the magazine was controlled by Matty Simmons, who was chairman of the board and CEO of Twenty First Century Communications, a publishing company.

True Facts Edit

"True Facts" was a section near the front of the magazine which contained true but ridiculous items from real life. Together with the masthead, it was one of the few parts of the magazine that was factual. "True Facts" included photographs of unintentionally funny signage, extracts from ludicrous newspaper reports, strange headlines, and so on. For many years John Bendel was in charge of the "True Facts" section of the magazine. Steven Brykman edited the "True Facts" section of the National Lampoon website. Several "True Facts" compilation books were published in the 1980s and early 90s, and several all-True-Facts issues of the magazine were published during the 1980s.

Foto Funnies Edit

Most issues of the magazine featured one or more "Foto Funny" or fumetti, comic strips that use photographs instead of drawings as illustrations. The characters who appeared in the Lampoon's Foto Funnies were usually writers, editors, artists, photographers or contributing editors of the magazine, often cast alongside nude or semi-nude models. In 1980, a paperback compilation book, National Lampoon Foto Funnies which appeared as a part of National Lampoon Comics, was published.

Funny Pages Edit

The "Funny Pages" was a large section at the back of the magazine that was composed entirely of comic strips of various kinds. These included work from a number of artists who also had pieces published in the main part of the magazine, including Gahan Wilson, Ed Subitzky and Vaughn Bode, as well as artists whose work was only published in this section. The regular strips included "Dirty Duck" by Bobby London, "Trots and Bonnie" by Shary Flenniken, "The Appletons" by B. K. Taylor, "Politeness Man" by Ron Barrett, and many other strips. A compilation of Gahan Wilson's "Nuts" strip was published in 2011. The Funny Pages logo header art, which was positioned above Gahan Wilson's "Nuts" in each issue, and showed a comfortable, old-fashioned family reading newspaper-sized funny papers, was drawn by Mike Kaluta.

Other merchandise Edit

From time to time, the magazine advertised Lampoon-related merchandise for sale, including T-shirts that had been specially designed.

The magazine existed from 1970 to 1998. Some consider its finest period was from 1971 to 1975, although it continued to be produced on a monthly schedule throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, and did well during that time.

However, during the late 1980s, a much more serious decline set in. In 1989, the company that controlled the magazine and its related projects (which was part of "Twenty First Century Communications") was the subject of a hostile takeover by Daniel Grodnik, a Hollywood producer, and Tim Matheson, an actor who starred in the Lampoon's first big hit, Animal House. In 1991 it was sold outright to another company, "J2 Communications".

At that point "National Lampoon" was considered valuable only as a brand name that could be licensed out to other companies. The magazine was issued erratically and rarely from 1991 onwards. 1998 saw the last issue.

1970 Edit

The first issue was April 1970 by November of that year, Michael C. Gross had become the art director. He achieved a unified, sophisticated, and integrated look for the magazine, which enhanced its humorous appeal.

1973–1975 Edit

National Lampoon's most successful sales period was 1973–75. Its national circulation peaked at 1,000,096 copies sold of the October 1974 "Pubescence" issue. [11] The 1974 monthly average was 830,000, which was also a peak. Former Lampoon editor Tony Hendra's book Going Too Far includes a series of precise circulation figures.

It was also during this time that Lemmings (National Lampoon) Show and The National Lampoon Radio Hour show was broadcast, bringing interest and acclaim to the National Lampoon brand with magazine talent like writer Michael O'Donoghue that would go on to write for Saturday Night Live with many of the players transitioning from Lemmings (National Lampoon) and The National Lampoon Radio Hour.

The magazine was considered by many to be at its creative zenith during this time. It should however be noted that the publishing industry's newsstand sales were excellent for many other titles during that time: there were sales peaks for Mad (more than 2 million), Playboy (more than 7 million), and TV Guide (more than 19 million).

1975 Edit

Some fans consider the glory days of National Lampoon to have ended in 1975, [12] although the magazine remained popular and profitable long after that point. During 1975, the three founders (Kenney, Beard, and Hoffman) took advantage of a buyout clause in their contracts for $7.5 million. About the same time, writers Michael O'Donoghue and Anne Beatts left to join the NBC comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). At the same time, the National Lampoon Show's John Belushi and Gilda Radner left the troupe to join the original septet of SNL's Not Ready for Primetime Players.

The magazine was a springboard to the cinema of the United States for a generation of comedy writers, directors, and performers. Various alumni went on to create and write for SNL, The David Letterman Show, SCTV, The Simpsons, Married. with Children, Night Court, and various films including National Lampoon's Animal House, Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Ghostbusters.

As some of the original creators departed, the magazine remained popular and profitable as it had the emergence of John Hughes and editor-in-chief P.J. O'Rourke, along with artists and writers such as Gerry Sussman, Ellis Weiner, Tony Hendra, Ted Mann, Peter Kleinman, Chris Cluess, Stu Kreisman, John Weidman, Jeff Greenfield, Bruce McCall, and Rick Meyerowitz.

1985 Edit

In 1985, Matty Simmons (who had been working only on the business end of the Lampoon up to that point) took over as editor-in-chief. He fired the entire editorial staff, and appointed his two sons, Michael Simmons and Andy Simmons, as editors, Peter Kleinman as creative director and editor, and Larry "Ratso" Sloman as executive editor. The magazine was on an increasingly shaky financial footing, and beginning in November 1986, the magazine was published six times a year instead of every month.

1989 Edit

In 1989, the magazine was acquired in a hostile takeover by a business partnership of producer Daniel Grodnik and actor Tim Matheson (who played "Otter" in the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House). Grodnik and Matheson became the co-Chairmen/co-CEOs. During their tenure, the stock went up from under $2 to $6, and the magazine was able to double its monthly ad pages. The company moved its headquarters from New York to Los Angeles to focus on film and television. The publishing operation stayed in New York. Grodnik and Matheson sold the company in the 1990s.

1991 Edit

In 1991, the magazine (and more importantly, the rights to the brand name "National Lampoon") were bought by a company called J2 Communications (a company previously known for marketing Tim Conway's Dorf videos), headed by James P. Jimirro.

J2 Communications' focus was to make money by licensing out the brand name "National Lampoon". The company was contractually obliged to publish at least one new issue of the magazine per year to retain the rights to the Lampoon name. However, the company had very little interest in the magazine itself throughout the 1990s, the number of issues per year declined precipitously and erratically. In 1991, an attempt at monthly publication was made nine issues were produced that year. Only two issues were released in 1992. This was followed by one issue in 1993, five in 1994, and three in 1995. For the last three years of its existence, the magazine was published only once a year.

1998, last issue Edit

The magazine's final print publication was November 1998, after which the contract was renegotiated, and in a sharp reversal, J2 Communications was then prohibited from publishing issues of the magazine. J2, however, still owned the rights to the brand name, which it continued to franchise out to other users. In 2002, the use of the brand name and the rights to republish old material were sold to a new, and otherwise unrelated, company which chose to call itself National Lampoon, Incorporated.

2007, DVD-ROM Edit

In 2007, in association with Graphic Imaging Technology, Inc. National Lampoon, Inc. released a collection of the entire 246 issues of the magazine in .pdf format viewable with the Adobe Acrobat reader. The cover of the DVD box featured a remake of the January 1973 "Death" issue, with the caption altered to read "If You Don”t Buy This DVD-ROM, We’ll Kill This Dog". The pages are viewable on both Windows (starting with Windows 2000) and Macintosh (starting with OSX) systems.

During its most active period, the magazine spun off numerous productions in a wide variety of media. National Lampoon released books, special issues, anthologies, and other print pieces, including: [13]

Special editions Edit

  • The Best of National Lampoon No. 1, 1971, an anthology
  • The Breast of National Lampoon (a "Best of" No. 2), 1972, an anthology
  • The Best of National Lampoon No. 3, 1973, an anthology, art directed by Michael Gross
  • National Lampoon The Best of #4, 1973, an anthology, art directed by Gross
  • The National Lampoon Encyclopedia of Humor, 1973, edited by Michael O'Donoghue and art directed by Gross.
    This publication featured the fake Volkswagen ad seen above, which was written by Anne Beatts. The spoof was listed in the contents page as "Doyle Dane Bernbach," the name of the advertising agency that had produced the iconic 1960s ad campaign for Volkswagen. According to Mark Simonson's "Very Large National Lampoon Site": "If you buy a copy of this issue, you may find the ad is missing. As a result of a lawsuit by VW over the ad for unauthorized use of their trademark, NatLamp was forced to remove the page (with razor blades!) from any copies they still had in inventory (which, from what I gather, was about half the first printing of 250,000 copies) and all subsequent reprints."
  • National Lampoon Comics, an anthology, 1974, art directed by Gross and David Kaestle
  • National Lampoon The Best of No. 5, 1974, an anthology, art directed by Gross and Kaestle
  • National Lampoon 1964 High School Yearbook Parody, 1974, Edited by P.J. O'Rourke and Doug Kenney, art directed by Kaestle. [14]
  • National Lampoon Presents The Very Large Book of Comical Funnies, 1975, edited by Sean Kelly
  • National Lampoon The 199th Birthday Book, 1975, edited by Tony Hendra
  • National Lampoon The Gentleman's Bathroom Companion, 1975 edited by Hendra, art directed by Peter Kleinman
  • Official National Lampoon Bicentennial Calendar 1976, 1975, written and compiled by Christopher Cerf & Bill Effros
  • National Lampoon Art Poster Book, 1975, Design direction by Peter Kleinman
  • The Best of National Lampoon No. 6, 1976, an anthology
  • National Lampoon The Iron On Book 1976, Original T-shirt designs, edited by Tony Hendra, art directed by Peter Kleinman.
  • National Lampoon Songbook, 1976, edited by Sean Kelly, musical parodies in sheet music form
  • National Lampoon The Naked and the Nude: Hollywood and Beyond, 1977, written by Brian McConnachie
  • The Best of National Lampoon No. 7, 1977, an anthology
  • National Lampoon Presents French Comics, 1977, edited by Peter Kaminsky, translators Sophie Balcoff, Sean Kelly, and Valerie Marchant
  • National Lampoon The Up Yourself Book, 1977, Gerry Sussman
  • National Lampoon Gentleman's Bathroom Companion 2, 1977, art directed by Peter Kleinman.
  • National Lampoon The Book of Books, 1977 edited by Jeff Greenfield, art directed by Peter Kleinman
  • The Best of National Lampoon No. 8, 1978, an anthology, Cover photo by Chris Callis, art directed by Peter Kleinman
  • National Lampoon's Animal House Book, 1978, Chris Miller, Harold Ramis, Doug Kenney Art Direction by Peter Kleinman and Judith Jacklin Belushi
  • National Lampoon Sunday Newspaper Parody, 1978 (claiming to be a Sunday issue of the Dacron, Ohio (a spoof on Akron, Ohio) Republican–Democrat, this publication was originally issued in loose newsprint sections, mimicking a genuine American Sunday newspaper.) Art Direction and Design by Skip Johnston
  • National Lampoon Presents Claire Bretécher, 1978, work by Claire Bretécher, French satirical cartoonist, 1978, Sean Kelly (editor), Translator Valerie Marchant
  • Slightly Higher in Canada, 1978, Anthology of Canadian humor from National Lampoon. Sean Kelly and Ted Mann (Editors)
  • Cartoons Even We Won't Dare Print, 1979, Sean Kelly and John Weidman (Editors), Simon and Schuster
  • National Lampoon The Book of Books, 1979, Edited by Jeff Greenfield. Designed and Art Directed by Peter Kleinman
  • National Lampoon Tenth Anniversary Anthology 1970–1980 1979 Edited by P.J. O'Rourke, art directed by Peter Kleinman
  • National Lampoon Best Of #9: The Good Parts 1978-1980, 1981, the last anthology.

Books Edit

  • Would You Buy A Used War From This Man?, 1972, edited by Henry Beard
  • Letters from the Editors of National Lampoon, 1973, edited by Brian McConnachie
  • National Lampoon This Side of Parodies, 1974, edited by Brian McConnachie and Sean Kelly
  • The Paperback Conspiracy, 1974, Anthology, Brian McConnachie (editor) Warner Paperback Library
  • The Job of Sex, 1974, edited by Brian McConnachie
  • A Dirty Book!, 1976, Sexual Humor from the National Lampoon. P.J. O'Rourke (editor). New American Library,
  • Another Dirty Book Sexual Humor from the National Lampoon. P.J. O'Rourke and Peter Kaminsky (editors)
  • National Lampoon's Doon, 1984

"True Facts" special editions and books

  • National Lampoon True Facts, 1981, compiled by John Bendel, special edition
  • National Lampoon Peekers & Other True Facts, 1982, by John Bendel, special edition
  • National Lampoon Presents True Facts: The Book, 1991, by John Bendel "Amazing Ads, Stupefying Signs, Weird Wedding Announcements, and Other Absurd-but-True Samples of Real-Life Funny stuff" by John Bendel, trade paperback by Contemporary Press (now McGraw Hill)
  • National Lampoon Presents More True Facts, 1992 Contemporary Press
  • National Lampoon's Big Book of True Facts: 2004 Brand-New Collection of Absurd-but-True Real-Life Funny Stuff

Recordings Edit

Vinyl Edit

  • National Lampoon Radio Dinner, 1972, produced by Tony Hendra
  • Lemmings, 1973, an album of material taken from the stage show Lemmings, and produced by Tony Hendra
  • National Lampoon Missing White House Tapes, 1974, an album taken from the radio show, creative directors Tony Hendra and Sean Kelly
  • Official National Lampoon Stereo Test and Demonstration Record, 1974, conceived and written by Ed Subitzky
  • National Lampoon Gold Turkey, 1975, creative director Brian McConnachie. Cover Photography by Chris Callis. Art Direction by Peter Kleinman
  • National Lampoon Goodbye Pop 1952–1976, 1975, creative director Sean Kelly
  • National Lampoon That's Not Funny, That's Sick, 1977. Art directed by Peter Kleinman. Illustrated by Sam Gross
  • National Lampoon's Animal House (album), 1978, soundtrack album from the movie
  • Greatest Hits of the National Lampoon, 1978
  • National Lampoon White Album, 1979
  • National Lampoon Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll & the End of the World, 1982
  • A snide parody of Les Crane's 1971 hit "Desiderata", written by Tony Hendra, was recorded and released as "Deteriorata", and stayed on the lower reaches of the Billboard magazine charts for a month in late 1972. "Deteriorata" also became one of National Lampoon 's best-selling posters.
  • The gallumphing theme to Animal House rose slightly higher and charted slightly longer in December 1978.

Cassette tape Edit

  • National Lampoon Radio Dinner, 1972, produced by Tony Hendra
  • Lemmings, 1973, an album of material taken from the stage show Lemmings, and produced by Tony Hendra
  • National Lampoon Missing White House Tapes, 1974, an album taken from the radio show, creative directors Tony Hendra and Sean Kelly
  • National Lampoon Gold Turkey, 1975, creative director Brian McConnachie. Cover Photography by Chris Callis. Art Direction by Peter Kleinman
  • National Lampoon Goodbye Pop 1952–1976, 1975, creative director Sean Kelly
  • National Lampoon That's Not Funny, That's Sick, 1977. Art directed by Peter Kleinman. Illustrated by Sam Gross
  • National Lampoon's Animal House (album), 1978, soundtrack album from the movie
  • Greatest Hits of the National Lampoon, 1978
  • National Lampoon White Album, 1979
  • The Official National Lampoon Car Stereo Test and Demonstration Tape, 1980, conceived and written by Ed Subitzky
  • National Lampoon Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll & the End of the World, 1982

CDs Edit

  • A single CD release, National Lampoon Gold Turkey recordings from The National Lampoon Radio Hour, was released by Rhino Records in 1996.
  • A three-CD boxed set Buy This Box or We'll Shoot This Dog: The Best of the National Lampoon Radio Hour was released in 1996.

Many of the older albums that were originally on vinyl have been re-issued as CDs and a number of tracks from certain albums are available as MP3s.

Radio Edit

  • The National Lampoon Radio Hour was a nationally syndicated radio comedy show which was on the air weekly from 1973 to 1974. For a complete listing of shows, see. [15] Former Lampoon editor Tony Hendra later revived this format in 2012 for The Final Edition Radio Hour, which became a podcast for National Lampoon, Inc. in 2015.
  • True Facts, 1977–1978, written by and starring Peter Kaminsky, Ellis Weiner, Danny Abelson, Sylvia Grant

Theater Edit

  • Lemmings (1973) was National Lampoon 's most successful theatrical venture. The off-Broadway production took the form of a parody of the Woodstock Festival. Co-written by Tony Hendra and Sean Kelly, and directed and produced by Hendra, it introduced John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest in their first major roles. The show formed several companies and ran for a year at New York's Village Gate. A touring show called "That's not Funny That's Sick" toured the US & Canada 1976-77
  • The National Lampoon Radio Hour, 1975, with John Belushi, Brian Doyle, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and Harold Ramis.
  • If We're Late, Start Without Us!, 1979, head writer Sean Kelly
  • National Lampoon's Class of '86: This show was performed at the Village Gate in 1986, aired on cable in the 1980s, and was subsequently available on VHS.

Television Edit

  • Delta House, 1979, Universal Television for ABC-TV Network (two derivative frat house projects, NBC's Brothers and Sisters and CBS' Co-Ed Fever aired at the same time. None of the series were successful.)
  • National Lampoon's Comedy Playoffs, 1990, Showtime Networks

Films Edit

Considerable ambiguity exists about what actually constitutes a National Lampoon film.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, a few films were made as spin-offs from the original National Lampoon magazine, using its creative staff. The first theatrical release, and by far the most successful National Lampoon film was National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). Starring John Belushi and written by Doug Kenney, Harold Ramis, and Chris Miller, it became the highest-grossing comedy film of that time. Produced on a low budget, it was so enormously profitable that, from that point on for the next two decades, the name "National Lampoon" applied to the title of a movie was considered to be a valuable selling point in and of itself.

Numerous movies were subsequently made that had "National Lampoon" as part of the title. Many of these were unrelated projects because, by that time, the name "National Lampoon" could simply be licensed on a one-time basis, by any company, for a fee. Critics such as the Orlando Sentinel′s Roger Moore and The New York Times′ Andrew Adam Newman have written about the cheapening of the National Lampoon′s movie imprimatur in 2006, an Associated Press review said: "The National Lampoon, once a brand name above nearly all others in comedy, has become shorthand for pathetic frat boy humor." [16]

The first of the National Lampoon movies was a not-very-successful made-for-TV movie:

National Lampoon's Animal House Edit

In 1978, National Lampoon's Animal House was released. Made on a small budget, it did phenomenally well at the box office. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress considered the film "culturally significant", and preserved it in the National Film Registry.

The script had its origins in a series of short stories that had been previously published in the magazine. These included Chris Miller's "Night of the Seven Fires", which dramatized a fraternity initiation and included the characters Pinto and Otter, which contained prose versions of the toga party, the "road trip", and the dead horse incident. Another source was Doug Kenney's "First Lay Comics", [17] which included the angel and devil scene and the grocery-cart affair. According to the authors, most of these elements were based on real incidents.

The film was of great cultural significance to its time, as The New York Times describes the magazine's 1970s period as "Hedonism <> in full sway and political correctness in its infancy." Animal House, as the article describes was a crucial film manifestation of that culture.

An article from The Atlantic Monthly describes how Animal House captures the struggle between "elitist who willingly aligned itself with the establishment, and the kind full of kooks who refused to be tamed." That concept was a crucial figment of the early National Lampoon Magazine, according to a The New York Times article concerning the early years of the Magazine and co-founder Douglas Kenney's brand of comedy as a "liberating response to a rigid and hypocritical culture."

National Lampoon's Class Reunion Edit

This 1982 movie was an attempt by John Hughes to make something similar to Animal House. National Lampoon's Class Reunion was not successful, however.

National Lampoon's Vacation Edit

Released in 1983, the movie National Lampoon's Vacation was based upon John Hughes's National Lampoon story "Vacation '58". The movie's financial success gave rise to several follow-up films, including National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), based on John Hughes's "Christmas '59", Vegas Vacation (1997), and most recently Vacation (2015), all featuring Chevy Chase.

Similar films Edit

The Robert Altman film O.C. and Stiggs (1987) was based on two characters who had been featured in several written pieces in National Lampoon magazine, including an issue-long story from October 1982 entitled "The Utterly Monstrous, Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs." Completed in 1984, the film was not released until 1987, when it was shown in a small number of theaters and without the "National Lampoon" name. It was not a success.

Following the success of Animal House, MAD magazine lent its name to a 1980 comedy titled Up the Academy. Although two of Animal House 's co-writers were the Lampoon 's Doug Kenney and Chris Miller, Up The Academy was strictly a licensing maneuver, with no creative input from Mad 's staff or contributors. It was a critical and commercial failure.

In 2015, a documentary film was released called National Lampoon: Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead. The film featured a great deal of content from the magazine, as well as interviews with staff members and fans, and it explains how the magazine changed the course of humor.

The 2018 film A Futile and Stupid Gesture, a biography of co-founder Douglas Kenney, also depicts the magazine's early years. The film was described by a 2018 New York Times article as a "snapshot of a moment where comedy's freshest counter-culture impulse was gleefully crass and willfully offensive." In the same article, Kenney was said to "spot a comical hollowness and rot in the society he and his peers were trained to join."


Five Ways ‘Animal House’ Changed the World

Perhaps the silver lining in the recent passing of comic actor/writer/director Harold Ramis is that he received a lot of much deserved praise and tributes. Not that Ramis was ever overlooked, exactly, but when your colleagues are John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, you just tend to get outshone. Still, Ramis’ comic resume is as solid as anyone’s. Ever.

Ramis acted in some films, such as in Stripes and Ghostbusters, but he was a legendary director, e.g. Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Groundhog Day, and a writer, in all of the above and more. Perhaps Ramis’ crown jewel as a screenwriter was his work on arguably the funniest film ever made, National Lampoon’s Animal House, co-written with fellow National Lampoon magazine writers, Doug Kenney and Chris Miller.

Animal House (1978) is low, low-brow, guy humor at its best. It is both a stupidly funny movie but, like all good dumb comedy, done smartly. After all, National Lampoon was an offshoot of Harvard University’s humor publication, Harvard Lampoon, and Miller, himself, was an Ivy Leaguer (Dartmouth), as well. These guys were far from dumb, just highly subversive and bent on pushing the boundaries of crudity, all in the name of a good laugh.

Animal House was the loose story of the uppity, WASP elites of fictitious Faber College and the Omega House fraternity, versus the rebellious, party animal rejects of Delta House, and the Deltas ultimate triumph. The Delta House heroes were deranged and rather debased, but they were extremely likable and even warm. Belushi’s legendary character, “Bluto”, for example, was a directionless slob, and he did not even have that many lines, yet in the film he became your new best buddy, as well as a comic legend. Landis had described him as a cross between Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster. (Karp, 2006)

What Ramis and the Animal House team had was loads of talent, crazy personal stories, and Kenney’s clear vision of America in 1962, the film’s setting. At that time, the innocent feeling of the 󈧶s was ending and the country was on the precipice of a missile crisis and enduring assassinations, Vietnam, Altamont, and Richard Nixon, but it was also on the edge of the Beatles and the Stones, free love and a counter cultural uprising. On the one hand were those with the grown up responsibilities and lifestyles, including waging war, mindless authoritarianism, arbitrary abuses of power, and bad music, i.e., the Omegas. On the other hand was Delta House and, well, fun.

The film is 109 minutes of ridiculous gags – and virtually everyone hits its mark, a dozen classic catch phrases and quotes (“Seven years of college down the drain,” “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”, etc., etc.), and half dozen or more classic scenes (a horse has a heart attack, the performance of “Shout”, etc.). Further, I would put it to you, Greg…er, reader, that Animal House did indeed change the world in the following five ways.

1. Animal House Altered College Life Forever—For Better and For Worse, But Mostly Better

Ramis, Kenney, and Miller each drew from their own fraternity experiences while jointly writing the Animal House screenplay. Miller’s frat experience was especially debased and thus his stories and characters served as the main template (and provided the characters with real-life nicknames, e.g. “Otter” and “Flounder”, and thus “Animal House”). Ramis had previously, no kidding, worked at a mental ward, which was a big plus, as well. (Simmons, 2012)

With the three combining and exaggerating all of their craziest stories, plus a lot of Hollywood creativity, Animal House became an idealized version of the craziest and most action-packed college experience ever, while it somehow still seemed fairly attainable. Never again would the college-bound youth of the world settle for simply going off to college to get away from the folks, throw a few keggers, have some sex, and get an education.

Wherever the bar was set for 󈨊s college parties, Animal House took that bar, broke it into kindling, and made a bonfire. The whole notion of the college lifestyle was turned into a new and extreme art form. Chugging beers? Bluto chugs an entire bottle of Jack, Jack. Power-chucking? Flounder threw up on the Dean. You like your house band? Sorry, but they probably aren’t good enough to carry Otis Day and the Knights’ equipment. Think you are “sticking it to the man” by TP’ing the quad? The Deltas destroyed the Homecoming parade. A new standard, or a new lack of standards, rather, was established.

Upon its release, Animal House was a surprising and massive box office hit, eventually becoming one of the top grossing comedies of all time. Clearly college campuses responded to its extreme level of partying, loose sexuality, and rebellion of the disenfranchised against the authorities. Toga parties, a movie highlight, became a renewed fad, and at the time even garnered a full-page banner headline in the Washington Post “double secret probation” became a part of the national lexicon and American youth discovered that apparently it was not the Germans that bombed Pearl Harbor.

Hollywood creation or not, a whole lot of frat boys and sorority girls, as well as non-college students, all began trying to emulate the Delta life. Livers were sacrificed, dignity was lost, and exams were blown. But fun was had. The film’s legacy still carries on today as the movie DVDs continue to sell and new generations watch and re-watch what amounts to a college life training film and memorize the movie’s best lines.

It isn’t easy to measure the impact of something like an Animal House. A slew of comedies released in its wake all obviously mirrored its approach and style, including in just the early 󈨔s alone, the Porky’s, Revenge of the Nerds, and Police Academy series’ (more on the film legacy, below).

Another college trend just so happened to occur immediately after the Delta’s arrival in theaters at the end of the 󈨊s and into the early 󈨔s: college spring break, too, went into overdrive. Coincidental or not, and I would suggest mostly “not”, spring break went from being a (relatively) innocent time to blow off some steam in Florida to, in some cities, 400,000-strong, Bacchanalian blowouts. By 1986, then-youth culture standard-bearer, MTV, had begun an annual week of on location programming from Fort Lauderdale and other spring break hot spots.

There was no war to protest, no obvious civil rights battles to fight so why not so how to fill that void? Animal House had certainly provide students some goals to shoot for and a whole new realm of possibilities for their leisure time. In 1987, the rap group the Beastie Boys put an exclamation point on the trend with the release of their self-parodying, tongue-in-cheek hit (though not everyone got the joke), “(You Gotta) Fight for your Right (to Party!)”.

Similarly, in fact, when you really break it down, Animal House is not only very smart in how it deals with authority, but it’s not as unscrupulous as it first appears, either. Recall that the character Pinto’s conscious literally appears in the form of an angel and a devil in one scene and the angel does in fact prevail.

Yes, I would credit/blame Animal House for most all of the above. The existence of the film Animal House has, by my calculations (though not published or peer-reviewed), caused a drop of American college students’ GPA’s an average of .18 grade points, per semester. This can in fact be directly attributed to two basic factors. First, to be frank, it is difficult to get to English Lit 101 at 9:00AM with a hangover. Second, generally speaking, partying and acting crazy with your friends is more enticing than studying. However, along with the drop in GPAs, both the “fun” and always-challenge-authority quotients did go way up during the same time period.

2. Animal House Established a New Blueprint for Countercultural and College Comedies

It almost goes without saying, but along with all of the previously mentioned, early 󈨔s comedies, and National Lampoon’s own Vacation series, most every otherwise subversive, crude, and/or college comedy since, including the American Pie films, Old School, and The Hangover series, are all obviously heavily indebted to Animal House. Really, Animal House’s shadow is so long that even comedies that shoot for this gold standard, yet fall well short, can still be considered artistic and commercial successes, if not classics, in their own right.

3. Animal House Introduced the Use of Serious, Classical Music in Comedies

Landis gets full credit as the first filmmaker to utilize serious, classical music in a subversive, screwball comedy. It was an ingenious and counterintuitive decision that not only elevated Animal House but altered the entire genre. The classical music helps highlight and contrast between the severely uptight and nasty Omegas, with the loose, fun-loving Deltas. The Deltas, by the way, are represented by some period music that is amongst of the best and wildest garage rock and R&B ever recorded (more on that, below).

Landis commissioned legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein, of The Magnificent 7, The 10 Commandments, and To Kill a Mockingbird fame, among others, to write the “Faber College Theme”, a proud and self-important sounding school song. Landis also used the similarly themed Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture”. In the opening shot, Landis used the Brahms’ piece as the camera pans to the noble statue immortalizing Faber College’s founder, Emil Faber. The overly-serious tone is upended as the camera pans down to Faber’s classic, stupid words: “Knowledge is good.”

As the film progresses, Landis then uses the classical music to elevate the Delta frat boys to heroic levels. The music swells as the rejects and rebels mount their “futile and stupid”, but highly effective, overthrow of the campus Establishment. The “Faber Theme” then plays out during the climactic and disastrous Homecoming parade, but now it is the Deltas on top. Now it is the cast-offs that have their own, new and proud legacy.

After Animal House, Landis, Ramis and other comedy-makers continued to collaborate with Bernstein, including the comedy classics The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Stripes, and Airplane!. The use of classical music has since become de rigueur for many of even the goofiest of comedies.

4. Animal House Rejuvenated Two Classic Musical Genres and Eras

Both America’s official party-dance song, “Shout”, and the garage rock anthem, “Louie, Louie”, were popular in the early 󈨀s, but Animal House gave the songs new life, and helped make them even more iconic, if not timeless.

Few songs have ever been presented in a better or more exciting context than “Shout”, as covered by the fictional Otis Day band at the toga party (and originally written and performed by the Isley Brothers). It’s pretty much impossible to watch the scene without singing along. The crowd is genuinely rocking and rolling and responding back to Day’s calls (“Hey-ay-ay-ay!”).

Other highlights are Chris Montez’s garage-dance gem, “Let’s Dance”, and two of soul legend Sam Cooke’s brilliant songs from the era, “Twisting the Night Away”, and the spot-on, “Wonderful Word” (“Don’t know much about history… but I do know that I love you”).

Through almost the first half of the movie, the only non-classical music is “Louie, Louie”, which is repeatedly played in the background as the Deltas party. The Kingsmen’s popular version is used and also a Bluto-led, late night, drunken sing-a-long version. Thus was the soundtrack for future college living set.

5. Animal House Proved That Even If the Establishment Won, It Lost

As to the film’s Establishment vs. counter culture theme, evil mastermind Dean Wormer was modeled on Richard Nixon and also partly on Miller’s actual dean at Dartmouth. Characters Greg Marmalard and Doug Neidermeyer then represented the political and military lackeys of the Establishment, respectively.

Nixon was, of course, the face of everything the counter culture came to hate about the American Establishment and authority figures. Nixon was the “crook” in denial, paranoid, self-loathing and, behind closed doors, spewing hatred of Jews and African Americans. Nixon was the man that allowed the Vietnam War to persist.

Yet by the time Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” arrived in 1980, one could certainly argue that those that stood for the drive for money, power, conformity, and social conservatism, that is, the Omegas of the world, had succeeded. However, that would depend on one’s definition of success.

Sure, Nixon and Wormer were at the height of success and power in their respective fields. Yet neither character exactly seemed to enjoy their lives in the slightest, either. That was really Ramis and company’s point. You could be disenfranchised, have the “wrong” background, wrong connections, wrong skin color, etc., but you could still live life more fully than the world’s power brokers.

As for Nixon, the man did not exactly seem warm, possess a lot of compassion, or otherwise ever, you now, smile. In short, Nixon, like Wormer, seemed utterly devoid of any sense of humor, whatsoever. Noted countercultural journalist Hunter S. Thompson once wrote of Nixon, “I couldn’t imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic, but couldn’t quite reach the lever on the voting machine.” (Thompson, 1979). The Leader of the Free World but, and just like his film avatar in Dean Wormer, incapable of allowing himself a freakin’ laugh? So what’s the point? As Delta House’s top advocate, Otter, might put it, is that not “an indictment of the American way?”

Karp, Josh (2006). A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever. Chicago Review Press.

Simmons, Matty (2012). Fat, Drunk, and Stupid: The Inside Story Behind the Making of Animal House. St. Martin’s Griffin.

Thompson, Hunter S. (1979). Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1: The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time. Summit Books.


Eugene - University of Oregon

Relive the infamous scenes from "Animal House" on the University of Oregon campus using the UO&aposs "Animal House" map.

Remember when Flounder brings the horse into "Dean Wormer&aposs office"? That is really Johnson Hall. This historic building from 1915 still houses administration offices, including the office of the president. And the "Emily Dickinson College" where Otter picks up four dates with a phony ploy of bereavement - that is actually Gerlinger Hall, built in 1919 as a facility dedicated to women. Gerlinger Hall was refurbished in 2016 to preserve the historic exterior and convert interior spaces into studios, meeting rooms and recreational spaces.

You won&apost see much of the original EMU "fishbowl" where the food fight happened nor the Hayward Field grandstands where Bluto spied on the cheerleaders, as both those sites have been extensively renovated. But you can still check outꃊrson Hall,ਏlounder and Pinto&aposs dormitory, and the dorm kitchen where a golf ball splashed into a pot of soup.

Along East 11th, between Hilyard and Alder Streets, are the film sites for the pretentious "Omega House," the decrepit "Delta House" and the "Pi Pi Pi Sorority House". The "Omega House" belongs to the present-day Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and is still lived in. But all that remains of the "Delta House" is an onsite plaque. The building used for the filming was torn down in the 80s. The "Pi Pi Pi Sorority House" - once the Sigma Nu fraternity - is now owned by the Northwest Christian College.


The Cast of ‘Animal House,’ Then and Now

The cast of comedy classic 'Animal House' have pursued careers in acting, directing and producing since the film's release 40 years ago.

Charlotte Pruett

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Animal House tells the wonderfully chaotic story of college fraternity misfits who battle with their dean and the rival fraternity&rsquos president to keep their spot on campus. One death of a horse, "double-secret probation," multiple failed exams and a one-night stand with the dean&rsquos wife later, the members of Delta Tau Chi get (spoiler alert!) expelled &mdash and plot out an elaborate revenge.

This pic is often credited for inspiring the gross-out film genre, so, although it was released 40 years ago, its impact on cinema and comedy is still apparent today.

Now that the movie has reached its 40th birthday &mdash it first hit theaters July 28, 1978 &mdash The Hollywood Reporter breaks down what the principal actors have been doing since the fraternity members' expulsion from Faber College.


Beginnings Edit

Bishop was born and raised in San Diego, California, and attended Will C. Crawford High School. [1] Originally a clarinetist, he persuaded his brother to buy him a guitar after seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. [2] In 1967, he formed his first group, the Weeds, a British Invasion-styled band. [3]

After the Weeds folded, Bishop moved to Los Angeles in search of a solo recording contract. [3] During a lean eight-year period, where he was rejected "by nearly every label and producer," [4] he continued to write songs, eventually landing a $50-a-week job with a publishing house. [2]

Bishop's break came when a friend, Leah Kunkel, gave Art Garfunkel one of Bishop's demo tapes. Garfunkel chose two of his songs, "Looking for the Right One" and "The Same Old Tears on a New Background", to record for the platinum album Breakaway. [4] Via Garfunkel's patronage, Bishop finally secured a recording contract with ABC Records in 1976. [3]

Recording career Edit

Bishop's first album, Careless, included two of his biggest hits. The first single released, "Save It for a Rainy Day", introduced Bishop to the listening public and went to number 22 on the Billboard singles chart. [5] The next single, Bishop's highest charting to date, "On and On", peaked at No. 11. [5] The album itself rose to number 34 on the Billboard albums chart. [6] Eric Clapton, Art Garfunkel and Chaka Khan all contributed their talents to the album.

Careless went gold, as did Bishop's subsequent album Bish, released in 1978. [2] Bish included one charting single, "Everybody Needs Love", which made it to number 32. The album also includes a smooth classic called "A Fool At Heart" that features Chaka Khan and Natalie Cole on background vocals. [5] Bishop's third album, Red Cab to Manhattan, released in 1980, failed to chart and was his last released in North America for nine years.

Bishop has written and performed music for many motion pictures. In 1978, he contributed the original song "Dream Girl" and theme to National Lampoon's Animal House, which he sang in falsetto. In 1980, Bishop contributed backing vocals to "This Must Be Love", from Phil Collins' debut solo album Face Value. [ citation needed ] Bishop's next hit, charting at number 25 in 1982, [5] was "It Might Be You", the theme from the movie Tootsie, unusual in that it was not penned by Bishop. Written by Dave Grusin, Alan Bergman, and Marilyn Bergman, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Bishop's composition "Separate Lives", sung by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin, from the 1985 movie White Nights, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, losing to "Say You, Say Me" from the same film. Bishop wrote the song about his breakup with actress Karen Allen, who also appeared in Animal House. Bishop said: "I write much better when I'm heartbroken and sad or melancholy." [7]

Other movie music includes: "Somewhere in Between" (written and performed) from The China Syndrome (1979), "Your Precious Love" (performed with Yvonne Elliman) from Roadie (1980), [8] "If Love Takes You Away" (written and performed) from Summer Lovers (1982), "Unfaithfully Yours (One Love)" (written and performed) from Unfaithfully Yours (1984), "Something New in My Life" (performed) from Micki & Maude (1984), "The Heart Is So Willing" (performed) from The Money Pit (1986), "All I Want" (performed) from All I Want for Christmas (1991), and "You Can Do Anything" (written and performed by Bishop and Jeff Jones) from Barney's Great Adventure (1998). In addition, the original version of "Walkin' on Air" (written and performed by Bishop) was featured in the 1986 film The Boy Who Could Fly.

In 1989, Bishop released the album Bowling in Paris with Phil Collins (co-producer on some songs), Eric Clapton and Sting contributing. The album included a revamped version of "Walkin' on Air", this time featuring drumming, production, and additional vocals from Collins. This version became a #13 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. In 1987, the Norwegian swing/pop duo Bobbysocks! had recorded their own version of "Walking on Air" (as "Walkin' on Air") as the title track to their album Walkin' on Air.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Bishop among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [9]

Other appearances Edit

Bishop has appeared in several motion pictures as a "charming" character, including four directed by John Landis. He had a cameo role, billed as "Charming Guy", in The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), appearing as a hustler in the infamous "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble" segment. In addition to singing the theme song off-screen, Bishop had a cameo, billed as "Charming Guy with Guitar", in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), as the aspiring folk singer whose guitar John Belushi smashes.

Bishop still keeps the smashed guitar as a memento. He appeared in The Blues Brothers (1980), billed as "Charming Trooper", who breaks his watch during the mall chase. He appeared, very briefly, in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), billed as "Charming G.I.", in the Vietnam War scene. Bishop also appeared, as "Blue London", in Harry Jaglom's Someone to Love (1987).

Eric Clapton mentioned Bishop in his autobiography as one of his favorite singer-songwriters. [10]

Other artists Edit

Numerous artists have recorded songs written by Bishop. These include: [2]


Demystifying Alpha Delta, the original ‘Animal House’

Derecognition and a hit movie have given Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth a mythic reputation. The house still stands on campus, where it currently serves as office space. But what was it really like to be a part of the brotherhood? According to some of its alumni, it wasn’t exactly like “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” but the film got at least one part spot-on: the music.

Otis Day and the Knights, the fictional-turned-real soul band, said former AD brother and alumni adviser John Engelman ’68, was “the kind of band we would have at AD.”

“Our music was rhythm and blues, Motown, soul music,” Engelman said, as opposed to the “British Invasion” music trend of the late 1960s.

However, the days of parties and musical guests gracing the halls of AD have since passed. With the house derecognized and shuttered in 2015, alumni have been left to reflect on AD’s legacy amid continued campaigns for reinstatement.

House life and history

Dartmouth officially recognized its chapter of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity in 1846. The chapter was a part of the national fraternity until 1969, when it separated over the issue of expensive dues and became the local fraternity Alpha Delta, complete with a new constitution detailing how the fraternity would run. An archived “Visitors Register” for the fraternity reads across the front “Dartmouth Chapter, Alpha Delta Phi,” with “Phi” crossed out by a single line.

Engelman described the 1960s fraternity landscape as being somewhat different from what it is today, approximating that about 40% to 45% of students participated in Greek life. As of the 2019-2020 academic year, 63% of Dartmouth students are part of the Greek system. He cited a cap on fraternity size as a factor behind lower affiliation numbers and guessed that a tendency among the student body of questioning authority and tradition may have driven some people away from Greek life.

Parties at the time included “a whole lot of hard liquor,” Engelman said — but not too many women. Dartmouth would not become fully coeducational until 1972, and the few women who frequented parties consisted of “a few dates and girlfriends” or a group of women from Colby Junior College, whom Engelman described as “just friends.”

Engelman said that Dartmouth’s “big weekends” drew in the largest crowds.

“Your typical weekend — Homecoming, Winter Carnival, Green Key — would find a band Friday night, a band Saturday night and a band Sunday afternoon,” he said.

Both Engelman and Nirav Kapadia ’03 spoke about AD’s preference for bands from other cities — Engelman cited places like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago — over campus bands.

Engelman said that the Sunday afternoon party would be the “largest-attended party on campus,” since fewer houses would throw parties at that time.

In general, Engelman said, there “wasn’t as much going on in those days, because there were no women on campus.”

“There weren’t a lot of loud, huge parties,” he said. “It was not unusual of an evening for a bunch of people to be sitting around playing bridge and drinking beer and having a nice time.”

Kapadia, a member of the house in the early 2000s, said that he "wasn't super excited about the Greek system” when he came to Dartmouth. He did not rush during his first eligible fall, citing financial concerns and lack of interest. However, after observing that many students at the time participated in Greek life or a senior society, Kapadia said he "realized how lonely it can be on campus if you decide not to join a house."

Kapadia noted that through AD, he "met a lot of people with whom [he] had absolutely nothing in common, in a good way." He also noticed that many of his rugby teammates had joined the house and noted that there were many pre-med students in the house as well, which "sealed the deal," as he was pre-med himself.

Kapadia described the house as being "a nice place to come home to" when he lived there, beginning his sophomore summer.

"There was always something going on, like, if they weren't playing beer pong in the basement, they were shooting pool upstairs. If they weren't shooting pool upstairs, they were watching a movie or playing video games," Kapadia said.

He remembered that the house was fairly open to campus, drawing lots of students to its Winter Carnival parties, complete with live disco bands. For Green Key weekend, AD would host a band on its porch and students would gather in the yard, he said.

Kapadia also described the diverse social makeup of the house's members, including "Alter Delta" — students interested in “the alternate lifestyle … the guys who are musicians and playing hacky sack, and hanging out and reading poetry," "Aggro Delta" — students who were on sports teams and "Aca Delta" — students including Kapadia and other pre-meds in the fraternity.

"Any one of these groups, you wouldn't necessarily, in high school, imagine them all at the same table," Kapadia said. "But at AD, we were all part of this really vibrant and diverse mixture."

The “Animal House”

AD has gained notoriety as the “Animal House” fraternity — a reputation it earned given that one of the three screenwriters, Chris Miller ’63, was a member of AD when he was on campus.

Miller began writing for the National Lampoon magazine, Engelman said, publishing stories such as “Tales of the Adelphian Lodge: The Night of the Seven Fires” about his “Hell Night,” or initiation experience and “More Tales of the Adelphian Lodge: Pinto’s First Lay” about his experience losing his virginity. These stories then went on to help inspire the 1978 film “Animal House.”

“Animal House is fiction,” Engelman said, but explained that the film’s characters were at least influenced by real members of the house. Bluto Blutarsky, played by John Belushi in the film, was not a real person, but Engelman noted that he had met “two or three brothers of AD whose personality and whose actions informed the character of Bluto Blutarsky.” The fraternity president in the movie, Robert Hoover, was similarly based on “aspects of the character of two or three of the guys who have been president of the fraternity,” Engelman said.

Kapadia said that the film’s party scenes, such as the toga party, were “pretty close” to his experiences in AD. He added that the house spent most of its social dues on bringing bands to parties. Alcohol would "materialize, but if we didn't have the music, then it wouldn't necessarily be a party worth attending," he said.

Kapadia also noted that Animal House was based on an earlier time period than when he was a member, and that the "Delta House" from the film was based on a number of different fraternity houses. He remembered one person telling him that a mermaid statue with two fish bowls on her chest featured in the movie was actually a fixture in Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity, not AD.

“The movie gained immense popularity,” Engelman said. “… No one expected it to be the hit that it was, but after it finished its run through the movie theaters, it was the highest grossing movie comedy in history up to that time. And [Miller] was famous.”

Part of the popularity, Engelman said, was that so many fraternity members and alumni around the country “claimed ownership of Animal House.

Engelman explained that looking at the house as an alumni adviser, he could see that “it was exactly what a fraternity should be: a brotherhood that supported each other. They also like to party a lot, which was part of their downfall. But they also did good things."

He referenced events that the fraternity would hold, such as a campus-wide literary contest in the 2000s that honored Alpha Delta Phi alumnus and English professor Richard Eberhart, Class of 1926, and a campus discussion in 2000 that examined homophobia on campus. This event, organized in the wake of then-“ex-gay activist” Yvette Schneider’s controversial speech detailing her "transition from homosexuality to Christianity," included a student panel and opened up discussions around "heterosexism and the integration of alternative sexuality into the Greek system," as reported by The Dartmouth at the time.

John Pepper ’91 Tu ’97 recalled a similar experience in the house.

"There was probably too much drinking and too much distraction from why we came to Dartmouth, and there were some consequences to that that weren't good,” he said. “And at the same time, there were a lot of really deep friendships that were formed."

Stressing the strength of these bonds, Pepper noted that recently, a group of AD alumni flew to visit a fellow alumnus who was hospitalized with brain cancer, while around 20 other alumni called in to support him over Zoom.

Derecognition and beyond

The College officially derecognized AD in April 2015 after news broke the previous fall about members being branded with a hot iron, a practice that the College had been investigating.

By the time it was derecognized, the fraternity had already been suspended since September 2014 after failing to check identification before serving alcohol and not reporting a large event to the College. The College cited a three-year history of disciplinary violations, including hazing, serving alcohol to minors and hosting unregistered parties, as factors in its decision.

According to Engelman, town ordinances mandate that nobody can live in the AD house, which is on land still owned by the alumni, but there are office spaces available for rent. The alumni also rent out social spaces in the house to fraternity alumni for events, and alumni receptions are also held in the house, Engelman said.

Pepper, the president of AD's alumni corporation, added that there have recently been Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in the space.

There are plans among AD alumni to find some way to revive the house. It is not unheard of for fraternity houses on Dartmouth’s campus to return after derecognition. Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, Beta Theta Pi fraternity — which returned to Dartmouth’s campus as the local Beta Alpha Omega fraternity — and Zeta Psi fraternity were all reinstated after being derecognized by the College.

Pepper explained that AD plans within the year to be “officially connected back with Dartmouth students, with recognition or without," floating the idea that it "might be co-ed." He added that the pandemic "has sort of slowed down the plans" of inviting students to be a part of the organization.

Kapadia, who is also on the AD board, echoed the focus on the fraternity’s future.

"We don't want to necessarily just come back as a regular old fraternity, just like all the other fraternities. It should be, I think, something a little bit more forward-looking, however that turns out to be," Kapadia said.

Though the relationship between the College and AD has been fraught with controversies, Pepper said that "the [AD] alumni group as a whole are incredibly supportive of Dartmouth," and many past members are on the Board of Trustees or the Alumni Council. Notably, College President Phil Hanlon ’77 himself is an alumnus of the house.

"There are things about [AD's] past that don't make people proud, but the reality is we all have to look forward. So that's what we're doing," Pepper said.


Then & now

Actor James Daughton as Greg Marmalard (left) joins actress Mary Louise Weller in her role as Mandy Pepperidge during a visit to Skinner Butte in Eugene in an image from “Animal House,” which turns 40 this year. Whether or not you think the movie has aged well since its 1978 release, it continues to live in the memories of those who call the area home. The Register-Guard takes at look at the legacy of the movie and revisits some of the locations that remain. [Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard]

Turned into a parking lot in 1986, the site of the fictitious Delta Tau Chi fraternity featured in the movie “Animal House” lives again in a publicity still of the cast during shooting in 1977. The site is now occupied by Northwest Christian University's School of Education and Counseling and Oregon Foot and Ankle Center. [Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard] The Fishbowl in the Erb Memorial Union on the University of Oregon campus provided the location for the famous “food fight” scene in the movie “Animal House.” The location has been renovated many times over the years, but the booths that overlook University Street are back, making the facility look much as it did in 1977. [Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard] The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in Eugene was used as the location for one of the fraternities in the movie “Animal House.” Members of the cast sit on the lawn of the site in a still from the movie shot in 1977 as they taunt members of the rival Delta House. [Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard]

[VIDEO] Lost for Decades, the 󈧿 Corvette From Animal House Is Coming Up For Sale

Check out this interview with Paul Smith, owner of the 1959 Corvette that had a starring role in the cult classic “Animal House” movie back in 1978.

After filming wrapped, Smith took the Corvette back to his house, and it’s been in his garage gathering dust ever since.

This historically significant Corvette is available for sale, with an auction planned on Bring a Trailer in mid-April, though the consigners, Eyes on Classics, says they’re open to offers in the meantime.

Other than its connection to the film, though, this Corvette doesn’t really have much going for it. While it’s not been driven for decades, it would need a new paint job and interior and other freshening up mechanically and cosmetically to bring it back to its full glory. But it still presents well in its current state, so perhaps it would be better off being a display at a place like the National Corvette Museum where it would make a pretty neat exhibit in its current survivor condition.

In the interview, it’s obvious that Paul didn’t think “Animal House” would still be in the news 43 years later. After all, at the time the movie was being filmed, its star John Belushi was just coming into his own after debuting on “Saturday Night Live” in 1975. Sadly, four years after the movie’s release, Belushi would be dead of a drug overdose.

“Animal House” drew mixed reviews at the time of its release, though Time magazine and critic Roger Ebert did term it one of the year’s best. It actually went on to become one of the most profitable movies of all time, having grossed more than $141 million in theaters and video rentals after being filmed on a meager budget of $2.8 million.

That budget included a whopping $400 to Smith for a month-long rental of his 1959 Corvette. Another Corvette from a different owner also served as a backup for additional footage and promotions.

In his younger days, Smith was a successful racer and NHRA champion, earning quite a reputation in his hometown. After retiring from that gig, he was going to parlay that fame and car knowledge into a career as a salesman at Bob Cochran Auto Sales but that didn’t work out after Smith refused to cut his hair as requested.

While he was at the dealership, however, he did notice two Corvettes sitting on the lot, including this red one.

“My wife liked the red one,” Smith recalls, though he himself didn’t like the mag wheels on it. “The other one had stock wheel covers on it, so in talking to the guy there at the car lot, I decided I’d buy that red one if we could switch wheels on those two cars. I kinda gave it to my wife for her understanding my traveling around and all that kind of stuff. That was how I got the car.”

But the Corvette never was really Smith’s kind of vehicle, so “I can’t ever remember driving it, to be honest,” he said.

After leaving his racing career, Smith helped in transportation for movies. When he heard Universal Pictures was getting ready to shoot “Animal House” as a 1962-era film at the University of Oregon, he helped find time-appropriate vehicles to be used in the flick and then offered his 1959 Corvette to be used for Delta’s ladies man, Eric “Otter” Stratton (played by Tim Matheson).

In the movie, the Corvette is the first thing Pinto and Flounder see as they approach Delta House for the first time. Later, Otter drives the car to the Rainbow Motel on Old Mill Road where he’s beaten up by guys from the Omega House.

Smith was too busy helping keep the transportation department running smoothly to pay much attention to the filming, he says now.

“Oh yeah, it just wasn’t very important for me to do that,” he said. “If I had something else to do, that’s what I did. I didn’t watch an awful lot of the filming at all. [I] had to stay with the head guy – the driver captain – they want to snap [their] fingers and they wanted you to be there – didn’t want to have to go hunting for you.”

Smith says it was a long time “after they’d cleaned up and left town before I ever saw the movie in its complete [state]. The movie was so zany that it wasn’t of great interest to me.”

Still, he admits it was “exciting” to see his Corvette on the screen. “I just wish those skinny white walls were wide white walls,” he quipped.

Chadley Johnson of Eyes on Classics says the iconic photo of Belushi sitting on the front fender, with other cast members around him, “almost looks like a celebration photo – like the movie’s done, we think it’s gonna be a hit, let’s all sit on the Corvette and take a picture.”

“I think that’s probably true,” Smith agrees. “I wasn’t there when that picture was taken, but I think that was exactly what the deal was.”

Now Smith will soon be able to do some celebrating of his own, after a successful auction of his old Corvette.


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Watch the video: Animal Parade (January 2022).