Before he contributed his writing talents to Animal House and Caddyshack, National Lampoon's co-founder Doug Kenney spoke at UCLA in March 1972. He talked, in a sort of stream of consciousness, about the popular publication and his half-finished comic novel, Teenage Commies from Outer Space.
Kenney had taken a year off from the magazine to write that manuscript and, as the story goes, threw it in the waste basket when his Lampoon partner Henry Beard indicated that it sucked. Beard clarified, "What he was trying to do was capture this global inanity of the American experience... What it turned into was the high school yearbook parody. It was just a question of finding the right format."
I came across this nearly-hour long interview last night after watching Netflix's new biopic on Kenney, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, and wanting to learn more about him.
Kenney was found dead at the age of 32 in August 1980 at the bottom of Hawaii's Hanapepe Lookout. It was deemed an accidental death by the police but as Harold Ramis once quipped, "He probably fell while he was looking for a place to jump." Read the rest
This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.: The process by which one place stops being home and another starts -- it's a mysterious thing. It happens, most often, when we're not paying attention. And sometimes, as it did for comedy writer and transplanted East Coaster Janis Hirsch, it happens in stages. First she started to feel at home in Los Angeles; but it was only later, after a series of addresses and a run-in or two with Bette Davis, that she landed in the exact place that would be, finally, her home.
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