Documentary on an amazing monthly magazine and it’s extremely unusual staff.

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead – The Story of the National Lampoon, Blu-ray (2016)

Cast: Chevy Chase, Judd Aptow, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Doug Kenny, Kevin Bacon, Christopher Guest
Director: Douglas Tirola
Studio: History Films/ Magnolia Home Ent. 10947 [4/19/16]
Video: for 16:9 screens, 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Dubbed: French
Extras: Bonus Interviews (over an hour), John Goodman reads Doug Kenny, Thoughts on Animal House, Drugs in the office, Thoughts on SNL, Working in NYC, “Jaws,” “Reading John Hughes,” Favorite Nat. Lampoon Pieces, Artists of Nat. Lampoon, Chevy Chase bit, more…
Length: 95 min.
Rating: ****

From the 1970s thru the 1990s, the most outrageous comedy in print was the National Lampoon. It really pushed the limits of good taste and acceptability and branched out into radio shows, stage presentations, records and even movies such as Animal House and National Lampoon’s Vacation. I personally love John Belushi’s take-off on Joe Cocker and while he doesn’t wear a bumble-bee outfit in this one, that cracks me up every time.

The office was a wild and free party all the time, with plenty of drugs and drinking. It launched the careers of many of the leading people in it, and spun down as they moved off to do Animal House, Caddy Shack and other movies and joined Second City and other groups. What went on in the office and on the pages of the magazine is likely to offend just about everyone. As Rolling Stone said, these are the unsung heroes of American funny business, and some of the executives of the publication certainly qualify as unsung heroes.

—John Sunier