The A.V. Club: National Lampoon biopic A Futile And Stupid Gesture laughs at and with Doug Kenney
Doug Kenney’s life was practically made for a movie. As a Midwestern kid carrying a chip on his shoulder all the way to Harvard, Kenney and put-upon bestie Henry Beard channeled their abiding contempt for authority into the Harvard Lampoon and its nationally scaled big brother. Kenney went on to build the faux yearbook, radio program, and live show that would make up the Lampoon media empire, as well as co-write the scripts for anarchic anti-snob comedies Animal House and Caddyshack. Anyone who made teenagers laugh during the latter half of the ’70s was most likely pals with Kenney, if not directly reading his words. He played the sad clown all the while, masking a deep-seated inner pain with one-liners until he fell off of a Hawaiian cliff at 33. His eventful career, internal conflict, and love of cocaine mark him as a prime candidate for the silver-screen treatment, and that’s precisely the problem.
February 01, 2018
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