Producers Douglas Tirola and Susan Bedusa of 4th Row Films have optioned the exclusive rights to the story of the National Lampoon and its archive for the purposes of a feature documentary to be directed by Tirola. The film will be Tirola’s third documentary feature, following “All In – The Poker Movie” winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2009 Cinevegas Film Festival and “An Omar Broadway Film” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and will premiere on HBO in July, 2010.
Featuring rare and never seen before footage, the film will tell the complete story of National Lampoon, from its beginnings as the Harvard Lampoon, through its days as a publishing sensation and Hollywood heavyweight, to its eventual downfall and into its upcoming rebirth. Lampoon produced entertainment, including Lemmings, Animal House and Vacation, gave way to some of the most important comedic talent of our time. The film will showcase the influence that the magazine, television and radio programs, and the movies had on American culture and the entertainment industry.
Former Editor and Writer for National Lampoon, P.J. O’Rourke commented, “Saturday Night Live,””Beavis & Butthead,” The Onion, “South Park,” and the national use of irony as lingua franca — forty years of American humor has been shaped by the 1970s National Lampoon. At times I suspect that we surviving veterans of National Lampoon should be chased through the streets by howling mobs bent on vengeance. But, even if that doesn’t happen, this will be a damn interesting documentary.”
Director / Producer Doug Tirola states, “As a kid I loved all things National Lampoon, and as I have come to understand all of the talented and influential people that have worked with the Lampoon, I realized on some level, I have never actually stopped reading, listening or watching the National Lampoon. It is still alive in what we watch every day. Our goal is to tell the story of National Lampoon in a way that takes audiences back to an era with all of the laughs and tragedies that came along with it.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of 4th Row Films by Tirola and Bedusa and on behalf of National Lampoon by Tim Durham. 4th Row Films is represented by David Lubliner and Liesl Copland at William Morris Endeavor.
This marks the fourth feature documentary from producing partners Tirola and Bedusa for their production company 4th Row Films. Their previous credits include “Making the Boys” which recently made its World Premiere at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival, “An Omar Broadway Film,” and “All In – The Poker Movie.”