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A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

TV-MA | | Biography, Comedy | 26 January 2018 (USA)
In the 1970s and '80s, National Lampoon's success and influence creates a new media empire overseen in part by the brilliant and troubled Douglas Kenney.

Director:

David Wain
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3,515 ( 84)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Gingerich Frank Gingerich ... Doug - Age 12
Morgan Gingerich Morgan Gingerich ... Doug - Age 12
Annette O'Toole ... Stephanie Kenney
Harry Groener ... Harry Kenney
Martin Mull ... Modern Doug
David Wain ... Interviewer
Domhnall Gleeson ... Henry Beard
Will Forte ... Douglas Kenney
Ben F. Campbell ... Harvard Jester (as Ben Campbell)
Jon Klaft ... Preppy Student
Camille Guaty ... Alex Garcia-Mata
Brad Morris ... Peter Ivers
Carla Gallo ... Lucy Fisher
Beau Bassewitz ... Umpire
Rick Overton ... First Publisher
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Storyline

An old version of humorist Douglas Kenney tells the story of how he and Henry Beard parleyed their success in their campus magazine, Harvard Lampoon, into the commercial magazine, National Lampoon. Drawing upon their checkered lives and an aggressively puckish sense of humor, the pair created a publication that would redefine American comedy with outrageous drollery that grabbed the zeitgeist of the decade that expanded across various media. Unfortunately, for all his success, Doug Kenney with his overhanging insecurities, ego and irresponsible appetites began to consume him until he alienates everyone who ever cared and supported him even as they imitated him. In the end, this iconoclastic funnyman would come to a tragedy that comes when your comedy doesn't have enough distance. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If You Don't Watch This Movie, We'll Kill Will Forte. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Futile and Stupid Gesture See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.90 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joel McHale portrays Chevy Chase in this project. The two costarred in Community (2009). A number of episodes centered on McHale's character fearing he would become like Chase's one day. When McHale called Chase and told him that he would be playing him in the film, Chase gave his blessing and shared with him stories about Doug Kenney. See more »

Goofs

Just before his death in Hawaii, Doug was shown driving a '87-'95 Jeep Wrangler. He Died in 1980. See more »

Quotes

Kathryn Walker: [after seeing Airplane!] Surely you're not upset because someone else made a funny movie.
Douglas Kenney: Don't you get it? That's the movie that everyone's gonna love, not fucking Caddyshack. I've been replaced. What the fuck am I gonna do now?
Kathryn Walker: You're supposed to say, "Don't call me Shirley."
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits have rolled, Martin Mull is shown singing the song "Time of My Life" with members of the cast. See more »

Connections

References Raging Bull (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Want Ads
Written by General Johnson (as General N. Johnson), Greg Perry (as Gregory S. Perry) and Barney Perkins
Performed by Honey Cone
Courtesy of Hot Wax Records
By arrangement with Universal Music Publishing Group
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable movie but a bit one eyed
28 January 2018 | by denzil-09434See all my reviews

This is a good movie. It's a story well told but it's certainly one sided. For one thing it ignores the fact that National Lampoon wasn't very funny. It is also a bit of a hatchet job on the parents and P J O'Rourke, whose least credit, as probably the funniest American print writer of the 20th century, is editor of NL.

Worth watching though.


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