A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever

By Josh Karp | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

The creation of this book involved the collaboration, time, talent, and patience of more people than I could ever hope to thank in a list that covers less ground than the many volumes tracking the life of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Thus, any individuals excluded from this brief list should know that their efforts are deeply appreciated.

Though over a hundred individuals were interviewed for the book, I would like to single out the following: Chris Miller, who served as my introduction to Doug Kenney and the people of National Lampoon; Michael Simmons, a good friend who was invaluable at several critical junctures; illustrator Rick Meyerowitz, who drew a fabulous cover and e-mailed with me about anything and everything; Sean Kelly, who made me laugh like no one else; Private Ollie Hallowell of Milton Academy and Harvard; S. Roger Cox; and Thom Mount, my resource for all things Hollywood.

Alex Garcia-Mata and Kathryn Walker for their willingness to discuss their relationships with Doug with honesty. I thank them both for their patience with my endless questions.

P. J. O'Rourke stands out for his thoughtfulness and candor in a situation where he had little to gain from his participation. With maturity and self-knowledge, he viewed the world of National Lam-

-vii-

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A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction - Midas at the Marmont xi
  • 1: Hayley Mills in Pleasantville 1
  • 2: The Most Perfect Wasp 18
  • 3: Here Is New York 41
  • 4: You've Got a Weird Mind. You'll Fit in Well Here 58
  • 5: What Do Women Eat? 91
  • 6: Hitler Being Difficult 118
  • 7: Show Biz and Dead Dogs 152
  • 8: Guns and Sandwiches 198
  • 9: The Pirates 237
  • 10: The Cultural Revolution 263
  • 11: Fuck the Proposal 283
  • 12: Round Up the Usual Jews 302
  • 13: Pheasant Shake for Mr. Kenney 327
  • 14: A Year with No Spring 348
  • Epilogue 371
  • Bibliography 379
  • Index 392
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