Doug Kenney - Morning Watch

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, John Williams conducts the orchestra during a recording session for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi score. Plus, learn how National Lampoon co-creator Doug Kenney changed the face of comedy forever, and see the amazing visual effects in the Best Picture winning Call Me By Your Name. Read More »

a futile and stupid gesture interview

Director and sometime performer David Wain has a long and successful history of directing beloved comedies with large ensemble casts, going back to his earliest days with sketch-comedy team The State and such feature films as Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models, Wanderlust, and They Came Together. But with A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Wain tackles the seemingly impossible task of covering the professional life of comedy writer and National Lampoon magazine co-creator Doug Kenney (played by Will Forte) in about 100 minutes. Kenny also was the man behind National Lampoon’s Animal House and Caddyshack (the making of both is detailed in Wain’s movie as well).

The film also stars Domhnall Gleeson (as Kenny’s partner in crime Henry Beard), Emmy Rossum, Natasha Lyonne, Seth Green, Martin Mull, Joel McHale, Matt Walsh, Thomas Lennon, Matt Lucas, Joe Lo Truglio, Paul Scheer, and Finn Wittrock.

This interview took place at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where A Futile and Stupid Gesture premiered. Director Wain was joined by two of the film’s producers, Peter Principato (also an executive producer on the series “Black-ish”) and Jonathan Stern (also an executive producer on “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return.” /Film spoke with the three about the process of making comedy from the ’70s and ’80s feel relevant today and the process of making the creative process cinematic. A Futile and Stupid Gesture is available on Netflix right now (read our review right here).

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A Futile and Stupid Gesture Review

The rise and fall of the subversive comedians at National Lampoon was already extensively covered in the Sundance selected documentary Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon. But director David Wain (They Came Together, Role Models) has taken a completely different approach in his dramatization of the creation of the humor magazine turned radio show and movie production house.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture is based on Josh Karp’s book of the same name, and it follows the founding of the wildly successful National Lampoon as it unfolds in the biographical story of co-creator and comedian Doug Kenney. However, David Wain doesn’t simply use this as an opportunity to craft a traditional biopic. Instead, the movie is a meta, self-aware retelling of Doug Kenney’s story in the same comedic style of National Lampoon, with a vibe that’s a lot like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy meets Man on the Moon. Read More »

A Futile and Stupid Gesture trailer

National Lampoon, the humor magazine that eventually jumped into the movie business, now has its own biopic courtesy of Wet Hot American Summer filmmaker David WainA Futile and Stupid Gesture, which hits Netflix next month, focuses on National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney, played in the film by Will Forte. The trailer provides a look at the film and reveals that it’s not going to be your standard biopic.

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Will Forte

It’s hard to believe Will Forte left Saturday Night Live six years ago. When Forte mentioned it’s been that long since he was on the show, he, too, looked surprised by that fact. After spending a decade working on SNL, the actor has appeared in a variety of films, including Alexander Payne‘s NebraskaPeter Bogdanovich‘s She’s Funny That Way, and, of course, the actor’s crowning achievement, Jorma Taccone‘s big screen adaptation of MacGruber.

Forte co-stars in Peter Atencio‘s Keanu, a comedy from the team behind Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. The former SNL star’s role as a drug dealer, Hulka, is brief but, thanks to some cornrows and an unforgettable voice, he leaves an impression with his performance.

Below, read our Will Forte interview.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Joel McHale as Chevy Chase

Talk about life coming full circle. Actor Joel McHale might play Chevy Chase in David Wain‘s (Wet Hot American Summer) National Lampoon biopic, A Futile and Stupid Gesture. McHale and Chase, of course, worked on Community together for a number seasons, so if McHale signs up for the project, then he’s already got a few years of research in the can.

Learn more about A Futile and Stupid Gesture below.

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national lampoon biopic

David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) is set to direct A Futile and Stupid Gesture. The National Lampoon biopic will star Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), playing Doug Kenney, one of the co-founders of National Lampoon.

Learn more about the potential Netflix movie below.

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