Comedy, Harvard, and Hollywood

The July-August 1992 issue of <em>Harvard Magazine</em> featured Jim Downey and Al Franken on the set of "Saturday Night Live"

A new book by Rick Meyerowitz, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead (reviewed in the November-December 2010 issue), explores the history and legacy of the National Lampoon, founded in 1970 by alumni of the Harvard Lampoon. Previous Harvard Magazine articles illuminated facets of the important roles that Harvard alumni have played in the entertainment industry. "The Harvard Powers of Hollywood" (September-October 1987) broke the story of the powerful influence that Harvard graduates were exercising in behind-the-lens functions in the  film and television businesses in Los Angeles. "Comic Sutra" (July-August 1992) explains how, beginning in the 1960s, Harvard graduates, many of them alumni of the Harvard Lampoon, transformed American humor via the National Lampoon magazine, Saturday Night Live, Spy magazine, Late Night with David Letterman, The Simpsons, and other comedic vehicles. "The Life of the Party" (September-October 1993) profiles Lampoon standout Douglas C. Kenney ’68, a co-founder of the National Lampoon and a screenwriter for the comedy films  Animal House and Caddyshack, who perished at age 33 under mysterious circumstances in Hawaii. All three were written by Harvard Magazine deputy editor Craig Lambert.

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