Perhaps the silver lining in the recent passing of comic actor/writer/director Harold Ramis is that he received a lot of much deserved praise and tributes. Not that Ramis was ever overlooked, exactly, but when your colleagues are John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield, you just tend to get outshone. Still, Ramis’ comic resume is as solid as anyone’s. Ever.

    Ramis acted in some films, such as in Stripes and Ghostbusters, but he was a legendary director, e.g. Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Groundhog Day, and a writer, in all of the above and more. Perhaps Ramis’ crown jewel as a screenwriter was his work on arguably the funniest film ever made, National Lampoon’s Animal House, co-written with fellow National Lampoon magazine writers, Doug Kenney and Chris Miller.

    Animal House (1978) is low, low-brow, guy humor at its best. It is both a stupidly funny movie but, like all good dumb comedy, done smartly. After all, National Lampoon was an offshoot of Harvard University’s humor publication, Harvard Lampoon, and Miller, himself, was an Ivy Leaguer (Dartmouth), as well. These guys were far from dumb, just highly subversive and bent on pushing the boundaries of crudity, all in the name of a good laugh.


First of all, great read for a horrible, rainy, windy day. The article draws a believable line from 'Animal House' to 400,000 students in Florida for Spring Breaks. Of course there were other factors - but the author makes a fun argument.

Thx brainb. Nice video clips from Animal House as well. I love this quote:

    Wherever the bar was set for ‘70s college parties, Animal House took that bar, broke it into kindling, and made a bonfire.
I love writing that takes a cliché and ramps it up.

posted by BrainBurner: 1970 days ago