Though the National Lampoon is no longer in circulation, its legacy is undeniable: From Saturday Night Live to The Onion to, of course, films like Animal House and Vacation, it’s had major impact on modern American comedy. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, the new documentary from Douglas Tirola, takes an in-depth look at the pop-culture pioneer, from its humble college campus beginnings to its meteoric Hollywood rise and eventual fall. Featuring interviews from stars like Chevy Chase and Judd Apatow, the doc tells the story of the groundbreaking publication from the perspectives of the people that made it and those that have since been influenced by its style. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of The National Lampoon hits theaters and VOD on September 25, but The A.V. Club and Magnolia Pictures has an opportunity for you to see it for free on September 17. For your chance to win a pair of passes to the advance screening, simply follow the link here and enter your information. Seats will be first come, first served, so be sure to arrive early. An official synopsis and trailer for the film can be found below.
“Amid the seismic cultural shift of the 1970s, American comedy got a sharper edge when a newly minted magazine named National Lampoon stuck its middle finger up at the establishment. Spawned at an Ivy League school by the wonderfully warped minds of Douglas Kenney and Henry Beard, National Lampoon rose from a counterculture rag to a revered comic institution. Bound by a passion for the absurd and a mistrust of authority, Lampoon’s irreverence spanked nearly every available social taboo from weak-kneed politics to heated racial tensions. This unique cocktail of high satire and gallows humor exploded onto America’s cultural consciousness attracting visionary talents such as Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Chevy Chase, whose comedic force helped expand the magazine’s spirit to stage and film. Director Douglas Tirola unearths never-before-seen archival footage and brilliantly weaves it together with the magazine’s beautiful and often shocking art, reliving National Lampoon’s meteoric rise from go-to magazine of the counterculture to a brand synonymous with Hollywood’s biggest comedies. Energetic, revolutionary, gently perverted, and often hilarious, Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead elevates nostalgia to a roof-raising experience.