Home Entertainment Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase in star-studded NATIONAL LAMPOON origin movie

Joel McHale to play Chevy Chase in star-studded NATIONAL LAMPOON origin movie

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Despite a valiant last ditch effort by Yahoo, “streets ahead” sitcom Community is no more. Plenty of the hilarious cast have gone on to other things (in Donald Glover’s case, he now has a great music career) but none of them have really headlined anything yet. But that’s changing with an upcoming project for series lead Joel McHale who will get the opportunity to actually play one of his Community co-starts Chevy Chase! Cool. Cool cool cool.

The Wrap reports that McHale has signed on to Netflix’s original movie A Futile and Stupid Gesture, which details the origin story of National Lampoon, the iconic American humour magazine from the 1970’s. The magazine would famously also go on to launch a number of fan-favourite comedy feature films, such as National Lampoon’s Vacation which starred Chase in the lead as a goofy dad taking his family on a calamitous cross-country road road trip. After years of playing each other’s foils on Community it will definitely be intriguing to see McHale’s spin on his cranky co-star in real life.


A Futile and Stupid Gesture is said to focus on the tragic story of Doug Kenney, the co-founder of National Lampoon, who was close friends with Chase and died in a tragic and mysterious accident while the men were on holiday together in Hawaii to help Kenney get over a long-time substance abuse problem. Will Forte (SNL, The Last Man on Earth) has been tapped to play Kenney, while Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, About Time) will be playing his National Lampoon co-founder Henry Beard.

It’s also been reported that John Gemberling (Broad City) has joined the production as late comedian John Belushi. Belushi starred in National Lampoon’s most noteworthy movie, National Lampoon’s Animal House which Kenney co-wrote along with other cult-classic Caddyshack. Animal House was directed by John Landie and shot on such on such a small budget ($3 million) and made enough money ($141 million) that it officially became one of the most profitable movies off all time.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture will be directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) from a script by Michael Colton and John Aboud, which based on Josh Karp’s 2006 non-fiction book “A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever”.

Last Updated: April 7, 2016

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