National Lampoon doc in the works

4th Row's Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa producing

The story of seminal humor magazine National Lampoon will get the documentary treatment from producer Douglas Tirola and Susan Bedusa of 4th Row Films.

The duo behind the award-winning docs "All In: The Poker Movie" and "An Omar Broadway Film" have optioned the rights to the story of Lampoon as well as its archive for a feature film to be directed by Tirola.

The film will tell the story of National Lampoon from its beginnings as the Harvard Lampoon, through its days as a publishing sensation and Hollywood heavyweight, to its eventual downfall and into its rebirth and refocus as a multimedia company.

During its heyday in the 1970s, the magazine was responsible for launching comic and writing talents such as John Hughes while its stage and radio show gave a spotlight to actors such as John Belushi and Chevy Chase. Articles led to movies such as "National Lampoon's Vacation" and "National Lampoon's Animal House."

The film will feature rare and never before seen footage, and showcase the influence that the brand's magazine, television and radio programs and movies had on American culture and the entertainment industry.

"Our goal is to tell the story of National Lampoon in a way that takes audiences back to an era with all of the laughs and tragedies that came along with it," said Tirola.

"Lampoon" will be the fourth doc directed by Tirola. "Poker Movie" won the grand jury prize for best documentary at the 2009 Cinevegas Film Festival while "Broadway" premiered at the recent Tribeca Film Festival and will air on HBO in July.

Tirola and Bedusa also produced, via 4th Row, the doc "Making the Boys," which premiered during the 2010 Berlin Film Festival.
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