Obviously National Lampoon is under new management.

-National.JPG

Boy I can get a lot of mileage out of a ten minute trip to Blockbuster to pick up Daredevil, can’t I? I present to you exhibit C. It was going to be a one-liner like the last two Blockbuster posts, something along the line of National Lampoon’s legacy baton passed from Christopher Guest to Steve-O or Legendary comedy label’s reputation rests in the hands of Paris Hilton. But the more I thought about it, I love what new owner’s done with the National Lampoon label. Sure you’ve got the legacy of the magazine and the magazine’s name attached to many many great comedies of the 70’s and 80’s, Animal House and Vacation to name both of them. I was quick to think these new straight-to-video movies were ruining the life’s work of a great comedy label, but Vacation was written by National Lampoon’s John Hughes, who was perfectly capable of making his name meaningless all on his own. Animal House was written by National Lampoon’s Doug Kenney, but his next film would not be called National Lampoon’s Caddyshack for some reason. So what’s the name mean? It would’ve been great if they had kept it genius beyond those two movies, but before this current producer/distributor bought the company National Lampoon was making Loaded Weapon and Class Trip.

As a comedy geek I think “how dare they!” but the businessman in me is very jealous, what a great idea to recognize the value of the name and exploit it. Sure they make movies for the broadest possible audience, but these are produced/distributed at an indie level. So the budgets are so low and they have to guarantee the highest possible return to face-to-face investors you have to satisfy at that independent level. That’s why these movies are what they are, not because anyone has bad taste.

Also, while we’re talking marketing, I like how Pledge This! is the “Unrated ” version of a movie that nobody’s ever seen and there was no theatrical release for. That’s such great marketing I can’t even explain how jealous I am. Do you know how many people look at that and get it because they think it’s special? The exact same amount that see the name National Lampoon and rent it because they think it’s special. That’s good business.

-National.JPG

Boy I can get a lot of mileage out of a ten minute trip to Blockbuster to pick up Daredevil, can’t I? I present to you exhibit C. It was going to be a one-liner like the last two Blockbuster posts, something along the line of National Lampoon’s legacy baton passed from Christopher Guest to Steve-O or Legendary comedy label’s reputation rests in the hands of Paris Hilton. But the more I thought about it, I love what new owner’s done with the National Lampoon label. Sure you’ve got the legacy of the magazine and the magazine’s name attached to many many great comedies of the 70’s and 80’s, Animal House and Vacation to name both of them. I was quick to think these new straight-to-video movies were ruining the life’s work of a great comedy label, but Vacation was written by National Lampoon’s John Hughes, who was perfectly capable of making his name meaningless all on his own. Animal House was written by National Lampoon’s Doug Kenney, but his next film would not be called National Lampoon’s Caddyshack for some reason. So what’s the name mean? It would’ve been great if they had kept it genius beyond those two movies, but before this current producer/distributor bought the company National Lampoon was making Loaded Weapon and Class Trip.

As a comedy geek I think “how dare they!” but the businessman in me is very jealous, what a great idea to recognize the value of the name and exploit it. Sure they make movies for the broadest possible audience, but these are produced/distributed at an indie level. So the budgets are so low and they have to guarantee the highest possible return to face-to-face investors you have to satisfy at that independent level. That’s why these movies are what they are, not because anyone has bad taste.

Also, while we’re talking marketing, I like how Pledge This! is the “Unrated ” version of a movie that nobody’s ever seen and there was no theatrical release for. That’s such great marketing I can’t even explain how jealous I am. Do you know how many people look at that and get it because they think it’s special? The exact same amount that see the name National Lampoon and rent it because they think it’s special. That’s good business.

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