“Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon” is a reverent tribute to an irreverent magazine that changed the landscape of American comedy during the 1970s.
Director Douglas Tirola’s fast-moving, informative documentary features plenty of reminiscences from the folks who contributed to the publication and from those who were inspired by it. But the real power (i.e. humor) of the film emanates from the barrage of magazine covers and articles, some of them enhanced with clever animation.
For the most part, though, “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead” spends its time celebrating an era in which the comedy frontier was distasteful, brutally honest, and innocent at the same time. We can only imagine with glee what these comic geniuses could have done with some of today’s political and cultural figures.
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