A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Director: David Wain
Screenwriters: John Aboud, Michael Colton

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


The National Lampoon name became globally recognized after the monumental success of Animal House—but before the glory days, it was a scrappy yet divinely subversive magazine and radio show that introduced the world to comedic geniuses like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner. The driving force behind National Lampoon was Doug Kenney (Will Forte), and his truly wild and crazy story unfolds in A Futile and Stupid Gesture from Harvard to Hollywood to Caddyshack and beyond.

Director David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) has had three prior features at the Sundance Film Festival and is firmly established as one of the great comedy directors. Utilizing an outstanding ensemble cast, including Domhnall Gleeson, Joel McHale, and Emmy Rossum, Wain understands that to tell this story right you need to bypass accuracy and head straight for authenticity. In the spirit of National Lampoon, Wain takes a plethora of creative licenses to get at the even-truer story of perhaps the most influential comedy force of the last 50 years.

— T.G.

Screening Details

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