Dinner, Lemmings, and the Hour
December 10, 2013 8:46 PM Subscribe
In 1972, National Lampoon
expanded into recorded comedy with Radio Dinner
. The album
was largely a star turn for a young NatLamp
contributor named Christopher Guest; when the magazine followed up on Radio Dinner's
success by sponsoring an off-Broadway "satirical joke-rock mock-concert musical comedy semi-revue,"
he was tapped to perform in it alongside a drummer named Chevy Chase and a 24-year-old John Belushi. National Lampoon's Lemmings
(original cast album
) was another hit, running for 350 performances of Woodstock parody and Joe Cocker mockery
editor Michael O'Donaghue decided the time was right to take the brand to a weekly radio show. He brought the stars of Lemmings
back for it, together with Belushi's old Second City castmates Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, and Brian Doyle-Murray. Harry Shearer, Doug Kenney, and Richard Belzer helped round out the cast of The National Lampoon Radio Hour
. [You should probably just assume that all YT links are NSF playing out loud at W.]
Some bits from the Radio Hour
-"Nazi Dr. Doolittle"
-"The Indianapolis Academy of French Accent"
-"The Loan Arranger"
-Classics of the Contemporary Drama
presents Dostoevsky's "The Idiot"
and Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."
-"Mel Brewer's Insomnia Time, with Ron Fields"
-"Miss America Pageant 1973"
-Chevy Chase mans "The Suicide Hotline."
-"Guru Craig Baker, the Perfect Master"
-"Guru Craig Baker at a Bar"
-"Thank You Letters"
-"The End of the World"
-"The Dick and Jane Show"
-"Little Miss Muffett"
-"Humor Test, with Dr. Chevy Chase"
-"Kung Fu Christmas"
-"St. Leonard's Song"
-Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer, confronts the Queen of Space
, Wet Willie the pirate captain
, and a greasy spoon waitress
-"The California Show"
, a complete episode from October 19, 1974.
And a number of pieces too rough for radio made it onto an album called "That's Not Funny, That's Sick!"
, including Guest's frighteningly accurate Mr. Rogers impression