Born: 10 December 1947
Died: 27 August 1980 (fall from a cliff )
Birthplace: West Palm Beach, Florida
Best known as: Co-founder of National Lampoon
Along with Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman, Doug Kenney founded the humor magazine National Lampoon
in 1969. (The name was borrowed from the college humor magazine Harvard Lampoon
, where the three met.) National Lampoon
attracted writers like Michael O'Donoghue
and became a sensation with college readers; the magazine often is credited with creating the absurdist, irony-drenched humor which became a pop culture mainstay for the rest of the 20th century. Kenney edited the magazine and wrote much of its early material, and later he helped launch Lampoon
comedy albums and live shows (including the popular Lemmings
). He co-edited the popular 1964 High School Yearbook Parody
. Kenney co-wrote the hit movie comedies Animal House
(1978, starring John Belushi
) and Caddyshack
(1980, with Bill Murray
and Chevy Chase). Kenney died in 1980 after falling from a crumbling cliff while vacationing on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. A few rumors suggested his death was a suicide, but that claim has never been proved.
Kenney had a small role in Animal House as the nerdy frat brother Stork… Kenney and Beard wrote Bored of the Rings, a parody of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings, while still at Harvard… The first issue of National Lampoon reached newsstands in March of 1970.
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