Saturday, December 10
Douglas C. Kenney December 10, 1947--August 27, 1980
Doug Kenney was the heart and soul of the National Lampoon, co-founder with Henry Beard, the Editor-in-Chief of the glory days of 1970-72, the guy responsible for much of the glue that held the thing together--he wrote almost all of the Letters column and "Mrs. Agnew's Diary", which was the first place I turned every month. He'd later claim that he and NatLamp art director Michael Gross had invented nostalgia--much of his stuff resided in the suburban milieu of the American 50s and 60s, like "Nancy Reagan's Guide To Dating Dos and Don'ts", or "First Blowjob", wherein Connie Phillips discovers, too late, that her prom date is a psychopath ("Gee," exclaimed Jeff as he began to lash out viciously at her uprotected body, "I've been wanting to try this ever since I first heard Negro music!")
Kenney co-wrote what is probably the Lampoon's finest hour, the 1964 High School Yearbook parody (where he appears as the dead senior Howard Havermeyer to whom the book is dedicated), which was the basis of Animal House, which he co-wrote with Chris Miller (and appeared as Stork). He then co-wrote Caddyshack with Harold Ramis and Brian Doyle-Murray. There's a nice piece about Kenney and the film at ESPN Golf Digest.
Doug Kenney fell off a cliff in Kauai a month after Caddyshack opened.