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Holy Shit-th! Animal House Turns 40

Today marks Animal House’s 40th Anniversary & movie theaters around the country are holding special screenings throughout the summer to celebrate.

Released on July 28th, 1978 the debut film by National Lampoon follows the innocent and awkward Larry (Pinto) & Kent (Flounder) as they navigate freshman year & wind up in the wildest house in Greek life, Delta Tau Chi. The story ingrained itself in American college culture & its influence can still be seen today in tacky dorm room posters around the country.

Costing $3M to make, it brought in less than $300K it’s opening week but has gone on to rake in over $500M and counting. Small fact to spout off at a hungover brunch – Chevy Chase & Dan Aykroyd turned down roles but John Belushi accepted & received only $35K for what was arguably the most notable character, Bluto. With the shoestring budget, his wife Judy even helped find the cast’s wardrobes in local thrift stores.

The story lines were based on the experiences of:

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Harold Ramis: Zeta Beta Tau fraternity @ Washington U. in St. Louis, MO.
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Chris Miller: Alpha Delta Phi @ Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.
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Ivan Reitman: Delta Upsilon @ McMaster U. in Hamilton, Ontario
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Douglas Kenney: National Lampoon editor @ Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.
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This morning whilst nursing a slight hangover I watched ‘A Futile & Stupid Gesture’ about the life of Kenney. Following Animal House he went on to produce & write Caddyshack. Believing it to be a dismal failure & deep in addiction, he jumped off a cliff in Hawaii. In a line Kenney probably would have loved, Harold Ramis noted, “Doug probably fell while he was looking for a place to jump.”

ANYWAYS, way to end it on a high note, Kate… have a great Saturday! If you have a chance, be lazy & put on Animal House this weekend (even though Vice has reminded us that it’s problematic now).