A Futile and Stupid Gesture is an American biographical comedy-drama film directed by David Wain.

Official trailers

Netflix on Thursday, December 21, 2017 released the trailer:
A Futile and Stupid Gesture | Official Trailer | Netflix.

Story intro

The film's timeline stretches from 1964 to 1980. The film opens with Douglas Kenney and his classmate Henry Beard celebrating the release of their book, Bored of the Rings, with the Harvard Lampoon staff. The two men graduate from Harvard and Kenney convinces Beard not to go to law school but instead publish a monthly magazine known as the National Lampoon. Though Kenney is the magazine's main creative voice, there would be no magazine without the guidance of Beard. Kenney becomes the comedy writer and Beard the business manager, while the magazine also has a thriving art department. The two men get financing from Matty Simmons. All of the writers work hard to be funny and meet deadlines. Work is a party atmosphere and illicit drug use is prevalent. The magazine is not initially a success until lawsuits are threatened by Disney, Volkswagen, Mormons, and many other established names. The comedy world is changed, and the magazine pushes the acceptance of satire and parody with each edition. Occupational burnout is common and Kenney suddenly leaves for nine months with a one line note to Henry. The magazine stays successful under Beard. After five years Simmons agrees to a buyout and the two men each collect $3.5 million. National Lampoon expands to an hour radio show attracting more great comedians like Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, and Bill Murray. Special editions of the magazine are published such as one mocking high school yearbooks. Douglas Kenney then moves to movies and writes Animal House starring John Belushi in 1978. With the success of the film, cocaine takes over Kenney's life. As ongoing disputes with studio executives continue, Kenney writes Caddyshack. He does not like his work and embarrasses himself drunk and high at a press conference promoting the film.


Will Forte
Douglas Kenney
Martin Mull
modern Douglas, the narrator
Morgan Gingerich
young Douglas Kenney
Domhnall Gleeson
Henry Beard
Neil Casey
Brian McConnachie
Jon Daly
Bill Murray
Nelson Franklin
P.J. O'Rourke
John Gemberling
John Belushi
Rick Glassman
Harold Ramis
Seth Green
Christopher Guest
Max Greenfield
Chris Miller
Harry Groener
Harry Kenney, Douglas' father
Camille Guaty
Alex Garcia-Mata
Ed Helms
Tom Snyder
Thomas Lennon
Michael O'Donoghue
Joe Lo Truglio
Brad Zotti
Matt Lucas
Tony Hendra
Natasha Lyonne
Anne Beatts
Joel McHale
Chevy Chase
Annette O'Toole
Stephanie Kenney, Douglas' mother
Emmy Rossum
Kathryn Walker
Jackie Tohn
Gilda Radner
Matt Walsh
Matty Simmons
Finn Wittrock
Tim Matheson
Elvy Yost
Mary Marshmallow
David Wain
Ben Campbell
Harvard Jester
Jon Klaft
Preppy Student
Brad Morris
Peter Ivers
Rick Overton
First Publisher
Mark Metcalf
Second Publisher
David Krumholtz
Time-Life Publishers
Michael Sherman
Ed Sullivan
Kerri Kenney
Sullivan Producer
Bob Stephenson
Construction Worker
Liz Femi
Skeptical Black Woman
Chris Redd
Skeptical Black Man
Meera Rohit Kumbhani
Armen Weitzman
Lorne Michaels
Lonny Ross
Ivan Reitman
Steven Sims
Stephen Furst
Brian Huskey
John Landis
Rich Sommer
Harry Crane
Carla Gallo
Lucy Fisher
Andrew Gray McDonnell
Michael O'Keefe
Erv Dahl
Rodney Dangerfield
Paul Scheer
Paul Shaffer
Lindsey Kraft
Gwyneth Cravens


Principal photography began in Los Angeles, California on April 14, 2016.

The film A Futile and Stupid Gesture was scheduled to be released on January 24, 2018 (Sundance) and on January 26, 2018 (United States/Worldwide) by Netflix.

The duration of the film is 101 minutes.


A Futile and Stupid Gesture got high rating from critics. The audience also likes the film.

External links

Wikipedia: A Futile and Stupid Gesture (film)

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