Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the National Lampoon in 2020, December 19th marks the premiere of the return of the National Lampoon Radio Hour as an 11-episode podcast.
Radio Hour in its original incarnation is best remembered as a cutting edge comedic radio broadcast that featured the likes of Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Christopher Guest, Michael O’Donoghue, Brian Doyle-Murray, Richard Belzer, and Harold Ramis, all before they became household names.
This incarnation will feature Brett Davis (Andy Kaufman Award winner), Alex English (The Rundown), Maeve Higgins (Maeve Higgins: Immigration IRL), Aaron Jackson (The Opposition), Rachel Pegram (The Week Of), Lorelei Ramirez (Comedy Central), Meg Stalter (The Meg Stalter Show), and Martin Urbano (Jimmy Kimmel Live!). Helming the show will be head writers Cole Escola (At Home with Amy Sedaris) and Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show).
Additional celebrity guests slated to appear include Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris, Chris Gethard, Julie Klausner, and Jordan Klemperer.
The podcast won’t be the only way to view this. Unlike its predecessor, this incarnation will allow fans to watch as well, as every episode will be streamed to the National Lampoon and YouTube.
It will be most interesting to see how the Radio Hour will translate to this generation. Part of what made the original Radio Hour unique was that it was broadcasting things that were very much so boundary pushing and counter-culture. It was much different than the podcast medium, which has ultimate freedom and no censors. They were dealing with terrestrial radio which very much so had a censor. That challenge added a tightrope sense to it all. The mere image a family driving home from church could turn on the radio and hear Michael O’Donoghue impersonating what it’d sound like if Ed Sullivan stuck sharp needles through his eyes is funny in itself.
Still, with such a talented bunch involved, it would be great to see this podcast, instead of trying to replicate what had been done before, become its own thing entirely. We can’t wait to hear it!
You can hear a sneak peak here. And the podcast will be available on December 19th on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.