That's Not Funny, That's Sick: The National Lampoon and the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream

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The untold story behind a revolution in American comedy.

That's Not Funny, That's Sick

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  • That's Not Funny, That's Sick


Labor Day, 1969. Two recent Harvard graduates move to New York to edit a new magazine called The National Lampoon. Brilliant humorists Henry Beard and Doug Kenney presided over a team that within a decade transformed American culture and conquered the mainstream with a brand of subversive humor that provoked, offended, and often illuminated.

With unparalleled access to the architects and impresarios of this boom, journalist Ellin Stein takes us behind the jokes to witness the fighting and partying, collaboration and competition of those who led a rebellion of the self-consciously disenchanted.

At its zenith, the brand birthed the anarchic earthiness of John Belushi, the suave slapstick of Chevy Chase, and the deadpan wit of Bill Murray. Set against the roiling political and cultural landscape of the 1970s, That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick brims with insiders’ stories while offering crucial insight into a transformation in comedy that still echoes today.

Additional Information

Author Ellin Stein
Publisher W.W. Norton
Page Count 384pp
Publication Size 6 x 9.75
Publication Notes hardcover, full color
Publication Date March 18, 2013
ISBN 978-0393074093

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