Several participants in the most recent SLIFR film quiz, when asked to name what they felt was the most “important” film comedy of the last 35 years, bandied about National Lampoon’s Animal House as a contender. The film was most frequently earmarked as “important” not only because of its popularity, but because of its influence, for good, bad and worst, on the trajectory of American film comedy, introducing heretofore unheard-of levels of profanity and raunchy humor into mainstream movie theaters. (I’ll never forget my rather sheltered aunt’s reaction, after a screening in my hometown, expressing genuine shock over the contents of Otter’s black medical bag.) In honor of Double Secret Probation Month here at SLIFR, I’m throwing the question open to further discussion.
In what ways has Animal House been a good thing for film comedy?
What are some of the elements rippling through movie culture that have roots in the film’s popularity which you could have done without over the past 30 years?
What is your favorite moment in the movie? Your favorite line?
What is the best post-Animal House movie comedy that bears the obvious stamps of its influence?
And what is the worst, most crass attempt to cash in on the glory of Delta Tau Chi?
These are all questions on which I hope we shall ruminate over the weekend in the comments column as commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the movie’s release on July 28 draws nearer. Now drop and give me 20!