“National Lampoon Radio Hour” Relaunching as Podcast in Comeback Bid

"National Lampoon" Relaunches "Radio Hour" as Podcast
Robert Hoffman and Douglas C. Kenney, look over the first copy of "National Lampoon." (Getty)
Bettmann Archive

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020, National Lampoon is hoping to start a comeback bid by relaunching its classic radio sketch comedy series as a podcast.

Credited with helping to launch the careers of comedians like Gilda Radner, John Belushi and Bill Murray, National Lampoon Radio Hour is back starting today with an 11-episode season that will be released in weekly half-hour installments.

A special Christmas-themed show that was released today, along with the week’s regular episodes, features ex-Saturday Night Live star Rachel Dratch along with Amy Sedaris, Chris Gethard, Julie Klausner and Jordan Klepper.

National Lampoon president Evan Shapiro told Variety that the podcast is the first step in the brand’s attempt to build the next generation of National Lampoon stars and projects.

“The company aims to integrate itself back into the cutting-edge comedy world with the podcast, live shows around the country and at a dedicated performance space in New York, and a host of film and TV projects in development,” Variety writes. “Shapiro has a long resume in comedy including stints as the head of IFC and NBC’s short-lived Seeso streaming platform.”

As part of a partnership with Spotify, users of the service will have exclusive early access to new and uncensored episodes three weeks before they are available on other podcast platforms, The Wrap reported.

“National Lampoon is one of the most iconic and hilarious comedy brands of all time,” said Spotify head of content partnerships Lauren Jarvis. “Spotify is thrilled to be partnering to bring its revered Radio Hour to new audiences around the world.”

In addition to being on Spotify and other podcast providers, episodes of the will be available on National Lampoon’s website and its YouTube channel.

As further evidence of the brand’s comeback bid, a reboot of National Lampoon’s Vacation films is being developed as a comedy series for the upcoming HBO Max streamer.

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