Douglas Kenney was an American comedy writer of film and magazine who has performed in the comedies Caddyshack and Animal House.
He is best known for co-founding National Lampoon magazine.
He was born on December 10, 1946, in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, as Douglas Clark Kenney.
His maternal grandparents were Polish, while his paternal grandparents were of Irish origin.
He went to a Catholic prep high school for boys in Gates Mills, Ohio, called ”Gilmour Academy.”
Later, Douglas attended Harvard University.
While at Harvard, he was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon (an undergraduate humor publication founded in 1876), president of the Spee Club, and a member of the Signet Society.
He co-founded the magazine ”National Lampoon” in 1970 with fellow Harvard Lampoon alumni Robert Hoffman and Henry Beard.
The October 1974 “Pubescence” issue of National Lampoon sold the most copies in the magazine history (over 1 million).
The magazine had many writing talents, including Ed Subitzky, Henry Beard, John Hughes, George W. S. Trow, Jeff Greenfield, Chris Miller, Mike Reiss, P. J. O’Rourke, Al Jean, Michael O’Donoghue, Chris Cluess, Ted Mann, Ellis Weiner, Gerald Sussman, Brian McConnachie, Tony Hendra, Sean Kelly, and Chris Rush.
The June 1985 issue of the magazine was entirely dedicated to Kenney.
In 1978, Douglas has written and performed in ”Animal House,” a comedy film that has become the highest-grossing comedy film of its time (over $141 million against a $3 million production budget).
Animal House follows the members of a fraternity who challenge the authority of the dean of the fictional Faber College.
The film stars Donald Sutherland, John Belushi, Stephen Furst, Thomas Hulce, Verna Bloom, John Vernon, Tim Matheson, and Peter Riegert.
In 1980, he produced and wrote Caddyshack, a sports comedy film that was described by ESPN as ”perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made.”
To write the screenplay, Kenney, Ramis, and Brian Doyle-Murray, locked themselves in a room and tried to recall everything they knew about country clubs and golf courses.
It grossed almost $40 million. It also stars Doyle-Murray, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Michael O’Keefe, Ted Knight, and Rodney Dangerfield.
On June 27, 1970, Douglas Kenney married Alexandra Appleton Garcia-Mata, an alumna of the Madeira School in Greenway. The two divorced in 1973.
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Douglas Kenney died on August 27, 1980, in Kauai, Hawaii, USA, after falling from a cliff. He was just 33 years old.
Chris Miller later said: ”Doug was looking for a better place to jump from, while he slipped.” Doug’s death was classified as accidental by Kauai police.
About four hundred people showed up at his funeral in Connecticut. They included Kathryn Walker, Matty Simmons, Henry Beard, P.J. O’Rourke, Michael O’Donoghue, Michael O’Keefe, Bill Murray, and Joni Mitchell.
Caddyshack co-producer Michael Shamberg said about Doug: ”Doug was like a musician, always riffing.”
Shamberg went on to say: ”His music/comedy was a rapid stream of keen and funny observations about what surrounded him, like a movable Algonquin Round Table wherever he went.”
Actor Bill Murray said in 2004 about the funeral: ”I remember turning around and looking at all the faces.” Murray continued: ”Every funny person in the world was there. And no one laughed.”
Josh Karp wrote in his book ”Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever”:
”The wake was a tense affair. Doug had been the first of their generation to die and was the linchpin for several groups in attendance.”
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A Futile and Stupid Gesture
On January 26, 2018, Netflix released ”A Futile and Stupid Gesture” at the Sundance Film Festival. It is a biographical comedy-drama film based on Karp’s book.
It was described by The New York Times Article as a “snapshot of a moment where comedy’s freshest counter-culture impulse was gleefully crass and willfully offensive.”
The film stars Neil Casey as Brian McConnachie, Domhnall Gleeson as Henry Beard, and Will Forte as Douglas Kenney. It was written by John Aboud and Michael Colton and directed by David Wain.
Douglas Kenney – Net Worth
So, how much was Douglas Kenney worth at the time of his death?
Kenney earned most of his wealth from co-founding National Lampoon magazine. In addition, Douglas has written and produced Caddyshack and written and performed in Animal House. Therefore, at the time of his death, Doug Kenney had an estimated net worth of $6 million.
Featured image source – © Guliver / Getty Images.
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