Animal House: Sublime Sophomoronity

Sophomoric: syn: childish, adolescent, juvenile

I needed a laugh. Best Buy had National Lampoon’s Animal House on sale for 4 bucks. Done.

I bought the Double Secret Probation version. More swearing and a touch more nudity than the theatrical release as I recall.  Otherwise the same funny, funny movie.

Few if any redeeming qualities, just a lot of physical comedy and deranged dialogue. Just what I needed. Many of the actors went on to be well known if not the brightest of stars. Only John Belushi who had been seen on Saturday Night Live was a known commodity. Others in the cast included Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, John Vernon, Thomas Hulce, Cesare Danova, Peter Riegert, Mary Louise Weller, Stephen Furst, James Daughton, Bruce McGill, Mark Metcalf, James Widdoes, Verna Bloom, Martha Smith, and Kevin Bacon in his film debut.  The behind the scenes talent also included some of the greats of low comedy including John Landis, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman.

If you can listen while laughing hysterically you will hear a soundtrack including some of the best R&B music of the Sixties.  The movie also gave to history the rousing version of Shout performed by Otis Day and the Knights. (Which unfortunately led to countless, merciless imitations at weddings from then on to eternity–only exceeded in excess only by equally terrifying versions of Celebration.)

I would describe the scenes that made me laugh until I wept but my words can’t possibly do justice to a Belushi raise of the eyebrows or crushing a can on his head. I suspect that this is more of a guy’s movie than a woman’s. Just one more reason to appreciate my sex.

The scene below is the best of what I could find on Youtube. It gives a hint of Belushi’s comic genius. Also make sure to catch Tim Matheson’s line near the end of the clip. And while overkill for a single post I could not help but end with Otis Day and the Knight’s version of Shout. Just don’t play it in the office unless you want your co-workers to see you jump up and down. It is impossible not to.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

3 Responses to Animal House: Sublime Sophomoronity

  1. Pax Romano says:

    Thank you for those memories…I was just a dewy eyed 21 year old when I first saw Animal House.

    Changed my world!

  2. Frank says:

    Man, that phrase, “double secret probation,” is one that I use almost daily. That movie must have come at a defining point in my life. Funny. And those YouTube clips…great.

    So true about the dances at weddings. I laughed about that. I WAS the THING for a while. Maybe even still.

  3. 48facets says:

    Pax, “dewy eyed”?
    Anyways, this is the movie that gave us Toga parties, double secret probation, Karen Allen and the guy that went on to play Mozart. It gave us a dead horse in a dean’s office and some of the best low comedy of all time! Of course it changed your world. Tell me you joined a frat.

    Frank, what else can I say…it makes me want to shout!!

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