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Fat, Drunk, and Stupid: The Inside Story Behind the Making of Animal House

2.89 of 5 stars 2.89  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In 1976 the creators of National Lampoon, America’s most popular humor magazine, decided to make a movie. It would be set on a college campus in the 1960s, loosely based on the experiences of Lampoon writers Chris Miller and Harold Ramis and Lampoon editor Doug Kenney. They named it Animal House, in honor of Miller’s fraternity at Dartmouth, where the members had been nick ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Richard Kearney
I was 13 years old when National Lampoon's Animal House was released. Probably a little younger than the intended audience, but as the film turned out to have remarkable influence and staying power in the culture I may in fact have been right on time because I ended up "growing into it." Having seen the movie several times I have been struck by the quality of the screenwriting, directing, and editing - it remains consistently funny throughout its 109 minutes. The dialogue is chock full of deep " ...more
I can't overstate how much I love the movie Animal House. This book had a lot of background that I found interesting. It was a nice light read between gatherings over the holidays.
Stewart Summers
I love this movie so I could not pass up reading a behind the scenes book written by the films producer.

Great anecdotes from the inception of the idea all the way up to post production. The author also includes a "where are they now" look at the cast and crew.

If you loved the film, you'll enjoy this book!

I was thrilled to work with Tim "Otter" Matheson on a television show he was directing a few years ago. He is a fine director and sensitive to the needs of all on set.
Jennifer Didik
A very quick, very light read. Doesn't scratch too deeply below the surface, though. The book assumes more from the reader than I was anticipating. It's been quite a while since I've seen the movie, so I was fuzzy on the characters and specific scenes discussed. At multiple points, I found myself wishing to know more about a story or anecdote (i.e., when talking about Randy Quaid and his involvement in the Vacation films, "There were also many problems with Quaid's wife on the set, but that stor ...more
Susan Olesen
It was made for $2.8 million, filmed in 32 days, and cleared $140 million. It remains consistently ranked among the best comedies of all time, and one of my top 20 movies. This book will not give you any insight into why. A very shallow overview of the film by the producer, the most revealing idea in it is that Belushi was allegedly clean and sober throughout the shoot. If you're into making movies and want to read about the process, or if you just want to read anything about the movie, than rea ...more
Cinematic Cteve
An insider look at a comedy classic, Fat, Drunk and Stupid is no less irreverent than the film it recounts. Most of the vignettes in Animal House were drawn from the fraternity experiences of National Lampoon writers, including the late Harold Ramis and Douglas Kenney, who died at 33 barely two years after the film's release. A Harvard graduate, Kenney also played the apparently brain-damaged "Stork," who gets off one line in the film during Bluto's rousing speech ("...was it over when the Germa ...more
Paul Pessolano
“Fat, Drunk, and Stupid, The Inside Story Behind The Making Of Animal House”, by Matty Simmons, published by St. Martin’s Press.

Category – Motion Picture

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “Toga, Toga, Toga”, “I’m a Zit”, “Food Fight”, and “Seven Years Of College Down The Drain”? Maybe the movie, “Animal House”?

This book gives an insight in how the movie came together, how the actors were chosen, cost, profit, and popularity. The idea came from writers working on the magazine, National L
Kevin Tankersley
Not a great book, but a quick, easy read about one of my favorite movies. There were some typos in the book, and, in talking about Belushi's other movies, the author said that the Blues Brothers featured lots of famous jazz musicians. Nope, it featured lots of famous blues musicians, hence the name of the film.

Anywho....I did enjoy this.
Amy G. Pace
This book was a lot less interesting than I thought it would be. It did revive my unabashed befuddlement at John Belushi's acting career, so now I'm re-reading Wired in an attempt to figure out how on earth anyone ever thought he was anything but a fat, sloppy drug addict with extreme self-esteem problems.
Quick, fun, inconsequential.
I have fond memories of this film, just like most folks. When I saw this book on the "new" rack at the library, I grabbed it in hopes of getting a nice juicy glimpse into what I assumed had to be a crazy and fun production. Instead I got a sprinkling of tame tidbits but mostly a lot of post-debut success stories, the history of National Lampoon, and tons of name dropping. While I did learn some things that will probably add some appreciation next time I watch the film, it really did feel a bit l ...more
This book was displayed on top of the "new arrivals" shelves at the library in Eugene. Animal House was filmed in Eugene so I was hoping for some behind the scenes stories with a bit of local color.

This is not that sort of book. It is a celebrity name dropper book, a series of shallow anecdotes that could be about anyone involved in entertainment. Though I did not finish the book, I did use the index to read all the parts about Eugene and Cottage Grove. I learned nothing interesting.

A good titl
A book about the making of Animal House. I read a review of this in a library journal, which was not a great review, but i thought I might like it. I kind of did, although I didn't like the writing style too much. Having just read the Doug Kenney book, however, this book did provide another perspective to the whole National Lampoon arena. This author, Simmons, was not too well written of in that book is it was interesting to get the stir from his perspective. Still, I wish he had let someone hel ...more
Lee Anne
A rather dull, earnest account of the making of the classic comedy from Matty Simmons, one of the founders of National Lampoon magazine and the producer of the movie. Although it was pleasurable to read some about the genesis, filming, and wild success of AH, I didn't learn much that I didn't already know from when I watched a TV documentary about it (although I always forget that Peter Riegert dated Bette Midler; surprises me every time). Meh.

Regrettably, this book is not so much about "Animal House" as it is about Matty Simmons' time with "National Lampoon", before and after the movie. There is really only one chapter that talks about the 30 odd days of shooting. That is somewhere around the middle and the rest of the book is about what has happened to the people involved. I can't recommend it.
As soon as I saw the title I knew I'd have to read it. "Animal House" is still a must-rewatch film in my house. The book was fun and a quick read. Most of the anecdotes and reminiscences I'd already heard during a reunion special, but I enjoyed reading them again.
Brian Carr
Decent description of pre- and post- movie. The making of the movie itself seems to go by quickly, but you have to figure that the shooting was done in roughly 30 days and the book is a quick read at just over 200 pages.
A few interesting tid bits here, but mostly found it dull. From the preview, I expected more stories of hijinks, but instead was a tedious list of names of writers, producers, etc.
This book was more about National Lampoon than it was about Animal house. Of course, Belushi had his own chapter since he became the break out star of the movie.
Carol White
Great until the making of the movie was over, then it was less interesting to me. Lots of fun tidbits about the actors before they were famous!!!
Enjoyable. Behind the scenes & informative on all the personalities involved from the earliest beginnings to their future endeavors.
Was hoping for more anecdotes involving the making of the movie. If you're a fan of Animal House then it is a good read.
Tim Dees
Really funny, especially if you're a fan of the movie "Animal House."
To quote Emil Faber, "Knowledge is good"
Nice capture of a moment in time.
Dylan Reynolds
Dylan Reynolds marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2015
Nick marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
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