Introducing Netflix Original Movie: A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Cheryl Greenway What's on Netflix Avatar

A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a new Netflix Original Movie about the creators of the National Lampoon. Filled with stars, it resurrects comedy legends and tells the story behind one of the most provocative eras in comedy history. We have all the info you need below.

The Man

Based on Josh Karp’s 2006 book of the same name, A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a biopic about Doug Kenney. You may not recognize his name or even his face, but he is the man behind some of the best movies and biggest stars you love.

LEFT National Lampoon Co-Founder Doug Kenney

Kenney founded the Harvard Lampoon and then the National Lampoon before co-writing two of the most successful comedy films of all-time: Animal House and Caddyshack. He cultivated writers like John Hughes and helped launch the careers of Saturday Night Live performers such as John Belushi, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray.

The Director

David Wain is no stranger to comedy (Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models, Wanderlust) but he has never made a film like this before. He’s telling the story of a man who had an integral part in the formation of a comedy revolution and telling it with actors playing comedy legends.

It was truly a totally different thing for me…I had never done anything that had any relationship to anything in real life, much less a biopic. So it was a whole other set of responsibilities. Everything had to, in some way, honor the real-life spirit of the story we were trying to tell, while at the same time trying to make an entertaining movie. -David Wain

The Cast

The film is narrated by Martin Mull as an older version of Kenney looking back on his life from a contemporary point of view.

The film includes a lot of stars trying to fill some pretty big comedy shoes. And there are a lot of big names being portrayed:

  • Joel McHale as Chevy Chase
  • John Gemberling as John Belushi
  • Rick Glassman as Harold Ramis
  • Jon Daly as Bill Murray
  • Seth Green as Christopher Guest
  • Paul Scheer as Paul Shaffer
  • Lonny Ross as Ivan Reitman
  • Jackie Tohn as Gilda Radner
  • Jack Andrew Cook as Dan Aykroyd
  • Guile Branco as Rick Meyerowitz
  • Jake Jacobson as Ted Knight
  • Erv Dahl as Rodney Dangerfield
  • James Bearb as Doug Niedermeyer
  • Krister Johnson as Michael Gross
  • T.C. Daniels as Brian Doyle-Murray

The film is filled with comedy gold, both the people being portrayed and the people playing them.

The Trailer

Movie Clip

Release Date

A Futile and Stupid Gesture will be available on Netflix on January 26, 2018.

We’re definitely excited about this release. Are you? Let us know in the comments!

Article updated January 25th, 2018

Written by

Cheryl has written for What’s on Netflix for over three years. She’s a confessed streaming addict and also runs a Netflix based community on Facebook with over 10,000 users. Cheryl specializes in documentaries and covers weekly additions for the US in addition to breaking news stories. She is the Weekend Editor for What’s On Netflix. Cheryl resides in Virginia, USA.