National Lampoon Lemmings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
National Lampoon's Lemmings
Lemming poster.jpg
The poster for the 1973 show.
Music Arranged by Paul Jacobs and Christopher Guest
Productions 1973 Off Broadway

National Lampoon's Lemmings, a spinoff of the humor magazine National Lampoon, was a 1973 stage show which helped launch the performing careers of John Belushi, Christopher Guest, and Chevy Chase.[1][2] The show was co-written and co-directed by a number of people including Sean Kelly. The show opened at The Village Gate on January 25, 1973, and ran for 350 performances.

The first half of the show was sketch comedy; the second half was a mock rock festival, "Woodshuck: Three Days of Peace, Love and Death", a parody of "Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music". "Woodshuck" featured spoofs of Woodstock performers, including Joe Cocker and Joan Baez, as well as a parodies of Bob Dylan and James Taylor, plus songs performed by fictional groups (e.g. the "Motown Manifestoes" singing Papa was a Running Dog Lackey of the Bourgeoisie).

The songs from the show were subsequently issued as a record album. A video of one of the original performances, National Lampoon: Lemmings: Dead in Concert 1973, was eventually made available several decades later.

Cast[edit]

The cast included:[3]

Later cast replacements:

Writers[edit]

The writers included:[3]

Acts[edit]

  • Welcome to the Woodchuck Festival: Three Days of Peace, Love, and Death; plus band introductions throughout - John Belushi
  • Freud, Marx, Engels, and Jung, performing "Lemmings Lament". - A parody of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the songs Woodstock, Long Time Gone, and others. (Also referred to in performance as Freud, Pavlov, Adler, and Jung)
  • Bob Dylan, performing "Positively Wall Street", a parody of several of his styles, with the title taken from "Positively 4th Street" - Christopher Guest
  • Goldie Oldie, a parody of old, 1950s-style performers, performing "Pizza Man", a parody of the "teen tragedy" songs - Alice Playten
  • John Denver, performing "Colorado" - Chevy Chase
  • Joan Baez, performing "Pull the Triggers, Niggers", a parody of her protest songs and of Dylan's song "George Jackson", in particular. Listed on the album cover as "Pull the Tregroes, Negroes". - Mary Jennifer Mitchell (later replaced by Rhonda Coullet)
  • Joe Cocker, "Lonely at the Bottom" - Belushi as Cocker, Paul Jacobs as Leon Russell on piano.
  • James Taylor, "Highway Toes", a parody of his heroin abuse - Christopher Guest
  • Motown Manifestoes singing "Papa was a Running Dog Lackey of the Bourgeoisie" (parody of "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"), with most of its lines taken from The Communist Manifesto.
  • Donovan, "Nirvana Banana" - Peter Elbling (later addition to the show).
  • Joni Mitchell, "I Do for You" - Alice Playten (replaced by Rhonda Coullet).
  • Farmer Yassir (parody of Max Yasgur, owner of the land on which Woodstock was held), greeting the audience - Gary Goodrow
  • Megadeath, a parody of heavy metal groups, who end their act by turning the amps so loud that the audience dies.
  • "Jackie Christ, Superstar". Parody of "Jesus Christ, Superstar." Jesus is a stand up comedian, while John Belushi played King Herod.
  • "Deteriorata", A Tony Hendra parody of Les Crane's recording of "Desiderata".
  • "Defeat Day" - a parody of America's first military defeat in the Vietnam War. "Put all your troubles in a nickle bag and smile, smile, smile."
  • The Rolling Stones Parody, which Alice Playten playing "Mick Jagger".

Awards[edit]

Cast recording[edit]

National Lampoon's Lemmings
Live album by the cast of Lemmings
Released 1973
Genre Comedy, Parody, Rock, folk rock
Label Blue Thumb Records, MCA Records, Decca Broadway
Producer Tony Hendra
National Lampoon chronology
National Lampoon Radio Dinner
(1972)
National Lampoon's Lemmings
(1973)
Official National Lampoon Stereo Test and Demonstration Record
(1974)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars link

A cast recording of the show was released in 1973, with album cover art by Melinda Bordelon.

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. Stage Announcements
    Performed by John Belushi
  2. Lemmings Lament
    Lead vocal by Paul Jacobs (as David Crosby); instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Paul Jacobs and Sean Kelly.
  3. Stage Announcements
    Performed by John Belushi
  4. Positively Wall Street
    Lead vocal by Christopher Guest (as Bob Dylan); instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Paul Jacobs, Christopher Guest, and Sean Kelly.
  5. Weather Person
    Performed by Garry Goodrow
  6. Pizza Man
    Lead vocal by Alice Playten (as Goldie Oldie); instruments and back-up vocals by the cast; written by Christopher Guest, Sean Kelly, and Tony Hendra
  7. Stage Announcements
    Performed by John Belushi
  8. Colorado
    Lead vocal by Chevy Chase; instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Christopher Guest, Sean Kelly, and Tony Hendra
  9. Richie Havens
    Performed by Christopher Guest (as Richie Havens)
  10. Crowd Rain Chant
    Performed by John Belushi

Side Two[edit]

  1. Stage Announcements
    Performed by John Belushi
  2. Papa Was a Running Dog Lackey of the Bourgeoisie
    Lead vocal by Paul Jacobs; instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Paul Jacobs and Tony Hendra
  3. All-Star Dead Band
    Performed by John Belushi
  4. Stage Announcements
    Performed by John Belushi
  5. Highway Toes
    Lead vocal by Christopher Guest (as James Taylor); instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Christopher Guest and Sean Kelly
  6. Hell's Angel
    Performed by Chevy Chase
  7. Stage Announcements
    Performed by John Belushi
  8. Farmer Yassir
    Performed by Garry Goodrow
  9. Lonely at the Bottom
    Lead vocal by John Belushi (as Joe Cocker); instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Paul Jacobs and John Belushi
  10. Megagroupie
    Performed by Alice Playten
  11. Megadeath
    Lead vocal by John Belushi; instruments and backup vocals by the cast; written by Paul Jacobs and Sean Kelly

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Lampoon's Lemmings Comedy Troupe website (accessed June 26, 2009)
  2. ^ National Lampoon's Lemmings Take Internet TV by Storm, Reuters, May 20, 2008
  3. ^ a b National Lampoon Lemmings (1973) (accessed June 26, 2009)
  4. ^ 1972–1973 Obie Awards accessed 27 November 2009

External links[edit]