Sean Kelly (writer)

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Sean Kelly (born July 1940) is a Canadian author, writer, humorist, voice actor and teacher originally from Montreal. Kelly was an editor of the National Lampoon magazine from 1971 to 1977. He and Fred Graver served as co-Editors in Chief of National Lampoon under the pseudonym L. Dennis Plunkett. He currently teaches in the Humanities and Media Studies department of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

National Lampoon work[edit]

Kelly's most memorable National Lampoon work may be "Son-O'-God Comics"[1], created with Michel Choquette and illustrated by the well-known comics artist Neal Adams. In 1973, Kelly co-wrote and co-directed National Lampoon's mock-rock musical Lemmings, which was subsequently issued as a soundtrack music album. The songs were also made available in the National Lampoon Songbook in 1976. In 1989, Stephen Holden of The New York Times commented:

"Pop debunking perhaps reached its zenith in the early '70s with albums like Goodbye Pop ... and National Lampoon's Lemmings in which Christopher Guest, Sean Kelly, Tony Hendra and others gleefully desanctified hallowed touchstones of the rock counterculture."

At National Lampoon, Kelly often worked with other Lampoon writers, including Michel Choquette, Anne Beatts, Fred Graver and Tony Hendra.

There is a chapter (pages 136–147) about Sean Kelly in the 2010 book Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Writers and Artists Who Made the National Lampoon Insanely Great by Rick Meyerowitz. On page 320 of the book, Meyerowitz calls Kelly, "the sharpest tack in Brooklyn".

Other periodicals[edit]

In 1977 Kelly was the founding editor of Heavy Metal, an American science fiction and fantasy comics magazine. Kelly's work has also appeared in Interview, The Village Voice, The Old Farmer's Almanac, Playboy and Spy.

Television work[edit]

Kelly has done a considerable amount of writing for children's television. He wrote for The Magic School Bus, the live action/computer animated series Ace Lightning, CBS Young People's Concerts, the FOX series Goosebumps and the PBS series Shining Time Station. In 2004 he received an Emmy Award for the PBS early literacy series, Between the Lions.[citation needed]


Kelly has authored and coauthored numerous books. Most (but not all) of the books are humorous, and many of them were coauthored with other writers who had been associated with National Lampoon. Of the 1993 book Boom Baby Moon, Gahan Wilson wrote in the New York Times Book Review on December 5, 1993: "Boom Baby Moon is unlikely – despite the lulling rhythm of Sean Kelly's poetizing and the innocent-looking illustrations of Ron Hauge – to con the densest of grown-ups into thinking it's a simple children's book. I suspect it will be banned shortly after it appears in our nation's bookstores, that it will never have a chance of making the libraries, and that its creators will be speedily investigated by a Senate committee."

List of books[edit]

  • Slightly Higher in Canada, Sean Kelly and Ted Mann, 1978
  • The Secret: A Treasure Hunt, Sean Kelly and Ted Mann, 1982
  • Irish Folk and Fairy Tales, Edited by Sean Kelly, 1982
  • Not the Bible, Sean Kelly and Tony Hendra, 1983
  • A Book Called Bob, Sean Kelly, 1984
  • Grosseries, Sean Kelly and Trish Todd, 1987
  • Nicknames/Unusual Monikers, Secret Identities, Remarkable Aliases, Hilarious Histories, Sean Kelly and Ron Hauge, 1987
  • Spitting Images, Sean Kelly, 1987
  • 101 Ways to Answer the Request: "Would You Please Put Out That #(!&)", Sean Kelly, Warren Leight, and Charles Rubin
  • The Book of Sequels, Henry Beard, Christopher Cerf, Sarah Durkee, & Sean Kelly, 1990
  • Boom Baby Moon, Sean Kelly and Ron Hauge, 1993
  • Saints Preserve Us!: Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You'll Ever Need, Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, 1993
  • Herstory: Lisa Marie's Wedding Diary: Shamelessly Concocted, Sean Kelly, Chris Kelly, and Ron Barrett, 1996
  • Who in Hell...: A Guide to the Whole Damned Bunch, Sean Kelly, Rosemary Rogers, and I. Clement, 1996
  • How to Be Irish (Even If You Already Are), Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, 1999
  • The Birthday Book of Saints: Your Powerful Personal Patrons of Every Blessed Day of the Year, Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, 2001
  • The Saint-a-Day Guide: A Lighthearted but Accurate Compendium, Sean Kelly, 2003
  • Bush Photo Oops: Presidential Photo Ops Gone Awry, Sean Kelly and Chris Kelly, 2004


  • Mark's Very Large National Lampoon site, info on Kelly. [2]
  • Son-o'-God comics at Dial B for Blog [3]
  • 2010 92nd Street Y event description [4]
  • Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Artists and Writers who made National Lampoon Insanely Great, 2010, Rick Meyerowitz, Abrams Books, New York, ISBN 978-0-8109-8848-4