“No publication was more consequential to changing culture in the world as much as National Lampoon,” said director David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer, They Came Together) of the subject of his latest film, A Futile and Stupid Gesture. “Until the advent of Deadline.”
And with that flattering and obviously 100% accurate statement, he and his cast—Domhnall Gleeson, Joel McHale, Emmy Rossum and Tom Lennon—stopped by Deadline’s Sundance Studio earlier this week for amongst the most riotous of our festival interviews. A Futile and Stupid Gesture follows the late National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney as he sets out to revolutionize American comedy alongside a talented staff who would continue to even greater success as the magazine became a hit.
“To make a very popular comparison,” McHale said Kenney was, “kind of like Hamilton in that nobody knew what he had done but he really changed comedy.” Cue Emmy Rossum sharing a few bars from that ludicrously popular musical; perhaps an impromptu audition for a role in the inevitable big-screen transfer?
An uncharacteristically quiet Domhnall Gleeson was then told to “keep it down” by McHale, before Rossum corrected him on the pronunciation of Gleeson’s first name. “I’m so happy this bit’s on camera,” Gleeson deadpanned. Wain teased him for disappearing mid-shoot for his Star Wars commitments. Yet, “they managed to get Star Wars out before this,” Gleeson zinged back. “You think about the amount of special effects needed in Star Wars and then you think about the two f–king years it took them to get this thing out.”
For more hijinks from the A Futile and Stupid Gesture team, check out the video above.
The Deadline Studio is presented by Hyundai. Special thanks to Calii Love.