Well, this got interesting.
Evan Shapiro, who made IFC known for offbeat comedies a decade ago, then tried to get NBCUniversal to see the light with Seeso, has joined the National Lampoon as its new president.
Shapiro will oversee all development, acquisitions, and production on television, digital and audio content for the entertainment company, National Lampoon’s Kevin Frakes and Raj B. Singh announced today. The company also has acquired Shapiro’s eshapTV production shingle.
Shapiro’s EP credits include “Portlandia,” “Take My Wife,” “Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train,” Dan Harmon’s “Harmonquest,” Laurie Kilmartin’s “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad,” Janeane Garofalo’s “If I May,” Jena Friedman’s “American C*nt,” the iconic documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” and Paul Reiser’s “There’s Johnny.” With eshapTV, he recently produced and released the Showtime stand-up special “Funny Women Of A Certain Age.”
“I’ve been fortunate to work with enormously talented and influential comedy minds,” said Shapiro. “But the chance to take up the mantle of The National Lampoon and use it as a megaphone for the next wave of young and diverse comedic talent, is the opportunity of a lifetime. Now, if they just show me where the bathroom is, I’ll be all set.”
“We’ve been precious with the label since we acquired it,” Singh added. “Evan rounds out the leadership we deemed necessary to make the greatest impact, considering how important talent incubation is to us. Pair that with the explosion of media formats, and you have the ingredients for telling stories for everyone: blurring convention and genre, with broad and niche appeal. What’s not to like?!”
“We’re all very excited to acquire Evan’s slate and bring him into our family. I’m personally most excited about the content we have been developing together for the last few months that we will be announcing shortly,” said Frakes.
As part of the acquisition deal, National Lampoon will continue to develop Shapiro’s large slate of new projects. Among 40-plus projects, Shapiro brings four series in partnership with Margaret Cho’s production company, Animal Family, including the previously announced series from Katie Malia “Almost Asian;” “Little LA,” a series focused on a real-life neighborhood in Mexico City inhabited by repatriated dreamers who don’t know much about Mexico, written by Alexandra Rivera (“Bob the Drag Queen: Suspiciously Large Woman”) and co-produced by Mexican production partners Veta Films/Ronin; “Let’s Go Atsuko!” a ‘woke Japanese Game Show’ created by comedian Atsuko Okatsuka;and “Cracking The Girl Code,” the real life story of Andy Gonzales and Sophie Hauser, two young women coders who met at Girls Who Code boot camp and created a viral hit video game called Tampon Run.
The new studio head is also developing a new comedy anthology series based on the more than 4,000 short stories from the original National Lampoon Magazine, by some of the most recognizable names in comedy such as John Hughes, PJ O’Rourke, Michael O’Donoghue, and Anne Beatts – in collaboration with Artists First and Peter Principato, who will also Executive Produce. Additionally, the studio plans to reboot the legendary musical comedy show “Lemmings,” which launched the careers of Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest and John Belushi, as a stage and television show.
In addition to television, film and digital content, National Lampoon announced an exclusive podcast partnership with alt-comedy podcast network Forever Dog, with whom National Lampoon will reboot the iconic “National Lampoon Radio Hour,” which launched the careers of many comedy legends including Bill Murray and Gilda Radner. The two companies are co-developing a number of Forever Dog podcasts as television series, and are together producing a scripted podcast for Audible.