National Lampoon Television Show: Lemmings Dead in Concert (Video 1973) - National Lampoon Television Show: Lemmings Dead in Concert (Video 1973) - User Reviews - IMDb
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Woodstock with a Death Wish
BlackArt6 February 2002
Back when National Lampoon made records (remember those?) and had a magazine, they did a parody of Woodstock called "Lemmings". In it are some of the names that went on to become famous in Saturday Night Live and films.

This video is a recording of the stage production of the album.

Lemmings (The festival of "sex, love and death") is aout a bunch of young folk getting together to listen to music and off themselves. It is very politically incorrect humor these days. (And probably was in the 70s as well.) Everyone gets skewered. The fans, the musicians, politics, as well as the culture of the 60s.

Highlights include a Motown version of the communist manifesto, The band "Megadeath" (probably where the other band got the idea), parodies of many of the artists who played at Woodstock (including one by John Belushi), and some great quotable bits.

"Long hair... Short hair... Whats the difference once the heads blown off!"

"Power to the correct people!"

"For the benifit of those who have just paid, the Woodshuck Festival of Peace, Love and Death is now a free concert. That does not mean you can do what you want. it means you have to do as your told."

If you can find the movie or the record, get into it. Its killer stuff!
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National Lampoon's Lemmings
steveweiner29 January 2007
I finally got to see a tape of this show the other day. I've been searching for it for sometime now but it's out of print for many years. I finally stumbled across a copy on eBay. I've had the CD of the show for a while and the first time I heard it, it just blew me a way. I used to play it constantly. The Lemmings, for anyone who doesn't know, was a comedy revue created and performed by members of The National Lampoon in 1971 at the Village Gate Theatre, as a parody of the Woodstock Music Festival, here called The Woodchuck Festival of "Peace, Love and Death". The show featured the then unknown talents of such performers as John Belushi, Christopher Guest and Chevy Chase. Additional writers on the show were Tony Hendra (best known for his role as Ian Faith, the manager in This Is Spinal Tap, who also co-directed the show), Doug Kenney (one of the founders of National Lampoon, co-writer of Animal House and best known for his role as Stork in Animal House) and P.J. O'Rourke. The concert portions of the show are incredible. During the show they parody some of the biggest musical acts of the time. What blew me away were not only the dead-on impersonations of these acts but the quality of the songs and the talent of the performers. I think they all really played the instruments. Belushi, Chase and Guest all took turns playing guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. Some of the tunes they performed were: Belushi as Joe Cocker doing a tune called Lonely At the Bottom, an incredibly rocking tune that could have easily been a radio hit and was supposedly the first time Belushi did his Joe Cocker impression. ("I was making musical history, now I'm working for Muscular Dystrophy"). Christopher Guest doing two great dead-on impersonations on songs that he co-wrote, one of Bob Dylan on Positively Wall Street where he perfects both the whiney, nasal Dylan (as in Stuck Inside Memphis) as well as the country-fied Dylan (as in Lay Lady Lay) in the same song, and James Taylor on Highway Toes where he taps into JT's depression, heroin use stage singing such lines as "…shooting up the highway on the road map of my wrist" or "…going to Carolina where I left my frontal lobes" Chevy Chase doing a terrific John Denver parody on Colorado A Crosby, Stills and Nash take off called Lemmings Lament that sounds exactly like CS&R during their Woodstock period. And one of my favorite tunes, Papa Was a Running Dog Lackey, an extremely funky Motown-style tune sung by the "Motown Manifestos". Another tune which could have easily been a radio hit. The closing song, which was supposed to help the surviving members of the audience kill themselves (as Alice Playton, the Mega groupie says during their introduction, "Did you know that pure rock sound can kill? Isn't that far out? So the thing to do is go over to the amp and put your head there.") was sung by the heavy/death metal group, Megadeath. I wonder if I the real group Megadeath took their name from this revue. And on a personal note, when I was about 14, a few years before Megadeath even started, I wrote a sketch about a death metal band trying to come up with a name. After exhausting such names as Bring Out Your Death; Whole Lotta Death; Death, Death, Death, they finally came up with Megadeath.)

There are also some great bits in between. One of which is Chevy mimicking the Hell's Angels guy who flops out during the Stones concert at Altamont. It is one of the funniest things I have ever heard Chevy do. (Regrettably it's not included on the video.)

Unfortunately the video of this show is of really poor quality. But what's worse is it's obviously not the same show as the one they recorded the album from. The music on the CD was tighter and more refined. The audience of the show on the video doesn't really seem all that receptive and a lot of the bits seemed to go over their heads. There was a lot more audience laughter on the CD then the video. I would love to see this show remastered on DVD which included the entire show. It would be, if I may say, to die for.

(8 out of 10 only for the poor video quality)
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Funny, Harsh Parody of Hippie Culture
richlandwoman11 October 2010
Parts of this video made me laugh as hard as I ever have. It's an extremely funny but also very harsh, dark parody of Woodstock, hippies, drug use, protests, and the pop culture of the time (late 60s-early 70s).

There are wonderful impersonations of a cynical Dylan, a bitter yet boring Joni Mitchell, the sanctimonious "bummer" Joan Baez, and many others. And virtually every member of the cast has some great moments, with John Belushi particularly excellent as the MC. Not everything works, but the things that do are incredible.

Plus, it is currently available for viewing on a major, legal streaming video site.
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Seminal Guest & Co. mockumentary of Woodstock, burnt out musicians, and the drug sub-culture.
loxias-118 August 2008
Yes the print is terrible, the audio worse. Yes it's obviously not the studio session the album came from. It's amateurish, silly at first glance, and almost obnoxious. That's the first 10 seconds. It's dark. Daaark. Vampiric, hyper-stoned lashing out at all of the hippie culture and icons. Now I know why those guys are so famous. It's the most straight-faced, vicious satire, delivered in dead-pan wasted modality. From the 'surgeons on acid' on, my jaw was on the floor... The music, sloppy and cruelly sycophantic, is awesome, for want of a better term. Belushi's "Bottom Of The Barrel?" Wow.

"Just dig yourself." "Where you're comin' from, man, no one wants to be!"
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This version of National Lampoon's Lemmings was interesting, if not always consistently funny, to me
tavm19 July 2013
Just watched the TV version of the National Lampoon stage show, Lemmings, on YouTube. Disappointed to not see Chevy Chase perform his "Colorado" number. I'll also admit up front that many of the non-musical skits like a doctor sketch and another one featuring Chase and John Belushi ragging each other about certain drugs weren't that funny. But when John did his Joe Cocker impression, including his falling down bit before getting back up, that got me in stitches. There was also a pretty blond lady, I think her name is Rhonda Coullet, doing a funny Joni Mitchell-like number and a brunet one doing Joan Baez. Oh, and Christopher Guest was amusing both as Bob Dylan and James Taylor. And Chevy sure could bang those drums, couldn't he? Overall, this video production of Lemmings is worth a look for seeing how three future "SNL" stars were like before their stardom.
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