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National Lampoon and comedy podcaster Forever Dog announce key talent for National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast

PRESS RELEASE — August 30, 2019

Los Angeles CA, USA—In a podcast revival of the sketch comedy classic National Lampoon Radio Hour – which launched the careers of comedy icons Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Gilda Radner – National Lampoon and leading comedy podcaster Forever Dog have named the first two members of the show’s new ensemble cast and writing team.

National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast will feature actor and comedian Cole Escola (At Home with Amy Sedaris, Search Party), who also serves as the weekly sketch show’s head writer, and comedian Jo Firestone(The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Shrill, Joe Pera Talks with You) who is senior writer. Escola and Firestone will work alongside an ensemble of fellow comedic talent, to be announced shortly.

National Lampoon President Evan Shapiro, and Forever Dog co-founders and Radio Hour producers Joe Cilio, Alex Ramsey and Brett Boham made today’s announcement. In addition to the Radio Hour revival, the two companies’ partnership encompasses the development of Forever Dog podcasts for television and streaming platforms.

In 1973, National Lampoon assembled the best comedic performers in the country to launch the National Lampoon Radio Hour, a weekly, nationally syndicated sketch comedy radio show that featured John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray, Anne Beatts and Richard Belzer.

Today, in partnership with Forever Dog, National Lampoon is going back to its roots, re-launching Radio Hour as a half-hour podcast. The new show will further National Lampoon’s tradition of subversion through comedy, while also updating the format and overall approach to sketch – led by a young, diverse cast of comedians.

“The National Lampoon brand was built on the grass roots discovery of fresh and innovative comedic voices,” said Shapiro. “Our commitment to this legacy is bolstered by our partnership with Forever Dog – which works with the smartest, most irreverent and offbeat comedians on the planet. Cole is at the vanguard of sketch, personifying the twisted, witty and subversive voice that National Lampoon has always aspired to. I can’t think of anyone more suited to helm the new iteration of Radio Hour. Meanwhile, Jo’s comedy is a perfect parody and expression of millennial rage and neurosis that simply makes her a must-have for any current ‘zeitgeisty’ sketch show.”

Said Cilio, Ramsey and Boham, “Our approach to comedy has always involved two essential creative steps – team with painfully funny and original people, and offer them the best possible platform to share their singular comedic voices with the world. As two exceptionally hilarious comedians who are blazing their own unique and impressive trails, we couldn’t be happier to welcome Cole and Jo aboard, and look forward to building the newRadio Hour with them, Evan and the National Lampoon team.”

Added Escola, “I’m excited. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I can guarantee that I’m going to be involved.”

Known for his comedic work across TV, digital, audio and stage performances, Escola’s previous credits include Hulu’s Difficult People, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, Netflix’s Girlboss, Logo’s Jeffrey & Cole Casserole and Tru’s At Home with Amy Sedaris.

A longtime writer and recurring performer on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Firestone is also known for her recent appearances on Hulu’s Shrill and TBS’s Search Party, as well as on HBO’s High Maintenance and Joe Pera Talks with You for Adult Swim.

About National Lampoon

National Lampoon is a comedy studio for all platforms - audio, live, digital, TV, and film. Led by President Evan Shapiro and Co-CEOs Raj Singh and Kevin Frakes, the studio is leveraging its legacy to create the next generation of comedy and talent.

About Forever Dog

Forever Dog is a media company and leading producer of original, offbeat and boundary-pushing comedy podcasts, including 30+ weekly shows that garner millions of downloads a month. Founded in 2016 by creatives and entrepreneurs Brett Boham, Joe Cilio and Alex Ramsey, Forever Dog’s popular and critically acclaimed podcasts feature a diverse roster of respected comedians, including James Adomian, Alaska, Abby Elliott, Sabrina Jalees, Bowen Yang, Patti Harrison, Kevin McDonald, Catherine Cohen, Brett Davis, Jamie Lee, Mitra Jouhari, Rhea Butcher and the creators of TBS’s Search Party, among many others. Forever Dog shows span myriad genres and topics, and include Las Culturistas, Race Chaser, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Seek Treatment, A Woman’s Smile, Teen Creeps, Food 4 THOT, The Goodie Goodie, The Unofficial Expert, Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood, Dark Tank, The Underculture, Beyond and more.

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