National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Jenna Zine & Larry Crane (A Toast) –

The slovenly brothers of Delta Tau Chi are forced to take on their college administration when they learn that the University Dean and the preppy frat, Omega Theta Pi, are plotting to remove their chapter from campus… permanently!

A Toast

[Tonight we’re hosting a special guest, our dear friend Allison Carter, to Pillow Talk for a conversational Ménage a trois. Larry had never seen Animal House and it took Allison and I, both University of Oregon alums, where the movie was filmed, to set him straight.]

Larry Kroger (Thomas Hulce) and Kent Dorfman (Stephen Furst) are going through fraternity Rush (recruitment) at [the fictional] Faber College. Larry and Kent’s first stop is the highly coveted Omega Theta Pi, a fraternity for which they are both wholly unsuited.

Jenna: I lived in that dorm.

Allison: I slept on a couch that John Belushi slept on. At least that’s what my mom told me. Actually, I wonder how that came to pass…

Larry: Best not to question it. Oh, my god – it’s Kevin Bacon! Six degrees goes way back. He looks so young; it’s freaky. Is this all shot in Eugene?

Jenna: Yep!

Larry: I played a show in Eugene in my underwear.

Allison: Oh, put that in the column.

Jenna: Don’t think I won’t. I’ve partied at that frat.

Larry: And passed out there.

Jenna: You say potato, I say potatoe. Thanks, Dan Quayle!

An elite team, if by “elite” you mean “drunk.”

After an uncomfortable exit from OTP, the boys are ushered over to Delta Tau Chi. The first thing they encounter is a DTC member, Bluto (John Belushi, in his most iconic role), urinating in the bushes as a raucous party rumbles inside. Meanwhile, the University Dean, Vernon Wormer (John Vernon), is stewing about the filthy frat he believes is ruining his campus. He has a clandestine meeting with the OTP president, a smug Greg Marmalard (James Daughton), where the Dean declares Delta is on “double secret probation” and enlists Greg’s help to ensure the partiers’ demise.

Allison: I can’t believe you’ve never seen this!

Larry: I know! It’s crazy that I’ve waited this long. There’re so many titties in this film. I can’t believe I put this off!

Jenna: I know, honey. This is right up your alley. And now you know where Old School comes from. Actually, now you can familiarize yourself with the majority of pop culture references in comedy. We welcome you!

Larry: John Belushi barely says shit in this film, but he’s hilarious.

Jenna: It’s physical. He was a gifted comedian. When someone says, “He was born to play this role,” they’re referring to John Belushi. Perfection.

Allison: It’s true, he barely says anything; yet he’s the biggest star in the film. When you think of Animal House, you think “John Belushi.” But that’s a good point, Larry Crane.

Jenna: Yes, Larry’s earned a point. And by that, I mean a shot. That’s the only score we’re keeping tonight!

That’s one way to prepare for a test!

We’re introduced to Professor Dave Allen [Donald Sutherland], who’s fully embraced a “morally casual attitude” as he offers students marijuana at his home. We also see more from Otter [Tim Matheson], Delta’s Rush chair and unofficial leader, as he attempts to seduce the Dean’s wife.

Allison: “Morally casual attitude” – that’s worth writing down. Look at how stoned the Professor is. Holy shit, he’s so stoned!

Jenna: Donald Sutherland is amazing, but I don’t think that’s acting….

Allison: I’m 100% sure they actually smoked weed and then filmed this scene.

Jenna: I have no doubt. Those were the days!

Larry: I want to go to there.

Allison: I think they were actually drunk as well.

Larry: Wouldn’t you be drunk all the time, if you had to film for months in Eugene?

Jenna: You’d have to do something to make up for the lack of sunshine. By the way, before Ryan Reynolds, there was Tim Matheson. Recognize, bitches.

Looks to me like Donald Sutherland was a method actor…

The movie is an increasingly wild ride, including a horse that meets his unintentional demise in the Dean’s office, a famous food fight, a Toga party, several failed hookups, a sorority pillow fight and a homecoming parade that nearly destroys a small town – to name just a few events… [Including the oft-copied “Where are they now” text that runs over the ending of the film].

Larry: Chaos ensues!

Jenna: They used to throw a huge, campus-wide Toga party at U of O every September. Dang, Larry – you’ve missed so much!

Larry:  They really used to do that? That’s crazy!

Allison: And what about the orgies?

Jenna: I wasn’t going to tell him about that part!

Allison: This is a seminal film. It’s the blueprint for raunchy teenage flicks.

Jenna: This movie is a blueprint… for everything! So, what did you think?

Larry: It’s amazing!

Jenna: It’s one of the top 100 films of all time or, if it’s not, it should be. [Yay – it is, and deservedly so.] I literally don’t want it to end. Let’s watch it again!

I can’t wrap up this post [pun intended] without at least one Toga photo!


This hilarious and beloved movie should be required viewing. It’s a shining example of perfection in comedy.


Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Bluto does. Raise one (nay, several) for John Belushi!

Take a Drink: during the wild food fight that breaks out at the cafeteria.

Take a Shot: every time Otis Day & The Knights play.

Take a Drink: for every “foundational garment” (i.e. bra) that you spot. There will be plenty of opportunities!

Take a Shot: when Doug Neidermeyer [Mark Metcalf] feeds his horse carrots. You’ll know why when you see it – and then you’ll really want that booze!

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise recapper & live-tweeter (@JennaZine1), drummer, and occasional standup comic. She's probably somewhere complaining about her bangs. Find more at

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