The podcast revival of the National Lampoon Radio Hour now has the first members of the team who’ll follow in the footsteps of such comedy icons as Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Gilda Radner. National Lampoon has announced actor and comedian Cole Escola has joined the podcast’s cast and he’ll serve as the weekly sketch show’s head writer. Escola has appeared in such TV show as Hulu’s “Difficult People”, Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” and Netflix’s “Girlboss.” Also joining the cast is comedian Jo Firestone, who will be a senior writer for the show. She’s a writer and recurring performer on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” National Lampoon says Escola and Firestone will work alongside an ensemble of comedic talent to be announced shortly.
“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,” said National Lampoon President Evan Shapiro. “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.”
National Lampoon has teamed up with the comedy podcast studio Forever Dog to revive the Radio Hour show. In addition to the podcast, the two companies’ partnership encompasses the development of other Forever Dog podcasts for television and streaming platforms.
“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.”
Forever Dog co-founders Joe Cilio, Alex Ramsey and Brett Boham will serve as producers for the Radio Hour. “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,” the trio said a joint statement.
No launch date has been set yet for the Radio Hour podcast which will in reality be a :30-minute show. It’s a revival of the program that National Lampoon launched on broadcast radio in Nov. 1973 as a weekly, nationally syndicated sketch comedy radio show.
The program aired on 600 stations but failed to attract the support of advertisers who were worried about its content. It lasted just 13 months. But many of comedians were soon on television as part of the original “Saturday Night Live” cast.