The Corner

How Animal House Happened

Peter, the following tale comes from a book by Matty Simmons, one of the producers of National Lampoon’s Animal House: “When we walked into his office, [Universal Studios president Ned] Tenen got right to it. ‘I hate this!’ he said. ‘The story is all over the place. There are too many characters, too many things happening, and I don’t like anybody in it.’ Tanen leaned over and looked me in the eye. ‘Can you make this for two and a half million?’ he asked.

“At that point I didn’t have the slightest idea whether the picture could be made for a million, ten million , or two and a half million. My background was in publishing and theater. ‘Absolutely!’ I told Tanen. ‘I guarantee it!’”


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