Matty Simmons, Producer of ‘Animal House’ and ‘Vacation’ Who Co-Founded National Lampoon, Dies at 93

He was also a founder of the first credit card company, Diners Club

matty simmons
Matty Simmons on set of "Animal House" in 1978. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Matty Simmons, a producer on “Animal House” and “Vacation” and a co-founder of National Lampoon and Diners Club, the first credit card company, has died. He was 93.

His daughter, Kate Simmons, shared the news in an Instagram post Thursday.

“Yesterday I lost my hero. My dad had gone from the sharpest, healthiest 93 year old most people have encountered to abruptly having every imaginable issue except corona. What he did in a lifetime was legendary. A founder of the National Lampoon and the Diners Club Card. Producer of Animal House and the Vacation series. He wrote like nine books and could finish a novel faster than I’ll probably finish this pos,” she wrote.

“When we lost my mom a couple years ago it felt like a part of us both died. He told me early on, we’re a team now and we have to stick together. We did just that and became inseparably close. He became my best friend in the world. I truly don’t know how I’m going to be without him. He always told me “you’re Kate Bradley Simmons and you can do anything” so I’ll follow his words and try my best. It’s really wild. My mom left this world during a horrific stage four hurricane and now my dad during a world pandemic. What a profound testament to what powerful people they were. Alas, they can finally be together again.”

The National Lampoon Twitter account also tweeted a message remembering Simmons.

“The comic geniuses everyone knows deserve much credit for our legacy. BUT, there’d be no #Vacation, #AnimalHouse nor #NationalLampoon w/o crazy, wonderful, visionary Matty Simmons,” the post reads. “Passing, 50yrs exactly from our birth, feels is his last great punchline.”

Simmons was also the author of nine books including his 2012 memoir, “Fat, Drunk, and Stupid: The Making of Animal House.”

His achievements also including founding 21st Century Communications, which gained success by publishing the Weight Watchers Magazine. In 1970, it also began publishing the National Lampoon comedy magazine, and in 1972, Simmons and the Lampoon began producing their first stage show “Lemmings” which went on to be followed by “The National Lampoon Show,” “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick,” and “The Class of ’86.”