National Lampoon is ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary by bringing back the “National Lampoon Radio Hour” as a podcast, with the iconic comedy magazine also teaming up with Spotify to stream exclusive show content, TheWrap has learned.
The new show, aptly dubbed “National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast,” will premiere its first two episodes on Thursday, Dec. 19, including a special Christmas-themed show featuring ex-“Saturday Night Live” star Rachel Dratch.
Amy Sedaris, Chris Gethard, Julie Klausner and Jordan Klepper will also guest star, while a smorgasbord of new comedians will be featured on the podcast, including: Cole Escola, Jo Firestone, Brett Davis, Alex English, Maeve Higgins, Aaron Jackson, Rachel Pegram, Lorlei Ramirez, Meg Stalter and Martin Ubrano.
Starting on Dec. 26 with the podcast’s third episode, Spotify users will have exclusive early access to new and uncensored episodes — three weeks before the half-hour show is available on other podcast platforms. Spotify listeners will also have exclusive access to original content from the original “National Lampoon Radio Hour,” which ran from 1973 to 1974 and introduced the world to comedy legends like John Belushi, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner.
“The original ‘National Lampoon Radio Hour’ was on the radio. Spotify is radio to this generation. What better place than Spotify to debut ‘National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast’?” said National Lampoon President Evan Shapiro.
You can check out a preview of “National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast” below:
“National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Podcast” is executive produced by Joe Cilio, Alex Ramsey, and National Lampoon’s Kevin Frakes, Raj Singh and Evan Shapiro. Cole Escola serves as head writer and executive producer. Jo Firestone is senior writer and producer.
“National Lampoon is one of the most iconic and hilarious comedy brands of all time,” Lauren Jarvis, Spotify’s head of content partnerships in North America, added. “Spotify is thrilled to be partnering to bring its revered Radio Hour to new audiences around the world.”
Cameras will be rolling on the podcast, too, capturing the comedians while recording. Each episode will be available on National Lampoon’s website and its YouTube channel, with Brandon Tamburri and Tracy Soren directing the video.
Linking up with National Lampoon comes as Spotify has continued to double down on podcasts in 2019.
The company , during its Q3 earnings report, said 14% of monthly active users now listen to podcasts, or about 35 million people. While that number may seem modest compared to podcast competitors, when you look at it in terms of growth — the key metric investors watch for at tech companies — it becomes much more impressive. Spotify, in its letter to shareholders, said it had seen “exponential growth” in the amount of time users interacted with podcasts, with a 39% quarter-over-quarter spike in hours spent listening to podcasts.
Matt Dysart, Head of Studio Content Licensing at Spotify, structured and negotiated the deal with National Lampoon President Evan Shapiro.