Tony Hendra: Key Observations of a Veteran Satirist (Video)

By James F. Tracy

In this edited video legendary humorist and author Tony Hendra discusses his role in the history of postwar comedy. Hendra is best-known for playing Ian Faith, manager of the mock heavy metal band Spinal Tap. He was also a pioneer in early British political satire, working with Monty Python founding members Graham Chapman and John Cleese, and was the first managing editor of the National Lampoon, America’s pioneer multimedia comedy powerhouse, where he worked alongside Lampoon founders Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman. While at Lampoon Hendra produced the Woodstock mockery Lemmings, discovering comedy giants John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Christopher Guest.

Hendra also edited Spy magazine, and is the author of several books carlin-last-wordsand satirical works, including Going Too Far: The Rise and Demise of Sick, Gross, Black Sophomoric, Weirdo, Pinko Anarchist Underground Anti-Establishment Humor (1986), Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul (2004), and The Messiah of Morris Avenue: A Novel (2007). Hendra was also a primary force behind his longtime friend George Carlin’s posthumous memoir, Last Words (2009).

Hendra’s most recent project is the National Lampoon’s first studio album in 35 years, Are There Any Triggers Here Tonight, released earlier this month. He is founder and present editor-in-chief of The Final Edition comedy ensemble.

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