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Kevin Bacon, Dan Aykroyd, Director John Landis, Producer Ivan Reitman,
Jim Belushi and Additional Cast and Crew Reflect Candidly on the Iconic Film


New York, NY—Forty years ago the movie no one thought could be made changed the face of cinematic comedy. Packed with candid insights from interviews with original cast and crew members, plus a special look at the legacy of the late, beloved John Belushi—and an in-depth “Where Are They Now?” section—Cigar Aficionado’s February issue, on stands January 9, revisits Animal House and its stars, story and cultural legacy.

Select quotes from the cover story include:

KEVIN BACON, who was a 19-year-old cinematic first-timer at the time of filming: “To be flown across the country and taken to be part of this beautiful chaos that is film production—it was overwhelming…I felt like I was looking into the future. I felt like, ‘This is where I’ll spend my life.’”

DAN AYKROYD, who passed up the film after being pressured by Lorne Michaels to stay at SNL, on what the movie is to him: “The seed that provided a living for a lot of actors, myself included.”

JIM BELUSHI on how his older brother was like a shooting star: “[He was] something that makes you go ‘Wow!’—and then it disappears.”

KAREN ALLEN, who played Katy in her first-ever movie role, on John Belushi: “There would be a sentence in the script—‘Bluto runs across the lawn,’ and it would wind up as a five-minute bit in the film.”

TIM MATHESON, who starred as the smooth-talking Otter, on John Belushi: “Belushi was so amazing to be around…He’d done so much comedy. He was this constant anchor in the scenes, saying, ‘Good work.’ He couldn’t have been more supportive.”

IVAN REITMAN, one of the film’s producers, on the movie’s cultural impact: “It created a new language of comedy for the Baby Boom generation…It’s amazing how it’s held on to become an important part of the culture.”

JOHN LANDIS, the film’s director, on what he suggested to the scriptwriters: “My biggest contribution was telling them, ‘You have to like somebody in this movie’ because, initially, everyone was mean to everyone else…I introduced the basic concept of good guys and bad guys. Delta had to be a home, a brother­hood. We put all of the positive things into the loser fraternity. The elitism, racism, classism, anti-Semitism—we put that into the other house, the Omegas.”
BRUCE MCGILL, who played the mustached and motorcycle-riding D-Day, on why the movie works: “It’s a classic form…I don’t want to be the snobby old classicist but, really, Animal House closely follows Aristotle’s Poetics, in terms of the consistency of character, time and place…This film was a pure period piece, about a protagonist and an antagonist, with a happy resolution.”

MATTY SIMMONS, founder of National Lampoon and one of the film’s producers, on why it’s a classic: “Because it was superbly done…and because it was a funny, funny movie. And it will still be funny in 100 years.”


The February 2018 issue features Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2017, an interview with the legendary putter designer Scotty Cameron, recommended drinks, electronics, travel destinations and much more.

The issue hits newsstands January 9.

About Cigar Aficionado
Launched in 1992, Cigar Aficionado is the definitive lifestyle magazine for men. Dubbed “The Good Life Magazine for Men,” the print publication and its accompanying website ( focus on luxury lifestyle topics such as golf, travel, spirits and accessories. Cigar Aficionado also sponsors events such as The Big Smoke, the country’s premier event for cigar smokers. Parent company M. Shanken Communications also publishes Wine Spectator, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’s Impact newsletter.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018