Evan Shapiro has been named president of comedy brand National Lampoon. He will oversee all development, acquisitions and production on television, digital and audio content for the company.
National Lampoon has also acquired Shapiro's eshapTV production outfit.
Shapiro had been executive VP, NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, with oversight of the short-lived Seeso comedy OTT network. He previously was president of cable network Pivot, and before that, IFC and Sundance Channel. He’s been an independent producer for the last couple years, under his eshapTV banner.
“We’ve been precious with the label since we acquired it,” said Raj B. Singh, co-CEO of National Lampoon. “Evan rounds out the leadership we deemed necessary to make the greatest impact, considering how important talent incubation is to us. Pair that with the explosion of media formats, and you have the ingredients for telling stories for everyone: blurring convention and genre, with broad and niche appeal. What’s not to like?”
As part of the deal, National Lampoon said it will continue to develop Shapiro’s slate of new projects. Among them, Shapiro brings four series in partnership with Margaret Cho’s production company, Animal Family, to National Lampoon.
National Lampoon is developing a comedy anthology series based on stories that ran in National Lampoon Magazine. It also plans to reboot the musical comedy show Lemmings, which it said launched the careers of Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest and John Belushi.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with enormously talented and influential comedy minds,” said Shapiro. “But the chance to take up the mantle of The National Lampoon and use it as a megaphone for the next wave of young and diverse comedic talent, is the opportunity of a lifetime. Now, if they just show me where the bathroom is, I’ll be all set.”
National Lampoon started as a comedy magazine and shifted to movies. It said it has been “reimagined for the 21st century global audience.” It has announced a partnership with podcast network Forever Dog, with whom Lampoon will reboot National Lampoon Radio Hour. The partners will co-develop a number of Forever Dog podcasts as TV series.
“We’re all very excited to acquire Evan’s slate and bring him into our family. I’m personally most excited about the content we have been developing together for the last few months that we will be announcing shortly,” said National Lampoon co-CEO Kevin Frakes.