Douglas Tirola and Susan Bedusa of 4th Row Films are lining up a documentary about National Lampoon, the storied comedy publishing and production empire that started life as the Harvard Lampoon.

Tirola will direct the film after the partners secured exclusive rights to the story of the National Lampoon and its archive. Tirola previously directed All In – The Poker Movie and An Omar Broadway Film, which recently premiered at Tribeca and will air on HBO in July.

The documentary will feature rare and unseen footage chronicling the rise, fall and planned rebirth of National Lampoon.

Saturday Night Live, Bevis & Butthead, The Onion, South Park, and the national use of irony as lingua franca – 40 years of American humour has been shaped by the 1970s National Lampoon,” former National Lampoon editor and writer PJ O’Rourke said.

“Our goal is to tell the story of National Lampoon in a way that takes audiences back to an era with all of the laughs and tragedies that came along with it,” Tirola said.

Tirola and Bedusa negotiated the deal with Tim Durham on behalf of National Lampoon. 4th Row Films is represented by David Lubliner and Liesl Copland at William Morris Endeavor.