Matty Simmons, National Lampoon Co-Founder And Animal House Producer, Dies at 93

Matty Simmons, co-founder of National Lampoon magazine and producer of multiple iconic comedies, died on Wednesday at the age of 93. Simmons passed away in Los Angeles after a brief illness, which has nothing to do with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. His feature film production credits include Animal House and Vacation, both of which were National Lampoon features, as well as some of the most iconic comedies from the time. The news of Simmons' passing was announced by his daughter, Kate Simmons, on Instagram.

"Yesterday I lost my hero," Simmons wrote in the post. "My dad had gone from the sharpest, healthiest 93 year old most people have encountered to abruptly having every imaginable issue except corona. What he did in a lifetime was legendary. A founder of the National Lampoon and the Diners Club Card. Producer of Animal House and the Vacation series. He wrote like nine books and could finish a novel faster than I'll probably finish this post."

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Yesterday I lost my hero. My dad had gone from the sharpest, healthiest 93 year old most people have encountered to abruptly having every imaginable issue except corona. What he did in a lifetime was legendary. A founder of the National Lampoon and the Diners Club Card. Producer of Animal House and the Vacation series. He wrote like nine books and could finish a novel faster than I’ll probably finish this post. When we lost my mom a couple years ago it felt like a part of us both died. He told me early on, were a team now and we have to stick together. We did just that and became inseparably close. He became my best friend in the world. I truly don’t know how I’m going to be without him. He always told me “you’re Kate Bradley Simmons and you can do anything” so I’ll follow his words and try my best. It’s really wild. My mom left this world during a horrific stage four hurricane and now my dad during a world pandemic. What a profound testament to what powerful people they were. Alas, they can finally be together again.

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Simmons went on to explain that she and her father have long been close, but that they grew even closer when her mother passed away a couple of years ago. "He became my best friend in the world," she wrote.

After successfully launching projects like the Diners Club Card and the National Lampoon magazine, Simmons became a staple in the world of comedy. His work in film helped turn actors like Chevy Chase and John Belushi into superstars.