Multihyphenate performer Alan Donnes has passed away at the age of 57 according to a report from Deadline. The stand-up comic turned film actor and producer had worked in sports radio as well as Hollywood, wearing many hats along the way including serving as President of National Lampoon for a five year stretch. Donnes was reportedly hospitalized in Los Angeles for the past three weeks and died on Wednesday, July 8 from bacterial meningitis. May he rest in peace.
Upon his arrival as the head of the company, the once highly lauded staple of comedy had fallen on hard times, including his two predecessors being arrested. He recounted the uphill battle that they faced in an interview with Tech Times' T-Lounge in 2015, saying:
“Immediately when we came in, when we took over National Lampoon, the phones were turned off. They were being evicted from the building they were in. We stablized all of that immediately," Donnes said. "Then there was some debt, some judgments that the company had. Checks were coming in and were being seized. We were able to renegotiate our deal with Warner Bros., and we were able to generate some cash. We were able to stabilize the company where there are no, like as of today, there are no outstanding lawsuits."
Donnes tenure with the company never saw them return to their former glory though he made a point on multiple occasions to steer the ship toward what it once was, partially by getting out of the business of raunchy direct-to-video comedies like Pledge This! and Dorm Daze.
As he recounted to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the release of the Ed Helms starring Vacation reboot: "It's a challenge for to me to right this thing I've loved through high school and college. If I had a dollar for every toga party I've been to, I'd buy the company myself. And If I had a dollar for every time I repeated a line from a Lampoon movie or story, I'd buy The Hollywood Reporter, too."
As the trade outlines he was also a New Orleans native and spent time working as a readio host focused on the New Orleans Saints NFL team, even penning a book about their time after Hurricane Katrina titled "Patron Saints: How the Saints Gave New Orleans a Reason to Believe."
(Cover Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)