Sean Kelly, the Editor and Chief of National Lampoon died at 81. The news was reported by The New York Times. Patricia Todd, his wife, told the publication that his cause of death was heart and renal failure. Kelly passed during a hospital stay. Back in the 1970's the writer made a name for himself in the beginnings of National Lampoon. Interestingly enough, the writer also helped launch Heavy Metal as well. Everything the magazine aimed to do revolved around pushing the limits in the comedy space. Baby Boomers had the opportunity to be scandalized by some of these essays before they got translated to films. From 1975 on he was the editor in chief of National Lampoon. He talked about the boundaries of comedy during an interview at the Strand Bookstore in New York back in 2013. Kelly spoke about trusting his fellow comedians with Ellin Stein, who was chronicling the impact of the publication.
"The first five years at the Lampoon, nobody ever told anybody else, 'No, that's not funny' or 'That's going too far,'" Kelly began when prompted. "We respected each other, so that if someone was making a joke that one thought was in horrible taste, you let it go because Michael O'Donoghue knew what he was doing."
Showtime featured the editor in chief while producing Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead. The documentary chronicled National Lampoon and had commentary from beloved actors and comedians like Chevy Chase, Judd Apatow, John Goodman, Billy Bob Thornton, and Christopher Buckley.
Kelly got some laughs with this admission, "I thought maybe I could come down to New York and become rich and famous and get tremendous amounts of drugs and sex, neither of which panned out."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kelly family and his friends at this time.