02 – National Lampoon’s Delta House (1979)

In the second episode of Pretty in Podcast, John Hughes leaves his job at Leo Burnett to be an editor for the National Lampoon in the wake of the release of National Lampoon’s Animal House, and the spin-off of the movie, Delta House.

This episode was recorded after watching Delta House episode two, “The Shortest Yard,” written by John Hughes, on YouTube. Since this episode’s release, YouTube now hosts 12 of the 13 episodes. Unfortunately, the seventh episode “The Deformity,” penned by John Hughes is still unavailable. Find them here.

Synopsis

Delta House was a short-lived spin off of National Lampoon’s Animal House. See full episode descriptions below.

Select Cast & Crew

  • John Vernon … Dean Vernon Wormer (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Stephen Furst … Kent ‘Flounder’ Dorfman (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Bruce McGill … Daniel Simpson Day (D-Day) (13 episodes, 1979)
  • James Widdoes … Robert Hoover (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Peter Fox … Otter (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Gary Cookson … Doug Neidermayer (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Susanna Dalton … Mandy Pepperidge (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Wendy Goldman … Muffy (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Richard Seer … Larry ‘Pinto’ Kroger (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Brian Patrick Clarke … Greg Marmalard (13 episodes, 1979)
  • Lee Wilkof … Einswine (13 episodes, 1979) 
  • Josh Mostel … Jim ‘Blotto’ Blutarsky (12 episodes, 1979)
  • Peter Kastner … Prof. Dave Jennings (12 episodes, 1979)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer … The Bombshell (7 episodes, 1979)
  • Matty Simmons … Producer
  • Ivan Reitman … Producer

Episodes (descriptions from IMDB)

  • S1, Ep1 … The Legacy … Air Date: 18 Jan. 1979 … Written by Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller, Harold Ramis
    Faber College, Oregon. 1963. Jim Blutarsky, the younger brother of the now-graduated Blutto (aka: Jim Blutarsky) is pledging the legendary Delta Fraternity house, since he is a legacy. Blutarsky is given his Delta nickname of ‘Blotto’ and he is shown around the campus by his sophomore frat buddies, Founder and Pinto, who knew his big brother. Elsewhere, the corrupt dean of Faber, Vernon Wormer, teams up with the stuffy and wealthy members of Delta’s rival, Omega House, to plan another way to get the riotous members of Delta expelled from campus due to their shenanigans from the previous year (see the movie ‘Animal House’). When Blutto is pushed too far by Neidermeyer, he unleashes the animal inside and lives up to the Blutarsky name! Also, when Flounder gets a B+ on his term paper on Political Science, Dean Wormer suspects him of cheating and forces him to compete for the Nerdlinger award.
  • S1, Ep2 … The Shortest Yard … Air Date: 27 Jan. 1979 … Written by John Hughes
    Dean Wormer is impressed by how far Blotto can punt a football, so he recruits him for the college football team for the upcoming big game. But when Blotto refuses to play, the Deltas secretly substitute the equally overweight, but far-greater clumsy, Flounder in his place, who by his own admission doesn’t have a sports gene in his body. So it’s up to Otter, D-Day, Pinto, and the rest of the Deltas to figure ways to help the team win and keep Flounder from… floundering on the field, and not give the Dean a reason to eject Blotto from college.
  • S1, Ep3 … Parent’s Day … Air Date: 3 Feb. 1979 … Written by Ted Mann
    When it’s known that ‘Parents Day’ is approaching at Faber, Hoover and the rest of the Deltas decide to somehow to trick the rival Omegas into leaving town (and away from campus) so they can switch the Greek letters on their house and the Omega’s house so the Deltas’ moms and dads will be visiting them in the clean Omega house, while the Omegas’ moms and dads end up in the messy Delta house.
  • S1, Ep4 … The Guns of October … Air Date: 10 Feb. 1979 … Written by Michael Tolkin and Stephen Tolkin (story), Russ Dvonch and Richard Whitley (teleplay) (watch)
    A speech by President John F. Kennedy about the fear of nuclear war leads to Greg Marmalard and the rest of the Omegas building an elite bunker for survival with campus security funds, while Flounder ponders the meaning of existence. When a faulty test alarm sounds like a real warning of missiles launching, everyone goes into action… with the Delta’s throwing a ‘Welcome Russians’ party to end all parties, while the Omegas just prepare for the end.
  • S1, Ep5 … The Lady in Weighting. .. Air Date: 24 Feb. 1979 … Written by John Hughes
    Dean Wormer gives the Delta House one week to clean up the house or face expulsion because of a new college bi-law of displaying clean frat houses. So, Hoover and the guys hire a house mother to help get things together. Meanwhile, Blotto enters a weightlifting contest to try to win the money that is required to make repairs to the house.
  • S1, Ep6 … The Draft … Air Date: 3 Mar. 1979 … Written by Tod Carroll, Matty Simmons
    When D-Day receives draft notice papers ordering him for mandatory U.S. Army service in one week, Hoover and the rest of the Deltas decide to throw an all-night farewell party in his honor, which leads to all kinds of complications for all involved.
  • S1, Ep7 … The Deformity … Air Date: 10 Mar. 1979 … Written by John Hughes
    Pinto gets severe acne on his face which makes him self-conscious about his looks, so his frat brothers try to help him regain his confidence. Meanwhile, Dean Wormer tries angling for grant money for the science program from a visiting military officer and his best chance at getting it is Hoover’s new science project.
  • S1, Ep8 … Big Man on Campus … Air Date: 17 Mar. 1979 … Written by Michael Tolkin, Stephen Tolkin
    When Flounder falls in love with Mandy Pepperidge, it’s up to the Delta’s to make her see him as the man of her dreams, the new big man on campus.
  • S1, Ep9 … The Fall of Dean Wormer … Air Date: 22 Mar. 1979 … Written byElias Davis & David Pollock 
    Dean Wormer is in trouble when his wife, Marion, apparently finds him in his office with a young co-ed. So, Hoover and the Deltas offer to help him out hoping that their services will make him more lenient on them despite the fact that they don’t trust him to keep his word.
  • S1, Ep10 … The Blotto Who Came to Dinner … Air Date: 31 Mar. 1979 … Michael David Stotter (story),Elias Davis & David Pollock  (teleplay and story)
    When Blotto gets into trouble one too many times, Dean Wormer expels him from the college. However, the tables are soon turned when when the Dean accidentally hits Blotto with his car and he’s forced to accept a set of demands by the Deltas to prevent Blotto from filing a lawsuit against the entire college.
  • S1, Ep11 … Campus Fair … Air Date: 5 Apr. 1979 … Written by John Hughes
    Otter and the Delta boys plan to use The Bombshell to win a beauty contest, but when she is sent on an archaeological assignment by accident, they scramble for a replacement. Features a re-recording of “Pizza Man” originally performed by the National Lampoon Lemmings.
  • S1, Ep12 … Hoover and the Bomb … Air Date: 7 Apr. 1979 … Written by Matty Simmons, Michael Tolkin, Stephen Tolkin 
    After overhearing the blond, nameless Bombshell telling a friend that she has a liking for Delta frat guys, Hoover asks Flounder, Pinto, Blotto, and the rest of the Deltas to help set him up on a date with the Bombshell hoping to finally score with her.
  • S1, Ep13 … The Matriculation of Kent Dorfman … Air Date: 21 Apr. 1979 … Written by John Hughes, Elias Davis & David Pollock 
    Kent ‘Flounder’ Dorfman’s life is turned upside down when his parents want to transfer him to another college when they feel that the Deltas are a negative influence on him. Unfortunately for Flounder, the only place that will accept him is a women’s college. But to the chagrin of Dean Wormer, Flounder’s parents also threaten to cancel their annual monetary contribution to Faber College when they plan to take Flounder out forcing the Dean and the Deltas to reluctantly team up to find a way to keep Flounder at Faber.

The Soundtrack

The score for the pilot episode was written by Elmer Bernstein. Subsequent episodes featured a theme by Michael Simmons and Jim Steinman, with episodes scored by Jim Steinman, Vic Mizzy, David Spear, Dick DeBenedictis, and Richard Clements. Here’s some of the music used in the show.

  • “Faber College Theme” – Elmer Bernstein. The pilot episode has an exclusive version of the “Faber College Theme” used in Animal House (Episode 1)
  • “Shout” – Otis Day and the Knights (from National Lampoon’s Animal House. 1978) (Episode 1)
  • Pizza Man” – Wendy Goldman(?). A re-recording of National Lampoon Lemmings song performed by Alice Playten and written by Sean Kelly, Christopher Guest and Tony Hendra. (episode 11)
  • “Delta House Theme” – Michael Simmons. This song would be the basis of Meat Loaf’s 1981 song “Dead Ringer For Love (feat Cher).

 

deltaHouseSimmons
“Delta House” Promo single. Music by Jim Steinman, Lyrics by Sean Kelly and Tony Hendra. 1979.

 

Visuals

Episode artwork is adapted from promo photography by Jim Britt.

episode-2-Delta-House-ads
Delta House ads. Photography by Jim Britt.

 

Michelle Pfeiffer promotional photo by Jim Britt, 1979

 

Script for “The Matriculation of Flounder”

References

  • American Film Institute interview. March 1, 1985.
  • Bowden, Robert, “Delta House May Click Where Others Have Failed.” St. Petersburg Times. Feb 3, 1979.
  • Crafts, Fred. “What’s Next After Delta House?” Eugene Register Guard. April 26, 1979.
  • Greene, Bob. “One Strike, One Home Run for National Lampoon,” The Free Lance-Star. June 30, 1978.
  • Ham, William. “John Hughes: Straight Outta Sherman,” Lollipop, Issue 47. via lollipop.com
  • Scott, Vernon. “‘Animal House’ Success Brings Comeback for College Humor.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Jan 9, 1979.
  • Variety Staff. “Bob Brunner, ‘Happy Days’ writer, dies,” Variety.com
  • WBBM Channel 2. Channel 2 News Special Report: “Blizzard ’79: Public Questions, City Answers”. January 18, 1979. via Fuzzymemories.tv

Credits

Theme music by Bradley Davis (Fresh Snow). Incidental music, “Pink Swarthmore” by Rob Christiansen (24 Hour Music People), and “Ottawa” by Georgia.

With sound effects by, Connum, Juanicotolengo, Orehek, and Moonlight Dancer from freesound.org.

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