National Lampoon magazine co-founder and Animal House producer Matty Simmons has died at the age of 93. Simmons, who produced a number of films, including the Vacation franchise, died Wednesday in Los Angeles following a brief illness that was not related to the coronavirus, his daughter, Katie Simmons, confirmed.
View this post on Instagram
"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," Katie wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her father. "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."
"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," she added. "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."
Throughout his career, Simmons had a massive impact on the world of comedy. Along with authoring nine books, Deadline reports that Simmons co-founded the Lampoon magazine along with its seminal stage show Lemmings and The National Lampoon Radio Hour, both of which introduced a number of comedy greats to the world, including Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. News of his death has rocked the community, with many fans taking to social media to react.
Just heard about the passing of Matty Simmons. He was a legend at @nationallampoon, a co-founder, helped make it all possible. He was the only thing tying it to the good old days in the years I worked there.
Comedy, and the world, lost a good one. Gone but not forgotten. pic.twitter.com/EVcktW9QbD— Justin Kanew (@Kanew) May 1, 2020
Simmons' many credits include Animal House (1978), the TV series Delta House, National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), among many others. His last credit was 2006's Pucked.