A co-founder of The National Lampoon and one of the first writers hired for the long-running, late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Michael O'Donoghue's acerbic prose and incendiary sketch writing suggested that he kept one foot in the Borsht Belt and the other planted in the Grand Guignol, the macabre theatre of horrors that flourished in Paris in the first half of the 20th Century. Fueled by misanthropy and a disdain for hypocrisy, O'Donoghue helped redirect the course of American humor from the slice-of-life shtick that had been the métier of the great Jewish comedians, to an aggressive, taboo-shattering attack that would inspire a generation of stand-up comics, TV satirists and shock-radio personalities. Though he seemed primed for big things after four seasons on "SNL," the majority of O'Donoghue's personal projects failed to materialize and his final decade was mired in career frustration. At the time of his sudden death in 1994, O'Donoghue had been all but forgotten within the entertainment industry, his notoriety eclipsed by the fame of those who learned from his twisted teachings. His legacy alive in the work of such social satirists as Howard Stern, Steve Colbert and the creators of "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ), Michael O'Donoghue remained a guiding spirit in the realm of contemporary comedy.