SAYS IDEA THAT 'PHANTOM' MAY HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY MAG'S PARODY IS 'COMPLETELY FALSE'
A couple of days ago, I posted a link to the latest episode of The Projection Booth, which was devoted to Phantom Of The Paradise, and featured interviews with Jessica Harper and Ari, the Principal Archivist at The Swan Archives. Near the end of the program, the hosts asked Ari about the "dark side" of Phantom, namely the speculation that a photoplay published in a 1971 issue of National Lampoon called "The Phantom Of The Rock Opera" may have provided some inspiration for De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise (the photoplay can be viewed on the Swan Archives' Production page).
De Palma listened to the podcast, and said he "was quite impressed with Ari's understanding of Phantom Of The Paradise." However, the filmmaker would like to correct the speculative "dark side" mentioned above. "The 'revelation' that Phantom Of The Paradise was inspired by a National Lampoon satire is completely false," stated De Palma. "I have never read the National Lampoon and I can only guess the similarities are purely coincidental. Needless to to say, I have no problem borrowing from the classics, but this wasn't one of them."