Friday, September 01, 2006

National Lampoon Magazine

I'm really getting in to re-reading all of the back issues of "National Lampoon". What's amazing to me is that how a lot of the material really holds up, but better still, I'm re-reading things from an adult perspective instead of a teen-age one and realize that some of the jokes were really more juvenile than I remember or more sophisticated than I remember depending on the article.

I actually was surprised that certain features didn't really run that long and that although there was a lot of nudity, it didn't happen every issue. In fact, some issues didn't have any. It seems that nudity kind of came in waves in the "National Lampoon".

It's too bad there isn't a "National Lampoon" now. One that could really skewer Bush in the way that they used to skewer Nixon. I think the general likability of every President since Nixon has kept us from satirizing Bush, Jr. the way he ought to be. I mean there's no "First Family" LP, no "Smothers Brothers Show", etc. I guess its because it seemed that EVERYONE hated Nixon especially after Watergate, whereas now Bush still has a pretty loyal following even if his poll numbers are in the toilet. I also think more people live in fear of the man. They didn't fear Nixon.

Anyway, back on the subject, it is too bad that "National Lampoon" only exists as a web site or a name to slap atop a movie or DVD. It used to be a sign that meant "good movie", now it means "beware!" Apparently, the "Harvard Lampoon" agreement ran out and "National Lampoon" can no longer use the name to head up a magazine cover.

"Cracked" came back recently and in a format more like the old "Lampoon" than "Mad". I think this is very wise. Check this out. If they do it right, they may achieve the respect they deserve. However, it is more difficult in this day and age of home video and the Internet to make a go of successful magazine, especially a humor one.

For now, I'm enjoying the back issues. I do have every one and I've flipped through all of them from 1970-1979 so far. They published until 1998.

If you've never seen one, I suggest checking one out or an anthology to get a real taste. Amazon usually sells these. Just click on the item at the left and search for "National Lampoon" under books.

Regards,
MARK ARNOLD
Fun Ideas Productions - P. O. Box 2616 - Saratoga, CA 95070
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