National Lampoon alum Tony Hendra recently launched a humor website / publishing company called Gigawit (www.gigawit.com). It would be perhaps unfair to compare it with National Lampoon Dot Com, but I will anyway. While they are in the same general ballpark humorwize, they are at opposite ends of the spectrum on the presentation scale. While National Lampoon Dot Com sports a cluttered, sleezy, not-quite-done-by-professionals look that makes the early issues of the National Lampoon look like Martha Stewart Living, Gigawit looks tasteful almost to a fault but feels uncomfortably light on content. Hopefully, that will change (the part about the content, I mean). Inspite of the selfconsciously-drole little cartoonies sprinkled throughout the site, it shows some promise of being a genuinely funny alternative to the how-low-can-you-go-for-laugh school that seems to prevail elsewhere (including National Lampoon Dot Com).
(I sometimes wonder if some serious misunderstanding occurred back in the ’70s in regards to National Lampoon‘s approach to humor. They didn’t care if they offended anyone as long as it was funny. Some people seem to have concluded from this that offensive=funny. That’s my theory, anyway.)
Hendra has an interesting strategy. In addition to the website, Gigawit also plans to publish books using an on-demand distribution system that skips the traditional publishing industry. It’s also actively soliciting submissions and contributions from anyone who think’s they’re funny.
Update: Gigawit appears to be gone. Hard to tell since I don’t read Chinese.