64. Larry David and Jack Handey

Q: According to Matty Simmons’ “not-so-thorough” account of the National Lampoon magazine, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David was once a contributer. Also, I read from a bio that Jack Handey started Deep Thoughts at the Lampoon. Do you or anybody out there know which NL issues includes either of the two?

A: “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handey, appeared in NL in at least three issues: April, October, and November 1984. There was a complete staff change after that. I don’t know if it ever appeared again. He also wrote a few other pieces for the magazine around the same time.

According to Michael Simmons, who was a NatLamp editor in the mid to late ’80s, Larry David did write one¬†story for the magazine, “Mary Tyler Moore and Me” for the March 1986 issue. (More info in the Comments link, below.)

9 comments on “64. Larry David and Jack Handey

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    Larry David wrote a short story about an imagined date his nebbishy persona has with Mary Tyler Moore. It ran in the Lampoon in the mid-’80s or so. When I was an editor, Matty brought David around and proclaimed him a genius with a big future. We editors were underwhelmed. We were wrong, Matty was right.

  2. -

    Thanks, Michael! There’s nothing like a primary source.

  3. -

    Thank you so much Michael for answering my question.

  4. -

    Oh, and my apologies for being harsh on youir father’s book. I’m sure he put a lot of heart into it.
    Could I get off my knees now.

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    “Mary Tyler Moore and Me”, March 1986

  6. -

    larry david also auditioned for one of the late 70s national lampoon stage shows – i believe it was “that’s not funny that’s sick” – but was rejected. at the time he had a large reddish afro and looked much like larry fine according to andy moses who was in the show.

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    I hear Matty Simmons had a chance to sign Matt Groening (Simpsons) for the funny pages but did’nt think his cartoons were funny. Is this true?

  8. -

    Matty rarely — if ever — made decisions about the cartoon section. I’ve never heard this story. If he was turned down, it was the work of editor(s).

  9. -

    Matty said Rodger Bumpass was a genius and was going to be a huge star too. And like Larry David, he was a genius. I don’t think a huge star though. Three out of four for Matty, unles Bupass IS a star. Perhaps on TV?

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