Mark's Very Large National Lampoon Site

Your
Unauthorized Guide
to the Golden Age of National Lampoon
Magazine (1970-1975)


Last update: August 7, 2000. Original material (excluding quoted material) © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Mark Simonson.

Mark's Very Large National Lampoon Site is not affiliated with National Lampoon or National Lampoon Inc. Click here for the real thing.

 

Click here for the Complete Index to the National Lampoon Radio Hour

The National Lampoon Radio Hour ran from November 17, 1973 to December 28, 1974, and was broadcast weekly on hundreds of stations throughout the U.S. It was one of the best radio comedy shows ever produced, and introduced many talented and now well-known perfomers to a national audience for the first time. Among the performers that appeared regularly or irregularly were Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Christopher Guest, Michael O'Donoghue, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, Richard Belzer, Tony Scheuren, Windy Craig, Flo & Eddie, George Coe, Gary Goodrow, Norman Rose, and Alice Playten, just to name a few.

The show was the brainchild of NatLamp editor Michael O'Donoghue. After the success of the comedy album Radio Dinner, he was able to convince publisher Matty Simmons to let him do a weekly radio show. A recording studio was built several floors above the magazine's editorial offices on Madison Avenue in New York. Teaming up once again with producer Bob Tischler, the talented engineer who had worked with O'Donoghue and Tony Hendra on Radio Dinner, the show successfully transfered the humor of the magazine to a radio format. Like the magazine, the show had a highly professional, understated style which hightened the effect of its often shocking sense of humor.

The show used up an incredible amount of material each week and strained the resources of the magazine. As a result, it was cut to a half hour after 13 shows. It also had a hard time retaining national sponsors, due partly to the content of the show, and consequently did not do very well financially. O'Donoghue, drained of energy and patience, left the show--and the magazine--for good on Easter Sunday in 1974. John Belushi took over as creative director of the show for the remainder of its run.

After the show ended, many of the performers and writers went on to both Saturday Night Live (where O'Donoghue was the head writer in its first two seasons) and Second City Television. Among the original cast and writers on SNL were Radio Hour alums Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and Anne Beatts (writer), and later on Bob Tischler (producer for four seasons), Brian McConnachie (writer), Bruce McCall (writer), Brian Doyle-Murray, Harry Shearer, and Christopher Guest. It would not be far-fetched to say that early SNL was, for all intents and purposes, the National Lampoon TV Hour, with no credit given to the magazine for blazing the trail. As for SCTV, its original cast and writers included Harold Ramis and Joe Flaherty. (It should be noted here that many of the NLRH cast were hired from Second City Comedy Clubs in both Chicago and Toronto--so the connection goes very deep.) Tischler also went on to produce the Blues Brothers albums.

Much of the material from the show was released on LPs by National Lampoon. Records released by NatLamp consisting either entirely or in part of NLRH material were The Missing Whitehouse Tapes (1974), Gold Turkey/Radio Hour Greatest Hits (1975), That's Not Funny, That's Sick! (1977), Greatest Hits of the National Lampoon (1978), and National Lampoon's White Album (1979). Of these, Gold Turkey is the only one to my knowledge that was released on CD (still available, too). Some of the shows were rebroadcast in the '80s by the King Biscuit Flower Hour in a somewhat different format (i.e., with more commercials and with some shows combined and abridged). (Two of these broadcasts are listed here.) Also released by NatLamp in the early '90s were three volumes on cassette called National Lampoon Radio Hour: The Lost Tapes, though they are very difficult to find. Most recently, Rhino (bless their hearts) released The Best of The National Lampoon Radio Hour (1996). This 3 CD/cassette boxed set is the largest single collection of material from the show. It has great liner notes, but unfortunately has more than a little previously released material, not to mention a photo of someone misidentified as Brian McConnachie and a few factual errors.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the broadcast dates do not consistently fall on a particular day of the week. This is because local stations set the broadcast time. The date listed reflects the broadcast date of the particular recording that the listing came from.

In the listings, commercial breaks are noted. These were either national or local sponsors. Only commercials produced by National Lampoon are identified. These were often as entertaining as the rest of the show, and had the same writers, cast and high production standards. It's interesting to note that these "house" ads became more frequent in the later shows due to the failure of the show to retain national advertisers and local stations' inability to sell the left over air time. Presumably, "house" ads were produced throughout the run of the show, but many of the earlier ones probably never made it to the air waves as the air time had been sold.

This extensive addition to Mark's Very Large National Lampoon Site would not have been possible without the efforts of Dave Meredith. Dave has been collecting recordings of the shows for years, and compiled almost all of the information in this section. Thanks, Dave!

Issues 

Show listings on this page include only highlights for reference.
For complete individual show listings, follow the links.
Show titles are included when they exist. Not all shows were titled.

November 17, 1973 / #1 / First Show

Celebrity Primal Screams Contest; Chit-Chat with Pat Nixon; No-Eyes, Blind Detective

November 24, 1973 / #2

Remember Those Fabulous 20s?; Land A Million Game Show; Butter In Taxicabs; Wish Fulfillment Playhouse

December 1, 1973 / #3

New Beatles Song; The Romance of King Creosote; Camera Club of the Air;
The Ryan O'Neil Story; Craig Baker, Perfect Master

December 8, 1973 / #4

Louie, We Have You Surrounded; National Lampoon Radio Hour Call-In Show;
Catch It and You Keep It

December 15, 1973 / #5

The Lost Glider; Various Diner and Restaurant Bits; Charmin Commercial Goes Wrong;
What If Ed Sullivan Were Tortured? (Impression)

December 22, 1973 / #6 / Traditional Christmas Show

Christmas Around the World; Baby Jesus' Thank-You Notes; Christmas in Russia;
Christmas in Northern Ireland; The Gift of the Nazi; The Night the Animals Talked

December 29, 1973 / #7 / The Missing Whitehouse Tapes

Humor Buffs for Nixon; Impeachment Day Parade; Mrs. Agnew's Diary;
Big Dick (Sesame Street Parody); Mission: Impeachable; Swearing Out Ceremony;
Whitehouse Basement Tapes; Nixon's Watergate Mea Culpa Speech

January 5, 1974 / #8

Lava Lamp Repairman; National Humor Shortage Crisis; Ice Capades;
Recipe Corner; Cavalcade of Non-Violent Sports

January 12, 1974 / #9

Your Robbery of the Air; Old Man Atom; Great Jokes of History;
Dial-a-Curse; The Loan Arranger; Limerick Time; Ralph Nadar Interview

January 19, 1974 / #10 / The Censorless Woman

Excerpts from "The Censorless Woman"; Interview with Don Corleone;
Traffic Accident Play-by-Play; Robert Lamont, Building Climber; Nichols and May

January 26, 1974 / #11

Dudley Moore and Peter Cook; God Attends a Boxing Match; Monopoly with Nixon;
Joe Namath Out to Pasture; "Let Us Speak English"

February 2, 1974 / #12

Marijuana; Egyptian Archaeology; Ed's Big Date; Norman Fishbank, Pirate;
The Ballad of Charles Whitman; The Mason Reese Institute

February 9, 1974 / #13 / The Best of National Lampoon Radio Hour

Mexican Copper; The Indianapolis Academy of the French Accent; The Nazi Dr. Doolittle;
"Waiting for Godot"; Suicide Hotline; Land A Million Game Show; Joni Mitchell Parody;
Craig Baker, Perfect Master; Doomed Space Capsule Update; The Ryan O'Neal Story

(last hour-long show--half-hour shows hereafter)

February 16, 1974 / #14

Fireside Chat with Richard Nixon; Frozen Bodies; George Washington Carver;
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale; Comedy Stylings of King Faisal; Part Two Yet to Come

February 23, 1974 / #15

Rorschach Test of the Air; Neil Young Parody; Humor Consumer Rights;
Nettie Is the Nitwit of the Networks; Craig Baker, Perfect Master; More to Come

March 2, 1974 / #16

Mr. Chatterbox; Letters; Heavily Into Jesus (C&W Parody);
Leonard Cohen Parody; Interview with Russian Novelist ("interupted")

March 9, 1974 / #17 / Listener Request Show

Watergate Poll; Art for Art's Sake; National Lampoon Radio Hour Call-In Show;
What If Ed Sullivan Were Tortured?; End of the World Is Coming; Monolithic Oil;
Mr. Mike, Benefactor

March 16, 1974 / #18

Dr. Norman Vincent Nightcap Answers Your Questions; Royal Dutch Gas;
The Ballad of K.C. River Rat; NatLamp Unto My Feet

March 23, 1974 / #19

H&R Block Reasons; Humor Test; Poetry Writing Contest;
Craig Baker, Perfect Master; S.L.A. Notice

March 30, 1974 / #20

More H&R Block Reasons; College Students; Megaphone News; Police Auditions;
Americans United to Beat the Dutch; Linda Blair Acceptance Speech

April 5, 1974 / #21 / Salute to Entertainment Show

What's On Your Mind? Game Show; Mr. Hammerstein Writing Music; 1974 Porny Awards;
Henry Leffingwell Interviews Cedric Simmons, Film Director

April 13, 1974 / #22 / Traditional Easter Show

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's Advice to Boxers, Bangladesh, Jesus;
NatLamp Unto My Feet; John 3:16 Parody; Onward Christian Soldiers Parody

April 20, 1974 / #23

Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Alternative Child; Mother Goose's Wine;
1973 Miss America Pageant; The Jimmy Dugan Story

April 27, 1974 / #24

The Dick and Jane Show; Flash Bazbo Space Explorer; Cat Stevens Parody;
Mattress Police; Fred Purdue's Chicken; Craig Baker, Perfect Master

May 4, 1974 / #25 / Welcome Back, Death Penalty!

Time to Go, Johnny; Death Penalty for Shoplifting; Nixon Kills Ziegler;
Al Capone On Trial; Who Parody; The Rosenbergs; Wobbles The Goose Gets Cooked

May 11, 1974 / #26 / The Canadian Show

"The Americans" Parody; Quick Canada Quiz; Neil Young Parody;
Adventures of Corporal MacInerney; Megaphone Newsreel Visits the Frozen North

May 18, 1974 / #27

The Comedy Stylings of (fill-in-the-blank); Interrogation of John Wayne;
Death of A Salesman; Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Consumer Reports Editor at Home

May 25, 1974 / #28 / The Sluts From Space, Part 1

June 2, 1974 / #29 / The Sluts From Space, Part 2

June 8, 1974 / #30 / The Case of the Mad Vandal, Part 1

June 15, 1974 / #31 / The Case of the Mad Vandal, Part 2

June 23, 1974 / #32 / 100% Recycled Radio

Donovan Parody; Crossword Puzzle; NRA Commercial; House Rules;
The Romance of King Creosote; Lip Reading Expert

June 30, 1974 / #33 / Festival of Summer Reruns Show

The Lost Glider; National Lampoon Radio Show Call-In Show;
Al Jolson Parody; Police Emergency Rape Line

July 6, 1974 / #34 / Summer Reruns Show #3

Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Interview with Dexter and Warren, Siamese Twins;
Elf Warning; Dial-A-Curse; Advice From God; Dr. John Parody; Mr. Chatterbox

July 13, 1974 / #35 / Summer Reruns Show #4

The Kids Want To Stay Up Late; Peter Cook & Dudley Moore;
John Denver Parody; Monolithic Oil Corp.; Monopoly With Richard Nixon

July 20, 1974 / #36 / Summer Reruns Show #5

Louie, Come Out With Your Hands Up; Alternative Child; Tokyo Rose;
Cat Stevens Parody; The Jimmy Dugan Story; John Belushi's Farewell

July 27, 1974 / #37 / Summer Reruns Show #6

Mr. Chatterbox; Linda Blair Oscar Acceptance Speech; "Filler" Material Discussion;
Craig Baker, Perfect Master; George Washington Carver; John Belushi's Suicide

August 3, 1974 / #38 / Welcome Back, Death Penalty! [repeat]

Time to Go, Johnny; Death Penalty for Shoplifting; Nixon Kills Ziegler;
Al Capone On Trial; Who Parody; The Rosenbergs; Wobbles The Goose Gets Cooked

August 10, 1974 / #39 / The Canadian Show [repeat]

"The Americans" Parody; Quick Canada Quiz; Neil Young Parody;
Adventures of Corporal MacInerney; Megaphone Newsreel Visits the Frozen North

August 17, 1974 / #40 / Summer Reruns Show #9 [repeat]

The Comedy Stylings of (fill-in-the-blank); Interrogation of John Wayne;
Death of A Salesman; Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Consumer Reports Editor at Home

August 24, 1974 / #41 / Summer Rerun Show #10

Humor Test; Daffy Duck Song; Poetry Writing Contest; Elizabeth Taylor;
1973 Miss America Pageant; Craig Baker, Perfect Master; Gerry Ford Tribute

August 31, 1974 / #42 / Summer Rerun Rip-Off Show

The Ryan O'Neal Story; Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Joe Namath Put Out to Pasture;
Danny Thomas; Royal Dutch Gas; Suicide Hotline; Matress Police

September 5, 1974 / #43/ The Case of the Mad Vandal, Part 1 [repeat]

September 12, 1974 / #44 / The Case of the Mad Vandal, Part 2 [repeat]

September 19, 1974 / #45 / The Rehearsal

Guru Craig Baker; Mr. Chatterbox and Gracie Whitebread Are Dead;
Ira Schnorrs, Talent Agent; Nixon on the Skids; Russian Stand Ups; Behind the Scenes

September 26, 1974 / #46 / Moby! The Musical

October 5, 1974 / #47 / Gala Second Season Show

Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Pete Seeger Parody; Bulldozers; Hoosier Hotshots;
Underwear Advice; Eye Banks; Lady Windemere's Fan; James Taylor Parody;
Stand Up Parody; Mr. Veal Chop

October 12, 1974 / #48

Salvation Army; Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Spike Jones; Baby Brando;
Closet Queen; Interview with the Hollywood Gay Alliance

October 19, 1974 / #49 / The California Show

Hunter Thompson Parody; Prison Farm; Hollywood Stars Tour; Rip Van Ripple;
Grateful Dead Parody; Patty Hearst Plea; California Radio News

October 26, 1974 / #50

Answering Machine; Singles Bar of the Air; Rapping with John;
Terminal Football; Guru Craig Baker: Miracle with Silly Putty

November 2, 1974 / #51 / Perry Shriner, Court Appointed Lawyer

Perry Mason Parody; Unwanted Drummer In Studio; Ali and Foreman Interview

November 9, 1974 / #52

Mel Brewer's Insomnia Time, with Ron Fields; Pro Ball Ads; The Idiot;
Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Camera Club of the Air; Tale of the Supernatural

November 16, 1974 / #53

Cheech and Chong Parody; The Golden Years of Hollywood; Turtle Woman;
The Immigrants: The Hillbillies; More Cheech and Chong

November 23, 1974 / #54 / The Chuck Fred 'n' Bubba Show

KORN, Durante, Iowa; Ronda Sue's Beauty Tips; Comedy Corner; Farm Report
The Ballad of Bubba 'n' Chuck Fred; "National Lampoon Radio Hour"; Daily Devotions

November 30, 1974 / #55 / Flash Bazbo, a Man and His Music

Musical Parody Encores: Trucker Song; Mother Goose's Wine; Cat Stevens;
The Who; James Taylor; Leonard Cohen; Pete Seeger; Dr. John

December 7, 1974 / #56 / The California Show [repeat]

Hunter Thompson Parody; Prison Farm; Hollywood Stars Tour; Rip Van Ripple;
Grateful Dead Parody; Patty Hearst Plea; California Radio News

December 14, 1974 / #57

Flash Bazbo, Space Explorer; Music Perspectives with Ron Fields; Overdose Heaven;
Guru Craig Baker Visits a Bar; Psychology Ptoday Blues

December 21, 1974 / #58 / Christmas Show

December 28, 1974 / #59 / The Final Show

Laughs From the Past: Collage of Highlights from the National Lampoon Radio Hour;
Closing Credits for the Series; "Honk! Honk! Why, It's Wobbles the Goose!"

February 17, 1980 / King Buscuit Flower Hour Tribute #1

November 30, 1980 / King Buscuit Flower Hour Tribute #2