Just noticed that Yahoo! featured Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site on their What’s New page today. They describe it as “a labor of love,” which, I think, means there are no banner ads. Update: Well, that link doesn’t work anymore. Wonder whatever became of Yahoo!?

Mort Sahl Performing in L.A.

Mort Sahl, the man whom former NatLamp editor Tony Hendra credited as the progenitor of the kind of humor that reached its zenith with the National Lampoon, is now appearing every Thursday evening at 10:00 p.m. at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. I wonder if he still uses the newspaper in his act.

Are You Ready, Kids?

Roger Bumpass, who appeared in many National Lampoon stage shows and recordings in the late seventies and early eighties, does the voice of Squidward in the popular Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants. Brian Doyle Murray also makes occasional appearances on the show as the voice of The Flying Dutchman. Arrr!

Same Place, New Address

Update your bookmarks: Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site has moved into new digs. Forget the old address. (Like anyone could remember it anyway.) From now on, it’s www.marksverylarge.com. And no smart remarks from the back row. It’s supposed to sound funny.

If you’ve just arrived here from the old address, welcome!

They’re Baaaack…

July 1971 CoverAfter an absence of almost three and a half years, the covers are back in the Issues, Books, and Recordings sections of Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site. We all have Mr. Daniel Laikin to thank for granting me permission to display them here. Mr. Laikin just recently completed his acquisition of J2 Communications, which, according to reports, will be renamed National Lampoon, Inc. Enjoy.


Note to George

1. I do this site as a hobby. 2. You might get an answer from me if you use an email address that doesn’t bounce.

Tony Hendra’s NatLamp History Report

Former NatLamp editor Tony Hendra has written a brief history of National Lampoon magazine which appears in the June 2002 issue of Harper’s. For those who have read his 1987 book Going Too Far, it covers a lot of familiar territory, focusing on the first five years of the magazine. It’s quite a bit shorter than the account in the book, but there are some new anectdotes and his take on the magazine (and P. J. O’Rourke in particular) has shifted somewhat in the intervening 15 years. Required reading for the serious NatLamp scholar.

The Story Behind "The Jimmy Dugan Story"

First, a little background: On an April 1974 broadcast of The National Lampoon Radio Hour there was a bit called “The Jimmy Dugan Story” which featured John Belushi as a sports show host interviewing Brian Doyle-Murray as a coach/trainer who turned toddlers into super-athletes. One of the tots, Jimmy Dugan, is in the studio. The coach describes the grueling training regimen imposed on the kids and, at one point during the interview, goads the interviewer into punching little Jimmy to show just how tough he is. Of course, Jimmy starts crying. The coach eggs the interviewer on to hit him again because “he can take it.” Sadly, he can’t and the second blow proves fatal, thus bringing a tragic close to “The Jimmy Dugan Story.”

Reader Mark Winter sheds some light onto how this darkly funny bit was brought to life:

“I heard an interview with Michael O’Donoghue on the Kevin Mathews radio show here in Chicago shortly after O’Donoghue died. In the interview Kevin played ‘The Jimmy Dugan Story.’ O’Donoghue told Kevin the secret behind how he got the kid to cry so realistically. O’Donoghue found out the kid was terrified of big dogs before the kid showed up for the show. While the kid was doing the recording session O’Donoghue had a staff member bring a huge dog up to the studio, but kept it hidden out of the kid’s sight until needed. At the right time O’Donoghue brought the dog into the studio, and when the kid saw the dog, he lost it and began to cry. O’Donoghue got the recording he wanted and it made the piece really funny.”