George Hunka (the guy who tipped me off on the NatLamp PDFs in the previous item) has written Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, and Still Dead, a very thoughtful essay on the history and legacy of the National Lampoon and the current state of satire.
Reader George Hunka has alerted me to the fact that they are selling back issues of National Lampoon in PDF form over at NationalLampoon.com for $2.oo each (35¢ in 1973 dollars). Not sure how long they’ve been selling them, but these are the same PDFs that were in The National Lampoon Complete DVD-ROM that was published about ten years ago. That collection has been out of print now for a while and is currently fetching very high prices on eBay and Amazon.
Like the DVD-ROM, only regular issues are available, and it’s the same not-great-but-okay-for-reading quality with very occasional missing pages and what not. But, if you’re looking to reread some side-splitting article you remember from your misspent youth, 2 bucks is a pretty good deal, and cheaper than the original cover price.
The PDFs are searchable, but that’s probably not that useful if you don’t have the whole set or some large portion of it. If you do want the whole set, it might be cheaper to purchase it even at the current premium (if you can find it) than to click the “buy” button for each of the 246 issues offered on NationalLampoon.com.
Remember, if you’re not sure which issue something appeared in, if it was from the first five years, you can use the Issues index. There is also the Answers section, which also includes a lot of info about issues beyond the first five years. In any case, the search box at the upper right should quickly help you figure out which issue to get if you’re looking for something in particular.
Yay. I went through page by page and checked and updated every link I could find. I even added a bunch of links I had neglected to include in the Answers section. I also added a bunch of “update” notes to news items. Like, remember when the cover painting from the November 1973 issue, the “self-portrait” of Van Gogh by Mara McAfee, went up for auction? Turns out it sold for over $7000! Lastly, I caught and fixed a ton of typos and other errors.
Welcome to Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site version 3.0!
Everything is now moved over to my new system, but I still need to update most of the internal links (links to pages within this site). So, if you click on something and you get a “not found” message, try using the Search box to find what you were trying to see. It will take some time, but eventually I should be able to catch them all.
So, yes, the Search feature works again. It’s been broken for some time, but now it’s much better than before, and fast, too.
The site design is totally new and not finished. It works, but I’d like it to look more like the old design. Currently it looks a bit empty and bare-bones for my taste. I’ll fix it, but I need to spend time getting my head wrapped around WordPress themes. The good thing about the new design is that it’s responsive, meaning that it changes itself to fit the device you’re using. So it works as well on a tiny smartphone screen as it does on a giant computer display.
Except for a few minor bits, everything from the old site is here. It’s rearranged a bit, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find your way around. Try the Search box if you get lost.
You may be wondering, does this mean I’m actively working on the site again? As you may recall, I put it on hiatus back in 2012. Although, I have posted a few news items since then. So, maybe.
I put all this work into moving the whole thing to Wordpress only because the thing I was using before was so old it was starting to break. My hosting service got it working for me, but put me on notice that I should probably to switch to something more modern soon. So I decided to bite the bullet and make the change while I still could. Either that, or the site would just stop working sooner or later.
As I went through every page of the site, it reminded me how much work I’d put into it in the past, and what an amazing phenomenon the National Lampoon was in its heyday. No promises, but I think I’m going to do a little fix up around here, maybe patch a few holes and finish the unfinished bits. My new blog system makes things pretty easy to work on now. Plus, the site will be twenty years old this May.
So, stay tuned. And sorry about those broken links. I’ll get to them.
I’m switching to a new back-end for the site, so some things, like the Issue listings, Radio Show listings, and so on, will be temporarily missing, or certain things won’t work right, like links to missing stuff. News and Answers are all here—including comments from the last ten plus years.
I hope to get everything up and running properly soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, the documentary film about the National Lampoon, is streaming on Netflix now! There doesn’t seem to be a way to link directly to the movie, so you’ll need to search “drunk stoned” to find it once you’re on Netflix.
It’s also been available on DVD and BluRay for almost a year, a fact I forgot to mention on my site before. But hey, the price now is about half what it was when it was first released last March. You’re welcome.
Barry Simon, who worked as an editorial designer at the magazine from 1979-81, sent me this photo of the art staff, taken just before he started working there. The photo was shot by Pedar Ness for an in-house ad for Black Sox jackets (remember those?). Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Mark Gill (former manager of the mailroom and frequent model used in the magazine), Laurie Lenovitz (sister of Lisa Lenovitz and model used in several issues—not Maira Berman as previously stated), Art Associate John Schnakenberg (not confirmed), unidentified woman who worked in a support capacity, Susan Devins, Associate Art Director Lisa Lenovitz (lying on the floor), Design Director Peter Kleinman, Art Director Skip Johnston, “Sam the Stat Man”, and an unidentified woman who worked in accounting. (Thanks to Peter Kleinman for corrections. If anyone reading this knows the identity of unidentified people in this photo, drop me a line.)
Josh Karp’s 2006 book, A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever, is being made into a movie, with Will Forte as Kenney. Others in the cast are Domhnall Gleeson as Henry Beard, Matt Walsh as Matty Simmons, Seth Green as Christopher Guest, Rick Gassman as Harold Ramis, Jon Daly as Bill Murray, Joel McHale as Chevy Chase, Thomas Lennon as Michael O’Donoghue, Natasha Lyonne as Ann Beatts, and Josh Gemberling as John Belushi. Martin Mull will also play Kenney, but as an imagined older “modern Doug” (the real Doug Kenney died in 1980). The film is being produced for Netflix. Shooting is beginning this month and the film will be out in 2017. More info here.
The panel discussion about National Lampoon from Wednesday, featuring Rick Meyerowitz, Peter Kleinman, and Tony Hendra, was captured on video and can be viewed here. Update: Unfortunately, it appears that the video has been removed.