What’s He Doing Here?

Steve and his little friendQuite a few back issues of National Lampoon are on sale at The Mad Store, according to proprietor Scott Gosar, pictured at left. He’s the one shoving the Idiot™ into the trash can.

Who Was On the Live Tours in 1978?

National Lampoon Show alum Sarah Durkee dropped me a line recently to answer question topic “Live Tours in 1978” on the Answers page: Who was in the troupe that toured in spring of 1978?

In addition to appearing in the touring productions of “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick!” and “If We’re Late, Start Without Us,” Sarah has also worked as a writer on projects and kids’ TV shows with Lampoon veterans Chris Cerf, Henry Beard, and Sean Kelly. She also married Paul Jacobs, the musical director of the original Lemmings. She was also a co-writer with Beard, Kelly, and Cerf on “The Book of Sequels” (1991), which wasn’t a National Lampoon publication, but “sure felt like one, given that we were all Lampoon alums to one degree or another.” David Kaestle was art director as well.

Sarah is curious about whatever happened to her fellow actors from the tours. If you know, let me know.

I’ve Been Blogged

Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site now has a more flexible system for delivering you, the crazed and aging NatLamp fan, the latest information about this site and the world of National Lampoon.

It’s a spiffy little content management system for weblogs (also known as “blogs”) called Movable Type. If you’ve never heard of “blogs” or “content management systems,” don’t worry. The main thing is that I will be able to update Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site in a simpler and more timely fashion. At least in theory.

John Bendel News

John Bendel, editor of National Lampoon‘s popular True Facts section from 1978 to 1992, is alive and well and living in New Jersey. Nowadays, he makes a living as a technology writer. For a while, he maintained a personal web site about life and politics in New Jersey. It’s still up, but he hasn’t updated it in a while. Update: Not anymore.

Lemmings Available on CD

National Lampoon Lemmings was recently released for the first time on CD on the Decca Broadway label. This classic cast recording of National Lampoon’s best-known off-Broadway show has been out of print since the ’70s. The team that produced the CD did a great job of not messing with a good thing and included all the original liner notes and photos unaltered (albeit at less than half their original size). There is a great reminiscence by cast member Alice Playten (Pizza Man, Megadeath groupie) on the iClassics.com site apparently to promote the release. Update: iClassics appears to have disappeared.

New Bruce McCall Book

Cover of "The Last Dream-O-Rama"Bulgemobile Fans Rejoice! “The Last Dream-O-Rama: The Cars Detroit Forgot to Build, 1950-1960” by Bruce McCall has just been published by Crown. This book picks up where McCall’s “Bulgemobile” articles left off.

If you want to check out the original articles: “The ’58 Bulgemobiles” (“So All-fired New, They Make Tomorrow Seem Like Yesterday!”) first appeared in the April ’72 (“25th” Anniversary) issue. It also appeared in the National Lampoon Best of #1 anthology (1972), and the Tenth Anniversary Anthology (1979). “The 1946 Bulgemobiles” (“New… from the tires down!”) in the April ’79 (April Fool) issue; “The 1934 Bulgemobiles” (“The new cars that say, ‘Get out of my way!'”) in the May ’74 (“50th” Anniversary) issue; and “The 1906 Bulge-Buggy” (“The Contraption of Merit”) in the April ’75 (Car Sickness) issue. All the Bulgemobile articles also appear in “Zany Afternoons,” an anthology of Bruce McCall’s humor published by Knopf (1982) and reprinted in 1999 by Barnes and Noble.

McCall’s work is brilliant and, in fact, it was his “’58 Bulgemobiles” article that got me hooked on National Lampoon in the first place. A sampling of his work, including many of his more recent pieces, can be seen on the James Goodman Gallery site from a 1999 exhibit. Update: The Goodman Gallery site no longer exists.