In a bizarre turn of events, J2 Communications (current owner of the National Lampoon empire) has signed a deal with the Fox Family Channel cable network (formerly Pat Robertson’s Family Channel) to produce two made-for-TV movies, one of which, “Men In White,” recently aired. Check it out. Update: The linked page no longer exists.
Reader “SGos” notes that several former NatLamp contributors, including Shary Flenniken (“Trots and Bonnie”), B.K. Taylor (“The Appletons” and “Timberland Tales”), and Drew Friedman , have surfaced in Mad magazine recently.
Q. Where can I find the P.J. O’Rourke piece “Foreigners Around the World”?
A. This highly offensive but popular article appeared in the May 1976 (Foreigners) issue. It also was reprinted in the National Lampoon Tenth Anniversary Anthology (1979).
Q. Where can I buy a copy of the 1964 Yearbook Parody?
A. The National Lampoon High School Yearbook Parody shouldn’t be too hard to find—it was very popular and went into several printings. Your best bet would be a used comic book/magazine store. Most larger cities have them. And if they don’t have it they should be able to point you in the right direction. Check the Resources page for more tips.
Q. Can you tell me where “Kit ‘n’ Kaboodle” appeared? What if any connection is does it have with “Itchy and Scratchy,” the cartoon-within-a-cartoon which is featured on “The Simpsons?”
A. “Kit ‘n’ Kaboodle,” by Brian McConnachie, was a “funny animal” comic book parody apparently based on the “Tom ‘n’ Jerry” cartoons except the violence inflicted by the cat and mouse on each other is treated realistically—think Tex Avery meets Sam Peckinpah. It first appeared in the June ’73 (Violence) issue. It also appeared in The Best of #4 and Tenth Anniversary anthologies. It’s quite possible that it was the inspiration for “Itchy and Scratchy,” the concept is quite similar. Or it could just be a coincidence. If anyone reading this knows the definitive answer, drop me a line.
Cartoonist and writer Chris Browne, who contributed regularly in the late ’70s and early ’80s, including the “Funny the Bunny” comic strip, wants to know whatever happened to Danielle, the Foto Funnies girl. The best info I have is that she got married and moved to Connecticut in the late ’70s. If you have more info, let me know.
Richard Levinson wrote for the “Letters” section in the ’80s and wrote songs for the Class of ’86 Review. He notes that Lampoon insiders he became aquainted with seemed to be less aware of the magazine’s impact on modern humor than do the fans. He is currently involved in a project which involves several early Lampoon alumni, but doubts it will ever be produced.
Jim Wilson, who specializes in prop humor, did a museum catalog parody for Lampoon in the late ’70s under P.J. O’Rourke. I checked out his website and was surprised (and pleased) to see a link to Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site. Thanks Jim! Update: Jim’s website no longer exists.
Several readers are looking for the 1977 album “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick!” Drop me a line if you know where to get one.
Mykel Board has “a bunch” and will take requests or provide a complete list of what he has. Robert Barry has a set of Lampoons from the first 6 or 7 years (including issue #1) in “mint or near mint” conditions with mailing labels he is looking to sell. Blanche Buebe found back issues of NatLamp in her basement from the years 1971-74, and is looking for interested buyers (Update: Blanche has sold them as of 8/98). Note: As far as I know, these people are on the up-and-up, but be aware that I have not had any personal dealings with any of them, so you are on your own.
Reader Joe Thomas reports that he spoke to the current editor of National Lampoon, Duncan Murray, who told him 1997’s Sexual Harassment issue may be the last and that no further issues are planned. The magazine has only published one issue per year since 1994. Joe also notes that there is an interview with Henry Beard in the online humor magazine The Door. Update: The Door shut down in 2008 and their website, which included the Beard interview, no longer exists.
A biography of Michael O’Donoghue titled “Mr. Mike: The Life and Work of Michael O’Donoghue, the Man Who Made Comedy Dangerous,” written by Dennis Perrin, has just been published by Avon Books. You can read a review of it from Booklist on Amazon.com. Thanks for this tip and additional biographical information for the newly updated Michael O’Donoghue page go to Brian Siano, Joe Thomas, Jim Wilson and especially Darius H. James (a.k.a., Dr. Snakeskin), author of Negrophobia and That’s Blaxploitation!, for graciously allowing me to reprint a personal memoir of Michael O’Donoghue from the latter book.
I started tracking visitors to Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site about a month ago. So far, there are about 30-40 visitors a day; about 450 different visitors over the last month.
After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to put something useful in place of the gratuitous cover page which has graced this site since it began. Over the last few months, as people have discovered this site, I’ve received many queries and tidbits of information from visitors. Up to now, I’ve kept it all to myself. This seemed a waste, so I came up with this news page idea. This is now the default page on Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site. Smart web surfers should now bookmark this page instead of the About This Site page for all the latest developments. And it won’t just be stuff about the site. It will include anything I feel is relevant. I will try to update it at least once a month or sooner, if events merit.