NL.com Flashbacks Section Workaround

The Flashbacks section used to be a feature of the official National Lampoon website. It contained online versions of popular articles from the old print version of the magazine. It was dropped some time in the last few years. However, reader Mark Mann passes along this tip:

“I was looking for old articles from NL mags, but could not find any. Then I remembered the Wayback Machine, which holds a history of internet websites dating back to the ’90s. The link below takes you to the former NL website, and provides a link to old NL articles. I found Hughes’ articles Christmas ’59 and Vacation ’58 from 1980.

“Go to http://web.archive.org/web/*hh_/nationallampoon.com/. From there, click on February 5, 2001. It will pull up the website as it was on that date. From there, click the ‘flashback link’ and that will give you some old material. “

Thanks for the tip, Mark!

Update: This trick doesn’t seem to work anymore. But there is probably a way to get to the old Flashbacks section using Archive.org’s Wayback Machine.

Answers Page Update

I’ve just added a new feature to the Answers page to make things easier for know-it-alls. Unanswered questions are now marked with bright red numbers. I also fixed answers that had errors or out-of-date information or links.

Life Imitates Art

Reader David Rolfe got that strange feeling of déjà vu when he read a news story about a teenager who got knocked out when a fish jumped out of the water and smacked him in the face. It reminded him of an article in the National Lampoon Sunday Newspaper Parody (Section C, page 9): “Last year, 100 times as many people died from choking on food in restaurants than died from being hit in the face with live game fish.”

Autographed Animal House Books For Sale

Chris Miller is selling personalized, autographed copies of his Animal House books (the 1978 National Lampoon‘s Animal House movie book, and the current one, The Real Animal House) on his website. Update: Forget it. Chris’s site is long gone.

In Chris Miller News…

On August 13 at 9 p.m. EST, the Biography Channel will premier “National Lampoon‘s Animal House–The Inside Story,” a two-hour documentary maring the 30th anniversary of the film’s release. More on Chris’s site and on the Biography Channel’s site.

Chris is also one of the interviewees featured in a documentary about “gross out” comedy called “In The Gutter,” which has been running periodically on the Starz network since July 29.

Finally, Chris has just added another of his classic National Lampoon short stories, “Practice Makes,” about a guy who has to keep reliving the same failed attempt to get laid.

Brian McConnachie Interview

An interview with Brian McConnachie by Mark Leffler has been posted on the Review Magazine website. In it, McConnachie reveals that he has been working on a new radio show called “Big Ship Radio”, similar in style to the National Lampoon Radio Hour, and featuring some Radio Hour alums, including Ed Subitzky, Emily Praeger, and Windy Craig.

More Chris Miller Stories Online

Chris has added two more of his classic National Lampoon short stories to his website, “A Thanksgiving Memory” and “The Magic Show.” Link. Update: Sorry, Chris pulled the plug on all that.

NatLamp Complete DVD: A First Look

National Lampoon Complete Collection DVD-ROMWell, it finally arrived today. The box is the usual DVD box size, but contains very little: The disc and a 1-page installation guide in a DVD jewelcase.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The DVD-ROM contains all the regular issues of National Lampoon ever published, from April 1970 to November 1998. Special issues, with original material, such as the High School Yearbook Parody, Encyclopedia of Humor, etc. are not included, but everything that appeared in the anthology issues (“Best of” issues) is here. Even the ads are included, which is kind of cool. Not surprisingly, bind-in cards, such as the famous “You May Already Be a Wiener” subscription card, are left out. Unfortunately, at least one article, “In Search of the Midnight Tapes” from the May 1973 issue, which was printed on a bind-in insert card that looked like a flexible 33 rpm record, was also left out. I have not had time to see if anything else is missing.

The issues are medium-resolution scans of mediocre quality. They are good enough for reading and browsing, but a lot of the photography and illustration suffers from being overexposed and washed out. Color balance is also off on some of the scans.

Even with its flaws, at $49.95 retail, I think it’s a good deal and a convenient package for anyone who wants to browse the issues, find their favorite articles or cartoons, or even discover it all for the first time. It would have been fantastic if they had lovingly restored every page to its pristine original appearance, but I imagine the market for something like that is simply too small to justify the effort. For those people, I would recommend acquiring the real issues. But even for collectors, the DVD would be worth having if only so you could look at the issues without removing them from their protective plastic wrappers.

After I’ve spent more time looking it over, I will post more details. (There are some reports on Amazon.com that the disc doesn’t work properly for some people, but I’ve had no trouble on my Mac.)