Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

Finally, Some Competition

October 4, 2000

In fall of 1999, National Lampoon, which ceased publication about a year before, went online as National Lampoon Dot Com ( At first, there was just a teaser—a rather lame Flash animation. A little while later, the site debuted. It was more flash (literally) than substance and had a lot of annoying sound effects. Recently, it has settled into a more conservative mode of presentation and has generally gotten better. It’s still a pales when compared the magazine at its height, but it’s not without merit. The new material on the site is like a less sophisticated (and less funny for the most part) version of Modern Humorist or The Onion.

National Lampoon Dot ComThe best part—especially for fans of the early years—is the Flashback section, where they have slowly been building up a collection of articles from past issues and bits from the Radio Hour, including many things I get queries about. A good example that really takes advantage of the internet is Tony Hendra’s “Deteriorata,” a parody of the hoary old dorm poster blather “Desiderata.” Not only are the complete words there—including a PDF facsimilie of the poster you can print out—there is also the audio version from Radio Dinner in its entirety (albeit with a rather goofy and gratuitous bit of animation) as a bonus.

Here is a list of some of the articles and bits they have put online:

P.J. O’Rourke’s “Foreigners Around the World”
Tony Hendra’s “Deteriorata” from National Lampoon’s Radio Dinner
John Hughes’ “Vacation ’58”
Michael O’Donoghue’s “The Churchill Wit” and “The Vietnamese Baby Book,”
John Weidmann’s “Are You a Homo?”
Doug Kenney’s “First Blow Job”
Gerald Sussman’s “Dogfishing in America”
Michel Choquette’s “Stranger in Paradise”
“Gymnasty” from “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick!”

Now, if they will put up the Mr. Rogers/bass player bit from “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick!” maybe people will finally stop bugging me.

(Note to National Lampoon Dot Com’s “Scanner Bitch” (who I know visits here from time to time): Strongly consider adding the following articles: John Hughes’ “My Vagina” and “My Penis,” B.K. Taylor’s “The Appletons” and “Timberland Tales,” Micheal O’Donoghue’s “How to Write Good,” any of Ted Mann and Todd Carroll’s “O.C. & Stiggs” pieces, “Bernie X”…

Update: They’ve apparently removed the Flashback section some time ago. Bummer.


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