Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

64. Larry David and Jack Handey

November 25, 2003

Q: According to Matty Simmons’ “not-so-thorough” account of the National Lampoon magazine, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David was once a contributer. Also, I read from a bio that Jack Handey started Deep Thoughts at the Lampoon. Do you or anybody out there know which NL issues includes either of the two?

A: “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handey, appeared in NL in at least three issues: April, October, and November 1984. There was a complete staff change after that. I don’t know if it ever appeared again. He also wrote a few other pieces for the magazine around the same time.

According to Michael Simmons, who was a NatLamp editor in the mid to late ’80s, Larry David did write one story for the magazine, “Mary Tyler Moore and Me” for the March 1986 issue. (More info in the Comments link, below.)


Larry David wrote a short story about an imagined date his nebbishy persona has with Mary Tyler Moore. It ran in the Lampoon in the mid-'80s or so. When I was an editor, Matty brought David around and proclaimed him a genius with a big future. We editors were underwhelmed. We were wrong, Matty was right.

—Michael Simmons

February 21, 2004 1:02 am

Thanks, Michael! There's nothing like a primary source.


February 21, 2004 9:02 am

Thank you so much Michael for answering my question.


March 2, 2004 6:45 pm

Oh, and my apologies for being harsh on youir father's book. I'm sure he put a lot of heart into it. Could I get off my knees now.


March 2, 2004 6:49 pm

"Mary Tyler Moore and Me", March 1986


March 20, 2004 11:17 pm

larry david also auditioned for one of the late 70s national lampoon stage shows - i believe it was "that's not funny that's sick" - but was rejected. at the time he had a large reddish afro and looked much like larry fine according to andy moses who was in the show.

—josh karp

October 8, 2004 2:27 pm

I hear Matty Simmons had a chance to sign Matt Groening (Simpsons) for the funny pages but did'nt think his cartoons were funny. Is this true?

—Dave Spira

June 18, 2005 11:25 am

Matty rarely -- if ever -- made decisions about the cartoon section. I've never heard this story. If he was turned down, it was the work of editor(s).

—Michael Simmons

July 9, 2005 7:37 pm

Matty said Rodger Bumpass was a genius and was going to be a huge star too. And like Larry David, he was a genius. I don't think a huge star though. Three out of four for Matty, unles Bupass IS a star. Perhaps on TV?

—Jack Martinson

July 17, 2008 12:37 am

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