Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

71. “Ask Uncle Bob” and “Terminal Flatuence”

January 10, 2004

Q: I’m looking for an issue in the early 70’s (maybe ’72 or ’73) by either National or Harvard Lampoon that had a section called (I think) “Ask Uncle Bob” in which a young man supposedly wrote in and asked a question about masturbation. In that request and the subsequent reply a number of terms were used for masturbation (spank your monkey, stroke your oar, etc.). I remember that Uncle Bob’s answer ended with a request that the young man just lick the envelope next time. Also, there was an issue on flatulence around the same time.

A: “Ask Uncle Bob” was in the December 1971 (Heart-Warming Christmas) issue. It was part of a comic book parody called “Boy’s Romance Comics.” The flatuence thing you remember was probably “Terminal Flatuence” by Tony Hendra, Sean Kelly, and John Weidman from the May 1975 (Medicine) issue.


Ah, yes, it all comes back now: "TF," with a photograph of a shattered toilet illustrating the dread condition.

—Ellen Cloyed

March 19, 2004 12:51 pm

RE: The "Flatulence" issue. There was a magazine called "Harpoon," then renamed "Apple Pie," which survived for about a year during this time. It was a blatant (and unfunny) ripoff of the National Lampoon. They had an issue about the delightful topic of flatulence. The cover featured an actual historical person who could play songs on a flute using his own flatulence. I somehow think that is what you're remembering.


March 27, 2005 8:54 pm

I remember a list of the 10 danger signals of Terminal Flatulence. One of them was "unexplained pet deaths". Does anyone remember any of the other danger signals?


October 26, 2006 2:22 pm

I actually have an actual clipping of this article framed that my father gave me that hung above the broken toilet in his shop as the photograph was ALLEGEDLY one of that same toilet. Very funny peice, lol.


November 26, 2006 8:36 am

some other terms were "whipping your lizard," "slamming the ham," and "flogging your dolphin." You could also send Uncle Bob a photo of yourself in briefs or swimming trunks. Anonymity guaranteed.

—James Jamison

May 2, 2007 8:52 pm

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