Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

265. Trick Sound Effects Cassette

January 6, 2011

Q: Do you know of a NL cassette tape in the late ’70s/early ’80s of sound effect tricks to play in the car for unsuspecting passengers? It seems to have included farts and explosions, a fake news story about an invasion. It came in what looked like a suitcase w/handle, dark brown with road signs or city name stickers (something to do with traveling).

A: It was “The Official National Lampoon Car Stereo Test and Demonstration Kit” which came out in 1980 in cassette format. An ad for it appears on the July 1980 issue. More info in the Comments link. (Thanks to Duane, Michael, and Dave for helping to answer this question.)


Well Dear Friend, You actually, in essence, answered your own question, That would be "The National Lampoon Stereo Test" and It first was issued on LP and then later on cassette. Hope that helped!

—Duane Reland Richardson

January 7, 2011 1:29 am

oops sorry wrong Album, On further research I found that the album I spoke of is different from the one you asked about. I need to do further research on this as I have every issue of the poon on DVD Rom and am sure to run across an advert for it. Please give me a couple of weeks and I probably be back with an answer. Thanks for your patience and understanding of my mistake!

—Duane Reland Richardson

January 7, 2011 1:36 am

I think Duane was correct the first time. That sounds like "The National Lampoon Stereo Test" that I recall Ed Subitzky producing, though I could be wrong. I played guitar in a music segment or two on that album.

—Michael Simmons

January 10, 2011 3:03 am

I don't think so, Michael. I just listened to it and there's nothing in it about playing tricks on car passengers or fake news reports. Just lots of hi-fi jokes, including some obvious attempts to trick the listener (e.g., in one of the tests, the announcer tells the listener to turn the balance all the way to the left for one minute, then afterwards says there was a filthy joke on the right channel that they didn't get to hear, when actually it was nails on a window pane, blackboard, etc.).


January 10, 2011 3:10 pm

You guys are confusing two (2) different recordings: a) "The Official National Lampoon Stereo Test And Demonstration Record" came out only as an LP in the year 1974. This indeed was Ed Subitzky's baby, obviously focused for use with home audio systems. It even came with a 32 page "Official National Lampoon Hi-Fi Primer" as a bonus insert, which was a semi-serious technical look at home Hi-Fi's, apparently compiled with the assistance of the various Hi-Fi advertisers who appeared in the monthly magazine at the time. b) "The Official National Lampoon Car Stereo Test and Demonstration Kit" came out in 1980, only in cassette format. This was sold as a two (2) cassette set - one cassette is the program itself, and the second was a conventional head cleaner which actually would have been useful. Both the LP and the cassette kit are quite rare and hard to find today. Cheers - Dave Meredith

—Dave ("Radio Hour") Meredith

January 10, 2011 5:50 pm

Thanks for the info, Dave. I'm only familiar with the LP. Given that you had to order it by mail and it wasn't available in stores, I'm not surprised that it's rare now. It has a very "advertorial" feel to it compared to anything else the Lampoon did. Half of the insert was real ads for stereo equipment. Do you think the original questioner is thinking of the "Car Stereo Test" tape? It sounds like it could be to me. I vaguely remember an ad for it in the magazine.


January 10, 2011 6:21 pm

Yes, Duane is describing this "car stereo tape" correctly. See July 1980, page 79. Cheers - DM

—Dave Meredith

January 10, 2011 6:48 pm

Cool. Thanks everyone.


January 10, 2011 6:52 pm

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