Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

324. Streetlight Inspector Ad

August 3, 2011

Q: I remember seeing in a National Lampoon Magazine in the 70s a fake ad like something you’d see in an old magazine that went something like “Become a Certified Street Light Inspector” by taking a mail order or vocational school course that I thought was interesting and funny. Do you know anything about that? Also interested in info in a fake advertising spread or article about exaggerated ’50s-type cars and/or ocean liners whose scale was so big it dwarfed the passengers.

A: The streetlight inspector ad was in the “Popular Workbench” magazine parody, by Bruce McCall, from the July 1974 (Modern Times) issue. McCall also did the other articles you describe (the “Bulgemobile” series of car brochure parodies and the “R.M.S. Tyrannic” brochure parody respectively). You can find all these articles and more in his book “Zany Afternoons”, which was published in the early ’80s. It’s out of print, but probably not to hard to find used, at Amazon for example.


Maybe it's just the edition I have, but "Zany Afternoons" is far from complete as regards the Bulgemobiles and Popular Workbench pieces. The three Bulgemobile brochures all have pages left out; the 1906 Bulge Buggy is enirely absent. The reprint of Popular Workbench is missing several articles, most of its cover headlines, and the colour from the fake cigarette ad. FYI, here are the Poon isues they appeared in: '58 Bulgemobiles, April 72 (25th Anniversary) '34 BMs, May '74 (50th Anniversary) '06 Bulge Buggy, April '75 (Car Sickness) '46 Bulgemobiles, April '79 (April Fool). Acomplete reprint of Popular Workbench appeared in Best Of #5.

—Car-Toon Car-ol

August 11, 2011 10:01 pm

You're right. I was going by memory and had forgotten that they were not quite complete reprints in Zany Afternoons.


August 19, 2011 10:43 pm

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