Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

344. “Jo’Burg” Magazine

September 25, 2011

Q: Can you tell me which issue featured a spoof of the Johannesburg Free Press. I believe it had a fold out picture depicting a white nuclear family sitting on a couch watching TV, they had surprised expressions on their faces, the text on the TV stated “Black Power comes to South Africa.” a power cord was visible extending from the TV off the page, when opened the cord was shown attached to a generator bicycle with a black man pedaling to power the TV. Within the issue was an ad from a department store in Johannesburg offering a special for the month stating that if a washing machine and I believe the accompanying dryer set was purchase the box would be donated to a needy Zulu family to be used as a room addition. Can you help me or am I deranged and dreamed it all up? I have looked through every image I can find. Unfortunately all of my Lampoon issues were destroyed by a broken water pipe in 1983. Thanks for your time.

A: That was in the September 1983 (All-Star Gala Self-Congratualtory) issue. It was a parody of New York magazine called “Jo’Burg”, or at least it took the format and tone of New York magazine.

Your memory of the cover is a little off: It shows a smiling, white couple watching tv (the screen is facing them, so you can’t see what’s on it) with the power cord going to a bicycle generator operated by a black man. No fold-out. The washing machine ad is just as you remembered.


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