Henry N. Beard

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Executive Editor, 1970-72
Editor-in-Chief, 1973-75

One of the founders of the National Lampoon, along with Doug Kenney and Rob Hoffmann. Prior to NatLamp, Beard had collaborated with Kenney at the Harvard Lampoon during the late ’60s, producing nationally distributed parodies of Life and Time magazines and a book-length parody of The Lord of the Rings called Bored of the Rings.

Beard was the calm center of the magazine, according to known sources, and was (still is) a master at parody. One of his favorite techniques was the reversed premise (for example: a “news” item about a vat of mercury tainted by tuna).

Beard was responsible for the “News on the March” section, which really came into its own as the follies of the Nixon administration escalated to the Watergate scandal.

Beard, Kenney, and Hoffmann had a 5-year buyout clause in their contract with NatLamp‘s publisher, 21st Century Communications. The three excercised the option when the time came, to the tune of $7-million divided among them. Kenney stayed on for another year, while Hoffmann had left in 1971. Inexplicably, Beard said his good-byes and walked out the door, never to return.

After leaving NatLamp, Beard apparently took some time off. Then, in 1981, he began authoring and co-authoring humor books. Beard’s post-NatLamp writing is recognizable, but more mainstream. Of the over 30 titles he has produced, few could be considered political satire. Nonetheless, I can always count on anything he writes to put me in stitches.

Note: Hugo Flesch” is not a pseudonym used by Henry Beard, as I had previously stated on this page. Hugo Flesch is a real and talented writer who wrote a number of very funny articles for National Lampoon (sometimes collaborating with Beard) including such classics as “Chums In the Dark,” “Printout: The Magazine Written by Computers for Computers,” and “Does the Name Pavlov Ring a Bell?” I based my erroneous assertion on some admittedly thin circumstantial evidence in the way certain articles in the magazine were credited. It’s not my habit to make such bold, baseless assertions, but in this case, that’s exactly what I did. My apologies to Hugo, and also to his sister Abigail who brought this to my attention. —MS

Other works by Henry Beard:


Bored of the Rings: A Parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings
Henry N. Beard & Douglas C. Kenney, 1969

Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1981

Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1982

Dodosaurs: The Dinosaurs That Didn’t Make It
Rick Meyerowitz & Henry Beard, 1983

Ship’s Log
Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1983

Fishing: An Angler’s Dictionary
Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1983

Miss Piggy’s Treasury of Art Masterpieces from the Kermitage Collection
Henry Beard (Editor), 1984

Cooking: A Cook’s Dictionary
Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1985

The Pentagon Catalog: Ordinary Products at Extraordinary Prices
Henry Beard & Christopher Cerf, 1986

Golfing: A Duffer’s Dictionary
Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1987

The No Sweat Aptitude Test (NSAT)
Henry Beard, 1988

A Dictionary of Silly Words About Growing Up: Written for Parents Who Never Understand Anything Anyway
Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1988

Skiing: A Skier’s Dictionary
Henry Beard & Roy McKie, 1989

Latin for All Occasions: Lingua Latina Occasionibus Omnibus
Henry Beard, 1990

The Book of Sequels
Henry Beard, Christopher Cerf, Sarah Durkee, & Sean Kelly, 1990

Latin for Even More Occasions: Lingua Latina Multo Pluribus Occasionibus
Henry Beard, 1991

Latin for All Occasions and Even More Occasions/Audio Cassette
Henry Beard, 1991

French for Cats: All the French Your Cat Will Ever Need
Henry Beard, John Boswell, & Gary Zamchick (illustrator), 1991

The Official Exceptions to the Rules of Golf
Henry Beard, John Boswell, & Ken Lewis (illustrator), 1992

The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook
Henry Beard, Christopher Cerf, 1993

Golf Your Way
Henry Beard, 1993

The Way Things Really Work (And How They Actually Happen)
Henry Beard & Ron Barrett, 1993

The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook/Book and Cassette
Henry Beard & Christopher Cerf, 1994

Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse
Henry Beard & Gary Zamchick (Illustrator), 1994

Sex and Dating: The Official Politically Correct Guide
Henry Beard & Christopher Cerf, 1994

Leslie Nielsen’s Stupid Little Golf Book
Leslie Nielsen, Henry Beard, 1995

O.J.’s Legal Pad
Henry Beard, John Boswell, & Ron Barrett, 1995

The Official Sexually Correct Dictionary and Dating Guide
Henry Beard & Christopher Cerf, 1995

The Official Sexually Correct Dictionary and Dating Guide/Cassette
Henry Beard & Christopher Cerf, 1995

Bad Golf My Way
Leslie Nielsen, Henry Beard, & E.H. Wallop, 1996

The Unshredded Files of Hillary and Bill Clinton
Henry Beard & John Boswell, 1996

What’s Worrying Gus? The True Story of a Big-City Bear
Henry Beard & John Boswell, 1995

Mulligan’s Laws; A Lifetime of Golfing Wisdom from the Genius Who Invented the Do-Over by Thomas Mulligan
Henry Beard, 1993

The Official Exceptions to the Rules of Golf, Centennial Edition: The Hacker’s Bible
Henry Beard & John Boswell, 1997

Zen for Cats
Henry Beard, 1997