National Lampoon Parodies 1970 - Douglas C. Kenney (1947-1980) and Henry N. Beard

April 1970 - Sexy Cover Issue

(Steve Kaplan) White House Romance - In this color comic book parody, Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower are celebrating their wedding anniversary.  However, all is not well because David wants to have marital relations and Julie is afraid to have a baby.  The four-page comic includes appearances by sister Trisha and mother Pat.  The parody also has a full-page, typical comic-book ad for a "magic formula" in a spray can to transform unwanted protestors. 

(Mark MacArthur) Playbore - This partial parody of Playboy features only the unfunny "Dirty Jokes" and Miss April whose hobbies include scale-modeling of 1498 Stratford, England with apricots, bathtub scuba-diving, and playing tenor cymbals.  In the centerfold, Miss April is drunk.

(Michael O'Donoghue 1940-1994 and George W.S. Trow 1943-2006 writing as Tamara Gould) Mondo Perverto Expose Magazine - This six-page parody of sleazy tabloid magazines targets the perverted and ignorant people who enjoy bizarre stories of depravity.  The magazine explores euthanasia for the aged, vampire cows, do-it-yourself sex changes, and the countess who turned into a sheep.  The pages after the cover are purposely printed on cheap pulp paper.

(John Weidman) I, a Splurch - Theodore Geisel (1904-1991) aka "Dr. Seuss" probably did not like this parody of his children's poetry.  It seems that Seymour the Splurch belongs to an unusual family of birds who feed on their young. 

Douglas Kenney and Peter Bramley 1944-2005) Avant Gauche - This is a combination parody of an ad for the Avant Garde magazine published by Ralph Ginzburg (1929-2006) from 1968 to 1971, and the art of Norman Rockwell (1894-1978).  The ad promises "347 erotic engravings" by "Normal Rockwall" produced "in a single burst of turpentine-induced hysteria" after Rockwall accidentally drank some paint thinner.  The sample drawing by Bramley is excellent. [JAM 12/15/2009]

May 1970 - Greed Issue

(Douglas Kenney) The Gall Street Journal - This is the first of many classic parodies by the genius, Doug Kenney who could have written the whole magazine by himself if he wanted.  Printed on yellowing newspulp, the parody is the full front page of the May 14, 1970 newspaper with ads on the reverse dated April 31 (?), 1970.  Feature articles covered Dr. Ovaltine's six-foot, "ball of brown fur" that reproduces as quickly as tribbles, and the perfect Stayprest family trying to exist on $50,000 per year.  News stories include World War III, the Israeli theft of the Great Pyramid of Cheops, problems in the Caw Dhung province, and the Greek junta that outlawed the works of Pinky Lee.  Other articles reflect on the starving commune that is trying to exist by selling sandals to each other, and the dog who received a credit card in the mail and spent $16,000 in Acapulco.  April 31 ads are for "The Society for the Prevention of Fiscal Irresponsibility", "Fli-Bi-Nite" parking meter franchises, and an "Endless Series of Refunding Mortgage Bonds."

One piece of financial gibberish deserves to be quoted here in full: "Sharp price increases and a continued business slowdown during the third quarter offset by an estimated 7% upturn with extensive revisions in predicted advances after profit taking as well as a soaring debt ceiling projected against earnings in conjunction with a moderate cooling of the economy and as yet unchecked inflationary spiral."

(Tamara Gould) True Finance - This short (four pages) parody of True Romance offers a cover, two stories (one to be continued on page 887) and two advertisements.  The cover promises but does not deliver a confession about Bernie Baruch (1870-1965), and how to make big bucks on paper routes and by electroplating baby shoes.  The first story tells how a young couple hit the big time by trading babies.  The other story is the lurid tale of the heiress and the houseboy.  Ads promote lip-salve futures and land in Mesa de Los Muertos (land of the dead?).  Writer Gould (Trow?) does a good job of merging greed with romance but who cares?  Not me. [JAM 12/21/2009]

June 1970 - Blight Issue

(Fran Kafka) Bizarre (The Magazine for Mutants) - In 1992 after World War III, this parody of a woman's magazine presents lingerie fashions for the beautiful mutant women of the world.  The cover shows a glamorous woman with lovely, styled facial hair.  Columnists tell readers how to deal with multiple appendages and crustacean-like skin.  "Chandra Changeling" write the horoscope for Taurus, Gemini and Cancer advising those to display your horns proudly, dance with your Siamese twin, and make friends with the aquarium attendant who cleans your tank, respectively.

(Christopher Cerf, Michael Frith & Michael O'Donoghue) Sludge (The Magazine of Gunk) - This 12-page pulp-magazine parody extols the virtues of pollution mostly sponsored by General Motors.  Full-page inside cover ads promote the "Famous Polluters School" and "Sludge Safaris" through chemical leak areas in Oregon and Washington.  Articles offers the many positive uses of oil slicks; how detergents make the fish, frog and snail sparkle; and how to eliminate those annoying baby harp seals.  There is a centerfold of Miss Sludge covered with oil and some of Uncle Glunkle's wildlife stamps featuring the wonderful brown rat, housefly and other parasites.  The final article explains that one can save enough money in major U.S. cities in five years by breathing smog instead of buying cigarettes to buy a Rolls-Royce. I detect a note of cynicism here.

(Nicholas Fish) L*fe - This very short (two pages) parody of Life tells the sad tale of the endangered species of Nazis "which only a few decades ago roamed Europe ..."  Photos show uniformed marchers (migrating?) and a survivor (Werner von Braun).

(John Weidman & Joe Orlando 1927-1998) Marc Trail - With aerosol can at the ready, Marc pursues the stealthy roach from his table scraps to the crack in the wall. [JAM 1/1/2010]

July 1970 - Bad Taste Issue

(Douglas Kenney & Bill Skurski) The Liz Taylor & Richard Burton (1925-1984) Gift Catalogue - This catalog parody offers 27 items for those who have "stupefying wealth."  Items range from Rod McKuen Toilet Tissue for 49 cents to the country of Zambia for just less than seven billion dollars ("Hours of fun as you incite and crush bloody revolutions!").  For $1,887,600.98, Liz & Dick will purchase the original "Blue Boy" painting by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) and turn it into a jigsaw puzzle just for you.

(Douglas Kenney & Bill Dubay) Li'l Bigmouth - The Dogpatch cartoon characters visit their right-wing creator (Al Capp 1909-1979) who sits on a pedestal and pontificates about student protest, welfare and Vietnam until he explodes to reveal the real mind behind the voice - William F. Buckley (1925-2008).

(Michel Choquette & Sean Kelly) The Greatest Show Off Earth! - This is a two-page ad for the double album of "the wit and wisdom of the astronauts" - actual humorous quotations from space.  Also included on side 3 is the poem ("Twinkle, twinkle, Gemini 5) read by Pete Conrad's wife, Jane.  [JAM 1/3/2010]

August 1970 - Paranoia Issue

(J. Albano & Joe Orlando) Tales of Terror - The Secret of San Clemente - It was a dark and stormy night as John Mitchell (1913-1988) enters the castle to view the work of evil scientist Melvin Laird and his hunchback assistant, Martha Mitchell (1918-1976).  The experiment has not gone well so Laird summons his monster, Spiro Agnew (1918-1996) to find more body parts.  Various cabinet members contribute parts to build a new Statue of Liberty.  But The Master, Richard Nixon (1913-1994) is not pleased.  The comic book parody drawn by EC and Mad veteran Orlando also include an ad for "343 Vietnam Soldiers" complete with one Bob Hope (1903-2003), six body bags and twelve "Teddy in '72" buttons.

(Michael O'Donoghue & Peter Bramley) The Daily Roach Holder - This parody of an underground newspaper offers a short review of The Montana Festival that was moved to New Jersey because of roadblocks, some nasty poorly-drawn comics, how to make grenades and store dynamite, terrible poetry, obscure musicians and strange classified ads.  The columnist-in-the-know reminds everyone that "Californians spend most of their time thinking up new names for dope."  As one who lived through the 1960s, I can attest that the Roach Holder would have been right at home on the alternative newsstands of the day.  Bramley's cover drawing is an excellent combination of R. Crumb and Gilbert Shelton.  [JAM 1/6/2009]

September 1970 - Show Biz Issue

(Michael Choquette & Sean Kelly & Joe Orlando & Henry Scarpelli & Peter Bramley) College Concert Cut-Ups - The square, Archie-like students of some middle America college book Frank Zappa (1940-1993) for the homecoming dance.  The kids ask a bunch of stupid questions and Zappa's bandmates ignore most of them.  The comic book parody has good drawings but no story.

(Douglas Kenney & J. Maslin) Screen Slime - This  is a ten-page movie magazine parody with two great ad parodies ("Cliff Palate's Good English Institute" and "Rip-Off Art Schools").  Henry Beard poses as the wise English professor.  The entire publication is written by gossipy "Wanda Glitz" who reveals that Mia Farrow has had a whale pancreas transplant, Tom Jones was gang-raped by the Viet Cong, Sally Field has been dating Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), Barbra Streisand can use her nose to steal coins from pay telephones, and that Marlon Brando (1924-2004) has a thing for Pope Paul VI (1897-1978).  Feature articles dish Glitz gossip about Liz & Dick and Mick Jagger & any available teenage girl. 

(Henry Beard & Michael O'Donoghue) Varietzky - Lampoon editors envision the Russian entertainment scene including courtroom show trials, "Please Don't Eat the Bolshoi", "Preparing Turnips for Broth" and the one-man play about a fisherman and his love for his shrimp boat.  [JAM 1/7/2010]

October 1970 - Politics Issue


November 1970 - Nostalgia Issue

(Michael O'Donoghue) Guts Magazine - The Dink Patrol and the Love Slaves of Xuyan Tan Phu - Echoing the atrocities of My Lai, O'Donoghue relates an unfunny story about the Dink Patrol soldiers who slaughtered unarmed Vietnamese women and children.  Lampoon used the guise of a men's magazine parody story to make a point about the U.S. involvement in the horrors of war.  We get it.

(Barry Zaid & ?) Cat-Calls - Ezra Taft Benson High School Year Book 1956 - Four years before the National Lampoon editors published the popular 150-page high school yearbook parody, Kaleidoscope, they had a test run with the ten-page "Cat Calls."  The book is dedicated to the late civics teacher who was probably also a Communist and a pedophile.  The book includes numerous terrible photographs many of which are poorly altered to cover facial flaws.  Club photos include the huge Spanish Club and the one-person Chess Club.  At the end is the signature page with several very corny messages for Mary-Elizabeth (Winkie) Flounce.  How did we ever survive high school?

(Cloud & ?) Sears, Roebuck & Co. New 1896 Sex Catalogue - This erotic "Catalogue" features intricately-designed, mechanical contraptions to improve the disposition of 19th-century consumers.  Devices include the crank- or steam-powered "Home Invigorator" that may also be used on pets, the "Ladies' Roto-Relaxer" and of course the "Combination Child Trainer And Erotic Stereopticon."

(Henry Beard & Peter Bramley) - Disney Rejects - Through the efforts of the Lampoon staff, we learn about the Disney characters that did not make the final cut: Tallulah Tarantula, Freddy Fly, Manny Moth, Sammy Squid, Lester Lamprey, Melvin Maggot, Timmy Tapeworm and Chester McCowflop (27 years before South Park).  Thanks, guys. [JAM 1/8/2010]

December 1970 - Christmas Issue

(Joe Orlando) Whitehouse Romance Comics - Tricia Nixon has a crush on Prince Charles but he does not seem to return her advances, except maybe that one time.  Princess Anne is just no fun at all.  The comic book includes an ad for "Uncle Marc's Secret Spy Club" that promises prizes to youngsters for ratting on friends and family.

(Robert Goldman) Sob Story - Irving's father is in the pants business and his grandfather invented the trouser snap.  In this parody of Love Story, Irving meets Naomi at Harvard where he is the star of the ping-pong team.  Naomi's father, Marcel Greenbaum approves of the couple but Irving's father disowns him and refuses to attend the wedding.  Naomi, the business major, is sure that Irving is "going to write a slim novel with short sentences and make a whole pile of money."  Naomi worked in a cannery while Irving wrote the book.  She died and he got rich.  [JAM 1/9/2010]