National Lampoon Parodies 1972 - Douglas C. Kenney (1947-1980) and Henry N. Beard
January 1972 - Is Nothing Sacred? Issue (Tony Hendra)
(Sean Kelly and Michel Choquette and Neal Adams and Anne Beats) Son-O-God Comics - In this first episode, the Antichrist is converting the world to religion 24/7 with the help of the Scarlet Woman and the devil. Bennie David of Brooklyn, NY says the magic word ("Jee-zuz!") changing into S-O-G and then summons his twelve apostles from the YMHA. However, the devil thing subdues our hero and the eight-page story ends with the cliff-hanger: "Could this be the end of civilization as we know it?" The parody ad is for mail order items including a Jewish disguise kit and a trick Bible. The comic ends with a letters page ("The Word from the Bird") in which the Son-O-God answers reader questions about previous issues ("Whatever happened to that gutsy little lamb?" etc.).
(Tony Hendra and Michael O'Donoghue and Sean Kelly and Henry Beard and Randall Enos) The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog - I am glad that this is the last one but I never really read any of the others. In the supplement we find good news for vegetarians: "Chickens are actually fast plants" and therefore OK for the diet; Joan "Her Nibs" Baez has written a new politically-incorrect song titled "Pull the Triggers, Niggers" [I do not approve of that title]; and we must pass Proposition #13 to save the "Northern California Mud Squid." However, the best parts of this catalog supplement are the five pages of R. Crumb parody drawings featuring "Fritz the Star" and many of the Crumb characters and sayings. Other cartoon cats: Felix, Krazy, Pat and Waldo make cameos and all of the people are pigs including Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett and Bob Hope. This Fritz is a sell-out media-star promoting the ultimate exploitation of the underground king: "Crumbland" where one can cavort with Mr. Natural, Flakey Foont, the Sewer Snoids and the whole Crumb experience. [JAM 4/18/2010]
(Michael O'Donoghue and Frank Springer) Crash Christian - This is a parody ("Scratch Another Slanteye") of Steve Canyon that appeared in the first "Funny Pages." In this episode, Crash is out of fuel and bullets over Phu Lang Thuong with two MIG-21s on his tail. Fortunately, he remembers to pray to his "heavenly father" to bring lightning down upon the enemy.
February 1972 - Crime! Issue
(Anne Beats and Michel Choquette and Frank Springer) Riders of the Black Hand Comics - Somebody took Mussolini's bowler hat in 1923 and rigged it with explosives. However, the hat was accidentally given to Mafia boss, Don Vito (Cascio Ferro). Mussolini finally retrieved his hat thus starting a vendetta against the Don. Ad parody is for the Mafia booklet, "Muscling in on Life."
(H.B. Nichols) Dick Tracy - Dick, Sam and the Chief are on the take from organized crime. However, crime figures "Peckerface" and "Pockmark" are concerned that Tracy is playing them for suckers. This is an excellent Sunday comics parody with lots of Chester Gouldisms. My favorite is the "two-way wallet."
(Michael O'Donoghue and Frank Springer) Crash Christian - Crash is in a dogfight with the Jewish pilot ("the Barnstorming Moneylender") in the second episode, "I'll Spit on Your Grave, Hooknose!" Both pilot call upon the deity to strike down the other. The results are mixed but our hero survives for the next episode, "Bite the Dust, Commo Creeps!" [JAM 4/19/2010]
March 1972 - Escape! Issue (Michel Choquette) [Hitler cover]
April 1972 - 25th Anniversary Issue
(John Boni and Henry Beard) Third Base - This is an eight-page pulp parody of a 1956 high school newspaper for dating. I am sure that no such thing ever existed except in the minds of NL writers. Almost half of the parody is filled with an interview with a real jerk, "Make-Out Man Tony Redunzo." Other features are "Date-Line" (confessions of a fast girl), a few personal ads and devices for grooming & kissing.
(Michael O'Donoghue and Frank Springer) Frontline Dentists - The war comics never really addressed the dental heroes on the battlefield. It takes a special person to be able to perform a root canal under fire. I like the use of the bayonet for a mouth wash stand.
(Doug Kenney and Frank Springer) Commieplot Comics - In Pleasantville, unemployed loser, Fred Jones joins the Commies who proceed to take over the town and the country I guess with so many paratroopers. They even shot the dog and now the theatre is playing "Thos. Jefferson Was a Shmoe." Aw, but it was all a dream or was it? Also included is "Herb Philbrick's Believe It Or Else!" (more Commie stuff).
(Bruce McCall) '58 Bulgemobiles - This is a seven-page, full-color, illustrated ad-parody for some United States of America big-finned, gas-guzzling automobiles including the "New Flashbolt Special Custom Flairwing SkyTop two-door Deluxe Supreme Sport Coupe 3000 in Bessarabian Plum, Omdurman Yellow, and Tundra Frost Silver."
(Henry Beard and Michael O'Donghue) - Gamma Hutch - This is a partial parody of Playboy featuring the latest luxury fallout shelter. With ample alliteration and multiple double entendres, the writers guide us through the hutch with the able assistance of Carol and Vicki. [JAM 4/20/2010]
May 1972 - Men! Issue (Anne Beats)
(Sean Kelly and Barry Smith and Sam Rosen and Anne Beats and Ed Bluestone) Norman the Barbarian - In this comic book parody, Norman (Mailer) and his dwarf-companion (Jimmy) Bress-Lin are defeated by Amazon women but survive to do battle in the city of No-Dork against a giant sphincter, several hermaphrodites, the video-buggers and finally the many-headed media monster whose tentacles terminate with the heads of Carson, Cavett, Griffin and Buckley. The barbarian defeats the monster with his giant ink pen. Ad parody is for the "Rockwell Home Orifice Protection Systems" that protect sleeping men against unwanted, nocturnal, homosexuals invasions.
(Henry Beard and Gray Morrow) My Gun Is Cute - Private eyelash Meg Hammer gets her nose shiny when called to investigate the murder of a Jane Doe. Flatheel Meg enters the Club Aristo and gets hit with a blackjane. She gets back on her feet and traces the goons to a warehouse full of heroin hidden in feminine hygiene spray cans. The author's name is "Germaine Spillane." Got it. [JAM 4/22/2010]
June 1972 - Science Fiction Issue
(Doug Kenney and Bruce Jones) The Last TV Show - In 1955, the Captain Fred Show is facing cancellation until a new special effects company presents their products. The aliens abduct the entire show, cast and building. Actually, I prefer the tree people. And, I do not approve of their treatment of small animals.
(Doug Kenney and Crad Kilodney and Timothy Mayer) UFO, The Flying Saucer Magazine - The cover warns us about radio-controlled cattle and inside we are also warned that alien beings really want our ammonia. I say give it to them! This issue features an article from Edna Finley who has been pregnant for 28 months, the Space Lady named Estrella who has an IQ of 270 but cannot verify the boiling point of water, and some recommended reading: "Were Hippies Dropped from UFOs?"; "The Quest for Johnny Saucerseed;" and "Of Course We're Real, You Dumbbells." [JAM 4/23/2010]
July 1972 - Surprise! Issue
(John Boni and Henry Beard) Saigon Times - This is a four-page newspaper parody to remind us of all of the atrocities committed by the U.S. government in the name of democracy or something. Not funny!
(P.J. O'Rourke and Dean Latimer and Gray Morrow) Third World Thrills - Michael Rockefeller (1938-1961?) was presumed dead when de disappeared in New Guinea but he was really part of a huge corporate plot to dominate the world by developing a killer sickle-cell anemia virus, creating a detour for Ted Kennedy and placing Richard Nixon in the presidency. Our hero, the unnamed co-pilot survives a voodoo-induced small plane crash and educates the natives to rise up against their massas. Warning: this parody is extremely offensive to African-Americans. Ad parody is for Nixon's book (My Life) and his sure-proof method of turning second-rate powers into top dogs.
(Ed Bluestone) Better Mouth and Saliva Catalog - Contains everything for the wealthy mouth-fetishist including Eric Sevareid's Plaque, horse-saliva mouthwash, tongue fur, paint-by-the-number palate frescoes and dental horoscopes. Mr. Bluestone is warped. [JAM 4/23/2010]
August 1972 - The Miracle of Democracy Issue
(Michael O'Donoghue and Don Perlin) Tales from the South - In this horror comic parody, the wife of Governor Wallace has returned from the grave to haunt hubby George who murdered her by feeding her a diet of diseased rats. Lurleen, the zombie brings the rats back to attack George and his supporters. George escapes and hops on a bus filled with the zombie of black folks killed by white supremacists on the way to integrate a white cemetery. Mr. O'Donoghue always seems to leave an important aspect of parody out of his stories - humor. As usual, the tale is gross but not too funny. Ad parody is for "Eutepe Enterprises" - for mail-order songwriting with a testimonial from "P. McC."
(Henry Beard and Chris Miller and Sharon Franklin and Michael Gross and Tony Hendra and Hugo Flesch and Idie Meg Emery and Ellen Taurins) True Politics - True confessions of true politicos fill this magazine parody including columns by Rose Kennedy and Mayor Daley. John Mitchell wiretaps Martha. Too true to be too funny. [JAM 4/24/2010]
September 1972 - Boredom Issue (George W.S. Trow)
(Dean Latimer and Sean Kelly) The National Geographic Magazine - In the featured article, Society representatives travel by land rover to the borough of Queens where natives are seen watching baseball and drinking beer. The most common food of these inhabitants is the tv dinner consisting of meat, potatoes and vegetable. Few modern expeditions had dared to travel so deep into this strange, backward culture. Natives were seen to "go Chug-a-Lug" that was often followed by "Heng-uvver."
(H. Nichols and Ralph Reese) Celebrity Siblings Comics - F. Donald Nixon - Don Nixon is the most boring man on Earth and he has a face like a potato. [JAM 4/26/2010]
October 1972 - Fabulous Sixties Issue (Sean Kelly)
(Dean Latimer and P.J. O'Rourke and Henry Beard) The New York Times - This 1972 issue of the Times envision a parallel universe where the Kennedy assassinations never occurred. RFK is president and Richard Nixon has just filed for bankruptcy because his chain of hamburger stands has failed. Former president JFK is speaking at the dedication of his presidential library after divorcing Jackie. The war in Vietnam is still raging as RFK seems to be acting in the same manner as the Nixon administration that we knew and hated. Right-winger O'Rourke surely had a hand in this irony. I was certainly not ready for Kennedy humor in 1972. For all of the optimism of the Sixties, political murders made it one of the saddest chapters of our time.
(Tony Hendra and Sean Kelly and Neal Adams and Cindy Laverty) The Ventures of Zimmerman - After his parents mailed him to Hibbing, Minnesota ("Genius Handle with Care"), Young Bobby Zimmerman transformed himself into pop star, Bob Dylan. However, he had to revert to his secret identity to combat the British Invasion (Beatles et al.) and to rescue the Woodstock performers from financial ruin. Ad parody is for the "Counterculture Mint" with coins depicting ten years of protest.
(Michael O'Donoghue and Wally Neibart) Where the Weird Thinks Are - Leave it to O'Donoghue to delve into the worst aspects of the Sixties. This, of course, is not a story for children. Little Max does some naughty things and meets some weird and evil people. This parody of the Maurice Sendak book is not funny at all.
(Dean Latimer and Ray Schultz) Junkhead - Drawn in the underground comic style, this parody tells the story of Archie and the gang who did not fare so well in the Sixties after high school. Narrator Junkhead tells how Archie got drafted, Veronica got a boutique and Betty got way too many offspring. Junkhead went to San Francisco where he partied with the Freak Brothers and over-medicated. [JAM 5/1/2010]
November 1972 - Decadence Issue (Michael O'Donoghue)
(Michael O'Donoghue and Mary Jenifer Mitchell and Neke Carson) Fredrick's of Toyland - Not so far removed from "Little Miss Sunshine" pageants, this catalog offers lingerie for toddlers including high-heels, whips and boots.
December 1972 - Easter Issue
(Sean Kelly and Michel Choquette and Neal Adams) Son-O-God Comics - Our hero loses the first battle with the devil but his 12 disciples drag him back to Bennie's house where his mother's chicken soup brings him back from the dead. Meanwhile, Antichrist has run rampant across the U.S. of A., chopping down the giant sequoias, reshaping Mt. Rushmore, and generally foisting Roman Catholicism on the country. However, before Antichrist can finish his crusade in the southern states, Son-O-God returns with fish and loaves for everyone. Ad parody is for "Protestant Products" including "white trash cans" and a spy device to save thy neighbor. The letters page ("The Word from the Bird") beseeches Son-O-God readers to also purchase Calvin the Barbarian in "The Sack of Rome." [JAM 5/1/2010]