National Lampoon Parodies 1974 - Henry Beard, Michael O'Donoghue, Tony Hendra, Brian McConnachie, Sean Kelly (Design Director: Michael Gross; Executive Editors: George W.S. Trow, P.J. O'Rourke; Senior Editor: Douglas Kenney)

January 1974 - Animals Issue

(Tony Hendra and Henry Beard) Pethouse - This is a short Penthouse parody with animals replacing people.  We have seen all of these jokes many times and I for one am not amused.

(Christopher Cerf and Henry Beard) Popular Evolution - The cover features the cow stomach ("Eat now, chew later").  This is the magazine for non-humans that provides them helpful tips on how to evolve.  Ad parody on page 71 ("Charles Darwin") gives common rodents a way to get even with lizards by evolving into bats in ten million years.  "Today's Army" (ants) "It's no picnic."  This one is OK but I am sure that Cerf and Beard strained for jokes in this parody.  Human jokes are easier.  [JAM 1/15/2011]

February 1974 - Strange Sex Issue

(Doug Kenney and Joe Orlando First Lay Comics - David Eisenhower is the unlikely spokesman for "Meatmaster Industries" condoms ad parody.  At "Tappa Kegga Bru" fraternity, "Four-Eyes" wins 84 dollars by making out with Bettypam, the ugliest sorority girl. 

(Sean Kelly and Tony Hendra and Gahan Wilson) National Lampoof - Classic cartoonist Wilson drew the cover of the 11-page "Precious Little Issue" as Lampoon lampoons itself.  Parody consists of very tasteless jokes about homosexual behavior if you like that sort of thing.  The strangest of the lot is the two-page "The Wimps in the Pillows" which is a parody within a parody of Wind in the Willows.  [JAM 1/15/2011]

March 1974 - Stupid Issue (George W.S. Trow)

(Sean Kelly and Joe Orlando and Alan Kupperberg) Classical Comics - The Republic by Plato - Well, it looks like a comic book parody but not a funny one.  I guess the jokes on me.  Socrates talks and his students agree.

(Tony Hendra and Henry Beard and P.J. O'Rourke) Stupid News & World Report - The House of Representatives is considering a bill to make Velveeta the national cheese.  In observance of a "U.N.-sponsored International Experiment in Stupid Living," India is sending "sacred cattle to wander in the streets of Los Angeles."  Led by Salvador Allende and Augusto Pinochet, Chile won the "Best Violent Revolution" award for 1973 in the annual "Judging of Unusual National Transfers of Authority" (JUNTA).  Lemons have "the juice of one whole lemon in every one!"  And, there are many more stupid stories where those were written.  [JAM 1/15/2011]

April 1974 - Travel Issue (Bruce McCall)

(Christopher Cerf and Henry Beard and Warren Sattler) Stampede: Prairie Central/Panhandle Airlines Magazine - This is the airline magazine of the company that merged prairie states flights with those that only served states with panhandles.  The PCPA airlines strictly avoids lucrative U.S. markets such as the east and west coasts.  You can take a direct PCPA flight from Wichita, Kansas to Wheeling, West Virginia, or from Fargo, North Dakota to Amarillo, Texas.  The safety information page recommends that all passengers remain in the "brace" position during the entire flight. 

(Brian McConnachie and Russ Heath) Amish in Space - I am not sure how they got there but space is definitely not the place for an Amish family.  Watch out for those space monkeys!  [JAM 1/17/2011]

May 1974 - 50th Anniversary Issue [not really]

(Sean Kelly and Michel Choquette) Son-O'-God Meets Zimmerman - The fourth comic book parody featuring Son-O'-God finds our hero strapped to an Israeli army Jeep to the approval of Golda Meir and Moishe Dayan.  The Israelis place the body in a "secret Zionist war museum" with other Jewish artifacts where the disciples find him and administer the chicken soup cure.  Son-O immediately starts converting Jews until Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) arrives with a billion dollar check.  Although Dylan crashes his motorcycle into the Wailing Wall, his spirit arises to confront the Judeo-Christian tradition.  To be continued.  Ad parody is for "132,000 pc. Roman Catholics!" toy set for just $1.98.

(Henry Beard and Brian McConnachie and Daniel Maffia) Leonardo da Vinci's Undiscovered Notebook, Volume II - The latest notes of da Vinci reveal his designs for a pocket watch, a joystick, a tommy-gun, the Vegematic, underarm deodorant, dice, a joke telescope, the Edsel trademark, crotchless underwear and an inflatable girl friend.  The man was a genius!  See also March 1971.

(Bruce BcCall) 1934 Bulgemobile Brochure - The "1934 Airdreme Nabob" features a single foot that combines the accelerator, brake and clutch ("Tap-a-Toe Futuroidic Footless De-Clutching").  These are really large cars for the Depression-era rich.  See also April 1972.  [JAM 1/17/2011]

June 1974 - Rainy Day Sunday Funbook Issue (Food Issue?)

(Bruce McCall) Cap'n Jasper's Boy O Boy - This is a 6.5" x 9" pulp parody of a May 1935 boy's magazine.  I suppose this is the sort of blather that passed for entertainment for boys in the days before comic books, television and video games.  The main story follows the "Beehive Boys" as they attempt to trap a smelly foreigner.  Author McCall fills this eight-page parody with innocuous stories and inappropriate commercial promotions. 

(John Weidman and Tony Hendra and Marty Geller) Cloo - This is a twisted version of the popular board game, Clue.  The game aims at some real-life situations that may or may not exist in certain ghetto communities.  Mr. Weidman and Mr. Hendra are not trying to mend any fences between races with this one.  [JAM 1/18/2011]

July 1974 - Dessert Issue [really offensive, tasteless cover photo]

(Brian McConnachie) Guns & Sandwiches - This is funny because it seems like an unusual combination of subjects for a magazine.  I guess.

(Christopher Cerf and Henry Beard) The Corporate Farmer's 1974 Almanac - The editors of NL have outdone themselves with this farmer's almanac updated to account for the excesses of corporate agribusinesses.  The almanac is the perfect guide for identifying targets for your bribe money, learning how to cheat government agencies and generally provide extremely substandard farm products while satisfying your greed.  NL would lead one to believe that farming was no longer an honorable profession.

(Sussman and Hendra) Famine Circle - This one is hard to read.  People are starving and it is not funny.  In the 21st century, we call this "poverty-porn."  [JAM 1/19/2011]

August 1974 - Isolationism and Tooth Care Issue

(?) National Lampoon - "Young Sex" fake cover.  This may be a parody cover but NL has used many equally tasteless covers.

(Christopher Cerf and Marvin Mattleson) Seed - Apparently, this is the pornography magazine for mature plants.  How many times can one writer describe plant interactions in human sexuality terms?  Writer Cerf repeats himself continually for eight pages.  It was funny the first time but ...  [JAM 1/20/2011]

(Michael Gross) National Lampoon - Parody cover "Leftovers" shows a hungry tapeworm wearing a steak bib.

September 1974 - Old Age Issue

(Ed Subitzky and Joe Orlando) Old Sex - In this romance comic book parody, an old couple meet in a rest home and try to think of the right words to say without dropping their dentures into the butter.  This is funny because old people cannot hear, see, talk, walk or remember.  Ad is for greeting cards that old people can sell to gain points so they can buy some physical aids like canes and jeweled walkers.

(Henry Beard and P.J. O'Rourke and Ed Subitzky) After Midnight - This tabloid parody reveals shocking stories about people who are growing old.  Mr. Edwin Cormack, who has been bald for thirty years, has started growing new hair from his ears.  Etc.

(Christopher Cerf and Henry Beard and Ed Subitzky) Old Ladies' Home Journal - The cover of this women's magazine promises stories such as: "Why ... (Mamie Eisenhower) ... is not dead" and "Those new prechewed foods" but none of the cover stories appear inside the magazine.  Horoscope symbols and monthly readings are updated to reflect the age of the readers.  The best part of the parody is the "Decorating" page that suggests that readers should "cover every horizontal or nearly horizontal surface with trinkets, souvenirs, and conversation pieces ..." with a helpful example.  The back cover is an ad parody for "Plasma Cola: For those who think old."  These young NL editors seem to have espoused a stereotypical view of those who are 50+ years older than them.

(P.J. O'Rourke and Nick Cardy) Decrepit Comics - Batfart - On the cover, the "Josher" (in a wheelchair) sends a giant, red shuffleboard puck at Batfart (wearing a hearing aid) who is using his bat-walker.  Inside, our hero, Aunt Barbara (aka Old Bat) and Bookkeeper Robert go after four of their old arch-enemies (not Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman) in the Bat-Nash.  However, Robert and the descendents of the criminals join forces to find the old ones legally incompetent.  Ad parody is for toy for old people from the "Sunken Chest" of "Die Laughing, Inc."  [JAM 1/20/2011]

October 1974 Pubescence Issue

(Dean Latimer and Neal Adams) VD Comics - Todd meets the wrong girl and contracts a drug-resistant venereal disease.  This has been a free public service publication from your local religious establishment.

(Doug Kenney and R. Kursar) Nancy Drew Mystery Series: The Case of the Missing Heiress - Nancy finds Patty Hearst and the SLA but her dad makes a deal with Publisher Hearst to allow Dad Drew to continue making payments on Patty's sporty roadster.  By 1974, contributions from co-founder Kenney were rare in NL.  However, with this simple Nancy Drew parody, Kenney shows that he was always the best of the NL writers.

(P.J. O'Rourke and Alan Rose and Marc Arceneaux) First Car Models - This is a very clever model of a used 1957 Ford that you can buy for just $257.

(P.J. O'Rourke and Dean Latimer and Brian McConnachie and David McClelland and Warren Sattler) Boys' Real Life - This is sure not like the Boys' Life magazine that I remember.  The look is good but the contents are not.  [JAM 1/21/2011]

November 1974 Civics Issue (Gerald Ford ice-cream-cone-on-forehead cover)

(Christopher Cerf and Henry Beard and Russ Heath) Constitutional Comics - The new Secretary of Transportation becomes 14th in line of succession for the presidency but he quickly starts planning his move up the ladder.  This comic book parody follows actual events that occurred during the Watergate scandal and the subsequent resignation of President Nixon.  Ad parody is for 349-piece toy set of "Watergate Key Figures" including unindicted co-conspirators, etc.

December 1974 Judeo-Christian Tradition Issue

(Sean Kelly and Neal Adams) Son-O'-God Special Origin Issue - Volume five of S-O-G takes us back to our hero's origin as the son of Brooklyn Jews, Mr. & Mrs. David.  The chosen one was chosen By Jehovah during the convening of the father gods in heaven.  Ad parody is for "Compreligious," a computer religion calculator.  [JAM 1/21/2011]