Newsweek (Harvard Lampoon) - April 14, 1947 (64 pages)

This is a very ambitious parody by the editors of Harvard Lampoon.  The cover photo for the issue is the "Man in the Street" (John Doe) standing in a manhole holding a daisy.  In post-war America, the economy is booming, Harry Truman is President, and Spring is in the air.

The Lampoon humor is evident in the fake "Letters" column about the previous issue and the long "Editorial Board" list that includes "Dinah Dozen", "Beau Vine", "Dyer Straits", "Oliver Sudden", "Natalie Cladd", "Anne T. Upp", "Juan der Lust", "Ray Zorstrop", "Sue T. Urselph", "Sue P. DuJour", "Sally Mander" and many others.  The 64-page parody mimics subjects covered by Newsweek including Art, Books, Business, Education, Movies, Sports, etc.  Although the humor is dated, this issue may be the most thorough parody of them all covering 26 different news topics, trends and opinion pieces.

I think one of the editors may have been related to Nostradamus with the following comment on page 22 under National Affairs - Animals: Cross Menagerie: "Nothing much short of an airplane crashing into a skyscraper ever alarms or even surprises a resident of New York City."

Also, Lampoon envisioned the adult "Little Orphan Annie" (with drawing) on page 38, fifteen years before Harvey Kurtzman's and Will Elder's Little Annie Fanny appeared in the pages of Playboy.

It appears that all of the advertisements are real including: "Yes we're up on our ABCs - Always Buy Chesterfield" and "More Doctors Smoke Camels".  However, there is silliness on almost ever page.  Some examples are: Albert Einstein's discovery that the minute contains only 59 seconds; a Swiss delegation complaining about their country's inadequate supply of tides; an attempt by Zebadiah Zimmerman to overthrow the alphabetical order; the fact that a baboon broke into City Hall and effectively ran New York City for 14 hours; the man who built a beaver-proof canoe; the story of Daphne Witherspoon, who demonstrated the art of logrolling in the White House swimming pool; writer Bull Penn getting stuck in a hopeless maze of temporal clauses at the Sporting Page Jargon Conference; gambling on hopscotch; and Desire Nussbaum's rewrite of Pocohontas ("Alone in the Great Big Woods").

My copy of Newsweek (Lampoon) came with a loose cover letter from a real Newsweek vice president warning readers of the unusual contents.  This 64-page weekly issue of Harvard Lampoon was apparently published with the full cooperation of the residents of the Newsweek Building residents on Broadway and 42nd Street.  Future Lampoon targets would not be treated as kindly. [JAM 9/5/2009]

Front Cover - Spring: A Challenge to the Man in the Street
Inside Front Cover - Camel cigarettes (ad parody)
2  Letters
9  For Your Information
11 The Periscope
14 Washington Trends
17 National Affairs
24 Washington Tides by Ernie Linseed
26 From the Capital
28 Foreign Affairs
30 Foreign Tides
31 Canadian Week
32 Pan American Week
34 Transition
36 Medicine
37 Science
38 The Press; Annie Doesn't Live Here Any More
39 Chaos and Confusion (drawing by Monc)
44 Business Tides
45 Radio
49 Music
50 Sports
54 Sport Week: Break Up the Phillies by Joe Larder
56 Education (drawing by Tenniel)
57 Theater
58 Art
61 Movies
62 Books
64 Perspective by Taymond Loley
Back Cover - Chesterfield cigarette (real ad)