National Lampoon is a comedy magazine started in 1970, as a spin-off of the Harvard Lampoon, which was founded in 1876. The magazine focused on parody and surrealist humor, of a variety of lengths. Based around intelligent humor, it became perhaps better known for crass, bawdy jokes. Since the brand has been revived in 2002, this style has become the primary focus.

The magazine spun-off into books, recordings, radio, theatre productions, and movies like Animal House and the Vacation series. Many of the stage troupe's original actors (including John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner) went on to form the original cast of Saturday Night Live.

Parodies and references

  • The October 1970 issue of the magazine included "Abbie Visits 1600 Sesame Street.[1]
  • October 1971's issue features "125th Street", a story by Anne Beatts and Michel Choquette. This article parodies Sesame Street; set in a ghetto, characters include Big Rat, Cocaine Monster, Oreo the Roach, and Ramone the Silverfish.
  • The December 29, 1973 episode of the radio show is devoted entirely to Watergate. All major sketches are based on Richard Nixon or Spiro Agnew, including "Big Dick", a Sesame Street parody.[2]
  • The April 1981 issue featured the story, "The Decline and Fall of the Muppet Empire" written by Gerald Sussman and illustrated by Randall Enos.


  • Henry Beard helped found the National Lampoon magazine
  • Christopher Cerf was contributing editor of the magazine from launch in 1970, through to 1978, and contributed musical material to the The National Lampoon Radio Hour
  • Sarah Durkee was an actor for the National Lampoon comedy troupe
  • Paul Jacobs was the musical director for the National Lampoon
  • John Weidman wrote and acted for National Lampoon
  • Ellis Weiner was once editor of the National Lampoon magazine
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