National Lampoon (magazine)

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National Lampoon was a ground-breaking American humor magazine started in 1970, originally as a spinoff of the Harvard Lampoon.

During National Lampoon's most successful years, parody of every kind was a mainstay; surrealist content was also central to its appeal. Almost all the issues included long text pieces, shorter written pieces, a section of actual news items (dubbed "True Facts"), cartoons and comic strips. Most issues also included "Foto Funnies" or fumetti, which often featured nudity. National Lampoon humor often pushed far beyond the boundaries of what was generally considered appropriate and acceptable. As co-founder Henry Beard described the experience years later: "There was this big door that said, 'Thou shalt not.' We touched it, and it fell off its hinges."

The magazine reached its height of popularity and critical acclaim during the mid-to-late 1970s, when it had a far-reaching effect on American humor. The magazine also spawned films, radio, live theatre, various kinds of recordings, and books.

Many members of the creative staff from the magazine subsequently went on to contribute creatively to successful films, television shows, books and other media forms.

The magazine declined during the late 1980s and never recovered. It was kept alive minimally, but ceased publication altogether in 1998.


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