Monday, June 4, 2007

The Origin of The Three Pillars

This is the cover of National Lampoon #82, which is where I first saw the maxim of publishing baron William Randolph Hearst about pretty girls, babies and dogs. For those who remember National Lampoon, it is obvious that at least one of the editors really didn't like dogs very much. There was also a famous cover that included the warning "BUY THIS MAGAZINE OR WE'LL SHOOT THIS DOG!"

I went online to find a scan of this cover, and stumbled upon a website dedicated to National Lampoon. Those of us who liked the magazine all have the same opinion. When it started, very funny. Then, less funny. Finally, not funny at all.

Padre Mickey blames P.J. O'Rourke for the not funny at all era. The people who are such fans that they maintain a website to the magazine some 30 years after the Golden Era count the 50th issue as the cutoff point between funny and going downhill. In O'Rourke's defense, he was with the magazine as a writer from the beginning. In Padre Mickey's defense, by the time they gave O'Rourke the reins, the magazine was pure crap and never pulled out of the tailspin.

I suppose you will never look at the labels Pretty Girls, Babies and Dogs in the same way after this. Sigh.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Nat Lamp in it's glory years was where I learned that the written word could be funnier than the spoken word. It was one of the twin pillars of journalism for me, the other was Mad Magazine. There was nothing so funny as a Doung Kenney story, photofunnies, and Letters From the Editor.

Matty Boy said...

Doug Kenney was great. Michael O'Donoghue and Tony Hendra were also top drawer.

Letters From The Editor were genius. I remember a running gag they did one issue with letters from Bob Guccione of Penthouse.

Dear Sirs:
Do you make these letters up or what?
Bob Guccione

Dear Sirs:
I was fourteen when I lost my virginity to a twenty year old college student. She was fantastic.

I once had sex with two Swedish stewardesses on a layover in Paris. It was great.

I don't know why, I just thought I'd write and tell you this.
Bob Guccione