Welcome to the world of National Lampoon! Established in 1970, National Lampoon has been the source of some of the funniest and most popular humor ever created.
From cult classic movies to irreverent magazine articles, National Lampoon has been bringing the funny to the world for over 50 years. But have you ever wondered why it’s called National Lampoon? Well, wonder no more.
We’ve got all the answers to the why’s, when’s and wherefore’s that you’ve been pondering. Keep reading to find out exactly why National Lampoon has such a fitting name.
Why is it called National Lampoon?National Lampoon is a franchise known for its comedy, satire, and humor seen in magazines, books, radio, television, and film. National Lampoon’s original name was the National Lampoon Magazine, which first appeared in April, 1970.
Origin of NameThe origin of the name National Lampoon is up for debate. The magazine itself may have suggested it, as its first issue featured a cartoon dog, called a “National Lampooned Airedale”, standing at attention and with a cigar in its mouth.
This could be seen as a humorous reference to the English magazine Punch, an important influence in the comedic magazine’s form. On the other hand, one of the magazine’s tax attorneys suggested the name due to his own fascination with the Molière play “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme”, in which the character “Mr. Jourdain” refers to himself as a “lampoon”.
Formation of National Lampoon MagazineThe original National Lampoon Magazine was part of a joint venture between Harvard Lampoon Magazine and National Lampoon Magazine, founded by Matty Simmons, a former advertising executive for Saturday Review. It was written by students from Harvard University and other prestigious universities.
It allowed up-and-coming comedians and writers to share their short stories and published their cartoons in the glossy magazine.
Success of the Magazine and Expansion of the FranchiseThe National Lampoon Magazine quickly became a success among those looking for adult-orientated comedy. It honed in on its appeal to college-aged students and young comedy fans, who had recently been exposed to edgy, ground-breaking comedy from the likes of Monty Python, Richard Pryor and George Carlin.
As the reach of the magazine grew, so did the National Lampoon brand’s appeal. In the late seventies and early eighties, National Lampoon grew in success and name recognition — the franchise added a touring stage show, radio dramas, and several feature films.
It is believed that this expansion led National Lampoon to become a trusted source for comedic entertainment.