The Intro and the Outré

For years I searched for a website devoted to magazine parody and couldn’t find one, so I’ve decided to fill the gap myself. Granted, it’s not a huge gap: Magazine parodies — and their older sibling, newspaper parodies — are just a fraction of all parodies, and parody is only one of many forms of satire, which is itself a minority taste. But I hope this blog will appeal to the thousands — or dozens — of people out there who delight in fake issues of real publications. You know who you are.

The Cover of Mad's Post

Mad #39, page 43

I saw my first magazine parody at age 10, when “The Saturday Evening Pest” in a friend’s copy of Mad #39 gave me an early lesson is pop culture deconstruction. I was a senior in high school when the Harvard Lampoon‘s “Pl*yb*y” changed the parody game in 1966, and an undergraduate when ‘Poonies Doug Kenney and Henry Beard produced three of the finest college parodies ever: “Life” (1968), “Time” (1969) and “Bored of the Rings” (1969). By the time National Lampoon launched in 1970, I was hooked on parodies. Since then, I’ve acquired or examined nearly a thousand, ranging from the “The New Times” in the 18th century to this year’s spoofs of the Boston Globe and Time with would-be president Donald Trump.

The goals of this blog are:

  • to explore the origin of newspaper and magazine parodies in England and their evolution in the United States;
  •  to discuss specific parodies and supply a taste of their contents;
  • to connect fans of magazine and newspaper parodies with each other;
  • to answer readers’ questions about them, and solicit answers to my own;
  • to collect, piecemeal, all the writing I’d better start doing right now if my carefully researched, fully illustrated, long-postponed book on magazine and newspaper parodies is ever going to become a reality; and…
  • to attract the eyeballs of everyone likely to buy such a book, so when it finally comes out I won’t have to hunt all over for you.

If the last bullet-point seems mercenary, relax. This blog exists to celebrate magazine and newspaper parodies, not to sell them — or anything else. (Amazon, eBay and abebooks exist for that.) I’ll consider myself amply rewarded if parody aficianados find the site useful and casual visitors find it diverting. — VCR