National Lampoon  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
National Lampoon was a ground-breaking American humor magazine that started in 1970 as an offshoot of the Harvard Lampoon. It is currently a production company of film, television and online content and a brand name used to identify various comedy franchises affiliated with the establishment.

Parody of every kind was a mainstay of the magazine, but sick humor and surrealist humor were also central to its appeal. The humor was intelligent, imaginative, and cutting edge, and it often pushed far beyond the boundaries of what might be 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 during the 1970s and early 1980s, but it had a disproportionately far-reaching effect on American humor. The magazine also spawned films, radio, live theatre, recordings and television comedy shows.

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