The surest test of good parody is this; is it funny to the reader who never saw the original? Readers of the Lampoon's "Town and Country" number will be able to laugh even though they never subscribed to "Town and Country". The parody itself, plus a small injection of imagination, is enough to reconstruct that magazine in all its glory. No doubt the real "Town and Country" will be much in demand hereabouts--no one suspected what an entertaining periodical it was, before the Lampoon et to work and brought out its virtues. Parody is not only the highest flattery, but the best sort of publicity.
As has been true often this year, Lampy's illustrations are again its strength. The photographers, adapters, and original artists have created scenes and situations that are comic in themselves, doubly so with the apt subtitles. Incongruous comparisons are an excellent means of making things look ridiculous, and Lampy has used that means to good advantage. The intimate glimpses of "the spacious colonial mansion of Mrs. Nicholas Carter in Butte, Montana" form a perfect take off, appearing natural and harmless enough at first glance, but revealing their sly satire in the captions and details.
Poetry in Geometry
Of the writing itself, the page of book reviews is the winner; there is more truth than fiction in the discovery of poetry in a geometry textbook. "Post and Paddock" is amusing, also; and the sketches of "people we know" have the ring of familiarity and homely truth in them. But it is somewhat startling to find in the Lampoon (even thus disguised) a belated-fling at William Randolph Hearst. Himself, who has always been regarded as the Golden Calf, as it were, of the Lampoon's temple on Mr. Auburn Street.
The longer "articles", though ingeniously planned, are less easy to read. Though full of clever touches, they give time for the reader's laughter to pause and wonder. But one rarely reads the longer articles of any comic magazine. The cover is adept, and the mock advertisements so good (or the genuine ones so bad) that it is hard to tell which is what, There is no moral; but the society magazine, of which "Town and Country" is only one of a kind, gets its full and deserved dose of satire in this number. And the High Society that is mirrored in those magazines, along with the Lower Society that "takes it all in" comes in for an incidental share of ridicule.
On the ShelfNewsweek is a magazine that doesn't need parody. But since the "top collegiate comics" who conjure up the monthly Lampoon
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'Lampoon' to Parody 'Esquire' Magazine In July Issue of 'Mlle.'The Lampoon will transform the July issue of Mademoiselle into a parody of Esquire, Woodward A. Wickham '64, president of
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