We're always a little skeptical of the new faces that keep turning up on the newsstand from month to month but one of our Massachusetts Avenue operators happened upon an item just the other day that deserves to be noised about. The issue in question runs to 52 pages, with covers, and up and down the left side of the front cover is a string of letters from which we deciphered "Harvard" and "Lampoon" without too much trouble. We were a little perplexed by all this until we turned to page three and saw there an ad for Steuben Glass. This finding may not mean much to you but we happened to have an odd copy of The New Yorker around at the time and it, too, had a Steuben Glass ad on page three. Naturally this aroused us somewhat and the case was settled when we found an article on page 19 by Sidney Namlerep. Namlerep, of course, is Perelman spelled backwards.
After a long chat with a suburban matron of our acquaintance who does content analysis, we agreed that the similarity between The New Yorker and this so-called Lampoon is more than coincidental--it seems to be premeditated. The matron thought the cartoons an especially fine indication of the imitation and though we feel handicapped trying to describe drawings that are better appreciated visually, we can say that the resemblances are striking and the technique, little short of flawless.
The short stories, Talk of the Town, and other departments are easier to comment on and you may very well find some of them highly amusing, especially if you know The New Yorker like the inside of your favorite foulard. The humor depends too much on anagrams (Sawdorf-Postoria) and burlesques of well-known situations to suit our taste (the Thurber take-off scrambles grandfather, the attic bed and the six-cylinder Reo of Columbus, Ohio, fame in rather poor fashion). Good parody, it seems to us, should be funny in itself; but we hate to quibble and if you know what they're taking off from, the Namlerep piece and the Leigh Profile are both top-notch. We can't wait for the Lampoon parody of Strength & Health.