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Yesterday afternoon, British comedian Tracey Ullman was given the 110th annual Elmer Award for excellence in comedy by the Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Bow Street social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine.
The star of the "Tracey Ullman Show" was honored in a ceremony on the steps of the Lampoon castle that featured skits and impressions by Ullman and Lampoon editors.
Ullman was also awarded a golden bathrobe by the Lampoon in honor of her tireless efforts to maintain her personal hygene.
"I'm always showering, you know," Ullman said.
The ceremony was the culmination of the Lampoon's Fun Day, an annual event featuring cotton candy, popcorn and guest appearances by Buzz and Woody, the stars of Disney's Toy Story.
In honor of its British guest, the Lampoon also officially seceded from the United States.
Draping the building in British flags, Lampoon editors led the crowd in a rendition of "God Save the Queen," vowed to "remove the heel of American oppression" and "cast off the chains of democracy." The proceeded to heckle and beat a Lampoon editor who refused to join the revolution.
According to Lampoon Narthex Nicholas A. Stoller '98, the British government has welcomed its new colony at the intersection of Bow and Plympton streets. Stoller said he is not worried about possible prosecution for treason.
"We have muskets," Stoller said.
Later last night Ullman was initiated into the Lampoon as an honorary member in a dinner ceremony and party.
Ullman said she was excited to be honored at the Lampoon. She went on to claim she had read a "Lampoon Magazine" and had found it "funny."
Ullman said she came to Harvard in 1988 when she was honored by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
Ullman said in the awards ceremony that she was particularly honored to be given this award by the Lampoon because she did not attend college in England and had often felt left out by the male-dominated comedy scene there.
"I looked to American comedy for inspiration," Ullman said. "I have always admired the female comedians here, like Lucielle Ball, Gilda Radner, Lilly Tomlin, Peter Sellers."
Ullman said she had noticed "about four" women on the staff of hte Lampoon and said that the gender ratio there mirrors that in the comedy industry as a whole.
"It would be nice if there were a few more girls," she said. "Maybe girls are too sensible to go in for this stuff."
According to Lampoon President Matthew J.T. Murray '99, previous recipients of the Elmer Award include Bill Cosby, Chevy Chase, Clint Eastwood, Winston Churchill and Mr. T.
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