Death, January 1973
Arguably the most iconic Lampoon cover ever, compliments of Ed Bluestone, Ronald G. Harris and Art Director Michael Gross.
Want to have people buy your magazine? Really want to hammer the point home? Threaten to eliminate a cute pooch if the people won’t buy what you’re selling. Of course, they didn’t actually kill the dog, but the fact that they would swing for the fences with such a provocative and dastardly joke is just brilliant. Also, the dog (referred to in the film as Patches) was named Cheeseface.
If you’re a regular reader, you must be asking yourself, ‘Why are NatLamp’s covers so inconsistent?’ Do you think the editors who insist month after month, that I am the cause of all our cover problems, can possibly be right? I’ll let you decide.
First, let’s examine the artist (me). I’m charming, six-feet tall (with the profile of a Viking), slim, blonde, hung like a horse, not very witty (but that’s not my job), and would like to correspond with singles and couples interested in exchanging Polaroids. Second, let’s examine the problem. This month’s brilliant cover, photographed by Ronald G. Harris, is a success primarily because of one element – a joke. Give me a good joke to work with and I’ll give you an effective humor-magazine cover… There now! I hope my critics have been silenced, while you the reader sit as my judge. [Art Director, Michael Gross]