The Lampoon publishes five issues annually. In 2006, the Lampoon began regularly releasing content on its website, including pieces from the magazine and web-only content. In 2009, the Lampoon published a parody of Twilight called Nightlight, which is a New York Times bestseller. In February 2012, the Lampoon released a parody of The Hunger Games called The Hunger Pains. It is also a New York Times bestseller.
As the Lampoon began to gain notoriety on campus, the society moved from offices in Hollis Hall, to addresses on Holyoke and Plympton streets respectively. These collections of rooms rented by the trustees of the Lampoon were famous not only for their beer nights, but also with the regularity that the Lampoon spent the profits made on each magazine for these beer nights. "It was a good night when the Lampoon could afford coal and beer, and they often had to choose between one or the other." Pranks abounded in the early years, some more destructive than others." William Randolph Hearst was expelled from Harvard after sending a pudding pot used as a chamber pot to a professor.
A Lampoon graduate from 1887, Archibald Cary Coolidge, professor of architecture at Harvard College, was chosen as the architect of Randolph Hall, one of the colleges newest dormitories. Legend has it that when designing Randolph, Coolidge purposefully made the dormitory recessed further back from Mt. Auburn Street than was at first designed, purchasing for himself the land the Castle now stands on. The design of the castle was given to Edmund March Wheelwright, then city architect of Boston.
The Lampoon and its sensibility began to branch out away from the Harvard campus in the early 1960s, and soon became an especially important expression and feeder system of American humor and comedy since that time. In 1961, Mademoiselle offered the Lampoon staff an honorarium to produce a parody of their own magazine for the traditionally lower-selling July issue. The project boosted Mademoiselle's summer circulation along with the Lampoon's ever tenuous cash flow, and the magazine renewed its association with the Lampoon for a follow-up parody in July 1962, and a third parody issue (of Esquire) in July 1963. The magazine also produced a 70-page spoof of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels in 1962 titled Alligator, which was subsequently released by Random House. These projects proved popular, and led to full, nationally-distributed parodies of Playboy (1966), Time (1968), and Life (1969), and later, Cosmopolitan in 1972 and Sports Illustrated (1974).
It is disputed whether the etymology of "Lampoon" in the English language stems first from the Harvard Lampoon.
Rivalry with The Harvard Crimson
The Lampoon has a long-standing rivalry with Harvard's student newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, which repeatedly refers to the Lampoon in its pages as a "semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization which used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine".
1886 example of Crimson-teasing by Lampoon editor T.P. Sanborn
A noted event in the history of the Lampoon–Crimson rivalry was the Crimson's 1953 theft of the Lampoon Castle's ibis statue and presentation of it as a gift to the government of the Soviet Union.
On September 27, 2011, the Lampoon stole the Harvard Crimson President's Chair, and had it used as a prop on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On June 2, 2015, the Lampoon again stole the Harvard Crimson President's Chair, this time, pretending that it was the Harvard Crimson's editorial staff, they took the chair to Trump Tower to endorse now-President Donald Trump.
Edmund March Wheelwright (American Architect) – City Architect of Boston. Architect of the Harvard Lampoon Castle. Descendant of the Boston Wheelwright family
Robert E. Sherwood – American playwright, editor, and screenwriter. Author of There Shall Be No Night. Speechwriter for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Pulitzer Prize winning author of the biography Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History
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