When I worked for UPI in Boston in the early 1970s, I found the Harvard Lampoon, across the Charles River in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, to be a great source of funny stories. We developed enough of a relationship that they would call me when they were planning something. In this case, they decided to do a parody of Cosmopolitan Magazine, which had recently published a nude centerfold picture of actor Burt Reynolds. In this case, however, the featured what would now be called a “photoshopped” version of a nude Henry Kissinger. Quite a few newspapers across the country ran this story.
By ARTHUR FREDERICK
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (UPI) — The Cosmopolitan Man’s pearly teeth glitter above a freckled pot belly. Spindly, hairy legs reach demurely for the right side of the centerfold. Is that really Henry Kissinger, presidential adviser supreme?
One member of the Harvard Lampoon staff says it is, because Kissinger “was the only person to call us up and volunteer for the centerfold.”
Somebody else says it’s only Kissinger’s face “on the body of a cab driver we met near Central Park.”
The Harvard Lampoon has struck again, after a three-year silence. Monday, the Lampoon released advanced copies of its latest parody – Cosmopolitan magazine, which recently published a centerfold picture of actor Burt Reynolds.
For the past 98 years, the Lampoon has been poking fun at various publications, printing absurdly funny articles and pictures in an exaggeration of the style and format the publications use. The last parody was of TIME magazine in 1969.
In the present issue, the centerfold subject brandishes a cigar in the right hand, covers his privates with the left arm, and leans back, grinning, on the skin of a giant panda.
“The American public wanted Henry Kissinger,” said James Downey, a Lampoonster. “We were thinking along the lines of Ralph Nader.”
The cover promised such articles as “10 Ways to Decorate Your Uterine Wall,” “How to Tell if your Man is Dead,” and “For a Good Time Call Lola, 555-5493.” (That turned out to be a non-working number.)
Lampoon President Eric Rayman said the choices of Kissinger and Cosmopolitan were “ideas whose time had come.” President Nixon had been in the running, he said.
The parody calls Kissinger a “bewitching Berliner” who “cuts a dashing political figure that would make Tallyrand turn in his codpiece.”
The White House said it makes no comment on such matters. One source said, however, “Henry doesn’t smoke cigars.”