It’s no secret that Harvard grads have played a big role in the world of comedy: Robert Benchley, Conan O’Brien, Thomas Dingman. This week in FM, we pay tribute to the former Harvardians who’ve busted our guts, tickled our funny bones, and licked our ears. We’re thinking of one person in particular.
Starting in September, we solicited original content from alumni who have worked in TV, movies, radio, and the publishing world at large. There were some setbacks: Supreme Court Justice John Roberts insisted that he was not a comedian and would not submit any of his decisions for publication. Way harsh, John. What are you too busy doing? We know someone taking five classes.
Despite the failures and the long walks along the river crying in tandem, and Petey’s brief renunciation of humor in favor of transcendental meditation, we did indeed survive and pull through with a product. The results are now in your hands—we’ve got original humor pieces by Steve M. O’Donnell ’76, Mike L. Reiss ’81, Nell V. Scovell ’82, Rob S. LaZebnik ’84, Baratunde R. Thurston ’99, Sarah C. Haskins ’01, and Alexandra A. Petri ’10. If you’re wondering about the Harvard-Comedy connection, we’ve got an interview with Harvard Magazine editor Craig A. Lambert ’69, who recounted a historical perspective.
We’ve also looked into the history of pranks on campus, “Car Talk” and how it became a mainstay of the Square, and the highlights of Ivy Orations.
If that’s not enough for you, we’ve got interviews with former ‘Poonster Kurt B. Andersen ’76, who co-founded Spy Magazine, and former Pudding writer Alexandra A. Petri ’10, who writes the ComPost, an opinion blog for the Washington Post.
From the FM archives, we blew the dust off of a 2001 article by one B.J. Novak ’01. B.J., if you’re reading this, there’s still time to finish the comp.
If all this levity is too much for you, don’t worry—FM’s regularly scheduled content will be back next week. Looking at you, Justice Roberts.