I found it! As I mentioned yesterday when I posted "Hal's Recycled Tree Lot," that skit was a brother to this sketch. This was a skit from my college days. I forget the reason we wrote it, I don't recall having a venue for it. We often wrote things for the heck of it back then. It was good practice for spending the rest of my life writing things for no reason. But the big tradition in the Northeast is swimming pool dealerships which would start selling Christmas items in the off-season. They were the original places that sold the big over-sized house decorations long before every store carried inflatable lawn displays. So, we thought it would be funny to watch one guy buck the trend. I found this version of the skit re-formatted for submission to the Prairie Home Companion show. It has a very SCTV vibe to it which would slide off into Python absurdity. It's a fun, short bit.
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We set the dial on the Way Back Machine way, way back! This bit is from my college humor magazine, The Plague, circ. 1979. I don't know if college magazines generally did Christmas themed issues, but we did and I jumped all over it. If the graphics look very much like a regular newspaper ad from the day, there's a reason for that. I worked my way through college at K-Mart (R.I.P.) and I was friendly with the woman who laid out the ads did for the local paper. She let me go through her discarded company "clip art" and I was able to grab a bunch of it (enough for 2 future bits in The Plague). Oh, the frustrations I worked out in this 2-pager, mocking the store and it's cheapest, both in prices and employee benefits, with a mix of store graphics and typewriter inserts (since we didn't have the budget for graphic lettering; and that would have been a pain to do that lettering one letter at a time!). And, as I mention elsewhere on the blog, I was able to pitch this bit to Cracked magazine in 2000. Comedy life lesson: Never throw anything away!
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Cavemart Christmas Ad - The Plague at NYU
So, there I was, minding my own business when 25 years later The Plague contacts me about submitting something to their anniversary issue. Imagine that! And they actually kept the "NYU's Only Intentionally Funny Publication" tagline.
Issue 62 is here...
...And, no, I don't know what this cover is about either.
It was interesting. They had a party. The founding editor, Howard, showed up. I met the new guys. It was nice. A fitting farewell. Until they call me for the 50th anniversary...
My final issue (for awhile) with a cover that I just don't understand. It was probably just time to go.
See issue #12 here.
My favorite cover. It's mine. I conceived it. I had all the statues and comic stuff. I had to borrow my brother-in-law's 35 mm camera to take it. Then one of the co-editors added the Plague-centric stuff and we turned it into a cover. Needless to say, we were doing the Sgt. Pepper cover. Or maybe I needed to say that.
See issue #11 here...
The Christmas issue. Cover was my idea, featuring our mascot, Zol.
I remember pitching it to both Mad and Cracked as a cover idea with their mascots. I was happy to finally get it used.
See the whole issue here.
My first post-graduate issue, featuring the recently arrested professor on the cover. One of the few times we attempted "topical" humor, since our lead time was so long.
Full issue here.
Over the summer we got together to prepare a mini-issue that we could hand out at the start of term 1979 at the big NYU clubs and teams street fair. That way we could both amuse and recruit students. The NYU archive doesn't have this issue. I sent them a link to this. We'll see what happens.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.