Yesterday I was delighted to find in my mailbox the fourth issue of The American Bystander, the quarterly (if they can swing it) magazine of humor and satire from the estimable Michael Gerber. Gerber has begged, borrowed, and swindled to provide a new outlet for the print work of some of the great names in American humor from the past 40 or so years; the new issue includes pieces from M.K. Brown, Drew Friedman, Jack Handey, Larry Doyle, Brian McConnachie, Alan Zweibel, Merrill Markoe, Rick Geary, and a host of others, new and old, from the old National Lampoon to the more recent The Onion. Of special interest in #4 are a lengthy interview with Realist founder Paul Krassner and, at the back of the book, “Gimme the Good Stuff: The Best Classic (Pre-2000) Comedy in Every Medium, According to Our Staff,” a list of classic books, LPs, movies, and radio and TV shows that reads like an inventory of my own cluttered memory.
“This is shit. We’re going to publish it.”
Above, a cartoon from S. Gross that appeared in the American Bystander # 3. And below, a short word from President Calvin Coolidge. For your own copy, visit the American Bystander web site, where you’ll be able to subscribe or purchase past and current issues of the magazine. (I recommend subscribing, as I do.)