One of my guilty pleasures while growing up was reading the National Lampoon humor magazine. My mother just thought it was another comic book or magazine like MAD or Cracked. It was more of an adult book with crass and cutting edge humor often parodying other magazines. The book had cartoons as well as articles that were written with bawdy comedy and many of the pieces often featured nudity.
I remember buying my first National Lampoon at a small convenience store. Every month I would sneak in and buy a copy along side a candy bar and a soft drink.
I loved the creators and writers of this humor magazine. Many are a who’s who of humor writers and include P. J. O’Rourke, Michael O’Donoghue, Sean Kelly, Tony Hendra and John Hughes. O’Rourke would become a famous political writer, O’Donoghue would help start and write the Saturday Night Live TV show and John Hughes would go on to become one of American’s best loved film directors and producers.
It is John Hughes who has taken his Final Taxi.
My love of Hughes was still in those early National Lampoon days when he would write stories like “ My Penis” or “ My Vagina.” This would be a fantasy tale of a boy or girl waking up to find they had changed genders in the middle of the night. It was humorous as they went through high school that day hoping no one would notice. The twist of the tale happens once they get to gym class.
Hughes also wrote “Vacation ’58″ which would become the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” starring Chevy Chase. Hughes wrote the screenplay. The film became a big success and helps land him his first directorial role in “Sixteen Candles.”
More blockbusters came in the forms of The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. These launched a new movie term called “ The Brat Pack.” These were young actors and actresses who often appeared together in teen coming of age movies done by Hughes.
He retired from directing in 1991 but still continued to write. He wrote all the “Home Alone” movies and his latest comedy was 2008’s “Drillbit Taylor.” John Hughes was 59.
Update: I recently found a blog from someone who was John Hughes’ penpal. It is a sad and wonderful read: http://tinyurl.com/ngg2tn
A few John Hughes trailers:
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