By Published on .

Most Popular
Long after other brand-name magazines have hit the Internet, National Lampoon this week will launch its Web site (nationallampoon.com), the Humor Network.

The site that embarks Oct. 19 will handle topical and satirical humor, mostly consisting of 5-to 7-minute video programs that will take Lampoon's traditional satirical slant on the world.

One unique feature will be an e-commerce site, called Smash & Grab, where-in true Lampoon style-visitors will be encouraged to loot and pillage the online store. Visitors throw a virtual brick through a window to get inside the store. There, however, also will be some real shopping available.

The site is being produced by J2 Communications, National Lampoon's parent, which purchased the magazine in 1991 and closed it last year due to poor advertising sales.


Industry executives told J2 executives the site seems late in coming.

But James Jimirro, president-CEO of J2 Communications, said the company began looking at the idea 18 to 20 months ago.

"The timing is perfect," Mr. Jimirro said. "This Christmas, the Web is going to come into its own in terms of e-commerce."

Additionally, Mr. Jimirro said: "We didn't have to do any financing. We have no debt. Our economic model is healthy compared to other Internet companies."

Revenue for the Web site will come from Internet advertising and e-commerce business.

Mr. Jimirro said the site's guerrilla marketing will include giving away 200,000 stickers that users can post in odd places to potentially win a prize.


Lampoon's programming will include the Natlamp Players, a group of comedians who'll spoof voyeuristic sites that use Web cameras; Flush Talk will be another show where bathroom graffiti comes to life; Cyber Cops are a pair of mismatched police officers who will patrol the Internet for sexual deviants.

The site will also have Fantasy Losers League, a spoof of fantasy sports leagues.

"You'll build your team from deadbeat sports dads like Mike Tyson, O.J. Simpson and Darryl Strawberry," said Mr. Jimirro.

Overall, he said, "We'll have the widest range of comedic content on the Web."

Ultimately, Mr. Jimirro, who was the creator and first president of the Disney Channel, sees National Lampoon's site as a testing ground to establish TV and film properties.

J2 Communications has been licensing the National Lampoon name since the magazine folded. Recently, it licensed its name for two made-for-TV movies for Fox Family Channel-"National Lampoon's Men in Black" and "National Lampoon's

In this article: