05/11/2013       Harvard Lampoon

On Sunday night (3 Nov 2013), the members of Harvard Lampoon gave me a guided tour of the magnificent Lampoon Castle, a building once described as “sturdily honest as the founder who designed it, yet laughing at every turn with freakish gayety and beauty”. This is the spiritual home of many writers of ‘The Simpsons’, so it was a privilege to visit the Castle and a pleasure to meet some of the current Lampoon members.

Here is a picture from the Lampoon Castle that appears in “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”, along with the caption.

11.1 Harvard Lampoon Reiss
Al Jean (who is holding an iron) was in the room when Mike Reiss (seated, left) suggested Googolplex as the name of Springfield’s movie theater. This 1981photograph shows them while at Harvard in the “Lampoon Castle.” Patric Verrone, who is seen here juggling pool balls, is also a successful TV comedy writer, with a list of credits that includes a 2005 episode of ‘The Simpsons’ entitled “Milhouse of Sand and Fog.” The fourth member of the group is Ted Phillips,who passed away in 2005. Although he had a talent for writing, he went on to pursue a career in law in South Carolina and was a respected local historian. He is name-checked in the episode “Radio Bart” (1992) and also has a character (DukePhillips) named after him in The Critic, an animated series created by Jean and Reiss.