About this project
They said we couldn't do it. They said we shouldn't do it. They said we skrouldn't do it, and "skrouldn't" isn't even a word.
But we have done it, three times. And now we're back with another collection of writing and cartoons from some of the funniest people on the planet, a spiffy little pile of paper and glue we like to call The American Bystander.
The idea behind Bystander is simple: gather a bunch of people from places like The Simpsons, SNL, The New Yorker and so on, and print stuff they can't do for The Simpsons, SNL, The New Yorker and so on. Then put it all together in a nice-looking book that feels just like the beloved humor magazines of the past — The National Lampoon, SPY, PUNCH, and so on. This scheme has proved to be a huge success, as you can read here and here. If you crave yet more details, please go to our website.
In a time where intelligent satire is more important than ever, The American Bystander is the first classic print humor magazine to be launched in the United States in 20 years. American corporate publishing is simply not equipped to produce this type of content — so we're turning to readers. And readers have responded, pledging over $140,000 to our crowdfunding campaigns.
But is there anything left to laugh at, in these dark and crazy times? SURE! El Presidente himself, for one thing. And also rats, Paul Bunyan, and Hell. When the going gets tough, funny people make more jokes. And who are we to tell them they skrouldn't?
(Some of) THE PEOPLE IN #4: Cover by Steve Brodner; Merrill Markoe, Roz Chast, Drew Friedman, Shannon Wheeler, Jack Handey, Brian McConnachie, Sam Gross, MK Brown, Larry Doyle, Howard Cruse, Todd Hanson, Mike Sacks, Alan Zweibel, Steve Young... and many more!
Cartoonist Sam Gross — beloved by generations of cartoon fans — has graciously allowed us to sell giclee prints of his cartoon from Bystander #3. Sam will even sign it, if you give us $250 smackeroos.
Michael Gerber (Editor & Publisher): The American Bystander is the culmination of over 25 years as a writer, editor, and magazine consultant specializing in humor. I've written for The New Yorker, SNL, and many other places; my books have sold 1.25 million copies in 25 languages. In 2003, Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody fried the brains of a generation of English tweens, and now we have Brexit. Sorry.
Brian McConnachie (Head Writer): Brian began his comedy career as an editor at National Lampoon and the Lampoon's "Radio Hour." From there, he went to Saturday Night Live, and SCTV, completing the Holy Trinity of Seventies comedy. In the 80s and 90s, Brian amassed the coolest bunch of cameos in the history of cinema. In more recent years, he has written for The Simpsons and recorded pieces for NPR.
Alan Goldberg (Senior Editor): has been making non-fiction television and radio for more than 35 years. His work includes biographies ranging from Fidel Castro to the Beatles; science programs with Dr. Richard Leakey; programs on drugs and epidemic diseases; histories of American railroads, diners, The Forbidden City and the Golden Gate Bridge -- and even live rock and roll and gospel concerts. Alan will be overseeing Bystander's podcasts and live-event programming.
Risks and challenges
The issue is totally done, so as soon as we hit our goal, I'll make arrangements with the printer. I'd expect that finished copies would be hitting backers' doorsteps around April 15th...when we all need a laugh.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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