April 1, 2008

Cornell Lunatic Alum Publishes Humor Book

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Cornell’s student-run humor publication, the Cornell Lunatic, is celebrating a milestone with the national release of a new book in honor of its 30th anniversary. “Lunacy: The Best of the Cornell Lunatic,” published and edited by Joey Green ’80, co-founder of the publication, is the first college humor magazine, other than the Harvard Lampoon, to publish a nationally distributed book.
The Lunatic is described by current writers as a haven for aspiring humor writers and satirists to explore new themes in a very inclusive environment.
“As long as it is funny it goes in,” said Matt Palmer ’08, former editor-in-chief of the magazine.
“It’s like a wild west situation,” explained Palmer. “Once you get on, you do the kind of humor you are good at, and you are guaranteed to have a home.”
The book includes pieces by more than 100 alumni of the magazine.
Aaron Edelman ’08, the current editor-in-chief, also attributed the success of the magazine to the staff’s passion not just to fulfill the need to publish something every semester, but also to having fun and being funny.
“I think other organizations are more of just [trying] to get a publication out, the Lunatic is really more than just a magazine,” Edelman said.
Green decided to compile and publish a book honoring the Lunatic­­ and its mission to “stop Cornell students and faculty from taking themselves too seriously.” He added that the size of the book “is just the right thickness to prop up a wobbly dining room table.” [img_assist|nid=29336|title=Best of|desc=Joey Green ’80, an alumnus of the Cornell Lunatic, recently published a book.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
According to Green, he did not have much trouble filling the 200-page book with good material. “Some years it’s funnier than other years, but the one constant with the Cornell Lunatic is that the current staff always thinks the latest issue of the magazine is the funniest issue ever.” He added, “that passion keeps the magazine going.” One of Green’s favorite pieces in the book is “How to Fake Time Travel” from an issue two years ago.
Green ’80 founded the Lunatic after the Cornell Widow, originally published in 1894 as one of the country’s first college humor magazines, had died out during the 1960s. Because of the failure of the Widow, as well as unpaid bills from its last publication, Green changed the name and published the first magazine from his dorm room. “I never in a million years would have believed that the Cornell Lunatic would still be going 30 years later,” said Green. “But that’s really a tribute to all the editors, writers and artists who took the torch and ran with it.”
Green admitted that he does not take this book too seriously. “I am very proud,” he added “that the pages in the book are numbered consecutively.”