September 23, 2006
WOULD-BE WEEBLE #4
My latest fake weeble is the moosiest moose you know.. Marty Moose. There's a good chance that you recognize him as the head mascot for Wally World, the fictitious theme park from the movie National Lampoon's Vacation.
Why Marty? Well, Vacation has been one of my favorite flicks since I first saw it in the days of yore. And since there's a Mickey Mouse weeble, it stands to reason that Marty have a pseudo weeble to go with his pseudo theme park. It seemed fitting to model him after the Mickey weeble which had a "floating" face and three dimensional ears.
For me there was a mystery surrounding the Vacation movie that nobody in my younger years could seem to answer. The question I posed to all my friends and family was... "What does National Lampoon's mean?" The culture I lived in, consisting of mid-American children and families, wasn't really the target audience for such a publication so the people in my life honestly had no idea. My dad told me what the word 'lampoon' meant, which led me to wonder who or what is "National" and why is it making fun of vacation? Many months later a clue surfaced at Wal-Mart in the form of a paperback called National Lampoon's DOON...
Having been schooled by Wacky Packages I understood that this was a parody of Dune, and I was a bit shocked that it wasn't simply a funny cover.. the joke lasted for hundreds of pages! I loved that this was sort of a living Wacky Package, however my National Lampoon quandary became even more perplexing.
A trip to B. Dalton in the nearby mall would provide another lead. I saw the cover of an issue of the National Lampoon magazine, but it was way up on the top shelf. So my confusion remained until the day my friend Greg let me leaf through one of his dad's copies. I gleefully flipped through its pages and...I really didn't get it then. Chevy Chase was nowhere to be found, and while a handful of risqué images were conspicuous to say the least, it didn't really qualify as a "dirty book." To me, it was just weird, kind of like Mad, but with too many words. So I guess I can't really pinpoint any moment of revelation, I guess I figured things out over time (which is a really boring way to end this tale.) But somehow I learned more about the magazine and the fact that Vacation was based on a story that John Hughes wrote for it called Vacation '58. (For more information see the Wikipedia.) However, I must say I never have figured out what Mad Magazine had to do with Up The Academy.