Filed under: College Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, Pranksters, Satire, The History of Pranks
An exhibit in Harvard’s Pusey Library pays playful tribute to the Harvard Lampoon, one of the most influential satirical magazines in American history.
“Pranks at Pusey Library”
by Aidan Langston
August 6, 2016
Visitors to Pusey Library this summer have been greeted by a large cardboard cutout of a cow—part of an exhibit celebrating The Harvard Lampoon and the role it has played in Harvard’s comedic history. The exhibition, “Remorseless Irony and Sarcastic Pens: The Story of the Harvard Lampoon,” showcases photographs, drawings and other artifacts collected over the course of the Lampoon’s 140 years.
The cow is an homage to the Lampoon’s custom of unleashing farm animals on campus for comedic effect. William Randolph Hearst, a member of the Lampoon and the class of 1886—although his pranks resulted in his expulsion—is suspected of having sparked the tradition by releasing roosters in Harvard Yard. Lampoon members were also blamed for the appearance of a cow in the Yard sometime in the 1930s, which was “forcibly ejected” from the premises by Harvard police.
The exhibit contains an array of memorabilia from the magazine’s earliest days, ranging from photographs of the seven students who founded it in 1876 to a copy of its first issue. (more…)