Anyone who doubts the cultural import of National Lampoon would do well to check out new documentary Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Behind the National Lampoon.
A handful of Harvard Lampoon alumni founded the magazine in 1970, when its unorthodox mixture of counterculture journalism and straight-up frat-house humor made it an unexpected, unlikely success. In its first decade (the two that followed, before the magazine formally folded in 1998, were less notable), it launched Animal House (at the time the best-selling comedy ever) and dozens of Hollywood writing careers, including those of contributors John Hughes and P.J. O'Rourke.
It also gave us Caddyshack.
All far-reaching effects covered by the doc, out September 25. In the meantime, let's take a more immediate look at its one-of-a-kind sensibility, with 10 of our favorite covers, below. And remember: that dog cover, undoubtedly the most famous, was made in an era before Photoshop.
They got the dog to look at the gun the old-fashioned way: by cocking the hammer.