Harvard Lampoon Elects First Black Female President
by Susana Polo | 11:41 am, December 19th, 2013
Alexis Wilkinson is the new president of the Harvard Lampoon, and with vice president Ellie Parker, this will be the first time in the humor magazine’s one hundred thirty seven year history that its executive officers will be two women.
Amidst much comment on SNL’s severe lack of black women in their casts over time, Wilkinson, who is the magazine’s first black president, as well as its first female black president, told NPR that the show was one of the foundational examples of television humor she was actually allowed to watch at home. “I wasn’t allowed to watch Seinfeld and Simpsons and things that sort of inform Lampoon writers sensibility.” She and Parker plan to continue the work of their Lampoon predecessors, but do hope that their presence at the head of the organization will encourage more students to see the magazine as a place for their voices:
So much of comedy is confidence. When you feel you are like the other people in your community, for instance a humor organization, I think you feel more comfortable and that makes it just easier to make jokes. So when you feel like the odd man out, or in this case the odd woman out, definitely, that is a barrier to comedy.
Various Lampoon alumni have had hands in creating SNL, The Simpsons, Futurama, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation, and it’s generally regarded as a good beginning to a career in comedy and comedy writing. May we laugh a lot with you in the future, Alexis! Or right now. Whenever.