Harvard University's famous undergraduate humor publication The Harvard Lampoon has some exciting news: Alexis Wilkinson will be the publication's first Black president, as well as its first Black female president, and with Vice President Ellie Parker, the pair will be the first set of women running the Lampoon.
Though to some the Lampoon might seem like a small publication at a famous college, the symbolism and potential ramifications of this moment are big. The Lampoon isn't just a humor magazine; former writers for the publication include big comedy stars working now, like Conan O'Brien and B.J. Novak, or former president Simon Rich, who went on to write for Saturday Night Live and has published several books. Other authors famous for less traditionally humorous work – like George Plimpton and John Updike – were also on the Lampoon staff. In the comedy community, it's considered an important part of the talent pipeline.
In an interview for NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin, Wilkinson (who plans to pursue a career in comedy writing) told Martin that she's particularly excited about the development because of her own experiences growing up, especially given the recent discussions that have been cropping up about the diversity of shows like SNL.