A salute (sort of) to the 007 parody Alligator

There have been a number of parodies of Ian Fleming and James Bond over the years. But one that resonates decades after its publication is Alligator, a Harvard Lampoon send-up of Goldfinger.

It’s easy to see why. First take a look at the cover. The Lampoon, which published Alligator in 1962, modeled it after the New American Library paperback versions of Fleming’s novels. The novel’s hero, J*mes B*nd consumes seemingly even more alcohol than Fleming’s Bond did.

The parody’s supposed author was I*n Fl*m*ng. In reality, it was co-written by Michael K. Frith and Cristopher B. Cerf. Cerf’s father was book publisher Bennett Cerf (1898-1971), perhaps best known as a panelist on the long-running (1950-1967, in its CBS incarnation) game show What’s My Line?

As it turns out Christopher Cerf’s brother, Jonathan, also appeared on the game show. Jonathan Cerf worked at the Harvard Lampoon along with Peter Gabel, the son of WML? panelist Arlene Francis. We wish the connection were closer but it’s an amusing clip:

UPDATE: Of course, Arlene Francis’s husband, Martin Gabel, was in the Sean Connery-Alfred Hitchcock movie Marnie. On another occasion, it was Martin Gabel who figured out that Connery was the mystery guest on What’s My Line?

UPDATE II: We would be remiss if we didn’t note that Christopher Cerf went out to a career in writing for children’s programs such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company. You can get the details by checking out Mr. Cerf’s IMDB.COM PAGE.

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