When National Lampoon took on Che Guevara

Back in 1972, the National Lampoon decided to take on a sacred cow of the left, Che Guevara. You have to give them credit for lampooning (pun intended) the Marxist murderer and psychopath. However, the lack of research and basic knowledge of Latin American history becomes painfully apparent very early on in the piece. It’s unfortunate because in my opinion, although it has its funny parts, it could have been so much funnier if they had made an effort to learn more about the subject.

Nevertheless, a PDF of the article can be downloaded HERE.

Below the fold you’ll also find a transcription I did of the first couple of pages, so you can get a quick glimpse.

H/T Michael P.

Che Guevara’s Bolivian Diaries

(Editor’s note: Following the world-wide shock and mourning over the reported death of Ernesto “Che” Guevara by a Bolivian Army firing squad, the personal diaries of the revolutionary’s tragic.c and abortive attempt to overthrow the oppressive Barrientos regime quickly became a classic text on guerilla warfare. However, recent chemical analysis of these documents have revealed minute traces of ketchup and A.1. Sauce ingrained in the paper, two substances Che himself denounced in an article on field kitchen maintenance for the Chinese news magazine Ping An as “reactionary and counterrevolutionary condiments’fit only for bourgeois pigs and their revisionist cookouts.” Other telltale clues belie the authenticity of the “diaries” as well, specifically the close attention given to spelling and grammar. Simultaneously with the discovery of this cruel hoax, NatLampCo News Service Latin American correspondent Douglas Kenney recently discovered the authentic manuscript outside the La Paz airport, where its pages were being employed as wrappers by an illiterate taco vendor. Craftily obtaining the documents from the simple peasant in return for some beads, hand mirrors, and assorted trinkets, newshound Kenney returned stateside immediately with the diaries, only then realizing that his wallet was missing. NatLampCo is proud to publish these historic footnotes to the brave rebelde’s work, and hopes that they may fan the flames of global indignation against tyranny, oppression, and greaser pickpockets.

Noviembre 7

At long last, our little band has touched Bolivian soil! The flight from Havana was uneventful, although every one of us stretched our revolutionary discipline to the limit fighting down the urge to jump out of our, seats, rush to the cockpit and
stick a pistola in the pilot’s ear. In fact, Marcos, my hot-blooded second-in-command, did, at one point, lose control and leap from his seat shouting, “iPrende ce avion o Cuba!” Luckily, Marcos’ seat belt was still fastened and his attention diverted by a double hernia long enough for Tanya, our East German compañera, to whisper that the plane was still in Havana and stuff an air-sickness bag in his mouth.

Marcos and I supervised the unloading of our baggage. We are posing as a Mexican mariachi band, our tools of war cloaked in the guise of musical instruments. Unfortunately, one of the customs officials discovered that our bass-fiddle case contained a Russian-made YD-47 heavy mortar. Thinking quickly, I put my mouth to the barrel and, with no little difficulty, improvised a few bars of “Beso Me Mucho” until his suspicions were allayed. There was, in addition, a tense moment when a porter accidentally pulled the pin on one of our maracas, but, as fate would have it, the device was of Bulgarian manufacture and failed to explode.

After breaking our fast (and one of my fillings) with tacos bought from a little peasant vendor outside the airport, Tanya, Marcos, Pombo, Camba, and I hailed taxis and directed them to our secret hideout in the trackless jungles of Nancahuazu. As we drive, Marcos, a swaggering adventurer who even apes the way I curl my beard, looks over my shoulder as I write in my diary, hoping to steal some good lines for his own. You are an idiot, Marcos, and it is no wonder that your publisher wouldn’t give you an advance.

Noviembre 8

We have arrived at Nancahuazu, a forbidding jungle valley in the Cono Sur region. There is much to be done
here. I have sent Pombo and Camba out in search of game, and Marcos out in search of them both to make
sure they do not break discipline and bring the animal back unfit to eat. Men without women — an old story.
I have also sent Tanya back to La Paz in search of my wallet, which I know I had before we ate those tacos.

Noviembre 9

Tanya has already done much to make the old farmhouse comfortable. She has set up an elaborate wire clothesline in the surrounding palms and amuses herself by sitting under it prattling to her vanity case in that husky baritone I have come to love. When she tires of this game, she will adjust her wig (an early illness has left her with a permanent crew cut) and lumber off to her pet pigeons, first attaching shiny metal capsules to their feet for ballast. This morning, in a burst of feminine exuberance, she climbed hand over hand to the top of our hideout with a bucket of red paint in her teeth and decorated the roof with a gay bullseye.

At least there is one in whom I can have confidence.

Noviembre 10

Our first contact with the peasant population. Pombo was roasting a jaguar and Camba was occupied trying to kill it, when the noise attracted a passing worker returning from the distant tin mines. I ordered him to stop and fired over his head, barely creasing the scalp. With that, four others who had been watching shyly behind some acacias ran toward us in joyful recognition, shouting, “iNon fuere, non nos muertos, por favor señors!” [“All hail the glorious revolution!” — Ed.] Now that we had won the confidence of these ragged but plucky recruits, I told them that they would be the nucleus of a people’s army which would one day overthrow the corrupt Barrientos dictatorship and free its victims from conditions of exploitation indistinguishable from the Middle Ages. Childlike, they stood dumbly at first, too overwhelmed with pride to speak. I triggered a volley high over their knees to loosen their tongues, and, as one man, they raised their hands over their heads in agreement and enthusiastically emptied their pockets. Now we are ten.

Noviembre 13

Excellent news has come in a coded newscast from Radio Havana. Fidel tells us that Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre have espoused our cause and will marshal support for us throughout the European Left. Not only will this shower us with arms and followers, but, if they agree to coauthor the introduction, my diary sales should be boosted by easily fifty thousand copies. Perhaps we can get another printing of my other book as well (One Hundred and Fifty
Questions to a Guerilla,
People Press, Havana, Cuba. Seventy pesos hard-cover, thirty pesos, soft-cover).

There is bad news as well. The peasants grow restive, making unreasonable and petty demands for food and water. The jaguar is gone, and has taken most of our rations with him. All that is left are open-face iguana sandwiches and pineapple
soup. Even I found myself forcing down a bottle of Coca-Cola, the vile mate of yanqui imperialists. Although the foul liquid made me gag, I noticed an odd aftertaste that I could not dispel. A half hour later I found myself having another, and yet another. This is foolish counterrevolutionary weakness on my part, and I will steel myself against it.

But I suppose it can’t hurt to kill the six-pack.

Noviembre 28

A visitor. Regis Debray, the famous French war groupie, has come with more happy news. L ‘Express has finally agreed to my price for the prepublication rights, and there is talk of a series based on our adventures for French television. But this matter must rest until more important tasks are completed — negotiations are stalled with Marlboro for my poster and Gomez, my agent, says Timex is still sitting on the wristwatch. Accordingly, I have radioed Gomez that they can make my arms go backward and use “It’s Count.errevolutionary!” as the sales gimmick.

iViva la revolucion!

Diciembre 1

Dissension. Again the men complain about the lack of food, and the seasonal rains have begun causing wide-
spread diarrhea, making our movements plain to the enemy. Ha, ha, a joke, si? As Mao has written, “in
times of hunger, one jest can be worth a hundred bowls of rice, particularly if you have no bowls of rice anyway.” The men have taken to routinely disobeying orders, and frequently have to be disciplined for pillow-fighting after lights-out. If this seems harsh, it must be remembered that for pillows, true guerrillas use logs.

Marcos’ patrol has returned with word of an enemy encampment not five kilometers from where we stand. Tonight we meet to plan an ambush and vote on whether or not to eat Tanya’s pigeons.

Marcos reports the enemy has Coca-Cola!

1 thought on “When National Lampoon took on Che Guevara”

  1. The real joke was not “Che,” a sick and twisted dirtbag enabled to play out his delusions, but rather what was made of him by cynical and perverse propagandists and the useful idiots who bought into it.

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