I mentioned in my last post that my aunt acquired a number of Life magazines from 1927-28. My grandfather was a joke writer and from what we know, he sold a considerable number of jokes to Life. However, he's vague about the years in the memoir, although we can kind of guess it was around this time, maybe a few years before then. The problem is that the jokes in Life don't appear with any bylines, so the authors are not credited. But still, we may get lucky. There are 10 issues in all.
I'm going to take a page out of the Tainted Archive's book. The Archavist has occasionally taken comic books and similar types of mags from the 1960s and shown you some of the interiors. I scanned a few pages from one of the issues and here they are. And at the end of this post, I'm going to show you some of the best covers. They really are a treat.
What's really interesting about this issue, October 13, 1927, is that it features a two-page feature by none other than Tom Mix.
He writes of his observations of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles. I guess they thought it might be fun to have a "cowboy" give us a down-home opinion of citified, Hollywood people. (Although Tom Mix was as Hollywood-ed as any of them.) Now, whether Tom Mix really wrote this is debatable. I'm of the cynical type who would say no. It's more than likely ghosted, and the ghost writer made sure to add in a bunch a twang and down-home observations.
You may not be able to read the print in this scan. At one point Mix writes, "Most of the film stars roll in with a bored style that is supposed to indicate that carryin' a million dollars around in each pocket is hard work. the wives practice up in their bedrooms an' then come in tryin' to act like they had so much money at home that just before they started out for the evenin' they told the butler to heave a coupl'a million out the back door because the moths had got into it. Or course, a lot of 'em ain't got a million an' there's a few i could mention who ain't even got any moths."
The magazine at this time was more of a humor magazine and a "events around town" chronicle than the Life we knew from the 1960s which was more of a pictorial news periodical. There are several pages of jokes, cartoons, humorous essays and observations of life. There are so many pages of humor that I'm sure they kept quite a few joke writers in postage stamps for a while.
There are also theater and movie reviews.
I can see a big resemblance to the New Yorker in these issues of Life.
And now here are some more covers. I have to say the dog one is my favorite, although I'm biased.
Hope you enjoyed them!