The Zamboni (magazine)
The Zamboni is a student-run humor publication at Tufts University, and nationally recognized as one of the best humor magazines of all ever. It was founded in 1989 and comes out with six issues per year, or once per month. It contains satirical articles (such as fake news briefs, interviews, and op-ed pieces), cartoons, and photos. It is known as "Tufts University's Only Intentionally Funny Magazine." The Zamboni is fully funded by the Student Activities Fee as allocated by the TCU Senate.
The Zamboni was founded by Josh Wolk (Class of '91) in the fall of 1989 with the help of a Tufts Daily layout artist, Nicole Pierce. Wolk described his reason for creating the magazine as:
"It was basically a reaction to what we felt was a lack of sense of humor on campus (this was in the dawning days of political correctness). It was also a slightly embittered reaction to the fact that the guys at the Harvard Lampoon were sitting in a castle just two cities away and getting every TV writing job as soon as they graduated. Crimson bastards."
The name itself came from Wolk, who always expressed amusement of the concept of an actual Zamboni. "It just seemed silly to be a guy driving a machine around the ice." He created the letter from the editor sign-off of "Ain't that a kick in the head?" which still continues to this day. The original staff was mostly seniors, and the first issues poked fun at the TCU Senate and on-campus fraternities. One such example included a full page parody of a Delta Tau Delta rush ad. DTD responded with an ad in the Daily that referred to The Zamboni as "Dorkman Zamboni," a shout-out that the original staff proudly embraced.
The Zamboni is a student group funded by the TCU Senate. It has three main positions that operate and oversee the organization and development of the club and magazine: The Editor in Chief, the Managing Editor, and the Editor-at-Large. Up to two people are allowed to serve as co-Editor in Chief or co-Managing Editor at one time, and oversee most of the general organization of the magazine and organization. There is no limit on the number of members that may serve as Editors-at-Large at the same time.
Elections for positions are typically held at the end of the academic year in April or May.
The Zamboni is fourteen pages every issue in addition to a front and back cover. The average issue contains a word from the editor, two to three pages of fake news briefs, followed by two pages of campus news, a center spread dealing with the theme of the issue, and then more pages of miscellaneous content, also often concerning the issue's theme (which is on the cover). Recurring features include The Zamboni Interviews and The Zamboni Roasts. The fourth or fifth issue every year is a parody issue, which mimics the style of another publication, on or off-campus.
Historically, The Zamboni has endured a variety of changes in layout format and editorial direction. It was published in a 12–16 page broadsheet tabloid format on conventional newsprint throughout the 1990s. The success of the 1999 "student notebook parody" (itself a homage to The National Lampoon's High School Yearbook) led to a change in format. In fall 2000, with the publication moved to a conventional multicolor staplebound magazine-style layout centered around a singular theme, similar to the National Lampoon magazines of the 1970s.
In the fall of 2013, the editors returned the format to a more conventional magazine style, with standardized magazine layout. This was a change from the previous newspaper tabloid style of the magazine, and focuses more on artistic direction, photo manipulation, and article-based content. The new layout consists of 20–24 page issues, including a front and back cover, where the outside spread is off glossy and brightly colored format, while the inside sheets are of a black-and-white magazine print, inspired by the Bitch.
In spring of 2006, The Zamboni ran a parody of the Weekly World News. This parody entailed a change in style from the then-used magazine format (book with staples) to a larger folded-tabloid format. This change proved so popular that, beginning in 2006–2007, that format became the regular one of The Zamboni. This allowed more space per issue, leading to an increase in photos and articles. News briefs particularly expanded, going from one page with no pictures, to three pages, often with a picture per article.
As of the fall of 2009, The Zamboni has its front and back covers in addition to the sixth and seventh pages in color.
In the fall of 2013, the editors redesigned the layout to a more recognizable, stylistic, and appealing format, reverting to a magazine style from the previous "tabloid" layout. Only the outside spread is in color, while the inside pages are in standard magazine grayscale. The new format includes several fake advertisements and a page for coupons to be used at on-campus establishments. These coupons are intentionally humorous in nature and no actual establishment was consulted in advance for the creation of these coupons. They are a ruse, a prank, and not to be taken seriously, or used seriously.
In the fall of 2013, 'The Zamboni' also established an online presence, social media presence, and expanded its scope of operation to include different kinds of humorous ventures. such as pranks or video humor.
As Tufts's humor magazine, The Zamboni has had its share of people who were not happy with its jokes. There is an on-going rivalry with The Primary Source, but it is almost entirely good-natured. However, after reading an article entitled "How to Get Kicked Out a Club," one student took offense. The joke in question said that to get kicked out of SSARA (a sexual assault counseling group) one should say, "With an outfit like that, you should have expected it."
The student wrote a letter to the Daily, which was promptly retorted by both current staff members, a prior editor-in-chief, and the then-editor-in-chief. However, she has since written a letter to The Wall Street Journal in which she mentions a humor magazine at Tufts.
The names of many The Zamboni's editors-in-chief appeared in the publication's 100th issue.
- 1989–1991: Josh Wolk '91
- 1994-1995: Amy Murphy '95
- 1995–1996: Adam Kraemer '96
- 1996-1997: Bill Copeland '97
- 1997–1998: Adam Lenter '98
- 1998–1999: Gabe Guarente '99
- 1999–2000: Joshua Saipe '00
- 2000–2001: James Lubin '01
- 2001–2002: Eli Kazin '02
- 2002–2003: Andrew Kambour '03
- 2004-2005: Brett Weiner '05
- 2005-2006: Julie Nogee '06
- 2006-2007: Stephanie Vallejo '07 & Francis Dahl '07
- 2007-2008: Mike Yarsky '08
- 2008-2009: Devin Toohey '09
- 2009-2010: Matthew Luz '10 & Michael Schecht '10
- 2010-2011: Ryan Oliveira '11
- 2011-2012: Matt McGowen '12
- 2012-2013: Andrew Reisman '13
- 2013-2014: William Owen '14 & Laura Rathsmill '14
- 2014-2015: Graham Starr '15
- Josh Wolk '91, editorial director at Vulture.com
- Gabe Guarente '99, author
- David Jacobson '99, TrivWorks founder
- Sean Cusick '01, director/writer Second City Theatre
- James Lubin '01, media blogger
- "Zamboni Voted Best Humor Magazine of All Ever by Very Prominent and Influential People". The Zamboni. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Our 100th Issue Spectacular!!". The Zamboni. 10 April 2003. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- The Zamboni's official site
- The Zamboni on Twitter
- The Zamboni on Facebook
- The Zamboni (Tufts-Sponsored, Big Brother-approved Web site)
- Directory of past issues (in .pdf format)