Brian McConnachie – RIP

Comedy writer Brian McConnachie has passed away.

Brian John McConnachie

December 23, 1942 – January 5, 2024

The American Bystander reported Brian’s passing:

It’s with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear Brian McConnachie. In addition to being the Founder of The American Bystander back in 1981, Brian was essential in its relaunch in 2015. Every day, on every page, he has been our North Star. Ave atque vale.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Brian McConnachie, Writer for ‘National Lampoon,’ ‘SCTV’ and ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dies at 81

The “Clark Kent of Comedy” also founded ‘American Bystander’ magazine and showed up in ‘Caddyshack,’ ‘Strange Brew,’ ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ and ‘Small Time Crooks.’

Brian McConnachie, the Emmy-winning writer with the offbeat sense of humor who worked on SCTV Network and Saturday Night Live and appeared in Caddyshack and several films for Woody Allen, has died. He was 81.

McConnachie died Friday of complications from Parkinson’s disease in Venice, Florida, Michael Gerber, editor and publisher of The American Bystander, told The Hollywood Reporter. The duo relaunched the humor magazine in 2015 after McConnachie — an original staff member at National Lampoon — originally got it going in 1981.

The Internet Movie Database lists Brian’s film and television credits as writer and actor.

© National Lampoon, Inc.

Closer to our concerns was his contributions to National Lampoon.

From Mark Simonson of Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site:

Brian McConnachie, editor and writer for National Lampoon from 1972-76, has died at the age of 81.

McConnachie was known for his offbeat style of humor, which tended toward the absurd. The former Madison Avenue ad man’s entree into writing for the Lampoon was sending poorly-drawn cartoons to the magazine, some of which were published [emphasis added]. Eventually, at the invitation of Henry Beard, he joined the staff as a writer.

Research reveals some unsigned cartoon panels that may or may not be by Brian. His first credited NatLamp piece (“Pamplemousse”, above) was in the March 1972 issue. His last was scripting the four page “Trail of Tears” comic in the November 1975 issue. The NatLamp masthead lists Brian as an editor in the October 1972 to March 1976 issues.

The July 1972 NatLamp issue featured a two page spread of Brian’s cartoons:

© National Lampoon, Inc.

According to Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site and the database Brian contributed to MAD magazine from 2005 to 2010.

© E. C. Publications

Brian also managed to write a couple children’s books.

The Highlands Current of New York published an obituary:

Brian McConnachie, 81, a former Philipstown resident who wrote for National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live and founded and relaunched The American Bystander, died Jan. 5 in Venice, Florida.

He and his wife, Ann, moved to Garrison from New York City in 1988. “We’d heard there were good schools in Garrison,” McConnachie told The Current in 2017. They bought an 1890s farmhouse with a one-horse stable next to the Garrison School.

“The first day of school, we walked our daughter down this old ox-cart road, and horses were grazing,” he recalled. “It reached the point where I thought, ‘Oh, come on. Let’s tone down the Norman Rockwell.’ ”