Who is Larry Gore? Well, he's described by Frank Jacobs as "two parts Groucho Marx, one part Machiavelli." William M. Gaines -- long time publisher of Mad Magazine, said Gore was "even madder than we are."
He made his living as a publicist and he did have some famous clients: Red Skelton, Mad Magazine, the Miss NYC Pageant, John Wayne. And his most famous publicity stunt became legend: Tiny Tim's marriage to Miss Vicky on The Tonight Show.
So what was Larry Gore's Thing? In theory, a newspaper comic strip, though it didn't look like one. There were no characters (other than Larry Gore). There often wasn't any art (other than maybe a stock photo). Often, it was printed sideways. It was filled with dumb jokes and pointless stories, fake ads, topical humor, celebrity quotes, and fake opinion columns that had no opinions. If anything, it was probably pitched as a comic strip version of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in. Some items included:
- Enter the "I'll Do Anything for Publicity Contest." The lucky girl who wins will be sorry.
- Lifetime Guarantee on all of our pure mahogany coffins.
- Factory to you! We eliminate the middleman's profit! The factory is mailed directly to you.
- Boheck's* gives real food stamps. Yes . . . at last. Stamps that taste like food.
- Today's Horoscope: avoid any astrology readings.
- LESS Cigarettes: After countless laboratory tests, 99 out of 100 medical doctors suggest you smoke LESS.
- Today's Horoscope: Stay cool. Don't go to Pisces.
The strip only ran a few years and in only a few newspapers (Newsday on Long Island being one of the few). Avon Books published a collection in 1970, but I don't think the comic lasted much beyond that. If you can find the book somewhere, pick it up.
*A play on "Bohack's," a Long Island supermarket chain that went out of business in the 70s.