100 Years of Giggles: 10 Questions with Phroth
As some of you may know, this year is the 100th anniversary of Penn State’s humor magazine, Phroth. The magazine also produces the Phollegian, which we all enjoyed on March 31st for some reason instead of April Fool’s Day. Ah, well.
We were lucky enough to score an interview with the lady behind the laughs, Phroth’s editor in chief Laura DeSantis. Because she was so nice about it, we even put a colon in the title.
1. What is your most cherished childhood moment?
It’s not really a “moment” per se, but I really cherish all the time I spent at my grandparents’ house with my cousins. My grandparents lived in a giant house built at the turn of last century, and my cousins, brother and I basically made it our own imaginary world. We were orphans that had to make it on our own, or a family of doctors and nurses (also orphans) or traveling performers (also orphans). We had a great time. I’ll always cherish those memories. Sorry that wasn’t actually funny.
2. What are you doing to celebrate Phroth’s 100th anniversary?
You know, I haven’t really thought about this. I’ve been so pre-occupied with creating, promoting and distributing our centennial issue (available now at a HUB near you) that I forgot I should probably celebrate. Though we weren’t able to put together a centennial celebration this semester, the fall will still be our centennial year (2009) so keep an eye out for a Phroth sponsored event of some sort.
3. What could you eat a hundred of?
Blueberry Mini-muffins, chewy chocolate chip cookies, or my these amazing cookies my grandma makes…I think they’re called Spanish Wedding Cakes. We’re not Spanish, and we eat them at Christmas.
4. How many of your friends did you have to betray and bloody to score the editor position at Phroth?
Seven. All of them now work for the Collegian.
5. Do you ever get hate mail?
Actually, no. Last time I heard of us getting hate mail was two years ago. An alumnus received a copy of our “sexy issue,” which featured the then-editor-in-chief scantily clad on the cover. It was a parody of the Jessica Simpson Rolling Stone “Housewife of the Year” cover. The alumnus was apparently “disgusted.” Since then we really haven’t gotten any hate mail. I guess we need to step it up a notch.
6. What is your favorite Canadian province?
Quebec! It’s very pretty there, and I like the dual language thing. I almost said Ontario because I’m from Buffalo, so I can basically walk there…but besides Toronto I don’t think there’s much else to Ontario.
7. What is the most controversial thing you’ve ever seen published in the magazine?
There isn’t too much controversial material in Phroth, though the older issues of Froth have a lot of what now would be considered controversial. Let’s just say racism and sexism were a lot more accepted prior to the 1960’s. Luckily humor has changed, though potty humor is always in fashion.
8. If you wrote the great American novel, what would you title it?
“The 34th Amendment.” I just think it sounds cool. The novel would probably be set in a dystopian future. I clearly haven’t really thought this through. First I was thinking maybe “Strip malls, MTV, and Camus: Teenage Life in America,” but that sounds more like a dissertation. I really do love colons in paper titles though. Ask my professors.
9. Top three reasons why you love Phroth
1) The people. Phrothies are amazing, creative and fun people. I hope I get to work with people as awesome as Phrothies for the rest of my career.
2) The debates. Phroth gave me the opportunity to debate such things as, “Are these graphic sex positions appropriate for the cover of 10,000 newspapers?” and “What is the best way to photoshop Care Bears on Kim Jong Il?”
3) The reactions I get from people—they’re priceless. I’ve heard everything from “Wait, why did the Collegian change its name?” (referring to the Phollegian), to “PHROTH! YES!” It’s always very satisfying to sit in class and see people reading the magazine or newspaper and enjoying it. It’s even better when they ask if I’ve seen it.
10. If you were a dinosaur, what kind would you be and why?
Brachiosaurus! I don’t eat a lot of meat, and I’m very short…so if I were a dinosaur I would want to be really, really, really tall. Also, I want to give credit to my boyfriend for helping me with this question. I was going to say “brontosaurus” but he informed me that such a dinosaur was proven to have never existed. This is why I edit a humor magazine and not a scientific journal.
Laura also reminds us to check out Phroth’s new blog and pick up a copy of the centennial issue available in the HUB, Thomas, or Willard. If you fail to do so, you will be mercilessly peppered with bad puns until you graduate.