From the Archives

The cartoon below by Herbert Peter Wells ’35 was selected for the "Best of 140 Years of Yale Record.” Peter was Art Editor of The Record.


Herbert Hilbish (Peter) Wells  ’35  cartoonist Katzenjammer Kids

Peter Wells graduated from Yale University in 1935, where he nurtured a penchant for cartooning, serving as Art Editor of The Yale Record. During the early 1940's, Peter wrote and illustrated a variety of children’s books, one of which, Mr. Tootwhistle’s Invention, won first prize in the New York Herald Tribune’s Children's Spring Book Festival of 1942. After World War II, Peter Wells rejoined King Features where he wrote and drew for the Katzenjammer Kids comic books between 1948 and 1951. For Scholastic Magazines during the 1950s and 1960s, he created the cartoon strip, “Pete the Pup.” From 1954 to the early 1970s, he started and ran the Cartoon Course of The Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut, a school run by Norman Rockwell and other successful artists of the day.

Peter was an avid jazz musician, playing with Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra and other Dixieland groups, playing bass and baritone saxophones and delighting audiences with wild riffs on his penny whistle.  Peter and his wife of sixty years lived in Connecticut, raising three boys whose antics found their way into his Katzenjammer Kids comics and children’s books. Peter Wells was a member of the National Cartoonist Society.

Los Angeles Get-to-Gather and Parliament of Owls Movable Feast

Los Angeles area Yale Record Alumni are invited to join an informal reception and dinner (dutch) at the Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Sunday July 10, reception at 5pm and dinner at 6pm.

The event is hosted by Don Watson, ’59, Yale Record Hysterical Archivist, and will honor Michael Gerber ’91. "Many surprises in store including laughs galore.”

If you can come, please contact us here.

2016 Yale Record Corporation Awards Luncheon

We are indebted to alumni attendees and supporters of the 2016 KLOOT Award luncheon:
Gary Clarke ’59, Charlie Hoyt ’59, Jack Newsham ’14, Rob Schlaff ‘99, Len Stokes ’66, Mim VanderKloot, and Don Watson ‘59
The 2nd Annual KLOOT Award Luncheon was held at Mory’s on Saturday April 16, as spring sprung in New Haven. The event was a smashing success, or at least smashing, as you may divine from the attached pictures, with a full room of Yale Record graduating seniors and alumni supporters. Many of the students had never been to Mory’s before. Many of the alums had never been to Mory’s when the sun was up.

Mitchell Harris ’16 [LEFT]  2016 KLOOT Award Winner

Mitchell Harris ’16 [LEFT]  2016 KLOOT Award Winner

Annelisa Leinbach ’16 [RIGHT] 2016 John Morrison Memorial Award winner  

Annelisa Leinbach ’16 [RIGHT] 2016 John Morrison Memorial Award winner

The 2nd Annual Kloot Award, administered by the Yale Record Corporation, honors the memory of Frederic J. VanderKloot ’59, a member of the Record board 1956-1959 and Business Manager 1958-1959. Fred’s business acumen, imagination, and levity were a major contributor to the success of the Record, the oldest and almost continuously published college humor magazine in the U.S.
The 2016 Kloot Award was presented to Mitchell Harris, ’16 with a citation that reads:
…with gratitude for strengthening The Record’s standing in the Yale community… Having served as The Yale Record Business Manager, in which role he showed an innovative mind and tireless spirit; and having written many pieces for The Yale Record magazine and website, and having been a consistent presence and enthusiastic participant at Record meetings, quick to show support for his fellow owls with a distinctive laugh and sagacious advice.
The John Morrison Memorial Award is an annual award administered by Yale University. It provides the award and stipend “for the best art contribution in the Yale Record during the Year.” The Award was established in 1920 by the family of John Morrison 1917S, a Record artist and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and Croix de Guerre with palm, killed in action in WWI.
The John Morrison Memorial Award for 2016 was presented to Annelisa Leinbach, ’16 with a citation that reads:

with gratitude for upholding the Record’s rich artistic tradition and with hopes and blessings for a bright future….Having served as The Yale Record Art Director, in which role she recruited artists to join The Record, solicited art for the magazine, and curated submissions; and having created numerous covers for The Record, and having promoted the role of hand drawn art in the Record at a time when too few humor artists can be found at Yale.

Adrian Bonenberger [RIGHT]  upon election to the Parliament of Owles.      

Adrian Bonenberger [RIGHT]  upon election to the Parliament of Owles.      

Jack Newsham ’14 [LEFT] finishes the Mory’s Cup. Len Stoke [RIGHT] reads the demanding lyrics of the refrain,  “It’s Jack, it’s Jack who Makes the World Go Round.”

Jack Newsham ’14 [LEFT] finishes the Mory’s Cup. Len Stoke [RIGHT] reads the demanding lyrics of the refrain, “It’s Jack, it’s Jack who Makes the World Go Round.”

Adrian Bonenberger ‘02, U.S. Army Captain (Ret.), and author of the acclaimed Afghan Post, gave a brief talk “Pratfalls and Parachutes: A history of war satire.” Adrian described examples of war satire as it hit its peak in WWI and WWII, and posed critical questions he is currently researching including contemporary examples and their absence. Adrian was presented with The Certificate of Election to the Parliament of Owles, (a conclave so remote that no one, not even Google, knows anything about it) with a citation that reads, “for distinguished words, wisdom, and wit in the grandest traditions of the Yale Record, whatever they are and wherever they may roost.”
Alumni supporters attending included Gerald “Gary” Clarke ’59, who regaled with anecdotes of the lives of literati. Gary is author of Capote: A Biography (and basis of the movie). Gary’s biography of Judy Garland Get Happy is optioned for a movie with Anne Hathaway as Judy. Len Stokes ’66 shared a bit about his current series of Donald Trump satirical graphics, actually funnier than his subject. Don Watson ’59 cautioned of the power of the Mory’s Cup, retelling his UGrad adventures of assisting a Volkswagen onto the sidewalk in front of Mory’s after a Green Cup ceremony in 1959. A Campus Cop appeared, complimented the feat and then required the rowdies to simply put it back. Jack Newsham ’14 ably (well almost ably) demonstrated the ritual required of the last one to finish the cup. Mim Vanderkloot graced the event, adding reflections about the late great Fred VanderKloot, in whose memory the award is presented. Mim let us know that, “Fred would have really loved this!”
Your contributions to the Yale Record Kloot Award Endowment Fund help support this serious fun and may be sent to The Yale Record Corporation, P.O. Box 209051, New Haven, CT06520.

In Memoriam:  William Hamilton, 1939-2016

William Hamilton, Yale Record Art Editor 1962 and distinguished alumnus, died in a car crash on April 8, 2016. His successful career as cartoonist and dramatist is documented more fully than I can recount on Wikipedia. 

A commemorative of his New Yorker cartoons are viewable here.

One anecdote that appears in a People magazine archive from 1979 tells of his acceptance as a New Yorker artist, an association that he maintained until his death:

Bombarding The New Yorker with his cartoons from Alaska, he finally got what he considered the ultimate rejection slip. "I wrote the art director a letter saying he must be an old man who hates young people," Hamilton recalls. "Suddenly I got a check for $200, with no explanation."

For more of Hamilton’s extraordinary life and times.

A story that does not appear on the web is one I can tell from Yale daze. It goes somewhat like this:

Bill Hamilton arrived at Yale in Fall 1958. One of his first visits was to the college dormitory suite of Bill Cudahy, Dick Bentley, and myself. Cudahy was Record Chairman that year. Dick was managing editor and writer. I was Art Editor. Young Hamilton asked if this was the room of the Yale Record Chairman, adding that he had selected Yale because he much admired the Yale Record and wanted to be part of it.

Cudahy—all too true to form—said, no, he did not know any Cudahy, never heard of the Yale Record, then turned to us to be sure we nodded agreement. This ruse lasted for an extended comic minute. Once we did see the cartoon portfolio that Hamilton brought under his arm, he was admitted to the fold forthwith. William Hamilton recounts his version of this story in his 50th Yale College Class of 1962 Reunion Essay—we hope out of fondness of memory, rather than as catharsis of early career trauma.

Bill went on to extend the Yale Record cartoonist tradition far more than any of us.

Donald Watson 

Yale Record Art Editor ‘59

KLOOT Award Bestowed Upon Ethan Campbell-Taylor

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Yale Record Corporation awarded the KLOOT Award to Ethan Campbell-Taylor, Yale Class of 2016, in recognition of his contributions to The Record’s standing in the Yale community. Ethan is the first recipient of the KLOOT Award, which honors the memory of Frederic J. VanderKloot (1938-2014), Yale College 1959 and Yale Record Business Manager 1958-1959.

The Award was presented at a dinner at The Yale Club of New York City, following a lecture that regaled a packed audience in the Yale Club Library by Robert Grossman ‘61, renowned cartoonist and Yale Record Chairman, 1960-61. In introducing the  lecture, Yale Record Board member Rob Schlaff ’99 gave Robert a framed drawing of “Olde Owle,” admitting him to the Parliament of Owls in recognition to his lifetime contributions to “the insatiable itch of scribbling.”

Others attending the KLOOT Award dinner included The Record’s newly elected Publisher Ian Gonzalez ’15, artist and writer Ilana Straus ’13, Board members Adrian Bonenberger ‘04, Dave Jeffrey ’60, and Don Watson ’59, Robert Grossman guests Elaine Louis and Tracy Turner, and Record alumni and supporters Robert Pellaton ’59, Lynn Pellaton, and Ralph Hirshorn ’60.

KLOOT Award Donor Dinner

The KLOOT Award

This past year, we received the sad news of the passing of Fred VanderKloot, '59. To honor this Recordzik (as those of the class of ’59 are called), Don Watson, Charlie Hoyt, and our Secretary, Waddy Wadsworth, all of the class of 1959, embarked on a campaign to create an award in his memory. After a successful fundraising campaign, The Yale Record Corporation established the KLOOT Award, its first named award since the Morrison Memorial Prize in 1920.

The KLOOT Award honors the memory of Frederic J. VanderKloot (1938-2014), Yale College Class of 1959. Fred was a member of The Record board, 1956-1959, and its Business Manager, 1958-1959. During those years, his combination of business acumen, imagination and levity was a major contributor to the success and high reputation of The Record, which was, and remains, one of the most respected college undergraduate publications. The award, represented by a certificate and cash stipend, will be given to a staff member of The Yale Record who has materially strengthened The Record’s standing in the Yale community through business management, drawings or other visual art, literature, or editorial skills. The Award is supported by an endowed fund established by donations directed for this purpose and managed by The Yale Record Corporation.
To celebrate the establishment of the award, Waddy, Don, and Charlie hosted a dinner for donors. Gary Clarke, '59, attended the dinner and shared the following remarks:

It was an evening of memory, celebration and promise. A bottle of Cutty Sark was on the bar, carnations—white and Yale blue—were nearby, and sixteen men and women, all but one associated with Yale’s class of ’59, were seated at the table. Hosted by Charlie Hoyt, Dyer Wadsworth and Don Watson, the dinner, at Waddy’s club, the Union Club in Manhattan, was to acknowledge the founding donors of the Kloot Award, which bears the name of our much esteemed, much missed Yale Record colleague, the late Frederic VanderKloot.

We all have our memories of Fred, but his widow, Mim, put them all together in just a few words that night. "One of the reasons I fell in love with Fred,” she said, “was that he thought I was funny.  He'd laugh at my every quip, mot, and smartass remark.  Later on I realized that it was not that Fred thought I was excruciating clever or excoriatingly witty; it was that Fred would laugh at anything.” 

Laughter, of course, was what the evening was all about. Don Watson gave a brief history of the magazine we were all there to celebrate, 
The Yale Record, America’s oldest college humor magazine. Founded in 1872, The Record is six years older, in fact, than a more utilitarian publication on the Yale campus—“the Oldest College Daily,” as it likes to boast. Distinguished Record alumni include Peter Arno, Jim Stevenson, William Hamilton, Stephen Vincent Benét, Hillary Waugh, Courtland D.B. Bryan, Bob Grossman and Garry Trudeau—but there are also dozens of other outstanding talents.

The Record struggled at times throughout the 70’s and 80’s, stability returned in 1989 when Michael Gerber, ’91, decided somber old Eli needed a smile or two. He plucked The Record from its long sleep, and with the help of like-minded students, puffed life and spirit back into it. As president of the Yale Record Corporation, Michael played wise uncle to some twenty years of Record classes and helped bring the magazine to its present lively state. A year ago Michael handed over his title to the very capable John Michael Thornton, ’09, who flew all the way from Palo Alto, California, to join us for dinner—the first, he hopes, of other Record dinners in other places. “I couldn't be more excited about the direction in which we’re heading,” he said.

I think we all share Mike Thornton’s hopes. Humor, real humor, doesn’t recognize the barriers of geography and age. It can amuse. It can also sting, and the powerful, the pompous and the fanatic can stand anything but being laughed at. We were all aware at our dinner that just a week earlier Muslim terrorists had murdered the staff of the French humor magazine 
Charlie Hebdo. Those who worked on Charlie Hebdo knew the power of humor. So did their murderers. So should we.

 Gary Clarke, '59, March 15, 2015

Upcoming Events - Bob Grossman at The Yale Club

Bob Grossman, '61, will be featured speaker at The Yale Club of New York City. There will be a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 and the lecture will begin at 7:00. Bob was Chairman of The Yale Record in 1961, filling its pages with hilarious cartoons. He went on to be among the foremost political caricaturists of the high and mighty, and always a loyal proponent of The Record. You have seen his inimitable style in The New York Times, The Nation, The New Yorker, The New York Observer, Rolling Stone and many other publications. And if you have not caught his website O-manland about a personage very much like our current President, you have a treat awaiting.

Bob will talk about accepts and rejects of his pen and ink work and back stories to some of his numerous icons including the airplane tied in a knot for the 1980 film AIRPLANE!. Given some prompting, he may also tell of his advocacy to Save The Vegetables from humiliations such as potatoes having their eyes removed in mess halls across the world before being put in boiling waters. Be ready to laugh.

Board Elections

Last July The Yale Record Corporation elected a new board of directors. The board meets quarterly, with committees, such as Alumni Relations, Fundraising, Continuity, and Bylaws, meeting as needed. If you are interested in joining a committee (need not be a director) or would like to be involved in any other way, please email

The Board of Directors:
Michael Thornton, '09,
Vice President
Adrian Bonenberger, '02,
Dyer "Waddy" Wadsworth, '59,
Tho Dinh, '05
Assistant Secretary
Ilya Kushnirsky, '00
Hysterical Archivist
Don Watson, '59,

Adam Bildersee, '09,
Robert Schlaff, '99,
David Jeffery, '60,
Melissa Chiasson, '11,
Mitchell Nobel, '13,

Directors Emeriti

Michael Gerber, '91, President Emeritus,
Barry Bryan, '52
Frank Wilton, '52
Henry B. Michael, '93

Patrick Castillo, '92