The Fighting Red Onionhead (FROH), a.k.a. Roger, a.k.a. Ode de Capa  Dedicated Idiocy, A personal history of the Penn State Monty Python Society by Alyce Wilson

School Year 1988-1989

Founding of Completely Different

At my first MPS meeting, then president Floyd Crossman told us he wanted to start a club newsletter and asked for volunteers. I volunteered, along with another freshman, Ian Podraza, seen most recently winning $32,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire — lucky bugger.

In subsequent weeks, Ian and I came up with the name Completely Different (for which I'd like to take credit but am no longer certain whose idea it was), determined a format and launched full-tilt into our mostly biweekly pablum, which was not at all filled with blackmail material and invented letters to the editor.

The first issue looked like this:

Completely Different I v.1 - front (Click to enlarge)    Completely Different I v.1 - back (Click to enlarge)

Though the layout 0f the first issue leaves something to be desired, it established some traditions that I would continue in my days as Completely Different editor.

For example, each issue while Ian and I were co-editing contained a column, "Not a Letter from a Pseudo Editor," written by Ian Podraza. Considering that I wrote a high percentage of the newsletter material and took charge of the design, the "Pseudo-Editor" designation is a bit misleading. But since it's taken me 15 years to realize this, I can't complain too much.

When Ian stepped down as my co-editor (oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself), I wrote a column titled, "Dedicated Idiocy," which was named after an article on the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, the lead singer of which, Neil Innes, teamed with Eric Idle for The Rutles.

Dedicated Idiocy article graphic (Click to enlarge)

The first issue also began the tradition of printing fake letters to the editor. Over the years, some of these were submitted by MPS members, but many of them were created during late night computer lab sessions with whomever happened to be helping me that issue (Ian Podraza in early years, Cathy Nelson in later ones).

That issue also marked the first appearance of Gallium P. Krogman, a fictional Penn State student. Like many of my fictional characters, his naming was a carefully orchestrated blending of thesaurus consulatation and hitting my head against the keyboard.

Other recurring Completely Different characters would include administrators Gehenna Conniption, Balmy Bootstrap and Furfur Crabstick (deceased); the Hideous Blackmailer (actually, my friend Mike Lamprinos); S. Even Crocodile (Jenny Hoffman); fictional student A.L. Gumdrop; Roger, a.k.a. the Fighting Red Onionhead, a.k.a. Ode de Capa (pictured on this page); Anthony, the White Gazebo; and Ecila Nosliw (rather obvious).

At the close of my Penn State days — oh, the halcyon days of old State! No, just a squirrel — I collected all the newsletters from my tenure into a booklet, And Now for the Compilation of Something Completely Different, which I donated to the Penn State Library system for their Penn State collection. They promptly filed it under "Do Not Resuscitate."

Here's how PSU LIAS lists it today:

Title: And now for the compilation of something Completely different / Alyce Wilson, editor.
Publication info: State College, Pa. : Penn State Monty Python Society, c1992.
Physical descrip: [49] p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
General Note: The Penn State Monty Python Society's newsletter, Completely different, from Fall 1988 to Spring 1992.
Corporate subject: Pennsylvania State University--Students--Humor.
Subject term: College wit and humor.
Added author: Wilson, Alyce.
Added Author: Penn State Monty Python Society.
Uniform title: Completely different.

Material Shelf Location
Call Number for: UP-SPECCOL
1) LD4481.P841A53 1992 BOOK P.S. Univ. Archives, 1st Floor Paterno (nocirc)

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