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Thread: Mad magazine has left the building

  1. #1
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Mad magazine has left the building

    I don't know all the particulars. All I know is that Mad is kaput (as in Roger Kaputnik). I've been reading Mad on and off since it was 35¢ (Cheap!) an issue. All my favorites of the usual gang of idiots are gone—Dave Berg, Al Jaffee, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Sergio Argones. Even the letters to the editor, all starting with "Sirs," were funny and the responses even funnier. I always enjoyed the satires of current movies, The Oddfather, being one of my favorites. Everything about Mad was clever and witty. Sad to see it go. Any memories?
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  2. #2
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    The art was great, the caricatures excellent and always spot on. To this day I still can't necessarily remember whether I actually saw a particular movie in the 70s or just believe I did because I read the Mad parody Mostly, though, as much of the satire was way over my adolescent head, I think Mad introduced me to the important idea that you don't necessarily have to understand every nuance of something humorous to find it funny as hell. Like absurdist theatre and literature, the depths reveal themselves over time as one's understanding of life evolves.
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  3. #3
    July 78', issue 200 featured “The Rime of the Modern Skateboarder” , written by Tom Koch and Don Martin. Spot on spoof on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's classic epic poem.

    April 75', issue 174 Death Wish made me laugh. I still remember several scenes from time to time.

    Al Jaffee's back cover fold-in's left my Mad Magazines mutilated and me in awe.
    Last edited by Crawford Glissadevil; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:33 AM.

  4. #4
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    Back in the day, I’d missed the issue containing “201 Minutes of Space Idiocy,” and mailed some coins in with a request for a copy. I got back a check for 35 cents signed by William Gaines.

  5. #5
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    Didn't they just reboot the thing last year or something?
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

  6. #6
    Legalize Potrzebie!

    Mort Drucker, Sergio Aragonés, Antonio Prohías, Don Martin, Dick DeBartolo. Genius.

    As Monty Python's Terry Gilliam wrote, "Mad became the Bible for me and my whole generation."
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Member Casey's Avatar
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    Good memories. Good times.
    I've got a bike you can ride it if you like

  8. #8
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    The demise of Mad Magazine may have more to do with the viability of magazines in general, in the internet age.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  9. #9
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawford Glissadevil View Post
    July 78', issue 200 featured “The Rime of the Modern Skateboarder” , written by Tom Koch and Don Martin. Spot on spoof on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's classic epic poem.
    In #99, the same team did "The Rime of the Ancient Surfer."

  10. #10
    I think the last issue of Mad I really looked at was back circa 1991 or 1992, just after the Persian Gulf War. I remember that because the cover showed a caricature of General Schwarzkopf, with Alfred E Neumann, in front of an American Flag. The headline read:

    MAD SALUTES AMERICANS!!!*"

    Then across the bottom, "*Namely, those Americans who put out patriotic looking magazine covers to make a cheap buck!".

    I always loved Dave Berg's The Lighter Side Of... pieces. One that stands out was The Lighter Side Of Fast Food, in particular, a strip showing a couple discussing which chicken place they should get food from. One has chicken fingers for $2.50. The other place has "chicken breasts, delicately sliced and dipped in our special egg batter and luscious bread crumbs and fried to a golden crisp" for $2.75. The husband asks, "What's the difference?". The wife says, "Well, for a quarter, you get all those adjectives".

    Another one was two garbage men discussing the fast food industry, with one of them saying he would rather go into the paper business, then the last panel shows all the food wrappers that they've just thrown in the back of their truck.

    Another great Lighter Side Of... bits was on a wife basically talking her husband into going downstairs to make sure he turned the kitchen light off before coming to bed. Once he's out of bed, and has his robe on, she says, "Oh, while you're down there, could you get me a glass of milk".

    I remember a piece, which I think originated back in the 50's, about pizza. There was an explanation of the correct way to eat a slice of pizza, all of which ended with getting melted cheese all over your $49.95 charcoal grey suit. There was also the suggestion that you needed a cast iron stomach to actually digest a pizza. Also, an explanation of getting the pizza home, having to set fire to a car seat to keep the pizza warm while you're waiting in traffic, then having to bribe a cop with a piece after you get pulled over. Then you get home, and the pizza is still cold.


    I remember a piece on scuba diving (again, I think originating during the Sea Hunt era), which had a line suggesting one one of the absurdities of the sport was having to pay to have your scuba tanks filled, with the very same air that you breathe for free on the surface. I also remember a depiction of The Thinker, you know, the statue, but as a scuba diver, showing all the different pieces of equipment a diver would wear. Also, a depiction of a diver trying to dive in a fishtank.

    As for the movei and TV parodies, I remember their parody of WKRP In Cincinnati, which was called WKRAP IN Cincinnati. At one point, Sonny Bono shows up at the station and asks them to "play Misty for me". Someone says, "Wait a minute, shouldn't that be Clint Eastwood requesting Misty?", and I forget who says "Oh, Clint Eastwood doesn't do half hour shows, that's why we had to get Sonny Bono!".

    I remember the parody of Battlestar Gallactica, the original series. The Apollo and Starbuck characters are talking about how the show has been accused of stealing their plotlines from popular movies (in fact, decades later, Glenn Larson admitted some of their episodes were inspired by certain movies). One of them says, "Isn't that absurd? Now, which planet should we crash land on this week? Planet Of The Apes? The Towering Inferno? The Poseidon Adventure?". The Baltar character keeps griping how the light the Cylons keep shining in his face to make him look evil is "driving me nuts". At the end, when the Cylons again fail to destroy the humans, it's explained that "We did manage to insult the audience's intelligence, again!", to which Baltar replies, "Well, that's something, at least!".

    I recently read that George Lucas' lawyers threatened to sue Mad magazine over one of their parodies, I can't remember if it was one of the Star Wars or Indiana Jones pictures. They wanted the magazine pulled from all circulation, destroyed, with all the materials relating to the piece handed over to them. But, apparently, George himself had sent a letter to the Mad offices telling how hilarious he thought the parody was. So William S Gaines, the publisher, sent a letter back to the lawyers saying, "Funny, George told us he liked it!". According to Wikipedia, George said he "Always defends Mad magazine against my lawyers".

    I remember a James Bond parody, where each of the movies (up through sometime in the late 70's, I forget what the last one mentioned is) is given like half a page material. For "Live And Let Suffer", it begins with M ordering Bond to "Get dressed, we're expecting this to be our biggest picture yet!". Bond replies, "But you've got a cast of unknowns, with me leading!", and M replies, "But Paul McCartney is doing the theme song, so GET DRESSED!!!". The Goldfinger parody has Odd Job shrieking as he's electrocuted, with Bond making one of his puns. Oddjob says, "The electricity, I like, but please, enough with the puns!"

    I remember the Superman parody, which begins with General Zod declaring that "We're gonna beat this rap!". When someone asks what the S on Marlon Brando's chest means, someone else gets a list of superlatives, but when he says that Krypton would explode in 48 hours or whatever, the person ends the list with "and schmuck". Then someone asks what could his words possibly be worth, and there's a line hinging on his paycheck for the movie (at the time, Brando was the highest paid actor in the world, for 10 minutes of screen time in that movie). Then when he's launching Kal-EL to Earth, he says something like "Be inconspicuous", and his wife says, "You're sending him in a chandelier, and you want him to inconspicuous?!", and Jor-El replies, "Well, it's a million to one shot, but I'm aiming for Radio City Music Hall".

    There was a parody of, I think, Today's FBI, which began with an explanation of how companies were sponsoring TV shows, in exchange for product placement within the programs, ending with something like "See if you can guess who's sponsoring this show". And every mention of a given car has very detailed description of a GM car, like "He was driving a brand new 1975 Candy Apple Red Chrysler LeBaron" or whatever.

    There was also a piece lampooning the apologies to Italian/Americans that NBC insisted on airing when showing The Godfather, due to the stereotypes presented in the movie. So they showed what it would be like if there were such apologies for every TV show. For instance, for Rhoda, there was an apology to all Jewish mothers were who offended by Nancy Walker's character. Or the one for Happy Days, apologizing to all the middle aged men out there for their portrayal of Fonzie. But the best was the one for All In The Family, where they apologized to all the bigots for portraying Archie as a complete idiot.

    Another piece was various pictures of famous people, with each one saying "Quotes that you can bet were never said". One was Gene Simmons saying, "If there's one thing we don't need, it's gimmicks!". I believe one was Truman Capote saying, "Hey, let's go pick up some chicks!". And I believe one was also William S Gaines (Mad's publisher) saying "C'mon guys, let's get serious here!".

    Those back covers that you had to fold in to get the punchline to a given joke were great too. I always thought it was amazing how those things were laid out.

    Was I the only one who also read Cracked magazine? I know Cracked just a cheap knock off of Mad (there were several actually) but they had some good stuff to back in the day.

  11. #11
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    then having to bribe a cop with a piece after you get pulled over.
    This is known as "Cheese it, the cop."

  12. #12
    Sigh. This coming on the same day as the death of Arte Johnson really hurt. Two big pieces of my misspent yout'.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    This is known as "Cheese it, the cop."
    Yes! That's the one!!!!!

  14. #14
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    Anyone else here remember the flexidisc that came with one issue from 1973 that ran a hilarious a parody of "All in the Family"? It was called "Gall in the Family Fare" and featured voice actors assuming the roles of all the show's characters. The main - very bigoted - character's name was Starchie Bunkerhill. His wife was Dingbell, his daughter Gloriosky, and his son-in-law Meek. I must've listened to that several hundred times, and I can still recall most of the dialog!

    Edit: Okay, it's on YouTube complete with a slideshow of the relevant pages from the magazine. I won't link it here as it would be considered political (and very un-PC in 2019), but do check it out if you're interested.
    Last edited by Koreabruce; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:15 PM.

  15. #15
    Estimated Prophet notallwhowander's Avatar
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    I must have been in fourth or fifth grade (a perfect age to get hold of MAD), and reading "A Mad Look at Superheroes." One frame was a window from the inside with a finger tip just visible over the the sill. The caption read, "Plastic Man flipping off someone on the 10th floor." I rolled with laughter, and still think it's funny to this day.

    Artist unknown: Three zebra in a field, two with standard stripes standing conspiratorially to one side, other by itself, its stripes gone all paisley. Caption: I think Frank is on acid.

    Don Martin's "One Fine Day In..." pages, Spy Vs. Spy of course, Sergio Argones' doodles in the margins, Al Jafffe's "Snappy Comebacks to Stupid Questions," all of their various departments: fond memories. I picked up one to the recent issues, and the crew did an admirable job of keeping the tone and look of the magazine. It was also a bit like Sesame Street where they mixed in old with new. I didn't laugh enough to pick up another issue, however, so there you go.
    Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

  16. #16
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Fifth or sixth grade is when I really got into Mad.

  17. #17
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Mad made me who I am today.

  18. #18
    “Frankie Avalon? I thought you were dead!”

    “I’m not dead! My career is!”

    —from the MAD Magazine Grease parody.

    I think, like most of you, MAD was a big part of my childhood. The back page of every issue was guaranteed to be mangled on account of the MAD Fold-Ins, and I’m pretty sure “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” in particular was directly responsible for raising up a whole generation of sarcastic wiseasses.

    In the “Mike’s Obsessions Coming Together in Unusual Ways” Department: MAD occupied the Puck building on the corner of Houston and Mulberry in NYC. As William Gaines recalled, when they moved in it was still permeated with the smell of printer’s ink. A lot of MAD traditions were carry-overs from Puck, like the Valentines that showed up every February (like this page from 1888). And it seems Alfred E. Neumann’s character design (as well as the “What? Me worry?” catchphrase) were based on a character created by Frederick Opper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    Anyone else here remember the flexidisc that came with one issue from 1973 that ran a hilarious a parody of "All in the Family"? It was called "Gall in the Family Fare" and featured voice actors assuming the roles of all the show's characters. The main - very bigoted - character's name was Starchie Bunkerhill. His wife was Dingbell, his daughter Gloriosky, and his son-in-law Meek. I must've listened to that several hundred times, and I can still recall most of the dialog!

    Edit: Okay, it's on YouTube complete with a slideshow of the relevant pages from the magazine. I won't link it here as it would be considered political (and very un-PC in 2019), but do check it out if you're interested.
    My (then-teenaged) uncle had this. Five-year-old me used to play it over and over on his record player and laugh my little butt off. I seem to remember he got so sick of it he just gave it to me. Lost it ages ago.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  19. #19
    Another good piece was "You Know It's Really Summer When...". One of them was "Your neighbor comes over to return your snow shovel, and to borrow your lawnmower". Another hinged on attending an Annette Funnicelo film festival because the theater has air conditioning.

    There was a parody of Magnum PI, where through the entire piece, Magnum is being pursued by someone trying to kill him. At the end, in turns out the killer works for the Hawaii board of commerce, who are trying to have him eliminated because he's ruining Hawaii's image with his TV show. "We finally got rid of that McGarrett guy, now you turn up!"

    Another piece I remember depicted the 12 Days Of Christmas, as if it were to actually happen. The piece consists of correspondences surrounding the consequences of each of the gifts. As I recall, first she complains about the partridge in the pair tree crapping on her living room rug. Then at some point, "true love" receives a a bill for the damage caused by some of the animals, etc, etc. Eventually, the woman gets evicted because running an animal sanctuary contravenes her lease agreement, and so on.

    Oh, and there was "William Shakespeare: Film Critic", where various Shakespearean quotes are used in ads for movies. Rocky and Rocky II (apparently playing on a double feature) are described as "Two so much alike, they bare the same name" (a line from A Comedy Of Errors, I believe). For Star Trek: The Motion Picture, each actor is given his own quote, something like

    William Shatner "Captain of the ruin'd band"
    Leonard Nimoy "Worn and pointless vulcan"
    James Doohan "A drunken Scot"
    DeForrest Kelley "He has not so much brains as ear wax"

    There was a good line for The Black Hole, but I've forgotten what it was.

    They used to have sort of mad lib style songs, where they'd give you a song, and you're given a choice of words to insert into the lines. I remember there was one for Jingle Bells, where the first line could be rendered as "Passed out in the snow" or "Puking in the snow", etc.

  20. #20
    Oh dren! I just remember another of my favorite pieces...though I'm not sure I should post it, because it's kinda politically oriented. It involved a certain former actor, who was then occupying a certain house on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the piece depicted him as a prominent character in various movies, each being involved in a political issue of the day.

    For instance, the first bit was said actor, as Don Corleone in The Godfather, telling Alexander Haig to go to Europe and tell them how things are gonna be. When Haig asks what if they don't go along with Corleone plans, Corleone tells him, "I want you to give them the kiss of death!". Hearing this, Haig decides to resign his position, because resuming his military post would be better than "kissing Margaret Thatcher on the lips".

    The funny thing was, right after that issue was published, Haig resigned in real life, and someone wrote in (or maybe it was planted by the editors) to congratulate the magazine on "another act of Mad ESP", plus thanking the magazine for giving us "the real reason" Haig resigned.

    Another act of Mad ESP hinged on a piece where they said in the future, things like UPC bar codes were going to be incorporated into album cover artwork. Someone then "wrote in" to point out that Yes had titled their new album after it's catalog number!

    Another good piece was The Omen parody, called The Ominous. When the Lee Remick character says the new nanny has "excellent references", the Gregory Peck character says "You call Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun 'excellent references'". When the priest tries to warn him about his child being the Anti-Christ, the Peck character tells him to "drop dead", this being followed by an explosion that results in the priest's death. Peck then says "Why is that when I pray and pray for world peace, nothing happens, but a stupid request like that gets an immediate result". The piece ends with all the adults dead, and the kid basically commenting to the reader that "the country's going to Hell anyway".

  21. #21
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    One issue had a questionnaire about summer vacation plans: When are you leaving for vacation? How long will you be gone? Where do you live? Do you own a dog? Trace the outline of your house key in this box. Etc.

    Funny stuff.

  22. #22
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Anyone else here remember the flexidisc that came with one issue from 1973 that ran a hilarious a parody of "All in the Family"?
    Yes. I remember Edith's voice actor sounding really bad/cheesy. It was funny. Back then kids spent their pocket money on mags and comics. RIP Mad Mag.

  23. #23
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    You know it's really summer when :
    you feel obligated to stop at every front lawn lemonade stand and get sick from drinking gallons of lukewarm koolaid.

  24. #24
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I loved Spy vs Spy

  25. #25
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I remember back in the '80s just as the Jacksons were embarking on their first major tour in 5 or 6 years when MAD did a cover spoof, MAD Magazine Salutes: The Jacksons! which features Michael up front flanked by Jesse on bass, Andrew on lead guitar and Kate on drums. I think Reggie was doing tambourine or something like that.

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