Farewell, Mad Magazine

8

By Chuck Woodbury
ROADSIDE JOURNAL
I am sad. Mad Magazine is shutting down after 67 years. I grew up reading Mad. My mother, sister and I would read it together, often folding up with laughter. My mother had a great sense of humor. She “got” Mad. My father didn’t. He couldn’t figure out what was so funny. Too bad for him.

And now, the end is near. The magazine will be pulled from newsstands in August, from then on only available by subscription and in comic book stores. Beginning in October, the only new content will be the cover art. The insides will be reruns.

According to CNN, the only new content from Mad after that will be its end-of-year issue. Its parent company DC Entertainment will continue to publish Mad books and other special collections.

Farewell, Alfred E. Newman. We’ve grown old together, only you never got wrinkles or gray hair!

8 COMMENTS

  1. I remember the paperback books they published – my first was “The Bedside Mad.” I think the first story was a take off on the Flash Gordon serial – Flesh Garden, I think.

    A big thing was when they put a record inside an issue, “She Got A Nose Job.”

    Also remember a competitor . . . Cracked . . . but i preferred Mad.

  2. I had the very first issue of Mad when I was a kid. “25¢ Cheap”. It had Alfred’s picture on the front, and the back was the back of his head looking out over an audience of cartoon caricatures of famous people. Like a fool, I gave away my collection of Mad mags at an early age. Dang it!

    I looked forward to it every month. Always got the 50¢ ‘biggies’ that had cardboard playable records attached (if I taped them to my turntable). The artists were great, and the wit and sarcasm were unmatched by any of the wannabe’s that came out (and disappeared quickly).

  3. Spy vs Spy was THE best. I loved their movie spoofs too. I remember taking part of the money I earned from my paper route to buy the magazine, and then started buying the paperbacks. I had an Alfred E. Newman bust, and a fair amount of silly Mad memorabilia.

  4. It’s been many years, but I really enjoyed the “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” (that was probably a major contributor to my strong sarcasm), such as the guy at the side of the road changing a tire, “Got a flat?” “No, I always rotate my tires every 3,000 miles no matter where I am!” Or the dentist, “Did that hurt?” ” No, I always retch, scream, and cry when I’m happy! ” Alfred taught me well.

      • Great MAD type reply, Chris!!!!

        As a young boy in the 1950’s, apparently I had left a MAD magazine lying about and my dad found it. He burst into my bedroom with it in his hand, red face and infuriated ( Picture how Jack Davis would have cartooned it ) angrily proclaiming MAD as a filthy magazine ( Boobs often portrayed, but not often enough for a kid’s liking) never to be read by me again!!! Well, that not only permanently cemented my life-long passion for MAD magazine… I went on to become a professional cartoonist for newspapers and magazines and an NCS member. ‘See how great parenting skills work?

    • You are so right about intelligence and enlightenment, Lance!
      In order to understand sarcasm, one must be intelligent enough to understand both sides of issues. Perhaps even more importantly… to be enlightened enough to realize and weigh the logic or lack of logic in them seasoned with a sensitivity to humanity, which includes fairness.

      All of which are increasingly lacking in today’s world and, in my opinion, is why MAD is closing its original-art doors! It knows that most of the world has devolved to the point that they’re More than satisfied to pay money for already published work.

      What a sad commentary on society THAT is. I can all but hear the laughter behind MAD’s doors even as I write this. They at least, no it’s true.

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