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Mad (magazine)

Mad (magazine)

Overview
Mad is an American humor
Humour
Humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement...

 magazine
Magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

 founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic books and magazines. Kurtzman often signed his name H. Kurtz, followed by a stick figure Harvey Kurtzman (October 3, 1924, Brooklyn, New York – February 21, 1993) was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic...

 and publisher William Gaines
William Gaines
William Maxwell Gaines , better known as Bill Gaines, was an American publisher and co-editor of EC Comics. Following a shift in EC's direction in 1950, Gaines presided over what became an artistically influential and historically important line of mature-audience comics...

 in 1952. Launched as a comic book before it became a magazine, it was widely imitated and influential, impacting not only satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 media but the entire cultural landscape of the 20th century.

The last surviving title from the notorious and critically acclaimed EC Comics
EC Comics
Entertaining Comics, more commonly known as EC Comics, was an American publisher of comic books specializing in horror fiction, crime fiction, satire, military fiction and science fiction from the 1940s through the mid-1950s, notably the Tales from the Crypt series...

 line, the magazine offers satire on all aspects of life and popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

, politics, entertainment, and public figures.
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Encyclopedia
Mad is an American humor
Humour
Humour or humor is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement...

 magazine
Magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

 founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic books and magazines. Kurtzman often signed his name H. Kurtz, followed by a stick figure Harvey Kurtzman (October 3, 1924, Brooklyn, New York – February 21, 1993) was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic...

 and publisher William Gaines
William Gaines
William Maxwell Gaines , better known as Bill Gaines, was an American publisher and co-editor of EC Comics. Following a shift in EC's direction in 1950, Gaines presided over what became an artistically influential and historically important line of mature-audience comics...

 in 1952. Launched as a comic book before it became a magazine, it was widely imitated and influential, impacting not only satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 media but the entire cultural landscape of the 20th century.

The last surviving title from the notorious and critically acclaimed EC Comics
EC Comics
Entertaining Comics, more commonly known as EC Comics, was an American publisher of comic books specializing in horror fiction, crime fiction, satire, military fiction and science fiction from the 1940s through the mid-1950s, notably the Tales from the Crypt series...

 line, the magazine offers satire on all aspects of life and popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

, politics, entertainment, and public figures. Its format is divided into a number of recurring segments such as TV and movie parodies
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

, as well as freeform articles. Mads mascot, Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot and cover boy of Mad magazine. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed and named by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman...

, is typically the focal point of the magazine's cover, with his face often replacing a celebrity or character that is lampooned within the issue.

History





Debuting in August 1952 (cover date October–November),
Mad began as a comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 published by EC
EC Comics
Entertaining Comics, more commonly known as EC Comics, was an American publisher of comic books specializing in horror fiction, crime fiction, satire, military fiction and science fiction from the 1940s through the mid-1950s, notably the Tales from the Crypt series...

.

Written almost entirely by Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic books and magazines. Kurtzman often signed his name H. Kurtz, followed by a stick figure Harvey Kurtzman (October 3, 1924, Brooklyn, New York – February 21, 1993) was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic...

, the first issue also featured illustrations by Kurtzman himself, along with Wally Wood
Wally Wood
Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer, artist and independent publisher, best known for his work in EC Comics and Mad. He was one of Mads founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he...

, Will Elder
Will Elder
William Elder was an American illustrator and comic book artist who worked in numerous areas of commercial art, but is best known for a zany cartoon style that helped launch Harvey Kurtzman's Mad comic book in 1952....

, Jack Davis
Jack Davis (cartoonist)
Jack Davis is an American cartoonist and illustrator, known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art and numerous comic book stories...

 and John Severin
John Severin
John Powers Severin is an American comic book artist noted for his distinctive work with EC Comics, primarily on the war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat; for Marvel Comics, primarily on its war and Western comics; and for the satiric magazine Cracked...

. Wood, Elder and Davis were the three main illustrators throughout the 23-issue run of the comic book.

In order to retain Kurtzman as its editor, the comic book converted to magazine
Magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

 format as of issue #24 (1955). As it happened, Kurtzman quit the following year, but crucially, the move had also removed Mad from the strictures of the Comics Code Authority
Comics Code Authority
The Comics Code Authority was a body created as part of the Comics Magazine Association of America, as a tool for the comics-publishing industry to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States. Member publishers submitted comic books to the CCA, which screened them for adherence to...

. New editor Al Feldstein swiftly brought aboard staffers such as Don Martin, Frank Jacobs
Frank Jacobs
Frank Jacobs is an American author of satires, known primarily for his work in Mad, to which he has contributed since 1957. Jacobs has written a wide variety of lampoons and spoof, but he is best known as a versifier who contributes parodies of famous song lyrics and poems...

, and Mort Drucker, and later, Antonio Prohías
Antonio Prohias
Antonio Prohías , born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, was a cartoonist most famous for creating the comic strip Spy vs. Spy for MAD Magazine....

 and Dave Berg. The magazine's circulation more than quadrupled during Feldstein's tenure, peaking at 2,132,655 in 1974, although it had declined to a third of this figure by the end of his time as editor. When Feldstein retired in 1984, he was replaced by the team of Nick Meglin
Nick Meglin
Nick Meglin was a member of MAD Magazine's editorial staff for almost half a century. His progress can be observed by studying the magazine's masthead, which moved him from "Ideas" to "War Correspondent" to "Editorial Associate" to "Associate Editor" to "Editor," a position which he held for 20...

 and John Ficarra
John Ficarra
John Ficarra has been the editor-in-chief of Mad since 1984, sharing the position for most of that time with Nick Meglin. He has been on the editorial staff of the magazine for more than 25 years.-References:...

, who co-edited Mad for the next two decades. After Meglin retired in 2004, Ficarra continued to edit the magazine.

Gaines sold his company in the early 1960s to the Kinney Parking Company
Kinney Parking Company
Kinney Parking Company was a New Jersey parking lot company owned by Manny Kimmel, Sigmund Dornbusch and mob figure Abner Zwillman. Prior to its public listing in 1960, it merged with a funeral home company, Riverside, and then expanded into car-rentals, office cleaning firms and construction...

, which would also acquire National Periodicals
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 (aka DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

) and Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 by the end of that decade. Gaines was named a Kinney board member, and was largely permitted to run
Mad as he saw fit without corporate interference.

Following Gaines's death,
Mad became more ingrained within the Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

 corporate structure.
Eventually, the magazine was obliged to abandon its long-time home at 485 Madison Avenue (printed as "MADison" Avenue in the masthead), and in the mid-1990s it moved into DC Comics' offices at the same time DC relocated to 1700 Broadway
Broadway (New York City)
Broadway is a prominent avenue in New York City, United States, which runs through the full length of the borough of Manhattan and continues northward through the Bronx borough before terminating in Westchester County, New York. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to...

. In 2001, the magazine broke its long-standing taboo and began running paid advertising. The outside revenue allowed for the introduction of color printing and improved paper stock.

In its earliest incarnation, new issues of the magazine appeared erratically, between four and seven times a year. By the end of 1958, Mad had settled on an unusual eight-times-a-year schedule, which lasted almost four decades. Gaines felt the atypical timing was necessary to maintain the magazine's level of quality. Mad then began producing additional issues, until it reached a traditional monthly schedule with the January 1997 issue. With its 500th issue (June 2009), amid company-wide cutbacks at Time Warner, the magazine temporarily regressed to a quarterly publication before settling to six issues per year in 2010.

Influence


Though there are antecedents to
Mad’s style of humor in print, radio and film, Mad became a pioneering example of it. Throughout the 1950s, Mad featured groundbreaking parodies combining a sentimental fondness for the familiar staples of American culture—such as Archie
Archie Andrews (comics)
Archie Andrews, created in 1941 by Vic Bloom and Bob Montana, is a fictional character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, as well as the long-running Archie Andrews radio series, a syndicated comic strip, The Archie Show, and Archie's Weird Mysteries.-Character and...

 and Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

—with a keen joy in exposing the fakery behind the image. Its approach was described by Dave Kehr
Dave Kehr
Dave Kehr is an American film critic. A critic at the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune for many years, he writes a weekly column for The New York Times on DVD releases, in addition to contributing occasional pieces on individual films or filmmakers.-Early life and education:Dave Kehr did...

 in
The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

: "Bob Elliott
Bob Elliott (comedian)
Robert Brackett "Bob" Elliott is an American actor and comedian, formerly one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray. He is the father of comedian/actor Chris Elliott and the grandfather of Saturday Night Live cast member Abby Elliott.-Life and career:Elliott was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the...

 and Ray Goulding
Ray Goulding
Raymond Walter Goulding was an American comedian, who, together with Bob Elliott formed the comedy duo of Bob and Ray....

 on the radio, Ernie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs was a Hungarian American comedian and actor.Kovacs' uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comedic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his death in an automobile accident...

 on television, Stan Freberg
Stan Freberg
Stanley Victor "Stan" Freberg is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer, and advertising creative director whose career began in 1944...

 on records, Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic books and magazines. Kurtzman often signed his name H. Kurtz, followed by a stick figure Harvey Kurtzman (October 3, 1924, Brooklyn, New York – February 21, 1993) was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic...

 in the early issues of
Mad: all of those pioneering humorists and many others realized that the real world mattered less to people than the sea of sounds and images that the ever more powerful mass media were pumping into American lives." Bob and Ray
Bob and Ray
Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding were an American comedy team whose career spanned five decades. Their format was typically to satirize the medium in which they were performing, such as conducting radio or television interviews, with off-the-wall dialogue presented in a generally deadpan style as...

, Kovacs and Freberg all became contributors to
Mad.

In 1977, Tony Hiss and Jeff Lewis wrote in
The New York Times about the then 25-year-old publication's initial effect:
The skeptical generation of kids it shaped in the 1950s is the same generation that in the 1960s opposed a war and didn't feel bad when the United States lost for the first time and in the 1970s helped turn out an Administration and didn't feel bad about that either... It was magical, objective proof to kids that they weren't alone, that in New York City on Lafayette Street, if nowhere else, there were people who knew that there was something wrong, phony and funny about a world of bomb shelters, brinkmanship and toothpaste smiles. Mads consciousness of itself, as trash, as comic book, as enemy of parents and teachers, even as money-making enterprise, thrilled kids. In 1955, such consciousness was possibly nowhere else to be found. In a Mad parody, comic-strip characters knew they were stuck in a strip. Darnold Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most...

, for instance, begins wondering why he has only three fingers and has to wear white gloves all the time. He ends up wanting to murder every other Disney character. G.I. Schmoe tries to win the sexy Asiatic broad by telling her, "O.K., baby! You're all mine! I gave you a chance to hit me witta gun butt... But naturally, you have immediately fallen in love with me, since I am a big hero of this story."


Mad is often credited with filling a vital gap in political satire in the 1950s to 1970s, when Cold War paranoia
Red Scare
Durrell Blackwell Durrell Blackwell The term Red Scare denotes two distinct periods of strong Anti-Communism in the United States: the First Red Scare, from 1919 to 1920, and the Second Red Scare, from 1947 to 1957. The First Red Scare was about worker revolution and...

 and a general culture of censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 prevailed in the United States, especially in literature for teens. Activist Tom Hayden
Tom Hayden
Thomas Emmet "Tom" Hayden is an American social and political activist and politician, known for his involvement in the animal rights, and the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s. He is the former husband of actress Jane Fonda and the father of actor Troy Garity.-Life and...

 said, "My own radical journey began with Mad Magazine." The rise of such factors as cable television
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 and the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 have diminished the influence and impact of Mad, although it remains a widely distributed magazine. In a way, Mads power has been undone by its own success: what was subversive in the 1950s and 1960s is now commonplace. However, its impact on three generations of humorists is incalculable, as can be seen in the frequent references to Mad on the animated series The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

. Simpsons producer Bill Oakley
Bill Oakley
Bill Oakley is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Oakley and Josh Weinstein became best friends and writing partners at high school; Oakley then attended Harvard University and was Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon...

 said, "The Simpsons has transplanted
Mad magazine. Basically everyone who was young between 1955 and 1975 read Mad, and that’s where your sense of humor came from. And we knew all these people, you know, Dave Berg and Don Martin– all heroes, and unfortunately, now all dead. And I think The Simpsons has taken that spot in America’s heart." In 2009, The New York Times wrote, "Mad once defined American satire; now it heckles from the margins as all of culture competes for trickster status."
Mads satiric net was cast wide. The magazine often featured parodies of ongoing American culture, including advertising campaigns, the nuclear family, the media, big business, education and publishing. In the 1960s and beyond, it satirized such burgeoning topics as the sexual revolution
Sexual revolution
The sexual revolution was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the Western world from the 1960s into the 1980s...

, hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

s, the generation gap
Generation gap
The generational gap is and was a term popularized in Western countries during the 1960s referring to differences between people of a younger generation and their elders, especially between children and parents....

, psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

, gun politics
Gun politics
Gun politics addresses safety issues and ideologies related to firearms through criminal and noncriminal use. Gun politics deals with rules, regulations, and restrictions on the use, ownership, and distribution of firearms.-National sovereignty:...

, pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and recreational drug use
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, usually psychoactive, with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational experience. Such use is controversial, however, often being considered to be also drug abuse, and it is often illegal...

. The magazine took a generally negative tone towards counterculture drugs such as cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 and LSD, but also savaged mainstream drugs such as tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 and alcohol
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

. Mad always satirized Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 as mercilessly as it did Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. In 2007, Al Feldstein recalled, "We even used to rake the hippies over the coals. They were protesting the Vietnam War, but we took aspects of their culture and had fun with it. Mad was wide open. Bill
William Gaines
William Maxwell Gaines , better known as Bill Gaines, was an American publisher and co-editor of EC Comics. Following a shift in EC's direction in 1950, Gaines presided over what became an artistically influential and historically important line of mature-audience comics...

 loved it, and he was a capitalist Republican. I loved it, and I was a liberal Democrat. That went for the writers, too; they all had their own political leanings, and everybody had a voice. But the voices were mostly critical. It was social commentary, after all." Mad also ran a good deal of less topical or contentious material on such varied subjects as fairy tale
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

s, nursery rhyme
Nursery rhyme
The term nursery rhyme is used for "traditional" poems for young children in Britain and many other countries, but usage only dates from the 19th century and in North America the older ‘Mother Goose Rhymes’ is still often used.-Lullabies:...

s, greeting card
Greeting card
A greeting card is an illustrated, folded card featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment. Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or other holidays, they are also sent to convey thanks or express other feeling. Greeting cards,...

s, sport
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

s, small talk
Conversation
Conversation is a form of interactive, spontaneous communication between two or more people who are following rules of etiquette.Conversation analysis is a branch of sociology which studies the structure and organization of human interaction, with a more specific focus on conversational...

, poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

, comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

s, awards shows, cars
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 and many other areas of general interest.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 Robert Boyd wrote, "All I really need to know I learned from
Mad magazine", going on to assert:
"Plenty of it went right over my head, of course, but that's part of what made it attractive and valuable. Things that go over your head can make you raise your head a little higher.
The magazine instilled in me a habit of mind, a way of thinking about a world rife with false fronts, small print, deceptive ads, booby traps, treacherous language, double standards, half truths, subliminal pitches and product placements; it warned me that I was often merely the target of people who claimed to be my friend; it prompted me to mistrust authority, to read between the lines, to take nothing at face value, to see patterns in the often shoddy construction of movies and TV shows; and it got me to think critically in a way that few actual humans charged with my care ever bothered to."


In 1994, Brian Siano (The Humanist) discussed the eye-opening aspects of Mad:
"For the smarter kids of two generations, Mad was a revelation: it was the first to tell us that the toys we were being sold were garbage, our teachers were phonies, our leaders were fools, our religious counselors were hypocrites, and even our parents were lying to us about damn near everything. An entire generation had William Gaines for a godfather: this same generation later went on to give us the sexual revolution, the environmental movement, the peace movement, greater freedom in artistic expression, and a host of other goodies. Coincidence? You be the judge."


Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

–winning art comics maven Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman
Art Spiegelman is an American comics artist, editor, and advocate for the medium of comics, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning comic book memoir, Maus. His works are published with his name in lowercase: art spiegelman.-Biography:Spiegelman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to Polish Jews...

 said, "The message Mad had in general is, 'The media is lying to you, and we are part of the media.' It was basically... 'Think for yourselves, kids.'" William Gaines offered his own view: when asked to cite Mads philosophy, his boisterous answer was, "We must never stop reminding the reader what little value they get for their money!"

Comics historian Tom Spurgeon
Tom Spurgeon
Tom Spurgeon is an American writer, historian and editor in the field of comics, notable for his five-year run as editor of The Comics Journal and his blog The Comics Reporter, which he launched in 2004 with site designer Jordan Raphael.-Books:...

 picked Mad as the medium's top series of all time, writing, "At the height of its influence, Mad was The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, The Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

and The Onion
The Onion
The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

combined." Graydon Carter chose it as the sixth best magazine of any sort ever, describing Mads mission as being "ever ready to pounce on the illogical, hypocritical, self-serious and ludicrous" before concluding, "Nowadays, it’s part of the oxygen we breathe." Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction...

 called it "wonderfully inventive, irresistibly irreverent and intermittently ingenious American." Monty Python
Monty Python
Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

's Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , The Fisher King , and 12 Monkeys...

 wrote, "
Mad became the Bible for me and my whole generation." Critic Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 wrote:
"I learned to be a movie critic by reading Mad magazine... Mad's parodies made me aware of the machine inside the skin—of the way a movie might look original on the outside, while inside it was just recycling the same old dumb formulas. I did not read the magazine, I plundered it for clues to the universe. Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Earlier in her career, her work appeared in City Lights, McCall's and The New Republic....

 lost it at the movies; I lost it at
Mad magazine."


Rock singer Patti Smith
Patti Smith
Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses....

 said more succinctly, "After
Mad, drugs were nothing."

Supreme Court cases


The magazine has been involved in various legal actions over the decades, some of which have reached the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

. The most far-reaching was
Irving Berlin et al. v. E.C. Publications, Inc.
Irving Berlin et al. v. E.C. Publications, Inc.
Irving Berlin et al. v. E.C. Publications, Inc., 329 F.2d 541 , was an important United States copyright law decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1964....

In 1961, a group of music publishers representing songwriters such as Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin was an American composer and lyricist of Jewish heritage, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history.His first hit song, "Alexander's Ragtime Band", became world famous...

, Richard Rodgers
Richard Rodgers
Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II...

 and Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre...

 filed a $25 million lawsuit against
Mad for copyright infringement following "Sing Along With Mad," a collection of parody lyrics which the magazine said could be "sung to the tune of" many popular songs. The publishing group hoped to establish a legal precedent that only a song's composers retained the right to parody that song. The U.S. District Court ruled largely in favor of Mad in 1963, affirming its right to print 23 of the 25 song parodies under dispute. Circuit Court Judge Charles Metzner pointedly observed, "We doubt that even so eminent a composer as plaintiff Irving Berlin should be permitted to claim a property interest in iambic pentameter
Iambic pentameter
Iambic pentameter is a commonly used metrical line in traditional verse and verse drama. The term describes the particular rhythm that the words establish in that line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called "feet"...

." However, an exception was found in the cases of two parodies, "Always" (sung to the tune of "Always") and "There's No Business Like No Business" (sung to the tune of "There's No Business Like Show Business"). Relying on the same verbal hooks ("always" and "business"), these were found to be overly similar to the originals. The music publishers appealed the ruling, but the U.S. Court of Appeals not only upheld the pro-Mad decision in regard to the 23 songs, it stripped the publishers of their limited victory regarding the remaining two songs. The publishers again appealed, but the Supreme Court refused to hear it, thus allowing the decision to stand.

This precedent-setting case established the rights of parodists and satirists to mimic the meter of popular songs. However, the "Sing Along With
Mad" songbook was not the magazine's first venture into musical parody. In 1960, Mad had published "My Fair Ad-Man," a full advertising-based spoof of the hit Broadway musical My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe...

. In 1959, "If Gilbert & Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

 wrote
Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy is a comic strip featuring Dick Tracy, a hard-hitting, fast-shooting and intelligent police detective. Created by Chester Gould, the strip made its debut on October 4, 1931, in the Detroit Mirror. It was distributed by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate...

" was one of the speculative pairings in "If Famous Authors Wrote the Comics". Three decades later, Mad was one of several parties that filed amicus curiae
Amicus curiae
An amicus curiae is someone, not a party to a case, who volunteers to offer information to assist a court in deciding a matter before it...

briefs with the Supreme Court in support of 2 Live Crew
2 Live Crew
2 Live Crew was a hip hop group from Miami, Florida. They caused considerable controversy with the sexual themes in their work, particularly on their 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be.- Early career :...

 and its disputed song parody, during the 1993
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 was a United States Supreme Court copyright law case that established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use...

case.

In 1966, a series of copyright infringement lawsuits against the magazine regarding ownership of the Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot and cover boy of Mad magazine. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed and named by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman...

 image eventually reached the Supreme Court. New York's Federal Appellate Court had invalidated all previous copyrights, thus establishing
Mads right to the character. This decision was also allowed to stand.

Advertising


Mad was long noted for its absence of advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

, enabling it to satirise materialist culture without fear of reprisal. For decades, it was the most successful American magazine to publish ad-free, beginning with issue #33 (April 1957) and continuing through issue #402 (February 2001).

As a comic book, Mad had run the same advertisements as the rest of EC's line. The magazine later made a deal with Moxie
Moxie
Moxie is a carbonated beverage that was one of the first mass-produced soft drinks in the United States. It continues to be regionally popular today....

 soda that involved inserting the Moxie logo into various articles. Mad ran a limited number of ads in its first two years as a magazine, helpfully labeled "real advertisement" to differentiate the real from the parodies. The last authentic ad published under the original Mad regime was for Famous Artists School
Famous Artists School
Famous Artists School has offered correspondence courses in art since it was founded in 1948 in Westport, Connecticut, U.S.A. The idea was conceived by Albert Dorne as a result of a conversation with Norman Rockwell...

; two issues later, the inside front cover of issue #34 had a parody of the same ad. After this transitional period, the only promotions to appear in Mad for decades were house ads for Mads own books and specials, subscriptions, and promotional items such as ceramic busts, T-shirts, or a line of Mad jewelry. Mad explicitly promised that it would never make its mailing list available.

Both Kurtzman and Feldstein wanted the magazine to solicit advertising, feeling this could be accomplished without compromising
Mad
s content or editorial independence. Kurtzman remembered Ballyhoo
Ballyhoo (magazine)
Ballyhoo was a humor magazine published by Dell, created by George T. Delacorte Jr., and edited by Norman Anthony , from 1931 until 1939, with a couple of attempts to resuscitate the magazine after the war between 1948 and 1954.In common with other magazines of the era it featured a central...

, a boisterous 1930s humor publication that made an editorial point of mocking its own sponsors. Feldstein went so far as to propose an in-house Mad ad agency and produce a "dummy" copy of what an issue with ads could look like. But Bill Gaines was intractable, telling the television news magazine 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

, "We long ago decided we couldn't take money from Pepsi-Cola and make fun of Coca-Cola." Gaines' motivation in eschewing ad dollars was less philosophical than practical:
"We'd have to improve our package. Most advertisers want to appear in a magazine that's loaded with color and has super-slick paper. So you find yourself being pushed into producing a more expensive package. You get bigger and fancier and attract more advertisers. Then you find you're losing some of your advertisers. Your readers still expect the fancy package, so you keep putting it out, but now you don't have your advertising income, which is why you got fancier in the first place—and now you're sunk."

Recurring features



Mad is known for many regular and semi-regular recurring features in its pages, including "Spy vs. Spy
Spy vs. Spy
Spy vs. Spy is a black and white comic strip that debuted in Mad magazine #60, dated January 1961, and was originally published by EC Comics. The strip was created by Antonio Prohías.The Spy vs...

", the "Mad Fold-in
MAD fold-in
The Mad Fold-In is a feature found on the inside back cover of virtually every Mad magazine since 1964. Written and drawn by Al Jaffee, the Fold-In is one of the most well-known aspects of the magazine...

", "The Lighter Side of..." and its television and movie parodies.


Alfred E. Neuman



The image most closely associated with the magazine is that of Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot and cover boy of Mad magazine. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed and named by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman...

, the boy with misaligned eyes, a gap-toothed smile and the perennial motto "What, me worry?" While the original image was a popular humorous graphic for many decades before Mad adopted it, the face is now primarily associated with Mad.

Mad first used the boy's face in November, 1954. His first iconic full-cover appearance, in which he was identified by name and sported his "What, me worry?" motto, was as a write-in candidate for President on issue #30 (December 1956). He has since appeared in a slew of guises and comic situations. According to Mad writer Frank Jacobs, a letter was once successfully delivered to the magazine through the U.S. mail
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 bearing only Neuman's face, without any address or other identifying information.

Contributors and controversy


Mad has provided an ongoing showcase for many long-running satirical writers and artists and has fostered an unusual group loyalty. Although several of the contributors earn far more than their Mad pay in fields such as television and advertising, they have steadily continued to provide material for the publication. Among the notable artists were the aforementioned Davis, Elder and Wood, as well as Mort Drucker, George Woodbridge
George Woodbridge
George Woodbridge was an American illustrator known for his exhaustive research and historical accuracy. He is sometimes referred to as "America's Dean of Uniform Illustration" because of his expertise in drawing military uniforms....

 and Paul Coker. Writers such as Dick DeBartolo
Dick DeBartolo
Dick DeBartolo is an American writer. He has most notably written for Mad. He is occasionally referred to as "Mads Maddest Writer," this being a twist on Don Martin's former status as "Mads Maddest Artist." DeBartolo served as the magazine's "Creative Consultant" from 1984 to 2009.Mad has long...

, Stan Hart
Stan Hart
Stan Hart is an comedy writer with many television credits. His work also appeared for decades in Mad Magazine. He was closely associated with another MAD writer, Larry Siegel; though the two wrote separately for the magazine, both contributed to the off-Broadway musical The Mad Show, and later to...

, Frank Jacobs
Frank Jacobs
Frank Jacobs is an American author of satires, known primarily for his work in Mad, to which he has contributed since 1957. Jacobs has written a wide variety of lampoons and spoof, but he is best known as a versifier who contributes parodies of famous song lyrics and poems...

, Tom Koch
Tom Koch
Tom Koch was a writer, most notably for Mad Magazine .Pronounced like "Cook" Koch is also known as one of the primary writers for radio performers Bob and Ray; and it was this aspect that brought him to Mad when scripts from the same show were reproduced in the magazine with caricatures of the...

, and Arnie Kogen
Arnie Kogen
Arnie Kogen is an American comedy writer and producer. He had written for TV, film, and a longtime writer for Mad Magazine.Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, Kogen contributed to Mad soon after college at New York University...

 appeared regularly in the magazine's pages. In several cases, only infirmity or death has ended a contributor's run at Mad.

Within the industry, Mad was known for the uncommonly prompt manner in which its contributors were paid. Publisher Gaines would typically write a personal check and give it to the artist upon receipt of the finished product. Wally Wood said, "I got spoiled... Other publishers don't do that. I started to get upset if I had to wait a whole week for my check." Another lure for contributors was the annual "Mad Trip," an all-expenses-paid tradition that began in 1960. The editorial staff was automatically invited, along with freelancers who had qualified for an invitation by selling a set amount of articles or pages during the previous year. Gaines was strict about enforcing this quota, and one year, longtime writer and frequent traveller Arnie Kogen was bumped off the list. Later that year, Gaines' mother died, and Kogen was asked if he would be attending the funeral. "I can't," said Kogen, "I don't have enough pages." Over the years, the Mad crew traveled to such locales as France, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Russia, Hong Kong, England, Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Italy, Greece, and Germany. The tradition ended with Gaines' death, and a 1993 trip to Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

.

Although Mad was an exclusively freelance publication, it achieved a remarkable stability, with numerous contributors remaining prominent for decades.

Critics of the magazine felt that this lack of turnover eventually led to a formulaic sameness, although there is little agreement on when the magazine peaked or plunged. It appears to be largely a function of when the reader first encountered Mad. Proclaiming the precise moment that began the magazine's irreversible decline has long been sport. Mad poked fun at the tendency of readers to accuse the magazine of declining in quality at various points in its history, depending on the age of the critic, in its "Untold History of Mad Magazine," a self-referential faux history in the 400th issue. According to the Untold History:
The second issue of Mad goes on sale on December 9, 1952. On December 11, the first-ever letter complaining that Mad "just isn't as funny and original like it used to be" arrives.


Among the most frequently cited "downward turning points" are: creator/editor Harvey Kurtzman's departure in 1957; the magazine's mainstream success; adoption of recurring features starting in the early 1960s; the magazine's absorption into a more corporate structure in 1968 (or the mid-1990s); founder Gaines' death in 1992; the magazine's publicized "revamp" in 1997; or the arrival of paid advertising in 2001. Mad has been criticized for its overreliance on a core group of aging regulars throughout the 1970s and 1980s and then criticized again for an alleged downturn as those same creators began to leave, die, retire or contribute less frequently. It has been proposed that Mad is more susceptible to this criticism than many media because a sizable percentage of its readership turns over regularly as it ages, as Mad focuses greatly on current events and a changing popular culture. In 2010, Sergio Aragones
Sergio Aragonés
Sergio Aragonés Domenech is a cartoonist and writer best known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and creator of the comic book Groo the Wanderer....

 said, "Mad is written by people who never thought 'Okay, I’m going to write for kids,' or 'I’m going to write for adults.' ...And many people say 'I used to read Mad, but Mad has changed a lot.' Excuse me—you grew up! You have new interests. ...The change doesn’t come from the magazine, it comes from the people who grow or don’t grow." The magazine's art director, Sam Viviano
Sam Viviano
Sam Viviano is an American caricature artist and art director. Viviano’s caricatures are known for their wide jaws, which Viviano has explained is a result of his incorporation of side views as well as front views into his distortions of the human face. He has also developed a reputation for his...

, has suggested that historically, Mad was at its best "whenever you first started reading it."

Among the loudest of those who insist the magazine is no longer funny are supporters of Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic books and magazines. Kurtzman often signed his name H. Kurtz, followed by a stick figure Harvey Kurtzman (October 3, 1924, Brooklyn, New York – February 21, 1993) was an American cartoonist and the editor of several comic...

, who had the good critical fortune to leave Mad after just 28 issues, before his own formulaic tendencies might have become obtrusive. This also meant Kurtzman suffered the bad creative and financial timing of departing before the magazine became a runaway success.

However, just how much of that success was due to the original Kurtzman template that he left for his successor, and how much should be credited to the Al Feldstein
Al Feldstein
Albert B. Feldstein is an American writer, editor, and artist, best known for his work at EC Comics and, from 1956 to 1985, as the editor of the satirical magazine Mad. Since retiring from Mad, Feldstein has concentrated on American paintings of Western wildlife...

 system and the depth of the post-Kurtzman talent pool, can be argued without resolution. During Kurtzman's final two-plus years at EC, Mad appeared erratically (ten issues appeared in 1954, followed by eight issues in 1955 and four issues in 1956). Feldstein was less well regarded creatively, but kept the magazine on a regular schedule, leading to decades of success. (Kurtzman and Will Elder
Will Elder
William Elder was an American illustrator and comic book artist who worked in numerous areas of commercial art, but is best known for a zany cartoon style that helped launch Harvey Kurtzman's Mad comic book in 1952....

 returned to Mad for a short time in the mid-1980s as an illustrating team.)

Many of the magazine's mainstays began slowing, retiring or dying in the 1980s. Newer contributors who appeared in this period include Anthony Barbieri
Anthony Barbieri
Anthony J. Barbieri is an American comedy writer and performer. He has appeared on television programs such as Crank Yankers and Jimmy Kimmel Live...

, Scott Bricher, Tom Bunk
Tom Bunk
Tom Bunk is a cartoonist known for adding multiple extraneous details to his posters, cartoons and illustrations created for both American and German publishers....

, John Caldwell
John Caldwell (cartoonist)
John I. Caldwell is a nationally syndicated American gag cartoonist primarily known for his work in National Lampoon and Mad, where he is a member of "The Usual Gang of Idiots."...

, Desmond Devlin
Desmond Devlin
Desmond Devlin is an American comedy writer. His work has appeared in the pages of MAD for a quarter-century, and he ranks as one of the magazine's ten most frequent non-illustrating writers...

, Drew Friedman, Barry Liebmann
Barry Liebmann
Barry Liebmann is a comedy writer whose work has frequently appeared in the pages of MAD Magazine, and has also worked for Looney Tunes comics. In addition, he has done work as an actor, appearing regularly with The Play's the Thing Theatre Company, , and with as "Beloved Intern Barry."...

, Kevin Pope
Kevin Pope (cartoonist)
Kevin Pope, born in 1958 in Carmel, Indiana is a cartoonist whose work has appeared in the pages of MAD Magazine since 1997. He is best known to Mad readers as the artist for the "Melvin and Jenkins" series of behavioral guides. Pope has also illustrated greeting cards, advertisements, and...

, Scott Maiko, Hermann Mejia
Hermann Mejia
Hermann Mejía is a Venezuelan-born illustrator, painter and sculptor living in New York City. His caricature-driven work frequently appears in MAD Magazine.-Early life and education:...

, Tom Richmond
Tom Richmond (illustrator)
Tom Richmond is an American freelance humorous illustrator, cartoonist and caricaturist whose work has appeared in many national and international publications since 1990.-Career:...

, Andrew J. Schwartzberg, Mike Snider
Mike Snider
Mike Snider is a comedy writer whose work frequently appeared in the pages of MAD Magazine from 1981-2006. Snider's byline appeared in 179 separate issues...

, Greg Theakston
Greg Theakston
Greg Allen Theakston is an American comics artist and illustrator who has worked for numerous publishers. In addition to his many contributions to books and magazines, he is known for developing the Theakstonizing process used in comics restoration. He has used the pseudonym Earl P...

, Nadina Simon, Rick Tulka
Rick Tulka
Rick Tulka is an illustrator and caricaturist who has appeared in MAD Magazine since 1988.In 2007, he was featured on the CBS Sunday Morning show in conjunction with the release of the book he co-authored with Noël Riley Fitch, "Paris Café: The Sélect Crowd"...

 and Bill Wray
Bill Wray
William York Wray is an American cartoonist and landscape painter, notable for his Urban Landscape series of paintings, his many pages for Mad and his contributions to The Ren & Stimpy Show...

.

On April 1, 1997, the magazine publicized an alleged "revamp," ostensibly designed to reach an older, more sophisticated readership. However, Salon's
Salon.com
Salon.com, part of Salon Media Group , often just called Salon, is an online liberal magazine, with content updated each weekday. Salon was founded by David Talbot and launched on November 20, 1995. It was the internet's first online-only commercial publication. The magazine focuses on U.S...

David Futrelle opined that such content was very much a part of Mads past:
The October 1971 issue, for example, with its war crimes fold-in and back cover "mini-poster" of "The Four Horsemen of the Metropolis" (Drugs, Graft, Pollution and Slums). With its Mad Pollution Primer. With its "Reality Street" TV satire, taking a poke at the idealized images of interracial harmony on Sesame Street
Sesame Street
Sesame Street has undergone significant changes in its history. According to writer Michael Davis, by the mid-1970s the show had become "an American institution". The cast and crew expanded during this time, including the hiring of women in the crew and additional minorities in the cast. The...

. ("It's a street of depression,/ Corruption, oppression!/ It's a sadist's dream come true!/ And masochists, too!") With its "This is America" photo feature, contrasting images of heroic astronauts with graphic photos of dead soldiers and junkies shooting up. I remember this issue pretty well; it was one of the ones I picked up at a garage sale and read to death. I seem to remember asking my parents what "graft" was. One of the joys of Mad for me at the time was that it was always slightly over my head. From "Mad's Up-Dated Modern Day Mother Goose
Mother Goose
The familiar figure of Mother Goose is an imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes which are often published as Mother Goose Rhymes. As a character, she appears in one "nursery rhyme". A Christmas pantomime called Mother Goose is often performed in the United Kingdom...

" I learned about Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

, Spiro Agnew
Spiro Agnew
Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Richard Nixon, and the 55th Governor of Maryland...

 and Timothy Leary
Timothy Leary
Timothy Francis Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs like LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project, resulting in the Concord Prison...

 ("Wee Timmy Leary/ Soars through the sky/ Upward and Upward/ Till he's, oh, so, high/ Since this rhyme's for kiddies/ How do we explain/ That Wee Timmy Leary/ Isn't in a plane?"). From "Greeting Cards for the Sexual Revolution" I learned about "Gay Liberationists" and leather-clad "Sex Fetishists." I read the Mad versions of a whole host of films I never in a million years would have been allowed to see: Easy Rider
Easy Rider
Easy Rider is a 1969 American road movie written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda and directed by Hopper. It tells the story of two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South with the aim of achieving freedom...

("Sleazy Riders"), Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Dustin Hoffman and newcomer Jon Voight in the title role. Notable smaller roles are filled by Sylvia Miles, John...

("Midnight Wowboy"), Five Easy Pieces
Five Easy Pieces
Five Easy Pieces is a 1970 American drama film written by Carole Eastman and Bob Rafelson, and directed by Rafelson. The film stars Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, and Susan Anspach. The cast also includes Billy 'Green' Bush, Fannie Flagg, Ralph Waite, Sally Struthers, Lois Smith, Toni Basil, and...

("Five Easy Pages [and two hard ones].") I learned about the John Birch Society
John Birch Society
The John Birch Society is an American political advocacy group that supports anti-communism, limited government, a Constitutional Republic and personal freedom. It has been described as radical right-wing....

 and Madison Avenue.


Mad has continued to receive complaints from fans and foes alike, sometimes over its perceived failings, sometimes because of controversial content, but generally over its decision to accept advertising. These accusers sometimes invoke the late publisher William Gaines
William Gaines
William Maxwell Gaines , better known as Bill Gaines, was an American publisher and co-editor of EC Comics. Following a shift in EC's direction in 1950, Gaines presided over what became an artistically influential and historically important line of mature-audience comics...

, asserting that he would "turn over in his grave" if he knew of the magazine's sellout. The editors have a ready answer, pointing out that such protests are completely invalid – because Gaines was cremated.

Contributors


Mad is known for the stability and longevity of its talent roster, billed as "The Usual Gang of Idiots," with several creators enjoying 30-, 40- and even 50-year careers in the magazine's pages.

According to the "Mad Magazine Contributor Appearances" website, more than 700 contributors have received bylines in at least one issue of
Mad, but fewer than three dozen of those have contributed to 100 issues or more. Al Jaffee
Al Jaffee
Abraham Jaffee , known as Al Jaffee, is an American cartoonist. He is notable for his work in the satirical magazine Mad, including his trademark feature, the Mad Fold-in. As of 2010, Jaffee remains a regular in the magazine after 55 years and is its longest-running contributor...

 has appeared in the most issues (461 as of August 2011). The other six contributors to have appeared in more than 400 issues of
Mad are Sergio Aragonés
Sergio Aragonés
Sergio Aragonés Domenech is a cartoonist and writer best known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and creator of the comic book Groo the Wanderer....

, Dick DeBartolo
Dick DeBartolo
Dick DeBartolo is an American writer. He has most notably written for Mad. He is occasionally referred to as "Mads Maddest Writer," this being a twist on Don Martin's former status as "Mads Maddest Artist." DeBartolo served as the magazine's "Creative Consultant" from 1984 to 2009.Mad has long...

, and Mort Drucker; Dave Berg, Paul Coker and Frank Jacobs
Frank Jacobs
Frank Jacobs is an American author of satires, known primarily for his work in Mad, to which he has contributed since 1957. Jacobs has written a wide variety of lampoons and spoof, but he is best known as a versifier who contributes parodies of famous song lyrics and poems...

 have each topped the 300 mark. (The list calculates appearances by issue only, not by individual articles or overall page count; e.g. although Jacobs wrote three separate articles that appeared in issue #172, his total is reckoned to have increased by one.)

Each of the following contributors (including those noted above) has created over 150 articles for the magazine:
Writers:
  • Dick DeBartolo
    Dick DeBartolo
    Dick DeBartolo is an American writer. He has most notably written for Mad. He is occasionally referred to as "Mads Maddest Writer," this being a twist on Don Martin's former status as "Mads Maddest Artist." DeBartolo served as the magazine's "Creative Consultant" from 1984 to 2009.Mad has long...

  • Desmond Devlin
    Desmond Devlin
    Desmond Devlin is an American comedy writer. His work has appeared in the pages of MAD for a quarter-century, and he ranks as one of the magazine's ten most frequent non-illustrating writers...

  • Stan Hart
    Stan Hart
    Stan Hart is an comedy writer with many television credits. His work also appeared for decades in Mad Magazine. He was closely associated with another MAD writer, Larry Siegel; though the two wrote separately for the magazine, both contributed to the off-Broadway musical The Mad Show, and later to...



  • Frank Jacobs
    Frank Jacobs
    Frank Jacobs is an American author of satires, known primarily for his work in Mad, to which he has contributed since 1957. Jacobs has written a wide variety of lampoons and spoof, but he is best known as a versifier who contributes parodies of famous song lyrics and poems...

  • Tom Koch
    Tom Koch
    Tom Koch was a writer, most notably for Mad Magazine .Pronounced like "Cook" Koch is also known as one of the primary writers for radio performers Bob and Ray; and it was this aspect that brought him to Mad when scripts from the same show were reproduced in the magazine with caricatures of the...

  • Arnie Kogen
    Arnie Kogen
    Arnie Kogen is an American comedy writer and producer. He had written for TV, film, and a longtime writer for Mad Magazine.Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, Kogen contributed to Mad soon after college at New York University...



  • Larry Siegel
    Larry Siegel
    Larry Siegel is a comedy writer who was one of the "Usual Gang of Idiots" at Mad from 1958 to 1990.At Mad, Siegel had an aggressive writing style that did not shy away from being occasionally provocative or inflammatory to make a point. He was fond of attacking purveyors of bad taste, such as...

  • Lou Silverstone
    Lou Silverstone
    Lou Silverstone is a comedy writer who was one of "The Usual Gang of Idiots" at MAD Magazine from 1962 to 1990.At MAD, he was primarily, though by no means exclusively, a writer of television and movie parodies. His first-ever contribution was "Bananaz," a parody of Bonanza...

  • Mike Snider
    Mike Snider
    Mike Snider is a comedy writer whose work frequently appeared in the pages of MAD Magazine from 1981-2006. Snider's byline appeared in 179 separate issues...


Writer-Artists:
  • Sergio Aragones
    Sergio Aragonés
    Sergio Aragonés Domenech is a cartoonist and writer best known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and creator of the comic book Groo the Wanderer....

  • Dave Berg
  • John Caldwell
    John Caldwell (cartoonist)
    John I. Caldwell is a nationally syndicated American gag cartoonist primarily known for his work in National Lampoon and Mad, where he is a member of "The Usual Gang of Idiots."...



  • Duck Edwing
  • Al Jaffee
    Al Jaffee
    Abraham Jaffee , known as Al Jaffee, is an American cartoonist. He is notable for his work in the satirical magazine Mad, including his trademark feature, the Mad Fold-in. As of 2010, Jaffee remains a regular in the magazine after 55 years and is its longest-running contributor...

  • Don Martin


  • Paul Peter Porges
    Paul Peter Porges
    Paul Peter Porges is an American cartoonist whose work has appeared in many places, including The New Yorker and MAD Magazine.-External links:**...

  • Antonio Prohías
    Antonio Prohias
    Antonio Prohías , born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, was a cartoonist most famous for creating the comic strip Spy vs. Spy for MAD Magazine....


Artists:
  • Bob Clarke
  • Paul Coker
  • Jack Davis
    Jack Davis (cartoonist)
    Jack Davis is an American cartoonist and illustrator, known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art and numerous comic book stories...



  • Mort Drucker
  • Jack Rickard
    Jack Rickard
    Jack Rickard , an illustrator for numerous advertising campaigns, was best known as a key contributor to Mad for more than two decades....

  • Angelo Torres
    Angelo Torres
    Angelo Torres is an American cartoonist and caricaturist whose work has appeared in many comic books, as well as a long-running regular slot in Mad magazine, typically film or television parodies.-Biography:...



  • Wally Wood
    Wally Wood
    Wallace Allan Wood was an American comic book writer, artist and independent publisher, best known for his work in EC Comics and Mad. He was one of Mads founding cartoonists in 1952. Although much of his early professional artwork is signed Wallace Wood, he became known as Wally Wood, a name he...

  • George Woodbridge
    George Woodbridge
    George Woodbridge was an American illustrator known for his exhaustive research and historical accuracy. He is sometimes referred to as "America's Dean of Uniform Illustration" because of his expertise in drawing military uniforms....


Photographer:
  • Irving Schild
    Irving Schild
    Irving Schild is a commercial photographer who has worked for agencies and clients. He has been the primary photographer for MAD Magazine for the past four decades.-External links:*...



The editorial staff, notably Charlie Kadau, John Ficarra
John Ficarra
John Ficarra has been the editor-in-chief of Mad since 1984, sharing the position for most of that time with Nick Meglin. He has been on the editorial staff of the magazine for more than 25 years.-References:...

 and Joe Raiola
Joe Raiola
Joe Raiola, born October 12, 1955, is an American comedian, comedy writer and producer. He has been a member of the editorial staff of MAD magazine since 1985 and currently holds the title of Senior Editor....

, also have dozens of articles under their own bylines, as well as substantial creative input into many others.

Other notable contributors


Among the irregular contributors with just a single Mad byline to their credit are Charles M. Schulz
Charles M. Schulz
Charles Monroe "Sparky" Schulz was an American cartoonist, whose comic strip Peanuts proved one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium, and is still widely reprinted on a daily basis.-Early life and education:Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in Saint Paul...

, Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, born into a prominent entertainment industry family. Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before moving into comedy acting with National Lampoon...

, "Weird Al" Yankovic
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic is an American singer-songwriter, music producer, accordionist, actor, comedian, writer, satirist, and parodist. Yankovic is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and that often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts...

, Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Andy Samuel Griffith is an American actor, director, producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer, and writer. He gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's epic film A Face in the Crowd before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead...

, Will Eisner
Will Eisner
William Erwin "Will" Eisner was an American comics writer, artist and entrepreneur. He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of the medium and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential series The Spirit; for his use of comics as an...

, Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
Kevin Patrick Smith is an American screenwriter, actor, film producer, and director, as well as a popular comic book writer, author, comedian/raconteur, and internet radio personality best recognized by viewers as Silent Bob...

, J. Fred Muggs
J. Fred Muggs
J. Fred Muggs is a chimpanzee that was the mascot for NBC's Today Show from 1953 to 1957.The show debuted in 1952, with amiable host Dave Garroway. The show was in trouble initially; the addition of J. Fred Muggs boosted ratings and helped win advertisers...

, Boris Vallejo
Boris Vallejo
Boris Vallejo is a Peruvian-born American painter. He immigrated to the United States in 1964, and he currently resides in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He frequently works with Julie Bell, his wife, painter, and model....

, Sir John Tenniel
John Tenniel
Sir John Tenniel was a British illustrator, graphic humorist and political cartoonist whose work was prominent during the second half of England’s 19th century. Tenniel is considered important to the study of that period’s social, literary, and art histories...

, Jean Shepherd
Jean Shepherd
Jean Parker Shepherd was an American raconteur, radio and TV personality, writer and actor who was often referred to by the nickname Shep....

, Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder is an American actress. She made her film debut in the 1986 film Lucas. Ryder's first significant role came in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice as a goth teenager, which won her critical and commercial recognition...

, Jimmy Kimmel
Jimmy Kimmel
James Christian "Jimmy" Kimmel is an American television host and comedian. He is the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show that airs on ABC. Prior to that, Kimmel was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money...

, Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander
Jay Scott Greenspan , better known by his professional name of Jason Alexander, is an American actor, writer, comedian, television director, producer, and singer. He is best known for his role as George Costanza on the television series Seinfeld, appearing in the sitcom from 1989 to 1998...

, Walt Kelly
Walt Kelly
Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. , or Walt Kelly, was an American animator and cartoonist, best known for the comic strip, Pogo. He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio and Fantasia. Kelly resigned in 1941 at the age of 28 to work at Post-Hall Syndicate,...

, Rep. Barney Frank
Barney Frank
Barney Frank is the U.S. Representative for . A member of the Democratic Party, he is the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and is considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States.Born and raised in New Jersey, Frank graduated from Harvard College and...

, Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe
Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe, Jr. is a best-selling American author and journalist. He is one of the founders of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s and 1970s.-Early life and education:...

, Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Steve Allen may refer to:*Steve Allen , American musician, comedian, and writer*Steve Allen , presenter on the London-based talk radio station LBC 97.3...

, Jim Lee
Jim Lee
Jim Lee is a Korean-American comic book artist, writer, editor and publisher. He first broke into the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel Comics, illustrating titles such as Alpha Flight and Punisher War Journal, before gaining a great deal of popularity on The Uncanny X-Men...

, Jules Feiffer
Jules Feiffer
Jules Ralph Feiffer is an American syndicated cartoonist, most notable for his long-run comic strip titled Feiffer. He has created more than 35 books, plays and screenplays...

, Donald Knuth
Donald Knuth
Donald Ervin Knuth is a computer scientist and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.He is the author of the seminal multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming. Knuth has been called the "father" of the analysis of algorithms...

 and Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, who remains the only President credited with "writing" a Mad article.

Contributing just twice are such luminaries as Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer
Thomas Andrew "Tom" Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, mathematician and polymath. He has lectured on mathematics and musical theater...

, Gustave Doré
Gustave Doré
Paul Gustave Doré was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving.-Biography:...

, Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye was a celebrated American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian...

, Stan Freberg
Stan Freberg
Stanley Victor "Stan" Freberg is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer, and advertising creative director whose career began in 1944...

, Mort Walker
Mort Walker
Addison Morton Walker , popularly known as Mort Walker, is an American comic artist best known for creating the newspaper comic strips Beetle Bailey in 1950 and Hi and Lois in 1954. He has signed Addison to some of his strips.Born in El Dorado, Kansas, he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri...

 and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

. (Mr. da Vinci's check is still waiting in the Mad offices for him to pick it up.) Frank Frazetta
Frank Frazetta
Frank Frazetta was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for work in comic books, paperback book covers, paintings, posters, LP record album covers and other media...

 (3 bylines), Ernie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs
Ernie Kovacs was a Hungarian American comedian and actor.Kovacs' uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comedic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his death in an automobile accident...

 (11), Bob and Ray
Bob and Ray
Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding were an American comedy team whose career spanned five decades. Their format was typically to satirize the medium in which they were performing, such as conducting radio or television interviews, with off-the-wall dialogue presented in a generally deadpan style as...

 (12), and Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar
Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar is an Emmy award winning American comic actor and writer known as the leading man on the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour, and to younger generations as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2.- Early life :Caesar was born in Yonkers, New York,...

 (4) appeared slightly more frequently. In its earliest years, before amassing its own staff of regulars, the magazine frequently used outside "name" talent. Often, Mad would simply illustrate the celebrities' preexisting material.

The magazine has occasionally run guest articles in which notables from show business or comic books have participated. In 1964, an article called "Comic Strips They'd Really Like To Do" featured one-shot proposals by cartoonists including Mell Lazarus and Charles M. Schulz. More than once, the magazine has enlisted popular comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 artists such as Frank Miller
Frank Miller (comics)
Frank Miller is an American comic book artist, writer and film director best known for his dark, film noir-style comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300...

 or Jim Lee
Jim Lee
Jim Lee is a Korean-American comic book artist, writer, editor and publisher. He first broke into the industry in 1987 as an artist for Marvel Comics, illustrating titles such as Alpha Flight and Punisher War Journal, before gaining a great deal of popularity on The Uncanny X-Men...

 to design and illustrate a series of "Rejected Superheroes." In 2008, the magazine got national coverage for its article "Why George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 is in Favor of Global Warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

." Each of the piece's ten punchlines was illustrated by a different Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

–winning editorial cartoonist.

Reprints and foreign editions


Beginning in 1955, William M. Gaines began presenting reprints of material for Mad in black-and-white paperbacks, the first being The Mad Reader. Many of these featured new covers by Mad cover artist Norman Mingo. This practice continued into the 2000s, with more than 100 Mad paperbacks published. Gaines made a special effort to keep the entire line of paperbacks in print at all times, and the books were frequently reprinted in new editions with different covers.

Mad also frequently repackaged its material in a long series of "Super Special" format magazines, beginning in 1958 with two concurrent annual series entitled The Worst from Mad and More Trash from Mad. Various other titles have been used through the years. These reprint issues were sometimes augmented by exclusive features such as posters, stickers and, on a few occasions, recordings on flexi-disc
Flexi disc
The flexi disc is a phonograph record made of a thin, flexible vinyl sheet with a molded-in spiral stylus groove, and is designed to be playable on a normal phonograph turntable...

, or comic book–formatted inserts reprinting material from the 1952–55 era.

One steady form of revenue has come from foreign editions of the magazine.
Mad has been published in local versions in many countries, beginning with the United Kingdom in 1959, and Sweden in 1960. Each new market receives access to the publication's back catalog of articles and is also encouraged to produce its own localized material in the Mad vein. However, the sensibility of the American Mad has not always translated to other cultures, and many of the foreign editions have had short lives or interrupted publications. The Swedish, Danish, Italian and Mexican Mads were each published on three separate occasions; Norway has had four runs cancelled. United Kingdom (35 years), Sweden (34 years) and Brazil (33 years) produced the longest uninterrupted Mad variants.

Current foreign editions



  • Germany, 1968–1995, 1998–present;
  • Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    , 1974–1983, 1984–2000, 2000–2006, 2008–present;
  • Australia, 1980–present;

  • South Africa, 1985–present;
  • Spain, 2006–present;
  • Netherlands, 1964–1996; 2011–present;

Past foreign editions



  • United Kingdom, 1959–1994
  • Sweden, 1960–1993, 1997–2002;
  • Hungary, 1994–2009;
  • Denmark, 1962–1971, 1979–1997, 1998–2002;
  • France, 1965, 1982;
  • Canada (Quebec), 1991–1992 (Past material in a "collection album" with Croc, another Quebec humor magazine);
  • Argentina, 1977–1982;
  • Norway, 1971–1972, 1981–1993, 1995, 2002–2003;

  • Finland, 1970–1972, 1982–2005
  • Italy, 1971, 1984, 1992;
  • Mexico, 1977–1983, 1984–1986, 1993–1998; 2004–2010
  • Caribbean, 1977–1983;
  • Greece, 1978–1985, 1995–1999;
  • Iceland, 1985; 1987–1988
  • Taiwan, 1990;
  • Israel, 1994–1995;
  • Turkey, 2000–2003.

Conflicts over content have occasionally arisen between the parent magazine and its international franchisees. When a comic strip satirizing England's royal family
House of Windsor
The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom...

 was reprinted in a Mad paperback, it was deemed necessary to rip out the page from 25,000 copies by hand before the book could be distributed in Great Britain. But Mad was also protective of its own editorial standards. Bill Gaines sent "one of his typically dreadful, blistering letters" to his Dutch editors after they published a bawdy gag about a men's room urinal. Mad has since relaxed its requirements, and while the U.S. version still eschews overt profanity, the magazine generally poses no objections to more provocative content such as the Swedish edition's 1999 parody of the film Fucking Åmål.

MAD Kids



Between 2006 and 2009, the magazine published 14 issues of
Mad Kids, a spinoff publication aimed at a younger demographic. Reminiscent of Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon (TV channel)
Nickelodeon, often simply called Nick and originally named Pinwheel, is an American children's channel owned by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom International. The channel is primarily aimed at children ages 7–17, with the exception of their weekday morning program block aimed at preschoolers...

's newsstand titles, it emphasized current kids' entertainment (i.e.
Yu-Gi-Oh!
Yu-Gi-Oh!
is a Japanese manga created by Kazuki Takahashi. It has produced a franchise that includes multiple anime shows, a trading card game and numerous video games...

, Naruto
Naruto
is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and aspires to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of...

, High School Musical
High School Musical
High School Musical is a 2006 American television film, first in the High School Musical film franchise. Upon its release on January 20, 2006, it became the most successful film that Disney Channel Original Movie ever produced, with a television sequel High School Musical 2 released in 2007 and...

), albeit with an impudent voice. Much of the content of Mad Kids had originally appeared in the parent publication; reprinted material was chosen and edited to reflect grade schoolers' interests. But the quarterly magazine also included newly commissioned articles and cartoons, as well as puzzles, bonus inserts, a calendar, and the other activity-related content that is common to kids' magazines.

Imitators and variants


Mad has had many imitators through the years. The three longest-lasting of these were Cracked, Sick
Sick (magazine)
Sick was a satirical-humor magazine published from 1960 to 1980, lasting 134 issues. It was created by comic-book writer-artist Joe Simon, who also edited the title until the late 1960s. Sick was published by Crestwood Publications until issue #62 , when it was taken over by Hewfred Publications...

, and Crazy Magazine. However, most were short-lived. Some of the early comic book competitors were Nuts!, Get Lost, Whack, Riot, Flip, Eh!, From Here to Insanity, and Madhouse; only the last of these lasted as many as eight issues, and some were canceled after an issue or two. Many of these titles appeared in the mid-to-late 1950s, but as the decades went by, more imitators surfaced and vanished, with titles such as Wild, Blast, Parody, Grin and Gag!

Most of these productions aped the format of
Mad right down to choosing a synonym for the word Mad as their title. Many featured a cover mascot along the lines of Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman
Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot and cover boy of Mad magazine. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed and named by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman...

. Even EC Comics joined the parade with a sister humor magazine,
Panic, produced by future Mad editor Al Feldstein.

In 1967, Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

 produced the first of 13 issues of
Not Brand Echh
Not Brand Echh
Not Brand Echh was a satiric comic book series published by Marvel Comics that parodied its own superhero stories as well as those of other comics publishers. Running for 13 issues , it included among its contributors such notable writers and artists as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Gene Colan, Bill...

, which parodied their own superhero titles as well as DC's; the series owed its inspiration and format to the original "Mad" comic books of a decade earlier. From 1973 to 1976, DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 published
Plop!
Plop!
Plop!, "The New Magazine of Weird Humor!", was a comic book anthology published by DC Comics in the mid 1970s. It falls into the horror / humor genre. There were 24 issues in all and the series ran from Sept./Oct. 1973 to Nov./Dec. 1976.-Contents:...

which featured Mad stalwart Sergio Aragonés
Sergio Aragonés
Sergio Aragonés Domenech is a cartoonist and writer best known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and creator of the comic book Groo the Wanderer....

 and frequent cover art by Basil Wolverton
Basil Wolverton
Basil Wolverton was an American cartoonist, illustrator, comic book writer-artist and professed "Producer of Preposterous Pictures of Peculiar People who Prowl this Perplexing Planet", whose many publishers included Marvel Comics and Mad.His unique, humorously grotesque drawings have elicited a...

, but was less slavish in its
Mad mimicry, relying more on one-page gags and horror-based comedy.

Other U.S. humor magazines of note include former
Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman's Humbug
Humbug (magazine)
Humbug was a humor magazine edited 1957–1958 by Harvey Kurtzman with satirical jabs at movies, television, advertising and various artifacts of popular culture, from cereal boxes to fashion photographs...

, Trump
Trump (magazine)
Trump was a glossy magazine of satire and humor, mostly in the forms of comic-strip features and short stories. It was edited by Harvey Kurtzman and published by Hugh Hefner, with only two issues produced in 1957...

and Help!
Help! (magazine)
Help! was an American magazine published by James Warren. It wasHarvey Kurtzman's longest-running magazine project after leaving Mad and EC Publications, and during its five years of operation it was always chronically underfunded, yet innovative...

, as well as the National Lampoon, Spy
Spy (magazine)
Spy was a satirical monthly magazine founded in 1986 by Kurt Andersen and E. Graydon Carter, who served as its first editors, and Thomas L. Phillips, Jr., its first publisher. After one folding and a rebirth, it ceased publication in 1998...

, and The Onion
The Onion
The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

. However, these titles had their own distinct editorial approach, and did not directly imitate Mad. Of all the competition, only the National Lampoon ever threatened Mad 's hegemony as America's top humor magazine, in the early-to-mid-1970s. However, this was also the period of Mads greatest sales figures. Both magazines peaked in sales at the same time. The Lampoon topped one million sales once, for a single issue in 1974. Mad crossed the two-million mark with an average 1973 circulation of 2,059,236, then improved to 2,132,655 in 1974.

Gaines reportedly kept in his office a voodoo doll into which he would stick pins labeled with each imitation of his magazine, removing a pin only when the copycat had ceased publishing. At the time of Gaines' death in 1992, only the pin for Cracked remained.

Other media


Over the years, Mad has branched out from print into other media. During the Gaines years, the publisher had an aversion to exploiting his fanbase and expressed the fear that substandard Mad products would offend them. He was known to personally issue refunds to anyone who wrote to the magazine with a complaint. Among the few outside Mad items available in its first 40 years were cufflinks, a T-shirt designed like a straitjacket (complete with lock), and a small ceramic Alfred E. Neuman bust. For decades, the letters page advertised an inexpensive portrait of Neuman ("suitable for framing or for wrapping fish") with misleading slogans such as "Only 1 Left!" (The joke being that the picture was so undesirable that only one had left their office since the last ad.) After Gaines' death came an overt absorption into the Time-Warner publishing umbrella, with the result that Mad merchandise began to appear more frequently. Items were displayed in the Warner Bros. Studio Stores, and in 1994 The Mad Style Guide was created for licensing use.

Recordings


Mad has sponsored or inspired a number of recordings. In 1959, Bernie Green "with the Stereo Mad-Men" recorded the album Musically Mad for RCA Victor
RCA Records
RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America , which was the parent corporation from 1929 to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.RCA's Canadian unit is Sony's oldest label...

, featuring music inspired by Mad and an image of Alfred E. Neuman on the cover; it has been reissued on CD. That same year, The Worst from Mad #2 included an original recording, "Meet the Staff of Mad," on a cardboard 33 rpm record, while a single credited to Alfred E. Neuman, "What - Me Worry?", was issued in late 1959 on the ABC Paramount label. Two additional albums of novelty songs were released in 1962–63: "Mad 'Twists' Rock 'N' Roll" and "Fink Along with Mad." The latter album featured a song titled "It's a Gas," which punctuated an instrumental track with belches (along with a saxophone break by an uncredited King Curtis
King Curtis
Curtis Ousley , who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, funk and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, and session musician, he was also a musical director and record producer...

). Dr. Demento
Dr. Demento
Barret Eugene Hansen , better known as Dr. Demento, is a radio broadcaster and record collector specializing in novelty songs, comedy, and strange or unusual recordings dating from the early days of phonograph records to the present....

 featured this gaseous performance on his radio show in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. Mad included some of these tracks as plastic-laminated cardboard inserts and (later) flexi-discs with their reprinted "Mad Specials." A number of original recordings also were released in this way in the 1970s and early 1980s, such as "Gall in the Family Fare" (a parody of All in the Family
All in the Family
All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, picked up where All in the Family had ended...

), a single entitled "Makin' Out," the octuple-grooved track "It's a Super Spectacular Day," which had eight possible endings, the spoken word Meet the Staff insert, and a six-track, 30-minute Mad Disco EP (from the 1980 Special of the same title) that included a disco
Disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

 version of "It's a Gas." The last turntable-playable recording Mad packaged with its magazines was "A Mad Look at Graduation," in a 1983 Special. A CD-ROM containing several audio tracks was included with issue #350 (October 1996). Rhino Records
Rhino Entertainment
Rhino Entertainment Company is an American specialty record label and production company. It is owned by Warner Music Group.-History:Rhino was originally a novelty song and reissue company during the 1970s and 1980s, releasing compilation albums of pop, rock & roll, and rhythm & blues successes...

 compiled a number of Mad-recorded tracks as Mad Grooves (1996).

Stage show


A successful off Broadway production, The Mad Show
The Mad Show
The Mad Show is an Off-Broadway musical revue based on Mad Magazine. The music is by Mary Rodgers, the book by Larry Siegel and Stan Hart. The show's various lyricists include Siegel, Marshall Barer, Steven Vinaver, and Stephen Sondheim.-Production:...

, was first staged in 1966. The show, which lasted for 871 performances during its initial run, featured sketches written by Mad regulars Stan Hart and Larry Siegel interspersed with comedic songs (one of which was written by an uncredited Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award...

). The cast album is available on CD.

Gaming


In 1979, Mad released a board game
Board game
A board game is a game which involves counters or pieces being moved on a pre-marked surface or "board", according to a set of rules. Games may be based on pure strategy, chance or a mixture of the two, and usually have a goal which a player aims to achieve...

. The Mad Magazine Game
The Mad Magazine Game
The Mad Magazine Game, titled MAD Magazine: the "What-Me Worry?" game on the cover, is a board game produced by Parker Brothers in 1979. Gameplay is similar, but the goals and directions often opposite to, that of Monopoly; the object is for players to lose all of their money...

 was an absurdist version of Monopoly
Monopoly (game)
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...

 in which the first player to lose all his money and go bankrupt was the winner. Profusely illustrated with artwork by the magazine's contributors, the game included a $1,329,063-bill that could not be won unless one's name was "Alfred E. Neuman." It also featured a deck of cards (called "Card cards") with bizarre instructions, such as "If you can jump up and stay airborne for 37 seconds, you can lose $5,000. If not, jump up and lose $500." In 1980 a second game was released: The Mad Magazine Card Game by Parker Brothers
Parker Brothers
Parker Brothers is a toy and game manufacturer and brand. Since 1883, the company has published more than 1,800 games; among their best known products are Monopoly, Cluedo , Sorry, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Ouija, Aggravation, and Probe...

. In it, the player who first loses all their cards is declared the winner. The game is fairly similar to UNO by Mattel
Mattel
Mattel, Inc. is the world's largest toy company based on revenue. The products it produces include Fisher Price, Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys, Masters of the Universe, American Girl dolls, board games, and, in the early 1980s, video game consoles. The company's name is derived from...

.

Film and television


Following the success of the National Lampoon–backed Animal House
National Lampoon's Animal House
National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The film was a direct spin-off of National Lampoon magazine...

, Mad lent its name in 1980 to a similarly risque comedy film, Up the Academy
Up the Academy
MAD Magazine Presents Up the Academy is an American teen comedy film released in 1980, with a plot about the outrageous antics of a group of misfits at a military school.-Production:...

. It was such a commercial debacle and critical failure that Mad successfully arranged for all references to the magazine (including a cameo by Alfred E. Neuman) to be removed from future TV and video releases of the film, although those references were eventually restored on the DVD version. Mad also devoted two pages to an attack on the movie, titled Throw Up the Academy. The spoof's ending collapsed into a series of interoffice memos between the writer, artist, editor and publisher, all bewailing the fact that they'd been forced to satirize such a terrible film.

A 1974 Mad animated television pilot using selected material from the magazine was commissioned by ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 but the network decided to not broadcast it. Dick DeBartolo noted, "Nobody wanted to sponsor a show that made fun of products that were advertised on TV, like car manufacturers." The program instead was syndicated as a special. In the mid-1980s, Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th century...

 developed another potential Mad animated television series which was never broadcast.

Beginning in 1995, Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

's MADtv
MADtv
MADtv is an American sketch comedy television series. It licensed the name and logo of Mad, but otherwise had no connection with the humor magazine outside the animated Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoon shorts and images of Alfred E. Neuman that the show featured during the late 1990s. Its first...

licensed the use of the magazine's logo and characters. However, aside from short bumpers which animated existing "Spy vs. Spy" and Don Martin cartoons during the show's early years, there was no editorial or stylistic connection between the TV show and the magazine. Produced by Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend...

, the sketch comedy series was in the vein of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

and SCTV
Second City Television
Second City Television is a Canadian television sketch comedy show offshoot from Toronto's The Second City troupe that ran between 1976 and 1984.- Premise :...

, and ran for 14 seasons. Animated "Spy vs. Spy" sequences have also been seen in TV ads for Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew is a citrus-flavored carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in the 1940s by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman and was first marketed in Marion, VA, Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee. A revised formula was...

 soda.

In September 2010, Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network is a name of television channels worldwide created by Turner Broadcasting which used to primarily show animated programming. The channel began broadcasting on October 1, 1992 in the United States....

 began airing an animated Mad
Mad (TV series)
MAD is an American animated sketch comedy series created by Kevin Shinick and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Based upon the magazine of the same name, each episode is a collection of short animated parodies of television shows, movies, games, celebrities and other media using various types of...

 from Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation is the animation division of Warner Bros., a subsidiary of Time Warner. The studio is closely associated with the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters, among others. The studio is the successor to Warner Bros...

 and executive producer Sam Register (Teen Titans
Teen Titans (TV series)
Teen Titans is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics characters of the same name. The show was created by Glen Murakami, developed by David Slack, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It premiered on Cartoon Network on July 19, 2003, and the final episode "Things Change"...

, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Batman: The Brave and the Bold is an American animated television series based in part on the DC Comics series The Brave and the Bold which features two or more super heroes coming together to solve a crime or foil a super villain...

). The series features short animated vignettes about current television shows, films, games and other aspects of popular culture. Much like MADtv's early years, this series also features appearances by "Spy vs. Spy" and Don Martin cartoons. Producing are Kevin Shinick
Kevin Shinick
Kevin Thomas Shinick is an American actor, producer, director and voice artist, as well as an Emmy and Annie award winning writer who occasionally writes comic books...

 (Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken is an American stop motion animated television series created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Green provides many voices for the show...

) and Mark Marek (KaBlam!
KaBlam!
KaBlam! is an American animated television series that ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000. Then it moved to The N on April 15, 2002 as part of its The N's Saturday Nights block...

, The Andy Milonakis Show
The Andy Milonakis Show
The Andy Milonakis Show is an American sketch comedy television show starring Andy Milonakis, which aired on MTV2, the first season having aired on MTV...

).

Computer software



In the 1980s, three Spy vs. Spy
Spy vs. Spy
Spy vs. Spy is a black and white comic strip that debuted in Mad magazine #60, dated January 1961, and was originally published by EC Comics. The strip was created by Antonio Prohías.The Spy vs...

 computer games, in which players could set traps for each other, were made for various computer systems such as the Commodore 64
Commodore 64
The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Commodore International in January 1982.Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595...

. While the original game took place in a nondescript building, the sequels transposed the action to a polar setting and a desert island.

Not to be confused with the later television show, Mad TV is a television station management simulation computer game produced in 1991[1] by Rainbow Arts for the Mad franchise. It was released on the PC and the Amiga. It is faithful to the magazine's general style of cartoon humor, but does not include any of the original characters except for a brief closeup of Alfred E. Neuman's eyes during the opening screens.

In 1996, Mad #350 included a CD-ROM featuring Mad-related software as well as three audio files.

In 1999, Brøderbund
Brøderbund
Brøderbund Software, Inc. was an American maker of computer games, educational software and The Print Shop productivity tools. It was best known as the original creator and publisher of the popular Carmen Sandiego games. The company was founded in Eugene, Oregon, but moved to San Rafael,...

/The Learning Company
The Learning Company
The Learning Company is an American educational software company, founded in 1980. It produced a grade-based system similar to Knowledge Adventure's JumpStart series. The products for preschoolers through second graders feature Reader Rabbit, and software for more advanced students features The...

 released Totally Mad, a Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 95/98 compatible CD-ROM set collecting the magazine's content from #1 through #376 (December 1998), plus over 100 Mad Specials including most of the recorded audio inserts, thus becoming one of the first magazines to make a comprehensive archival release available in digital form (others such as National Geographic
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical...

, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

and The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

have done the same). The seven discs of Totally Mad were divided chronologically, from "The Earliest Years: 1952–1960" and "The Early Years, but Not the Earliest: 1961–1968" through "The RELATIVELY Late, but not as Late as the Latest, Years: 1988–1994" and "The Latest Years: 1995–1998." The product's "Totally" claim was misleading, since it omitted a handful of articles due to problems clearing the rights on some book excerpts and text taken from recordings, such as Andy Griffith
Andy Griffith
Andy Samuel Griffith is an American actor, director, producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer, and writer. He gained prominence in the starring role in director Elia Kazan's epic film A Face in the Crowd before he became better known for his television roles, playing the lead...

's "What It Was, Was Football
What it Was, Was Football
"What it Was, Was Football" is a monologue by comedian Andy Griffith. It was recorded in Raleigh, NC for the Colonial label in 1953. Soon, Colonial had sold nearly 50,000 copies of the record and then sold the masters to Capitol Records...

."

Another Spy vs. Spy
Spy vs. Spy (2005 video game)
Spy vs. Spy is a video game developed by Vicious Cycle Software, published by Global Star Software and based on the MAD Magazines titular comic stip and cartoon craze of the 1960s...

 video game was made in 2005 for the Playstation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

, Xbox
Xbox
The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console...

, and Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

.

In 2006, Graphic Imaging Technology's DVD-ROM Absolutely Mad updated the original Totally Mad content through 2005. A single seven-gigabyte disc, it includes more than 600 issues and specials, and is missing the same deleted material from the 1999 collection. It differs from the earlier release in that it is Macintosh
Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

 compatible. All the printed content can be read on any platform for which a PDF
Portable Document Format
Portable Document Format is an open standard for document exchange. This file format, created by Adobe Systems in 1993, is used for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems....

 viewer is available, whereas Totally Mad had used a special viewer program that was compatible only with Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

. Absolutely Mad also includes numerous video clips including interviews with the editorial staff, several "Spy vs. Spy" segments from MADtv and the "Spy vs. Spy" Mountain Dew commercials. It is missing the audio music files that had been included on Totally Mad.

See also



  • History of Mad
    History of Mad
    Debuting in August 1952 , Mad began as a comic book, part of the EC line published from the Lower East Side in New York...

  • Recurring features in Mad
  • List of Mad issues
  • List of film spoofs in Mad
  • List of television show spoofs in Mad

  • 43-Man Squamish
    43-Man Squamish
    43-Man Squamish is a fictional sport that was invented in issue #95 of MAD Magazine by George Woodbridge and Tom Koch. The article was memorable enough to be mentioned by the New York Times in Woodbridge's 2004 obituary....

  • Mad TV (video game)
  • Mad (TV series)
    Mad (TV series)
    MAD is an American animated sketch comedy series created by Kevin Shinick and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Based upon the magazine of the same name, each episode is a collection of short animated parodies of television shows, movies, games, celebrities and other media using various types of...

  • MADtv
    MADtv
    MADtv is an American sketch comedy television series. It licensed the name and logo of Mad, but otherwise had no connection with the humor magazine outside the animated Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoon shorts and images of Alfred E. Neuman that the show featured during the late 1990s. Its first...



Sources


  • Evanier, Mark, Mad Art, Watson Guptil Publications, 2002, ISBN 0-8230-3080-6
  • Reidelbach, Maria
    Maria Reidelbach
    Maria Reidelbach is a Manhattan-based installation artist, curator and author, who is the creator of award-winning public art...

    , Completely Mad, Little Brown, 1991, ISBN 0-316-73890-5


External links