Consider us worried.
MAD Magazine defined satire as we know it today. Without its parodies, Spy vs Spy, Don Martin’s illustrations and the foldable back covers of MAD, SNL would not exist.
National Lampoon would not exist. The Onion would not exist. Politically Incorrect would not exist.
It was irreverent. Topical. Salacious. Filled with big illustrated boobs. And just funny AF.
And now at a time when the magazine is needed most, it’s going away.
After publishing for 67 years, DC Comics announced that MAD Magazine will cease publication. While previously released content will be available at comic book stores and online subscribers, it will never be the same. Bottom line, the magazine which gave the world Alfred E. Neuman, the gap toothed child mascot who appeared in some form on almost every cover will be no more.
DC told ABC in a statement: “After issue #10 this fall there will no longer be new content – except for the end of year specials which will always be new. So starting with issue #11, the magazine will feature classic, best of and nostalgic content from the last 67 years.”
The magazine was founded in 1952 by a group of editors led by Harvey Kurtzman. Although it began as a comic book, bimonthly issues were published and became the norm for the satirical content. MAD, with it’s memorable covers featuring the gap-toothed Alfred E. Neuman, has been highly influential on successive generations of comedians, artists, writers and performers.
After Kurtzman’s departure in 1956, new editor Al Feldstein swiftly brought aboard contributors such as Don Martin, Frank Jacobs, and Mort Drucker, and later Antonio Prohías, Dave Berg, and Sergio Aragonés. The magazine’s circulation more than quadrupled during Feldstein’s tenure, peaking at 2,132,655 in 1974; it later declined to a third of this figure by the end of his time as editor.
The news of the magazine’s closure has already led to reaction on social media with a host of comedy heavyweights sharing their sorrow at the news, how MAD influenced them and their favorite bits from down the years.
Weird Al Yankovic tweeted: “I am profoundly sad to hear that after 67 years, MAD Magazine is ceasing publication. I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions. #ThanksMAD.”
I am profoundly sad to hear that after 67 years, MAD Magazine is ceasing publication. I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions. #ThanksMAD pic.twitter.com/01Ya4htdSR
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 4, 2019
The Lego Movie director Chris Miller tweeted: “I was an intern at MAD Magazine in 1994. I had no apt in NY so I kept my belongings in the archives & took a daypack & crashed on couches for 3 months. In the writers room they had a drum kit to do rim shots on bad jokes. Great memories. I’ll miss it.”
My MAD mentor: Terry Gilliam on Harvey Kurtzman. As creator of @MADmagazine Harvey Kurtzman inspired a generation of satirists. @TerryGilliam explains the genius of his mild-mannered mentor.https://t.co/f48hbm2Hw7#ThanksMAD #RIPMadMagazine #TerryGilliam #MadMagazine
— Terry Gilliam on Reddit (@GilliamReddit) July 4, 2019
No subject was safe from skewering when it came to MAD. Whether you were Obama, Star Wars or the Spice Girls, the magazine always had a plethora of material to lampoon. Some of our favorite all-time Mad Magazine covers are below:
From 1952 until 2018, MAD published 550 regular issues, as well as hundreds of reprint “Specials”, original-material paperbacks, reprint compilation books and other print projects. Goodbye, MAD. We at Reel 360 are profoundly sad.