The end of “Mad” as we know it


What, me worry? Well, not really, but I did feel a pang of nostalgia when I read that Mad magazine will be cutting back to a quarterly publication with its 500th issue in April. On the upside, it will expand from 48 to 56 pages.

In typical Mad fashion, editor John Ficarra told the New York Times, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of Mad is funny. So we decided to just publish those.”

I can’t say if that’s true or not, but I always thought Spy vs. Spy was a hoot.

Mad started publishing monthly in 1952, and became a huge hit among kids with it’s ground-breaking parodies of American politics and popular culture. Many of Mad‘s editors and artists went on to work for more prestigious publications, but never stopped contributing to the humor magazine. Monty Python creator Terry Gilliam called Mad the Bible of his generation.

My favorite quote about the magazine, though, has to be from rocker Patti Smith who said, “After Mad, drugs were nothing.”

It’s normal in times like these to feel a little sad. I don’t know what happened to those two twerps Goofus and Gallant from Highlights magazine, but I’d probably feel a little bummed if I knew they stopped existing. The important thing is not to start panicking about the economy, or running into the streets screaming about how print is dying.

Don’t just take my word for it. “Remember, MAD started out as eight times a year, before going to 12 and now four.” Ficarra said in a statement. “Just as Nostradamus had predicted.”

Have you ever had a relationship with Mad? Have you moved on to Fine Arts Aficionado Monthly or do you still have a place in your heart for creepy Alfred E. Neuman?

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