RIP MAD Magazine

Ceasing publication, according to multiple sources, though the magazine hasn’t said anything yet.


My brother – who is 13 years older than I am – started out as a paperboy for the local newsstand when he was in 2nd grade in 1960. He bought MAD Magazine every month, as he worked at the newsstand through high school.

When I was old enough to read in the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was this treasure trove of the entire 1960s run of MAD Magazine waiting for me, along with a bunch of book collections too.

I grew up on MAD. I learned pop culture references there. I learned history references there. Years later in high school and college, learning about the Cold War, I felt like the pages of MAD helped me kind of have this living satirical chronicle of it all. Names clicked into place; I knew Everett Dirksen, Dean Rusk, Adam Clayton Powell and others because of MAD. Movies – Sleazy Rider, The Sound of Money, Who in Heck is Virginia Woolf, Guess Who’s Throwing Up Dinner – I knew 'em all years before I’d see them, thanks to MAD.

RIP, but man what a great thing those magazines were. I’ll forever cherish that gift of having that collection around.

So many great artists back in the day. Antonio Prohias, who created the brilliant Spy vs Spy…Sergio Aragones…Don Martin…Dave Berg…Mort Drucker…Al Jaffee…such a bummer.

I guess I always expected there’d be a usual gang of idiots keeping that thing running.

I loved Mad Magazine! And Cracked too. Picking up those magazines, along with Richie Rich comic books, was a huge part of my childhood trips to visit my grandparents in Cape Cod every summer. Their spoofs of the latest TV shows and movies were as important to me as the latest TV shows and movies.

I suppose Mayor Pete put the nail in their coffin when he said “I guess it’s a generational thing.”

Ah, well. It’s impressive they lasted this long.

The full rules to 43-Man Squamish remain a work of sublime comedic art:

Well, it was a hell of a run. One of the first genuinely mature discussions I ever had with my dad was about Mad Magazine, some years after I’d stopped reading it. He saw dumb, unedifying cartoons and infantile humor, and I saw generations of kids being introduced to satire and critical thinking, sold with gross-out jokes about boogers. Heck, my first encounter with the concept of the class system was in Mad.

End of an era. RIP, Alfred E. Neuman.

MAD and Arte Johnson in the same day - the fixtures of my youth are vanishing one by one!

To be very serious about something very silly, MAD was one of the most important American magazines of the 20th century. It had a vast effect on both the popular culture and the general mindset of a couple generations. Pretty much every major talent involved in American comedy from the late 60s to the late 90s was weaned on it. And as triggercut suggests, it exposed its (mostly youthful) readers to all kinds of political and cultural ideas you wouldn’t expect from a magazine aimed at adolescent boys. Growing up reading it in the 70s, I was exposed to plenty of bathroom humor, sexual innuendo, weird Don Martin sound effects and goofy Sergio Aragones doodles … and also lots of pointed commentary on racism, the environment, the sexual revolution, and politics.

LOL! I love the penalty “raunching.”

Makes more sense than Quidditch.

I’d been wondering how MAD was doing in this day and age.

Unfortunately, for kids these days “magazines” are the things that hold ammo in Fortnite and COD.

Some of my earliest experiences with cognitive dissonance as a kid were with MAD magazine - wanting to see what the back cover fold-in, but also wanting to not crease the back cover, keep it pristine.

I loved the movie parodies and the fold-in. Brilliantly funny magazine of my youth.

I’ve posted the story about my visit to the MAD offices a couple of times, so I won’t repeat it here. Instead I’ll just post my sadness at MAD going the way of the flexi-disc and leave you with this.

Al Jaffee is a treasure

Both Mad Magazine and Arte Johnson? Someone is killing off my childhood.

I loved Mad’s High School Yearbooks. They were hilarious.

Dystopic, but true. Sad to see MAD go, I hadn’t kept up with the gang of idiots but I enjoyed the magazine immensely as a kid. Still keep my “Completely MAD” book on the shelf.

Man. RIP.

Sounds like this might be the result of the AT&T merger?

From the link

Here are the companies AT&T acquired in the merger:

  • HBO and Cinemax, as part of Home Box Office Inc.
  • TBS, truTV, TNT, Studio T, and TCM, as part of Turner Entertainment Networks
  • Adult Swim and Cartoon Network, as part of the TBS, Inc. Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media (AYAKM) division
  • CNN and HLN, as part of CNN News Group
  • The websites Super Deluxe, Beme Inc., and CallToons
  • DC Entertainment
  • DC Films, including all of the “Batman” movies
  • Turner Broadcasting International
  • Turner Sports, including the website Bleacher Report and the rights to March Madness and NBA playoffs
  • The CW (50%)
  • Warner Bros. Animation
  • Hanna-Barbera Cartoons
  • Fandango Media (30%)
  • Warner Bros. Consumer Products
  • Warner Bros. Digital Networks
  • Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures
  • Warner Bros. Pictures International
  • Warner Bros. Museum
  • Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank
  • Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tours
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Warner Animation Group
  • Warner Bros. Family Entertainment
  • NonStop Television
  • New Line Cinema
  • Turner Entertainment Co.
  • WaterTower Music
  • Castle Rock Entertainment
  • The Wolper Organization
  • HOOQ
  • Blue Ribbon Content
  • Warner Bros. Television
  • Warner Horizon Television
  • Warner Bros. Television Distribution
  • Warner Bros. International Television Production
  • Telepictures
  • Alloy Entertainment
  • eleveneleven
  • Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

AT&T had already controlled:

  • Ameritech
  • Ameritech Cellular
  • Ameritech Interactive Media Services
  • Ameritech Publishing
  • AT&T Communications (2017)
  • AT&T International
  • AT&T Originals
  • AT&T Alascom
  • AT&T Business Internet
  • AT&T CallVantage
  • AT&T Computer Systems
  • AT&T FSM Library
  • AT&T GoPhone
  • AT&T Information Systems
  • AT&T Intellectual Property
  • AT&T Intellectual Property I
  • AT&T Labs
  • AT&T Mexico
  • AT&T Mobility
  • AT&T Technologies
  • AT&T Wireless Services
  • BellSouth
  • BellSouth Advertising & Publishing
  • BellSouth Long Distance
  • BellSouth Mobility DCS
  • BellSouth Telecommunications
  • Centennial Communications
  • CenturyTel of the Midwest-Kendall
  • Cricket Wireless
  • Crunchyroll
  • DirecTV
  • Fullscreen (company)
  • Illinois Bell
  • Indiana Bell
  • International Bell Telephone Company
  • Michigan Bell
  • Nevada Bell
  • Ohio Bell
  • Otter Media
  • Pacific Bell
  • Pacific Bell Directory
  • Pacific Bell Wireless
  • QLT Consumer Lease Services
  • Rooster Teeth
  • SBC Long Distance
  • SBC Telecom
  • Southwestern Bell
  • Southwestern Bell Internet Services
  • Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems
  • Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages
  • Unefón
  • Univel
  • Unix System Laboratories
  • AT&T U-verse
  • Wisconsin Bell
  • YP Holdings

Certainly possible the takeover had something to do with it…

…though it is also equally likely that after the takeover AT&T looked at DC’s accounting and made a business decision. MAD was never not-for-profit…at least explicitly. :)

Oh man I actually saw a MAD magazine on a shelf just yesterday. I was shocked they still printed it. Guess I’m not shocked about this?

My only fond memories of Mad are the Spy vs Spy game for NES, which I had so I forced myself to play it, and Mad TV. Still it’s sad to see something you remember from childhood die. It’s like, the relentless march of time that reinforces your inevitable death. So in that sense it’s kind of a bummer.

Live every day like there’s no tomorrow friends. But don’t go crazy. You’ll likely have a tomorrow and may regret some things.