fasstrack

Remembering the prime of Mad Magazine

68 posts in this topic

I was a voracious reader of all I could get my hands on as a child. But I mostly grew up on Mad Magazine. It's still around but not at all the same and they caved in and started taking advertising. That was the beginning of the end. If you follow their history, though, it's pretty amazing. If started as comic books, then there were the pulp formats.

One early and brilliant contributor was Bill Elder. An early classic by him was Starchie, a vicsous (sp?) and dead-on parody of America's 'typical teenager' Archie Andrews. In it Starchie's family were gypsies, Betty and Veronica (here 'Biddy' snd Salonica') both had bad acne, and Reggie was a bully and a shakedown artist. Starchie's dad was a drunk who was always yelling about the noise: 'who makes noise in my teenage house?' I think old Miss Grundy even had a racket going, maybe selling it on the side .

At the top of the list of the funniest stuff to me was the Broadway musical parodies. I remember when the movie West Side Story came out we went and it

Edited by fasstrack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fasstrack - Thanks for bringing back some memories. I don't know if the parodies in Mad would have much effect on me if I reread them today - they've tended to fade, but I can still see some of the amazing artwork from that magazine in my mind. I don't think that that will ever disappear from my memory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fasstrack - Thanks for bringing back some memories. I don't know if the parodies in Mad would have much effect on me if I reread them today - they've tended to fade, but I can still see some of the amazing artwork from that magazine in my mind. I don't think that that will ever disappear from my memory.

They really hold up for me. Maybe because I think everyone's basic core tastes and values form early in life. People either stay open or don't after that, but the basic ducks line up kinda early in the game.

I want to get reissues of my favorite Mad 'zines. I still have a few, including the fight movie parody where the guy's playing the ocarina in the beginning. When he starts making a name for himself a gangster looking like a sawed-off Buddy Hackett approaches him and, naturally, says:

"I wanna buy a piece of you".

The fighter rejoins:

"Which piece do you want? I can let my ruptured spleen go for very cheap...".

Also his girlfriend is always finishing his sentences and thoughts. "You're probably wondering..." At the end

he's about to propose and she says:

"You're probably wondering if I'll marry you, right?"

"Yeah, but first...."

Bam, he knocks her ass out and in the final panel she flies out of the ring.

Edited by fasstrack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just remembered the funniest part of that fighter flick parody: In one of those 'transition scenes' the fighter is seen to slowly morph into the wolfman. Then, the punchline written in boldface as was Mad's wont, he says 'somebody goofed. It's the WRONG TRANSITION SCENE'

I took that panel and copied it, then whited out the dialog balloon and wrote

"Wow. DYNAMITE MINOXODIL!!

It's still hanging on my wall :crazy:

Edited by fasstrack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:tup I had all the MAD Books as a kid in the 60's and still have a few of 'em ('Token Mad', etc) kicking around the house. 'Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions' and 'The Lighter Side of...' were particular favorites!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:tup I had all the MAD Books as a kid in the 60's and still have a few of 'em ('Token Mad', etc) kicking around the house. 'Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions' and 'The Lighter Side of...' were particular favorites!

From The Lighter Side of Business:

Dave Berg (as per usual as Roger Kaputnik) to himself at his kid's party:

"Gee this kid's party is sure costing a fortune. I wish I could think of a way to get it back".

To a kid:

"Hey kid, ask me how's business".

"Sure. How's business?"

"It stinks"

To himself:

"Good. Now I can write the whole thing off as a 'business conference' " ;) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two words. DON MARTIN. Jeez that guy did some funny stuff. I still have a copy of one called "The Haircut" that he did in the '60's. It's probably my all time favorite.

I began reading MAD in the late '50's. Cutting edge stuff at the time. I haven't even looked at a copy for years. I guess I want to remember it the way it was, not the way it is.

I've always thought Alfred E. Newman was the original slacker. "What, me worry?"

Up over and out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. Don Martin. I remember "the new dart set".

Also, Sergio Aragones, the "Brazil Nut", and his 'drawn out dramas' are as good as it gets, and all in a little margin!

Anyone remember "horrifying cliches"? They were one-panel cartoons featuring cliches turned into monstrous creatures. Like 'nursing a grudge' with a nurse ministering to the needs to this hairily humongous, wild-eyed thing :crazy::crazy:

Edited by fasstrack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two words. DON MARTIN. Jeez that guy did some funny stuff. I still have a copy of one called "The Haircut" that he did in the '60's. It's probably my all time favorite.

Don Martin rules. He had the absolute BEST sound effects. He deserves a thread of his own!

In case you didn't know, he did this album cover for Miles:

miles_davis_horns.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I subscribed to it as a kid from about 1975 to 1981 or so... the 1970s stuff holds up pretty well, too (not long ago I picked up MAD ABOUT THE SEVENTIES--and I think a lot of the original issues are boxed up at my dad's house). Always loved the movie and TV parodies--"Gall in the Family Fare," "Star Bores," "Jaw'd," etc. Sample dialogue from "Jaw'd":

Mayor: I've called this meeting of you key townspeople because there is a silly rumor going around that an alleged shark has allegedly killed two alleged people! We will now have the Coroner's report! Er... where is the coroner?

Sheriff: He's dead!

Mayor: WHAT?! How did it happen?

Sheriff: The alleged shark bit off his alleged head! Also his alleged arms and legs...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to love their mis-spellings - Thimk - I still want to type it that way.

And some of their surreal concept/phrases - one grunch but the egg-plant.

Glad to be reminded of Spy vs Spy. Didn't know Don Martin did that Miles sleeve.

MG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the landlocked '50's, MAD was about countercultural as you could get. I remember when I first brought home a copy my parents told me they didn't think reading it was a "good idea". Needless to say, that made it about twice as attractive as it would have been otherwise. MAD was kind of the '50's equivalent of Zap Comics and R. Crumb in the '60's.

BTW, I had no idea Martin did a Miles cover. It's obvious when you look at it, but who'd have guessed. Thanks to Free For All for posting that. Wonder how it came about.

Up over and out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A favorite was the Wally Wood-Harvey Kurtzman parody of "Superman" in which the caped hero, Superduperman, runs into another caped hero, Captain Marbles (as in Captain Marvel) -- or rather he runs into annoying little Billy Spafon, boy reporter, who transforms himself into Captain Marbles by saying "SHAZOOM!" (as in "SHAZAAM!"). In any case, Superduperman says, "Shazoom? Vas ist das Shazoom?" -- to which little Billy's reply is:

"Strength

Health

Aptitude

Zeal

Ox, power of

Ox, power of another

Money."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A favorite was the Wally Wood-Harvey Kurtzman parody of "Superman" in which the caped hero, Superduperman, runs into another caped hero, Captain Marbles (as in Captain Marvel) -- or rather he runs into annoying little Billy Spafon, boy reporter, who transforms himself into Captain Marbles by saying "SHAZOOM!" (as in "SHAZAAM!"). In any case, Superduperman says, "Shazoom? Vas ist das Shazoom?" -- to which little Billy's reply is:

"Strength

Health

Aptitude

Zeal

Ox, power of

Ox, power of another

Money."

Damn! Damn! DAMN!

I wanted to be the one to post that! For whatever reason that

"Strength

Health

Aptitude

Zeal

Ox, power of

Ox, power of another

Money" stuck in my 9-year old head and I've never forgotten it. I think it was the "Ox, power of; Ox, power of another" that did it. :rofl:

I read "Superduper Man", "Starchie", and parodies of The Shadow and Wonder Woman in some paperback anthologies that my parents were more than happy to let me blow my hard-earned allowance on. Every panel of those stories were loaded with sight-gags; I could read them over and over and see something new each time (unobservant dullard that I was). Good times...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the artists Bill Elder, Harvey Kurtzman, Wood and Jack Davis (man, nobody could draw like Elder!). Elder and Kurtzman wound up doing "Lil' Annie Fanny" in Playboy and Davis has done countless movie ads and posters. I really liked the humor but LOVED the drawing! Kurtzman, the founding illustrator, left in 1957 and the artistry did a very slow, gradual decline (IMO). The illustration has remained good, but does not compare with the work of the 50's.

My dad was an artist and he brought home the first issues of Mad Magazine. We would spend hours and hours studying the drawing in those revolutionary comics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two words. DON MARTIN. Jeez that guy did some funny stuff. I still have a copy of one called "The Haircut" that he did in the '60's. It's probably my all time favorite.

Don Martin rules. He had the absolute BEST sound effects. He deserves a thread of his own!

In case you didn't know, he did this album cover for Miles:

miles_davis_horns.gif

Don Martin also did the cover for The Brothers (Getz/Sims/Cohn/Eager/Moore). I don't have a scanner, but perhaps someone can provide a scan of that cover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

favorite titles:

"201 Minutes: A Space Idiocy"

"Voyage to See What's on the Bottom"

Edited by AllenLowe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two paradoies that make me chuckle when I think of them were one on Dick Tracy and another on Texaco.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

favorite titles:"Voyage to See What's on the Bottom"

Remember it well. That was Mort Drucker, right? I can see his work in my head even as I write this. His stuff was great. Did he do East Side Story? That one panel of Krustschev with the black leather jacket scaring the Dutch ambassador......too f'ing much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A favorite was the Wally Wood-Harvey Kurtzman parody of "Superman" in which the caped hero, Superduperman, runs into another caped hero, Captain Marbles (as in Captain Marvel) -- or rather he runs into annoying little Billy Spafon, boy reporter, who transforms himself into Captain Marbles by saying "SHAZOOM!" (as in "SHAZAAM!"). In any case, Superduperman says, "Shazoom? Vas ist das Shazoom?" -- to which little Billy's reply is:

"Strength

Health

Aptitude

Zeal

Ox, power of

Ox, power of another

Money."

I have that parody in a hardcover anthology of comics from the 30s to the 50s. There's also a wonderful parody of Howdy Doody called "Howdy Doodit." In the opening scene, the kids attack Buffalo Bob. We see blood splattering the screen while a hand-written card is held up announcing "technical difficulties." During the story, the Howdy Doodit puppet only appears to pitch various products such as "Skwushy Bread" and "Bupgoo," a syrup that makes milk look like beer. "You see, Bupgoo works on the principle that children want what they cannot have..." The story ends with a little boy declaring that he wants to grow up to be a money-grubbing hustler just like Howdy Doodit, to which Buffalo Bob declares:

"No, child. Howdy Doodit is but a simple puppet. He is no money-grubbing hustler. I, Buffalo Bob, am the money-grubbing hustler!"

While I did read Mad in the 70s, it was never as brilliant as it was during the Kurtzman age. I should note, however, that I did buy a recent issue because my friend Jason has a strip in it. It's still not very funny, but there was a delightful story drawn by Drew Friedman that depicted a "day in the life" of Dick Cheney (which is punctuated by frequent heart-attacks and trips to the hospital).

:g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don Martin also did the cover for The Brothers (Getz/Sims/Cohn/Eager/Moore). I don't have a scanner, but perhaps someone can provide a scan of that cover.

The five Don Martin covers for Prestige :

Prestige 7022 >>>>>Prestige%207022.jpg

Prestige 7023 >>>>>Prestige%207023.jpg

Prestige 7024 >>>>>Prestige%207024.jpg

Prestige 7025 >>>>>Prestige%207025.jpg

Prestige 7031 >>>>>Prestige%207031.jpg

The covers are all wonderfully weird , my favorite being those lugubrious , Uncle Fester , trombone-playing monks on Prestige 7023 .

Edited by Chas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SNAPPY ANSWERS TO STUPID QUESTIONS was instrumental in my early development as a smartass. :D

Essential reading for any wisecracker wannabe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.