MAD but not Crazy (or Cracked)


Does anyone remember MAD MAGAZINE?

It’s been around since 1952 and I used to read it (and love it) as a kid growing up in the late 70’s. If memory serves me correctly, it stopped being funny sometime around the mid eighties (coincidentally when I had outgrown my teens) when they started putting out an Australian Edition.

It’s satirical comic rivals CRAZY (1973 – 1983) and CRACKED (1958 – 2007) may have long departed this planet but MAD carries on. At its peak in the mid seventies MAD boasted sales of 2.1 million copies per issue and carried on selling in excess of one million copies per issue well into the eighties. These days sales top out at 100 000 copies. Like so many print magazines, the free-to-read recesses of the internet have opened up a plethora of competing humour outlets that the magazine did not formerly have to contend with, resulting in barely sustainable readership numbers.

I picked up the April 2017 issue the other day at my local library and guess what? It’s funny again! The television and movie parodies are still there as well as old favourites like ‘The Lighter side of..’ and Spy vs Spy. The back cover still doubles as the mighty ‘Mad Fold-In’ and the freckled features of ageless Alfred E. Neuman endure.

In the edition I looked at (and borrowed – my excuse being I wanted to initiate my 7-year-old daughter) the following illustrated features were included –

  • Yet another Fairy Tale we’d like to see ( a bloody version of Rapunzel)
  • Places your lost Airpod is sure to wind up
  • Other uses for live Lobsters
  • Signs of an Unsuccessful Foodtruck
  • A Mad look at Drones
  • Goosebumps books for Millenials
  • Things you don’t want to hear from your Uber Driver
  • Star Wars fans then and now
  • Mad’s Celebrity Supermarket showcasing products such asproducts

For those of you who’ve always suspected I may be harbouring some kind of epi-pen sized dose of madness, look no further for your proof.

PS. Take a closer look at the Mad front cover pictured at the top. The words where Alfred        E. Neuman’s mouth should be, read –

        “Believe us – we really, really wish there was no…” 


4 thoughts on “MAD but not Crazy (or Cracked)

  1. I had a brief look at the rich history of the magazine and couldn’t believe some of the notable contributions by famous people that have been made throughout the many publications. Names like Chevy Chase, Andy Griffith, Jimmy Kimmel, Jason Alexander, Steve Allen, Winona Rider, and even former US President Richard Nixon instantly jumped out at me as I curiously explored, even though they each only have a single byline to their credit.

    The overall history of the magazine and how it originated as a comic book, then went on to become a magazine, which has ultimately lead to other outlets such as gaming, computer software, and film and television, is impressive. I knew of the magazine, but didn’t realise how much it had affected and influenced cultural landscape and satirical media over so many decades.

    You learn something new every day.
    Thanks Glen!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Didn’t Winona Ryder get caught shoplifting Mad magazines many, many years ago?
    Or was that fur coats?
    Come to think of it, I don’t think Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills stocks Mad so it was probably the fur coats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Finally learning the history of this high-brow publication has certainly rounded out my edumacation. I certainly remember it as a kid, but never had a copy I could call my own. I’m intrigued it still exists. Many thanks for sharing this Glen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Let’s agree you can’t get much more high-brow than MAD MAGAZINE, although the PARIS REVIEW must surely come close.

    Still trying to mull over whether your admission to never having owned a copy as a kid is a way to distance yourself from the high-brows or a revelation of some form of impoverished upbringing on the dusty streets of Brisbane from which, if that is the case and if I may say so, you’ve certainly bounced back from in fine form.

    And good luck on the ‘edumacation’… whatever that is.

    Ps. I have to ask – was the ‘Many thanks for sharing’ signoff really thinly veiled sarcasm designed to put the frighteners on me so I don’t sink to such trivial posting depths again?


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