Mad About Alfred E. Neuman

I was going through my tickle file looking for subjects for my blog, and I came across an article on the 60th anniversary on Mad Magazine.  I guess I had forgotten about the momentous occasion because it occurred in November 2012. Hard up for ideas I decided it wasn’t too late to write it up.  I certainly wasn’t going to worry about it.

That  hair. That music. Are we mad?  Photo by: Tim F. Bklyn

That hair. That music. Are we mad? Photo by: Tim F. Bklyn

I haven’t read the publication in years, make that decades, but Alfred E. Neuman still makes me smile.  Current editor John Ficarra described the mascot as “a kid who came to school and sneezed,” and the whole world caught a cold. I, for one, will always question authority.

In his first cover appearance in 1956 Alfred was promoted as a write-in candidate for President. His opponents were Dwight D. Eisenhower who was running for a second term and Adlai Stevenson.  Eisenhower won, if you’re shaky on your history, but in the next issue Alfred was pictured on Mr. Rushmore, along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  So now I’m wondering when we’ll be seeing a movie called “Neuman.”

Nothing was sacred to “The Usual Gang of Idiots,” which is what the staffers and freelancers have long called themselves. If an insipid television show was a hit, a stupid product was hot, or a lame celebrity (politicians, too) said or did really insane things, it was sure to be parodied, mocked, or lampooned in a comic strip, all in good fun, of course.

Staying the course, in recent years Mad satirized The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, Facebook, and Justin Bieber. Last year the Twilight Series, Mike & Molly, Batman and Spiderman, and the election earned covers.

With everything happening today, it’s going to be a mad, mad, mad, mad world. And you can follow it online.

© 2013 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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