Comedian Al Yankovic laments loss of one of the all-time greatest American institutions
Mad magazine, a US institution famous for the grinning face of jug-eared, tiny-eyed mascot Alfred E Neuman, is to stop being a regular fixture of newsstands.
The satirical magazine will no longer be published monthly with new material from the autumn, its owners DC Comics said. Instead there will be end-of-year specials and magazines with classic and best-of content which will be sold in comic shops and direct to subscribers.
While Mad magazine is not disappearing, it is not going to be the force it once was.
The comedian and musical parodist Al Yankovic, a former guest editor, was one of many to take to social media lamenting the decision. He said he was “profoundly sad … I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions.”
“MAD wasn’t JUST a humor magazine. It’s not just the end of an era; it’s the end of…”
Actor and musician Steven Van Zandt tweeted a Mad cover poking fun of the Sopranos cast, of which, as Silvio Dante, he was part. “Making the cover of Rolling Stone was nice, but I didn’t feel meaningful until I made the cover of Mad Magazine!’”
Mad magazine was founded in 1952 as a comic book, the first issue written almost entirely by its editor Harvey Kurtzman. It became a magazine in 1955 and soon began building up influence and readership with its sharp satire and cheerful daftness.
Its readership peaked at more than 2 million in 1974 but in recent years it was widely acknowledged not to be the force it once was.
When Donald Trump compared the Democrat 2020 nomination hopeful Pete Buttigieg to gap-toothed, freckled Neuman, catchphrase “What, me worry?”, it went over the younger politician’s head.
Buttigieg confessed: “I’ll be honest. I had to Google that. I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference.
“It’s kind of funny, I guess. But he’s also the president of the United States and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal.”
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