MAD magazine is dying a slow death, again

MAD magazine has said farewell before. Just look at last year’s April issue cover, calling it the “Landmark FINAL Issue!,” only to return two months later in June 2018 with a new Issue #1.

Cause of that premature death? MAD had closed down its midtown Manhattan offices in 2017, moving out west to Burbank, Calif. — I visited those offices inside DC Comics in January 2018, where editors and comedians Dan Telfer and Allie Goertz not only gave me a grand tour but also left me with some DC Comics fairies (or elves) who let me peruse their archives.

But now they’re out.

And with them, most of everything new to come inside a MAD magazine.

It’s true: MAD is still selling magazine subscriptions online. And books. And other merchandise.

The staff, including Goertz and Telfer, assembled and published enough cartoons and jokes and whatnot to fill two more new issues of MAD.

As Goertz wrote to friends and fans: “While there will be no new material after issue #10, @MADmagazine is not gone. I find it deeply sad to learn that there will be no new content, but knowing history repeats itself, I have no doubt that the vintage pieces will be highly (if not tragically) relevant.”

She continued: “Working at MAD was a childhood dream come true. MAD is an institution with such a rich history. It informed just about every comedian and writer I (and probably you) look up to. I worked with ICONS. Sergio Aragonés visits were common. Al Jaffee still does the fold-in! I am so proud of what the new team accomplished, am such a fan of the team before us, and am forever in awe of the original gang of idiots. I look forward to receiving vintage @MADmagazine pieces on my door step, but it’s bittersweet to say the least. Thank you to all the MAD fans, contributors, and Usual Gang of Idiots in all its forms. MAD-ly, Allie”

I was a big fan of Jaffee’s fold-in illustrations, as well as Spy vs. Spy, and the topical takedowns that pre-dated so much of the TV satire we consume today. Yeah, I read MAD as a kid. Who didn’t? So generations of kids of all ages have to wonder what the next chapter of MAD will look like.

Then again, as their unofficial official mascot Alfred E. Neuman would say: “What me, worry?”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →