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‘What, Me Worry?’ Mad Magazine Says It’s Ending New Content Production, But Lampooning Legacy Lives On




Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E Neuman
Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E Neuman

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After 67 years of publication, new issues of MAD Magazine and the toothy grin of its unmistakable mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, will no longer be on newsstands starting in the fall.

Several media organizations citing unnamed sources are reporting that after this fall, MAD won’t produce any new content, save for end-of-the-year specials. Issues from there on out will be made of materials from the magazine’s 67 years worth of archives. DC Entertainment, which owns MAD Magazine, hasn’t issued a statement but MAD cartoonist David Degrand confirmed the report on his personal Twitter and another MAD artist, Tom Richmond, confirmed on his blog that MAD would continue to print new issues with new cover art but recycled material inside.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll look back at the history of MAD Magazine from its creation to its rise to pop culture renown, meet the people who helped build it, and examine its legacy and impact on modern day humor and satire. If you were a MAD Magazine reader, what made you keep coming back, issue after issue? Do you have a favorite MAD cartoon or issue? What do you see as its place in the annuls of satire and humor history?

AirTalk contacted DC, which owns MAD Magazine, to request comment. DC replied and said that it was not commenting on the shift to their business strategy and that the magazine was not closing. An anonymous source at DC shared the following statement:

We will continue to publish MAD with a mix of new and best-of content from the archives. We will also continue to publish the end-of-year issue, books, and special collections. The magazine will no longer be on newsstands beginning this fall, however will continue to be mailed to subscribers. 

GUESTS:   

Maria Riedelbach, author of “Completely Mad: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine” 

Tom Richmond, cartoonist and longtime illustrator for MAD Magazine; he tweets @art4mad

Jason Chatfield, MAD Magazine artist and writer and president of the National Cartoonists Society, an organization of more than 500 cartoonists worldwide; he tweets @Jason_Chatfield 

Marty Dundics, editor-in-chief of the satire magazine “Weekly Humorist” and founder of Humorist Media, which publishes ‘Weekly Humorist”; he spent more than a decade in various roles, including editor-in-chief, at National Lampoon; he tweets @martydundics



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