1148 – Mad Magazine | Issue 172 April 1976
What you won't have to worry about at bedtime is me being there to ramble as you fall asleep, you can count sheep on that!
Episode 1148 – MAD Magazine | Issue 172 April 1976
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for a podcast that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s time for a podcaster who may…talks about a stop…he says does…is that place called Stop and Swap? Talks about a used bookshop and tries to make rhymes, like putting a cherry on top of a sundae, because I’m here to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff. It’s time for Sleep With Me. I’m glad you’re here. It’s a podcast that keeps you company in the deep, dark night while you fall asleep. Kinda puts you to sleep, but kinda doesn’t just in case you can’t sleep, or that way you don’t feel any pressure to fall asleep. So, I’m glad you’re here. Whether this is your first time or…people have listened thousands of times, so however many times you’ve been here, thank you so much.
The way it works is I’m gonna…this is a little intro, then there will be some support for the show — that’s what enables us to be 100% free twice a week — then there will be a long, meandering intro where I introduce the podcast to new listeners, but it also helps ease you into bedtime and kinda help you unwind. Then there will be a story…kind of a story. Tonight we’ll be looking through a comedy magazine of my youth and talking about comedy/parody magazines from the…I don’t even know, eighties, but I think the one I looked at was from the seventies. So, I’m glad you’re here, and…yeah, I hope I can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple of ways we’re able to do this for you for free twice a week. Thanks for making it possible, my patron peeps.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press Play. I’ll do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is to take your mind off whatever’s keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts you’re thinking about or that are there from the past, the present, the future. I guess all thoughts are in the present but rarely about the present, right? I never thought about that. Well, I probably have. I guess I am…that was funny. That was not even on purpose. I’m the only person that makes unintentional puns. It’s probably a accident…the people say wow, you’re impressive.
I say well, it was an accident, once again. But what was I saying? Now I forgot what I was even talking about. Puns…oh, thoughts; they’re on my mind a lot. Thoughts, feelings, anything coming up for you emotionally whether related to those thoughts or that are just there, could be physical sensations, it could be just general interruptions. The last few nights…the last night there was…it was a lot of wind and rain and it woke me up. Could be dog…pet movements or just…a couple times…recently I’ve fallen into a deep sleep quickly, then just as quickly, some part of me has extricated myself from that deep sleep and said let’s…we fell asleep too fast there. Let’s do a total reset. I don't know if I talked about that one on the intro before. I think it’s pretty common. I hear it’s…no, we’re gonna do…let’s try that again.
That went too well. I’d say okay, we turned out…we turned things down to eleven. Somehow we were sound asleep at like, 11:05, I’m guessing. Now at 11:20, you’re kinda of indicating, yeah, that fifteen minutes was good or yeah, let’s start over just like we woke up in the morning. Then…I don't know. You know how it goes from there if you can relate. If not, it could be changes in time, temperature, routine. You could be anticipating something or just getting through something, or…whatever it is, there’s a lot of different things that impact people that are listening to the show. Some of them are transitory, some are temporary, and some are ongoing. It’s a little bit of a dance we do. But whatever it is, I’m so glad you’re here because I want to help. Because, one, you deserve a good night’s sleep.
That’s the main message of this podcast. If you never hear anything else again, if you never listen again, even if you strongly loathe me, you deserve a good night’s sleep. That’s a fact. It is important. The design of the show…and after I started making the show, a lot of other shows like this popped up, and I think they all share that thing of like, if you get the sleep you need, your life is gonna be more manageable and your life will improve. Hopefully you could get the sleep you need and you’ll be flourishing, and that means the world we’re in is a better place, and that’s important. But even underlying that and why a lot of other people are listening right now and maybe even starting to nod their heads or pet their pets is because we can relate.
That’s why I go through…what’s…thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and stuff like that, because I might not know exactly what you’re going through, but I can probably relate to some of the feelings. That’s why I call it the deep, dark night. If I can’t, someone else out there listening right now probably can. So, as strange as this digital thing is that…you don’t need to feel alone in the deep, dark night. I don’t want to say you’re not alone, but you don’t need to feel alone because you’re not, feeling-wise, at least. Right now, even digitally, somebody else is listening and they can probably relate to how you’re feeling. So, that’s the show…that’s the important part of the show. The rest of it is a bit of nonsense. So, what I do is I send my voice across the deep, dark night…important nonsense.
I use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, which means my voice is not traditionally soothing, but it is here to kinda keep you company and take your mind off of stuff and keep you company or whatever…take your mind off of stuff, keep you company so that you can drift off. I don't know, I got mixed up there ‘cause I heard a noise. It was my dog. I’ll send my…oh, lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones mean my voice is not traditionally soothing and that I use a…what is it called? Pointless meanders and superfluous tangents, which means I go off topic, I get mixed up, I repeat myself, I get interrupted, I forget what I’m talking about. But all that serves is to kinda take your mind off of stuff so that you could fall asleep. What else do you need to know?
Oh, structure of the show…oh, a couple things; one…a few other things before we get to the structure of the show. One is if you’re here, you may be here as…out of a place of skepticism. If you’re like a lot of listeners, you’ve probably tried a lot of different things, spent a lot of money on ways to help you fall asleep, and that can be frustrating. Then you hear about something else; you say well, this other stuff worked for me for like, one week. Now I heard about this sleep podcast. I’m checking it out and the dude’s not even getting to the point. He doesn’t even barely know what he’s talking about. All those tries can…the frustration can build up, right? Then you hear about something like this. You say, I don't know…what is this going on? So if you’re here, give it a few tries and just see how it goes.
That’s what most listeners say, because they all came here out of skepticism and they said, what is this…? I didn’t even realize the show…when does he do the countdown? When does the…when do the chimes and the bowls start ringing? Does he do any humming or whatever? I’d say no, the only humming I do is the homina-homina-homina or whatever to underline some…or say oshkosh b’gosh. That’s the closest…that’s…oshkosh b’gosh is the Tibetan bowl…holy moly, those are the Tibetan bowls of Sleep With Me podcast, I think. There’s probably other ones I say over and over that I forget. I mean, ‘uh’ is probably another one. So…oh, if you’re skeptical or doubtful, it’s totally normal…or frustrated. Give it a few tries.
If you don’t feel like getting…giving a few tries, don’t worry; a whole world of sleep podcasts has sprung up, and sleepy audio, and I have some of that listed at sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. So, check that out there, too. So, that’s that. Frustrated, skeptical, doubtful, but if you don’t like the show, sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou…this is also a podcast you don’t really listen to, which can be hard to adjust. You just kinda barely listen. All that means is it’s a little bit elevated above background noise. It’s a friend on the phone talking to you about their day or whatever, about reading a MAD Magazine, in this case. But you don’t need to listen. They say, don’t worry about listening to me. I’m here for you. I’m here to talk. There’s no social compact in this podcast.
So, you’re under no obligation to listen to me, and that does take some getting used to ‘cause we’re so used to listening or trying to listen or being told to listen…active listening, passive listening, whatever it is. So, you don’t gotta worry about this here. There’s also no pressure to fall asleep. This show actually does not put you to sleep. It’s here to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff so then you just fall asleep at some point. That’s how we know…that’s really how it works, and to be a part of your bedtime routine if you so choose. But also if you can’t sleep, there’s a percentage of people that listen all night or they can’t sleep or they listen during the day, and I’m here to the very end ‘cause my job is to keep you company whether you’re awake or asleep, and again to reassure you, you don’t need to fall asleep.
There’s no pressure ‘cause the show goes on and on and on. I’ve worked very hard and there’s over 500 free shows if you need them. So, they’re all there for you. So, yeah. No pressure to listen, no pressure to fall asleep…oh, I’m here to be your bore-bae, your bore-sib, your bore-bud, your bore-bestie, your bore-bor, your neigh-bore, your bore-bruh, your bore-friend…keep you company. Structure of the show also throws people off. Particularly, people have strong opinions about it, but it is…the show’s designed in a way to fit a couple of goals; to make you feel welcome and to try to say oh, I might check that show out. So, that’s the teaser; friends beyond the binary, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, say something silly. That’s the teaser shot.
Then there’s support, sponsor support and listener support, so that the show can come out twice a week for free…and all the work that goes into it, everybody that works on the show…so, we can go from there. What else? So, that’s the support. Then there’s an intro. So, the support…sometimes…for some reason, when people…I don't know if they…when they hear the support and they object to that, then they also object to the intro, which we’re in, which is totally separate from the support and not related to it. But then the…it’s not important but I just want to let you know just in case you’re feeling some objection but not so strongly you’ve hit Eject; you’re still here…the intro’s here for you. You don’t need to listen to it, but it’s really meant to be a friendly voice and to ease you into bedtime.
Now, there are a percentage of listeners that we’re oh-so happy for that are sound asleep, just like maybe you’re awake and your partner’s asleep. We’re slightly less happy for them. I’m just kidding; oh, we’re so happy for them with a slight bit of envy in there. So, there are people that are alseep, but for most…and there is 2% of people that skip the intro and just listen to the stories, but you could also listen to story-only episodes on Patreon or by subscribing on Apple Podcasts. If you just like stories, that’s a easier way to consume them, or just make a playlist. But a lot of people love the intro, and one of the purposes of the intro is to ease you into bedtime, to be a transition from being awake to asleep.
So, whether you’re listening as you’re getting ready for bed or you’re doing some sort of other relaxing activity…for me it’s lying on the floor with my head on my dog’s bed, petting her head, putting my feet up or…and I foam-roll before or after. So, whatever it is, you don’t have to have a bedtime routine. It’s just been shown…it’s just nice. It gives you one more thing to look forward to at bedtime, or you’re in bed getting comfortable falling asleep. Whatever it is, that’s what the intro’s here for, but also to introduce you to the podcast in a ineffective way. You say, this person’s a bit of a bumbler. I say, you’re right about that. Then there’s support again between the intro and the story so the show can be free. Then there’s the story.
Tonight we’ll be reading a MAD Magazine and talking about some memories of MAD Magazine and Cracked Magazine. I don't know if this will be a ongoing series, or maybe it’ll be a Patreon special. I’m not sure, but this will be our first try at it. Then there will be some thank-yous at the end. So, that’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show. I’m really glad you’re here. I really work hard, I yearn and I strive, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a way we’re able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright everybody, this is Scoots here and this is somewhat exciting if you’re a regular listener. This will be a little bit…this will be…I don't know how this is gonna go. It’ll be interesting and lulling. This is technically a style…a twist on a style of episode we’ve done before. We’ve never done this before, and I’m thinking that this — probably in the summer of 2023 — wil be a regular Patreon reward as we do our summer break so that patrons…but I’m not positive about that. But just an idea that recently came to me. So, we’ll see how this goes. But this one, I’ll maybe have a combination of three elements that…of Sleep With Me podcast; a short, kinda personal little thing, and then we’ll go through something, and then maybe we’ll be able to learn some facts about it.
So, what we’re gonna be talking about tonight is MAD Magazine, which is all caps. M-A-D; MAD Magazine. I believe it’s the usage of mad, like mad, silly, but again, I don't know that, either. I don't know if it’s still printed, to be honest. I think it still comes out online. What’s interesting is that the main MAD competitor…or there was two competitors; one was aimed a little bit more at adults or young adults, but MAD Magazine was a comedy…or a humor magazine. What’s a…? I mean, I’m not trying to be joking…when you go to your doctor, your therapist’s office, right, those things that are sitting there are magazines — which everybody knows; I’m being facetious — but magazines are still kinda relevant ‘cause I actually have…I don't know if it’s through my phone or something else; every once in a…once a year, at least, they say hey, we’ll send you a magazine for free for a year.
Usually, nowadays magazines only come out once every two months versus every month or weekly. We never got magazines to our house, which is interesting, so, I don't know if people were getting MAD Magazine delivered to their homes. That would be pretty awesome. The last MAD Magazine I remember having…the cover of it was a parody of the portrait of…or, not the portrait, but the popular poster of President Obama. I’m afraid I don't know the artist’s name that did that one, but the kinda tri-color profile portrait. I guess it’s not a portrait; it was…him speaking. I just thought it was such a cool cover that I bought it, and probably at the airport, I’m guessing, ‘cause that’s kinda the number-one place we still encounter magazines, or it could have been at a newstand when I was buying something else.
But it caught my eye and I said oh, MAD Magazine; I’ll buy it. But there were times people had them delivered to their house. But for me…and this is a generational thing…and what’s interesting is that I don't know if this type of store fully exists anymore, but we used to spend a lot of time in a used magazine and book store, which I think was call…it had a secondary name like…I thought…I think it might have been called Stop and Swap. Maybe that’s something else. But this particular one, my dad liked to go to, and he would take us…at least my brother and I, maybe my sister, and then a couple times one of our friends or our cousins, which kinda changed things at some point. But the first few times we went, my dad would go look for used books to read.
So, normally it might be coming up on a vacation or the summertime or a long road trip, and we would look through used…very used or previously-owned MAD Magazines and Cracked Magazine, which was the other popular comedy magazine. There’s also National Lampoon’s, but those were a little bit…if my dad saw them, we weren’t allowed to buy them. If somehow we got one, a lot of times the humor was a little bit beyond us ‘cause were not even in…I’d say we were somewhere between second and fifth or sixth grade. These MAD Magazines were…and Cracked Magazines were probably ten years old…ten years earlier, so most of the stuff they were referring to…because they’re kinda like pop culture magazines, as we’ll see. It’ll be interesting, kinda like opening a time capsule.
That’s what I thought would be cool about it. But even for us it was like a time capsule, ‘cause it would be movies or TV shows we had never seen before or we were barely familiar with from reruns or a movie we kind of heard of. Even then, we weren’t the main target for MAD or Cracked. Cracked…I don’t remember a lot about Cracked other than there was…instead…MAD Magazine has Alfred E. Neuman as the main character. Or, not the main character, but the character on the front. Then Cracked had a guy with…who was a painter, like a house-painter or something…was their main character, which is interesting because then Cracked became a comedy meme clearing house website for a while, but totally just through the brand name; not related…and maybe some of the…at least from what I remember.
We would kinda buy both. Now, MAD had a couple things going for it including Spy vs. Spy and these kinda comedy fold-together things, but there were probably things about Cracked…I haven’t been able to find any Crackeds. So, what happened was I got my hands on a stack of used MAD Magazines, which…that’s the forlorn part, is like…I mean, I guess if you own old magazines now, maybe the value has changed? But there’s not really a place I know of that you can go into and look through old stuff that hasn’t been picked through and buy stuff for a cheap price. Even comic books…you gotta be intentional about it ‘cause then if you want to read through a whole series and you want to buy it used at a lower price, it could be tough to do.
The other thing is there’s shipping involved. But I did happen to find these MAD Magazines, and it ended up being a good purchase ‘cause I got about…I don't know, fifteen. Some of them are super-sized. But we would go look through them, and — while my dad was looking for books — it felt like for hours, and I’m sure the people were like, you gonna buy any of those? We would have a budget and they were probably pretty cheap because…I’m not sure how much, but I would bet somewhere between ten cents and twenty-five cents an issue. Maybe for the thicker ones, I don't know, a dollar? Now, at some point it was my cousin or one of my friends or my brother’s friends…noticed there was other things to peruse that were on sale there, used magazines, which kinda ruined the whole experience, to be honest, because it was…became such a distraction.
So I guess…but that’s just what happens. We get older, we grow up, we enter different stages of life. But I can remember it being exciting. I didn’t really get a lot of the jokes. I liked the art and the variety. I think for me it was the variety. Both of them, they had different…they have a movie parody or a TV parody that’d have some sort of comic-type strips, usually fake ads. So, it’s just a treasured memory, especially the fact that — just like we’re gonna do today — I was reading stuff that I had no context for because it was like, ten to twenty years old and I wasn’t old enough…so, this…so, the ones I’ve got, we’ll open, we’ll go through it, we’ll just see how it goes. Then maybe afterwards we can look into who is Alfred E. Neuman and some of the history of MAD and Cracked.
But yeah, this one is issue number 182 from April 1976. Its original price was fifty cents. Cheap, it says; our price, fifty cents. Cheap. It has a picture of Alfred E. Neuman in a tuxedo like a magician, pulling a rabbit out of its…his hat. Then the rabbit is pulling Alfred E. Neuman out of the rabbit’s hat. Then Alfred E. Neuman is pulling another rabbit…so, kinda like one of those endless picture-type things. It looks like it was made by Bob James. Then you open it up and there’s a comic on the inside cover. This one is about a castaway and it’s by Paul Corker and Al Jaffee, who did a lot of the art. The movie with Tom Hanks…and this one’s kind of a play on a couple different things with…this is interesting, too, ‘cause we just…I just did a episode about letters in a bottle, and it’s about letters in a bottle.
But it’s about a castaway and actually shows progression of their beard and hair getting longer. I actually knew their…Seymour Griffith? Griffitha? Griffita? Is the name of the…so, yeah. So, that’s…it’s cool. It’s one, two, three, four…six panels. Then we have the table of contents and it’s a two…it’s two vertical things; one visual and then one specific. We got a quote from Alfred E. Neuman; still waters run deep, dot, dot, dot, but they’re usually stagnant. Then the people…William Gaines, publisher, Albert Feldstein, editor, John Putnam, art director, Leonard Brent…so, all the people that are involved in making it. Then the departments…so, there’s Alma Mater…Alma something department. Fifty years of life and…college life in America. Oh, it’s not in order. Oh, it’s alphabetical order. That’s on Page 27.
Then Berg’s Eye View department. Oh, I guess that’s the…another joke…the department. Lighter side of making extra money…eighteen…cheap shot, penny-pinching hits. So, this is a money issue. Fourteen…then Don Martin has three different sections. Good Time…oh, so MAD TV satire; Dyn-O-Mite! Good Times. That was a TV show. Again, before my time. That might be the only satire. Oh no, okay…so, then Shoulder Patches, twenty-four, Spy vs. Spy, twenty-six. Random samplings of reader mail; Page 2. Drawn-out dramas…that might…it’s star, star…various places. Okay. It’s Sergio Aragones. Aragones? I think those are…we’ll see. People it’s hard to feel sorry for…new musicals based on hit…okay, so there’s all the stuff coming up and then there’s a visual layout of some of it.
Okay, and then…this is published monthly except February and May, August, and November. It’s ten bucks for a subscription of twenty issues. What is that, two years, then? No. I don’t understand any of that. Twenty issues; $12.50. Oh, outside the US. Ten weeks for change of address to become…MAD fiction and semi-fiction are fictuous. Similarity without satiric purpose to people is a coincidence. Okay, and then there’s another subscription, ‘cause you would mail in your subscription. It has some art, some funny art. I’m sure you could subscribe and read these online. Let’s see, we got Madison Avenue…it’s on Madison Avenue, 485. Ten bucks for the next twenty issues of MAD Magazine. There’s a discount offer. Full-color portrait of Alfred E. Neuman’s What, Me…the What, Me Worry kid, which are suitable for framing or lining bird cages.
Thirty-five cents for one, seventy-five cents for three. A dollar fifty-five for nine. I should mail one of these in and see what happens. What do we got? Then we have the Letters Department talking about different…we got…I enjoyed your satire on the movie with that big fish. Yeah, another good one. There’s a bunch of letters. Some are positive, some aren’t. It’s a projection inside a local theatre. I had the pleasure of twice watching that fish movie for twelve weeks. There was also another Universal movie about a rocking Earth, and I appreciated doing that. Real projectionist. Mirth-quake; we really loved that. 8.0. Mirthquake cracked me up. Then one CIA agent of the year…MAD interviews different families. Character…restaurant supply catalog is one of the many glories of MAD.
I’d like to know…this one’s titled Theatre of the Absurd. I’d like to know if before writing a movie satire, do you see the movie? No, we write the satire first and then we see the movie. That was the only one they posted a response to it. Oh, there’s another page; you can buy vintage MAD Magazines or MAD books. Does it say how much they are? Please send me the books checked below. Oh, ninety-five cents for each. Minimum order; six books. Interesting. Good thing I didn’t have…I mean, I wasn’t…I didn’t have any money, I guess. But okay, ESP…1972. Talking about Howard Cosell. Sixth…I was in sixth grade when I signed up for a class called the Annotated MAD Magazine. In my class, I’m reading MADs and learning the history of MAD. You working towards a MAD degree? Time…something about time flying.
High cost of gasoline; so, that circled back. Let’s see…else…key holes…so, a bunch of different stuff and how to send stuff, then another ad for ordering stuff from MAD. Oh, interesting, and now we have Arnoldo Franchioni. Sell my MAD portfolio, sell my dealest dreams. It looks like it’s a three-page spread. So, dreams…we’ve got…getting rid of cars, clogging smoke stacks, making everything in a…stuff to use farming…planting trees where billboards used to be, getting rid of additives that aren’t organic, getting rid of clocks and using something else. Vacuuming under the rug…so, some funny stuff. Okay, then we have new musicals based on big movies. Let me see how many pages this is. Okay, so they have different ones. Let’s see what they say. Oh, there’s some of the hidden comics, too, like in the margins and stuff.
So, so many things…there’s so much…layer of detail. So, this one is you want to make a musical? Take a novel like Don Quixote, turn it into Man…Lamancha, or take Pygmalion and make it My Fair Lady. You want something else more successful? Take successful movies. This is so predictive…I mean, so funny…and make them into musicals. How about…? I mean, this doesn’t say it, but just making a jukebox musical, which is what this is, kind of. Well, it’s a parody musical. So, the first one’s called Based on the Godfather. The first song is sung to the tune of Matchmaker, Matchmaker. Then they have a spread of a bunch of characters from the Godfather. You’ve got Abe Vigoda, James Caan, Pacino, Don Corleone, Fredo…or, you know. But so, yeah, and they’re all talking about it. They’re singing a song.
Basically the first scene is them singing Matchmaker, Matchmaker, sing Godfather, Godfather, talking about how much we love you, Don Corleone, and talking about other people that…and then the Godfather says yeah, do it; make my dreams come true. Then the next page is I Like it Here in America. I don't know that song. He’s talking to his sons; Fredo, Michael, the other son. Sonny, right? Michael’s saying I just want the good life, pop. This is the good life. What is…? Oh, no, that’s…so, that part is part of…so, that last scene was more from Matchmaker, Matchmaker. Then this one’s I Like It Here in America. Life is a treat. Rackets are sweet. Oh, and now I can kinda hear it; in…okay. Big shots you meet…and how you’ll eat. But Michael’s saying I don't know, I want to be…I want a regular life.
Yeah, you have it made, be highly paid, learn to persuade. That’s a skilled trade. So, they’re all talking. Then there’s even a octopus. That’s surreal. But yeah, they’re talking…Michael’s still saying kind of…I think I’m gonna…this isn’t my thing, dad. The dad says come on, son. Then they…the last song is My Favorite Things and they’re all having dinner together, all the Dons. Why are we meeting in a restaurant? Well, that’s what we do. We eat together. Then they sing…oh, here’s the part of My Favorite Thing, is cold, antipasto, and hot minestrone, plates of lasagna and sliced provolone, cheese ravioli that’s smothered with sauce…this is a snack for a mafia boss. See how good the writing is? They’re still singing in the next scene and paying dinner. Then Get Me to the Church On Time is the next one.
It shows Michael running for president. Let’s see…okay, we’re gonna make a second movie. I hear he’s…Michael’s gonna retire. No, no, no, I’m gonna run governor, senator, then president. He’s gonna raise taxes, they said…he says. Oh, use the same family techniques on other…to use them…then the next one is called The Fish and I. The first song is briefly To Dream the Impossible Dream. It shows someone…they say hey…like, shaking fish food into a fish thing. Then we see that they’re closing down the beach. We even have the mayor and Brody, and that’s it for that one. Then Camelot, which I just saw this play not that long ago…or musical. This one’s a little bit confusing. I don't know any of the…just the mayor and Brody. I don’t recognize the other characters, but they’re talking about…there’s a lobster and a whale and a clam and a snail.
Then Do-Re-Mi…you have…whose Richard Dreyfus’ character’s name? I don’t…can’t remember, but…Brody and Richard Dreyfus, and the…yeah, there’s glub…there’s different ones. For doe, a deer, a female deer. Then we have the three of them on the boat together with Quinn, Brody, and…and they’re still…are they singing anymore or are they just acting? A thousand to one…we gotta deal with this fish. Then…oh, on the street where you’ll live…and that’s Brody dealing with the fish and saying let’s not swim anymore. Then there’s a movie about a big tower. I think…I don't know if this was a movie or a TV movie. That looks like Paul Newman, though. So, I don't know. It’s a movie I’ve never seen before, so I don't really know anything about it. It’s called Tower…All the Lights on the Tower.
The first song was They Call the Wind Mariah. Again, there’s a lot of art. I’m sure there’s even in-jokes on the details. They Call the Wind Mariah. I don’t even know any of these musicals that these are from. Then Maria…Maria, see the…oh, something San Francisco. Okay. Blah, blah, blah, Crisco. Okay, LA…eight to five…so, it’s a bunch of…I think it’s a bunch of stars that are in this movie, but…stars from the seventies that I’m not familiar with, kinda similar…I mean, some of the other movies I’ve seen before. Trying to see if there’s anybody else I recognize. There’s one more person I recognize, but I don’t…oh, who’s that? It’s a young Ernest Borgnine, I think, and then Paul Newman, and that’s it. But yeah, they’re saying hey, let’s get these holiday lights on this tower.
That’s basically the plot of the movie; all these stars come together. Climb every mountain…so, those were the things…then this is a comic; MAD Penny-Pinching Hints. Let’s see…it’s three pages. Doesn’t say who it’s by, but it said it in the thing. But I think it’s quotes and the comics. The first one is buy your perishables before weekend closing time when you can bargain. It’s showing stuff saying hm, not a…if necessary, use alternative means of long-distance communication. ‘Cause you used to have to…and they show a bird sending a letter. ‘Cause you used to have to pay when you call people in other area codes by the minute. You believe that? There was a brief time where I was seeing someone in a different city and I was like, whatever, living in my parents’ house, and it was expensive.
Have your kids make their own Christmas cards. Homemade haircuts…there’s a lot of…yeah, just a lot of stuff. Spray-on socks with washable paint…grow your own food…and they show a fish in a fish tank. Build your…build gifts at home or at school. Find…there’s an invention to save…you only use half a teabag. Try talking to people at parties about stuff, like hey, doc, can you look at this rash? Instead of watching TV or movies, they show a shadow-puppet theatre. Give kids interest-bearing notes instead of cash. Stop by your relatives at dinnertime…stop by your relatives…use any…it shows a mom commuting to work on school bus. That’s pretty funny. What else? I’m trying to see…but a lot of funny art. Oh, there’s always jokes about MAD, too, and even…so, there’s a self-referential one about this thing…so, it’s like…and TP.
Read a magazine all at once…then we have Don Martin Department. These ones are always showing someone that can never get anything right. Oh, it’s only Part One, though. He’s trying to get a toaster, an electric blanket, a hair dryer, a clock radio, a shaver, and…a gentleman’s trying to acquire those items in the wrong place, but then it’s a cliffhanger. Okay, then there’s a lighter side of making extra money. This is by Dave Berg. So, again, different artists with a different style, too. Let’s see, so…different ways…oh, let’s clean out your basement, but we’re gonna sell everything. But then there wasn’t eBay back then. I guess a garage sale or whatever. We’re gonna throw all this stuff out, huh? Lemonade stand…talking about hey, we had to cut back on ingredients or something? I don't know.
Then carrying stuff to cars…let’s see. Hang around a supermarket and help people carry their bundles. I guess they didn’t have shopping carts back then? I’m not kidding; maybe they didn’t, ‘cause everybody’s carrying their bags out to their car. Well, they usually give you a dollar. Oh, but it’s the mom saying that about the son carrying her bags. So, the mom’s kinda like a plant. Let’s see, what else? Some of this stuff’s just not…doesn’t age well. What else we got here? Let’s see, they show a son…collects old comic books and carefully preserves them in plastic bags. This is what we’re talking about. These books are collector’s items. I could get $300 for this one and another $500 for this one. Okay, well, great. Are you gonna sell them, son? Sell them? No.
Then they have a professional dog-walker and a gas-powered snowblower. Oh, when I was a kid, we used to have to shovel the snow, but the kid has a gas-powered snow-blower. Okay, there’s a couple other ones. Okay, then they have Spy vs. Spy, which is two spies and they were always trying to outdo each other. Very Itchy and Scratchy style. So, this one has…the one spy has…what do you call that thing? A jet and the other one has a aircraft carrier. The jet is showing that it’s better than the aircraft carrier. Then the one on…the aircraft carrier spy — the spies look like birds, a little bit — says, I surrender, but really it has a mousetrap-type thing for a aircraft, so then it ruins the plane. Then we have a look at fifty years of college life.
A college campus…Bellweather, harbinger of democracy’s future, and…90% fall asleep during lectures. 90% of MAD readers fall asleep during articles. They have a big picture on it that’s got a lot of different satire. I don't know what year…what was that college movie called with John Belushi? Animal House. Maybe that came out before…after this? Oh, so it goes through the twenties, the thirties, and shows people dressed in satiric ways and somebody sitting eating fish, like one of those flagpole sitters or whatever that would climb flagpoles. That’s in the thirties. People in old-fashioned cars…then in the forties…it looks like some sock-hop-type stuff. I thought that…a soda fountain…then in the fifties…Eisenhower? Yeah, and Nixon. Then kind of pompadours, people piling into a telephone booth.
Then in the sixties…protests, peace now, the Monroe…doctrines baloney. Then the seventies…racoon hupmobile. I don't know what that is. Oh, in the twenties…so, seventies was a throwback to the twenties, it’s saying. Okay, and Warren G. Harding versus Nixon. That’s it, because it was in the seventies. Then you have MAD’s Traffic Commissioner of the Year. Okay, this is a satire on New York City and maybe the mayor? Okay, sorry I took forty minutes. Who said anything about driving? I walked. Traffic’s a problem. Okay, what are you gonna do with all these cars? No, we’re gonna give them tickets. So, then it shows them working on traffic lights, computerized traffic control systems, and talking about that, talking about raising tickets.
So, this one’s pretty dense; it has a lot of…but a lot of comedy I’m sure is in here about traffics in New York City. Okay, then a MAD gallery of people it’s hard to feel sorry for. Some rich people in a Mercedes, some lady on a soap opera, people going from Paris to London to Rome, people that aren’t very good drivers, people that don’t…that are ultra-rich and don’t have to pay taxes. Oh no, or they do; they’re just like oh, I pay…someone that has too many dates…okay, then you have fake shadows. So, you have people acting one way and then the shadows behind them doing something else. So, you have the UN; everybody’s being friendly, but their shadows are not being friendly. Then you have…two people that are in a bar had too much to drink, but they think they’re charming.
Then you have two hockey players and then…they kinda look like they’re glaring at each other. You have a person calmly sitting in the subway, but it shows them…I wish I was tagging the subway. You have a teacher and students acting all polite, but acting just on the edge of rebellion. You have a bunch of people on…smoking on an elevator and someone shadows…like, this is unacceptable. Another one where it’s just like okay…most of them are chaos. Then someone…a politician, but it shows them with a crown. Then someone mowing the lawn, but they wish they were in a drag racer. It looks like hippies playing Frisbee and then a police officer wishing he was playing Frisbee with them. Yeah, then there’s something about the TV show Good Times, which was a spin-off from All in the Family.
Oh, this is…a new TV trend was established after All in the Family; reality situation comedy. Get a family together and people will laugh. So, this one shows Good Time, but it says Good Time Slot. It goes through the show, but I don't know anything about the show. I did not have a chance to watch it on…what do you call that? Replays? I mean, I do know Jimmy Walker would be a good guest on talk shows ‘cause he would always have a lot of good jokes. It’s kinda like standup, though. Let’s see, then they have a doctor’s office joke…that’s a three-panel joke of a doctor checking someone’s…the old rubber mallet thing. I think that was a thing in the seventies where it’s like, doctor’s were constantly trying to check people’s, whatever, reaction time. I don't know what they call that. Then there’s a fold-in.
It looks like a…it says The Super-Duper Bowl, and there’s a blimp and a bunch of people. That’s what it looks like. I don't know if I get the joke. It shows someone with a empty bowl. So, I don't know, that’s a run-through of…a brief run-through of MAD Magazine, so let’s give you some info of like, what’s a MAD Magazine, right? So, let’s see. It still has a website, but let’s look it up on Wikipedia. It’s a American humor magazine started in ‘52. Launched as a comic book series before it was a magazine. Widely imitated and influential, affecting satirical media, cultural landscape. Its circulation reached two million. We’re at the peak in ‘73, ‘74. So, right now…oh, and…no, the last update they had about circulation was 2017. That’s paid circulation.
It’s like, around the number of listeners Sleep With Me has, but most Sleep With Me…Sleep With Me’s not paid, so…let’s see. Yeah, it was the last surviving title from EC Comics, and Alfred E. Neuman, the mascot, is on the cover playing a celebrity or character being lampooned. 550 regular magazine episodes from ‘52 to 2018 as well as specials like reprints, compilations. AT&T required Time Warner in 2018…MAD ended newsstand distribution. So, it must have been in 2018. Maybe it was the last MAD Magazine I bought. But it continued in…oh no, comic book stores and…yeah, subscription. It’s reduced its content…new content in standard issues with the regular magazine almost utilizing curated reprints with new covers. So, it began as a comic book…Lower Manhattan and then went to Madison Avenue.
485 Madison Avenue. Let’s see, ‘55…there was a comics code authority that removed MAD. No, MAD Magazine, they said, was not changed to avoid the code, but as a result of this did void the code when it became a magazine. Circulation peaked at 2.1 million in 1974. New issues appeared erratically four to nine times a year, then it settled on a eight-times-a-year schedule. Lasted almost four decades. The issues would come out seven to nine weeks before the month listed on the cover. They felt like that was the timing they needed to maintain the quality. Beginning in ‘94, they started producing more issues a year until it reached a monthly schedule. Then by the 500th issue in 2009, they regressed to a quarterly publication before going back to six issues in 2010. It’s been sold a few times.
At some point it became part of the DC Comics…the company who owned DC Comics, and then National Periodicals, Kinney…oh yeah, National Periodicals, then Warner Bros. Kinney bought Warner Bros. Seven Arts in 1969, and…National Kinney Corporation…never even heard…they became Warner Communications. Time Warner; now Warner Media. Throughout the years is a unique mix of adolescent silliness and political humor. It’s a political satire magazine. Ended in 2017 with issue 550. None of the staff made the move…oh, when it was relocated. They moved to California; that was renumbered as Number 1. Then AT&T acquired Time Warner and it was restructured. There was a Burbank edition. So yeah, a lot of stuff. Let’s see what else we got here. Alfred E. Neuman is a fictional mascot and cover boy of MAD.
Distinct look…first emerged in US iconography decades prior to the magazine. It was originally in 19th century ads for dentistry. The origin of the what, me…were…that was the origin…maybe that was it; what, me worry motto. Then it was in an ad for a play. What’s the good of anything? Nothing. Then in the 1930’s on a presidential postcard with the caption ‘Sure, I’m for Roosevelt.’ They decided he was Alfred E. Neuman in 1954. It’s been…since debut in ‘56…or since the debut…maybe it was ‘54. I don't know. It’s been…Alfred E. Neuman’s been on almost every cover except for a handful. Rarely seen in profile, but always been recognizable in front view, silhouette, and from behind.
Supreme Court case about the copyright of Neuman…a live-action version…an uncredited editor appeared briefly in an ‘80 film which was originally a MAD Magazine movie, but then MAD pulled its support of the film and they wanted the MAD…oh, there’s a…oh, I forgot about MAD TV, too. Genesis…what is that? Oh, that’s just the different advertisements slowly becoming Alfred E. Neuman. Yeah, I think that’s it. Oh, let me look up Cracked Magazine, too, just so we have some…C-R-A-C-K-E…Cracked Magazine. Okay, Cracked was another humor magazine started in ‘58. It was most durable launched in the wake of MAD Magazine. It kinda copied MAD’s layout and style. Simple-minded wide-cheek mascot, Sylvester P. Smith, a janitor…in a manner similar to Alfred E. Neuman.
But Smith sometimes spoke and was inside the magazine interacting with parody subjects and other characters. Yeah, the website adopted Cracked’s name after the magazine ceased publication. But they did joke that it was, yeah, a knock-off of MAD Magazine. Its publication frequency was reduced in the nineties, erratic in the aughts…2006 it came out again, but it was more of a lad mag and usually had…yeah, TV and…very similar, very similar. They would try to take…people that were successful would go back and forth. As well as when National Lampoon stopped publishing in the nineties, they got some people from there.
At the height of its circulation, it might have been a third of MAD’s, which is still huge, but then by the aughts it was down to 25,000 to 35,000 per monthly issue. But that’s about, what, five times larger than Sleep With Me’s paid audience, so that’s pretty good. Then plummeted…so yeah, that’s a little bit about Cracked, a little bit about MAD. We’ll see how this goes when I listen to it, and…another meander…meandering through the magazine from the past. Goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]
(Transcribed by Leah Hervoly)
- Stop & Swap
- Mirth Quake
- Reality Situation Comedy
- National Lampoon
- Howard Cossell
- Ernest Borgnine
Notable Talking Points:
- Osh Kosh B’Gosh is the tibetan bowl singing of SWM
- Our Price? Cheap!
- Did they not have shopping carts back in the 70s?