Founded in 1952 by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines, Mad Magazine's claim to fame is its impact on the entire cultural landscape of the 20th century, satirizing all aspects of life and pop culture, politics, entertainment, and public figures, Its mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, is typically the star of the magazine's cover, with his face often replacing a celebrity or character that is lampooned within the issue. With a silly grin, his well-familiar trademark phrase is "What, me worry?"
Mad Magazine influenced three generations of humorists and easily provoked critical thinking about everything and anyone - politicians, the media, advertising, cartoon characters, you name it. In 2007, Robert Boyd of The Los Angeles Times wrote, "All I really need to know I learned from Mad magazine", going on to assert: "Plenty of it went right over my head, of course, but that's part of what made it attractive and valuable. Things that go over your head can make you raise your head a little higher. The magazine instilled in me a habit of mind, a way of thinking about a world rife with false fronts, small print, deceptive ads, booby traps, treacherous language, double standards, half truths, subliminal pitches and product placements; it warned me that I was often merely the target of people who claimed to be my friend; it prompted me to mistrust authority, to read between the lines, to take nothing at face value, to see patterns in the often shoddy construction of movies and TV shows; and it got me to think critically in a way that few actual humans charged with my care ever bothered to."
Mad Magazine, a piece of history…worth remembering and collecting. You can find more in our Etsy store.