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Each week for the rest of the year, we'll be posting excerpts from the essays Frank Jacobs wrote for our 60th Anniversary book, Totally Mad: 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity. Leading off is a piece about the man who started it all, MAD founder William M. Gaines. Be sure to come back next week to read the (partial) answer to the question "Has MAD Ever Been Sued?"
If you didn't spend this past weekend relentlessly scouring the internet for MAD coverage, good for you — it sounds like you got some fresh air and lived a healthy and productive life! But you also missed out on lots of great stories about MAD's 60th Anniversary and our brand new book, Totally MAD!
This shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise, but it’s a fact that anyone who works at MAD doesn’t have much of a life. Which means that even on a day off, we still manage to think about MAD! But sometimes that’s a good thing. Like when we come across a cool, weird piece of MAD memorabilia (MADorabilia, if you will) — like this old 3-D postcard made in 1958 by Eden Plastics Corp of NY. Just look at that weird knock-off Alfred! If you have images of vintage MAD/Alfred E. Neuman stuff (even if it’s bootlegs), share it with us in the comments section!
Happy Birthday to William Gaines, MAD’s profoundly misguided and psychologically unbalanced founder, who would have turned 90 years old today. His attendance at the office has been spotty since he died.
The cover of MAD # 411, which went on sale shortly after the 9-11 attack, was not the cover originally planned for that issue. In fact, another cover was already printed and awaiting to be bound with the magazine’s interior pages when the attack occurred. The working title of the planned cover was “The New York City Marathon” and it was written and illustrated by longtime MAD contributor John Caldwell.