For many ardent followers, particularly aged 13 (or who want to remain so), it was The Hollywood Reporter who broke the news – after 67 years Mad Magazine is practically shutting down. After Issue 9 (August 2019) the magazine will no longer be available at newsstands, but only in comic book shops and through subscribers. Issue 10 will be the last to have new content, and starting with Issue 11, the magazine will only contain previously published content. The only new thing will be the cover. DC Entertainment, Mad’s publisher, will continue to publish Mad special collections and books.
There was an immediate deluge of reactions, particularly on Twitter with Weird Al Yankovic saying, “I am profoundly sad to hear that after 67 years, Mad Magazine is ceasing publication. I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird. Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions. #ThanksMAD.”
The Lego Movie director Chris Miller tweeted: “I was an intern at Mad Magazine in 1994. I had no apt in NY so I kept my belongings in the archives & took a daypack & crashed on couches for 3 months. In the writer’s room, they had a drum kit to do rim shots on bad jokes. Great memories. I’ll miss it.”
David Von Drehle of Washington Post wrote a particularly good tribute titled Mad magazine’s demise is part of the ending of a world. “Mad was the smart-aleck spawn of the age of mass media, when everyone watched the same networks, flocked to the same movies and saluted the same flag. Without established authorities, it had no reason for being. Like the kid in the back of the classroom tossing spitballs and making fart sounds, a journal of subversive humor is funny only if there’s someone up front attempting to maintain order,” wrote Drehle.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.