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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 23 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 21
Let us all be 'fighting mad'
Section One
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Let us all be 'fighting mad'

by Sugie - SGN Contributing Writer

For Al B. Feldstein, who now writes from Heaven

Al B. Feldstein, past editor of Mad Magazine, passed away on April 29, 2014 at the gleaming age of 88 years old. He grew up in the same area of New York that my father grew up in, the Flatbush part of Brooklyn. After a discharge from the Air Force, Feldstein freelanced for Fox comic books. Eventually, he turned to his previous editor, Bill Gaines. He then spent the next 29 years as the editor of Mad Magazine. The circulation at the time Al B. Feldstein took over was about 325,000 to 750,000 in 1956. By the 1960s, it had increased to more than a million. By the 1970s, the circulation had climbed to over 2 million.

Mad Magazine was spoken of to be 'full of indisputably clever spitball stories.' I, myself, grew up with Mad Magazine. To read a Mad Magazine was to read something very anti-establishment at the time. I found that I invariably experienced a thrill at reading all my favorite T.V. shows being lampooned beyond belief. This made laughs come very heartily from our radical throats. I remember one story making fun of Mary Tyler Moore that called her show 'The Mary Taylor Made Show' and had her doing a 3:00 p.m. wardrobe change! Another memory of Mad Magazine was me getting a piece of acetate included with it, called 'It's a Gas!' No, this wasn't any 'Jumpin' Jack Flash, it's a gas, gas!' made famous by the Rolling Stones! This tune had Mad Magazine mascot, Alfred E. Newman soloing on 'It's a Gas!' He would sing a verse, then heartily burp at the beginning of each line!

What other Mad Magazine memories do I recall? I remember a send up Mad Magazine did on Easy Rider, only they called it Sleazy Rider! Rest in peace, Al B. Feldstein. Your magazine continues to be as irreverent as the day you first published it in 1956. All I can say is, I will continue to reply with this pearl gotten from Mad Magazine's 'Answers to Stupid Questions.' 'Does this elevator go up?' 'No, it goes sideways!' You can tell I always will go madly for Mad Magazine, and it will not drive me mad. To reference Socrates, an ancient Greek Philosopher, Mad Magazine needs no Apology!

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