Pros: Humor, fun illustrations, good satire, parodies, entertaining features, varied content.
Cons: Sometimes boring, some tasteless humor, some disgusting cartoons.
MAD magazine is a bi-monthly illustrated satirical humor magazine that makes fun of public figures, politics, movies, TV-series, popular phenomenon, capitalism, modern technology, and more. It features cartoons; some in black and white, and some in color, as well as illustrated special features that aren’t cartoons.
The cover typically consists of a color picture featuring MAD’s mascot Alfred E. Neuman. However, that was not the case with the latest issue. As far as I can remember all issues of MAD has featured a fold-in. Before you fold the picture you see a crazy colorful but busy picture and after you fold it you see another less busy picture which depicts something MAD magazine wants to make fun of. The pictures before and after folding are often related in some way. Other recurring features in the magazine are Movie and TV show parodies, and Spy versus Spy (two spies trying to outdo each other).
The last issue featured a colorful parody on Mike & Molly, Televisions “biggest” stars. It is naturally lots of tasteless “fat humor” throughout the cartoon. It also features a satire on the GOP candidates, a set of satirical short cartoons on the filthy rich, as well as Cinderella, Scooby Doo, and unconstitutional parents. Yeah parents are very unconstitutional. For example;
“It’s not fair, punishing me for coming home five minutes late for dinner!”
“Talk back to me, will you? Just for that, you’re not going out of this house for a week!”
That’s a breech of Amendment I (no law…abridging the freedom of speech…).
Well there is much more in the magazine including sarcastic advertisements.
As a kid I used to buy MAD magazine (translated into Swedish) because of the crazy strange humor and the funny cartoons. That was decades ago and I still buy MAD magazine on occasion. What attracted me to MAD magazine was that it was funny and the biting sarcasm sometimes had some truth to it. The magazine rebelled against tradition, populism and hypocrisy. I felt that applied to both Sweden and the United States but not exactly in the same way.
Another thing I like about MAD magazine is the varied content. Even though the magazine keeps a certain style and has recurring features the content is always fresh and unexpected. There are always a lot of new themes and new jokes.
MAD magazine is fun to read and it typically gives me a few chuckles. However, I’ve always read it selectively. I’ve found the parodies on movies and television shows somewhat boring. They are a little exaggerated and childish. Even though most illustrations are funny they are also sometimes disgusting, featuring barfing people, boogers, intestines, and such. In addition the magazine seems to be left-leaning but that hasn’t bothered me too much. Basically, I typically read half of it, but it is still worth it. I’ll rate MAD magazine four stars and I recommend it with a slight warning about disgusting content.