The end of an era is generally a sad thing. And while the winding down of Mad magazine isn’t even close to catastrophic news, for those of us of a certain age, the announcement from parent company DC that starting with Issue 11 (the next issue), Mad will only include previously published content is sad. The statement did say that original content will still be produced for special year-end issues. NBC News also reports that “DC said that it will continue to publish Mad books and special content,” but no one doubts that this signals the impending final end of the iconic satirical magazine.
Founded as a comic book in 1952 by Harvey Kurtzman and William Gaines, it quickly became a cultural touchstone. After switching to its better-known magazine format in the late-50s, Mad became famous for slaying culture’s sacred cows with a blend of irreverence and insight draped in wit. No one was off limits and no topic was untouchable.
Combined with the failing magazine industry, Mad magazine’s refusal to bow to the fragile sensibilities of SJWs may have been its demise. As one Twitter user commented on Weird Al Yankovic’s lament of Mad’s demise, “It was doomed with the rise of political correctness.”
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 pic.twitter.com/01Ya4htdSR
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) July 4, 2019
Recently, Mad magazine was thrust back into the spotlight when President Trump nicknamed Pete Buttigieg after the magazine’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman. To be fair, the resemblance is uncanny. For his part, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., and 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful claimed to not get the reference, saying, “I guess it’s just a generational thing.”
Shows like South Park and The Simpsons carry on Mad magazine’s legacy, but time will tell if those two shows fall prey to the censorship teeth of the growing army of SJW thought police. It’s ironic that things like Mad, which used to be viewed with great fear and suspicion by conservatives, are now facing the wrath of leftists. Hopefully, the special year-end issue of Mad will send up that irony as a parting shot.