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What, Me Worry? MAD Magazine Going Quarterly

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the needs-more-website dept.

The Media 132

theodp writes "MAD Magazine is about to put out its 500th issue, but starting with its April publication, the mag is cutting down to only four issues per year. The feedback we've gotten from readers,' quipped Editor John Ficarra, 'is that only every third issue of MAD is funny, so we've decided to just publish those.' MAD Kids and MAD Classics are ceasing publication entirely. Keep up the what-me-worry game face, Alfred!"

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the timing makes sense (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596809)

being as their mascot, and their mascot's philosophy, just left the white house

Re:the timing makes sense (5, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598051)

Speaking of the whitehouse mascot, I think their latest cover [imageshack.us] makes the whole magazine worth it, no matter what the actual content is.

Re:the timing makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26599609)

It would have been funnier without the blatant product placements! The WSJ, Pepto-Bismol, Excedrin, and that's just a cursory look. Bill Gaines would have had him chain-smoking long-longs. Since they "went color" and started taking ads, they have become what they used to lampoon: stupid fershlugginer sell-outs!

Re:the timing makes sense (2, Informative)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26599675)

Once again Mad nails it right on the head. I'm going to get that issue and frame it.

Magazines are dying as a format. (4, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596817)

Given the amount of time we (by that I mean "I, and I assume everyone else is like me") spend online actually interacting with other people interested in a similar subject to ourselves it's no wonder we don't spend money on magazines any more. Unless the mag can survive on ad revenue alone, on transition to an online format that affords it's readers some interactivity then it'll die off. Obviously some titles, like Old Person Weekly or Luddite News, that cater for a non-tech-savvy audience will weather it better because their audience won't jump ship, but even those ones will be at the mercy of advertisers wanting to push their costs down.

I see a future without hardcopy magazines at all.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596829)

Agreed. However, I dislike the fact that I will have to take my laptop into the bathroom to replace the magazines :P

Doggie training (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597175)

I wonder if laptops and ebook readers will come with warnings like:

> Unplug and remove all batteries before using this device to toilet train your puppy.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26599491)

I don't mind. It keeps my legs nice and toasty.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26599901)

You won't be able to tear a page out of your laptop when you realize there's no toilet paper. Sometimes print media has an advantage. ;)

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600727)

Two comments:
- prolonged sitting on the toilet isn't good for your bowels if you're not actually going the whole time
- if you have enough time to read while you go (i.e. the action takes that long) there's something wrong with your diet

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600913)


- prolonged sitting on the toilet isn't good for your bowels if you're not actually going the whole time
- if you have enough time to read while you go (i.e. the action takes that long) there's something wrong with your diet

As someone who's just been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel, let me just say that while it's good to let people know there's a danger to behaving in a certain way (eg. sitting on the toilet for too long) it's not always possible to avoid that behaviour. The entire medical profession sometimes feels like a bunch of unhelpful know-it-alls with no first hand experience of a problem giving you simple solutions that don't work in the real world then blaming you for being unable to implement them.

Modifying my diet has done nothing for me. When I eat healthy I sometimes end up in agony doubled over. Other times I pig out - eating twice as much food and all takeaway - and I'm just fine. (Usually with my wife out of town. She has life threatening food allergies so the only time I eat these foods is if I have no contact with her. Long story.) The idea that my IBS symptoms are due to a lack of fibre in my diet is a sad joke. At best there are food related triggers that I haven't worked out yet, but I can tell you they're not foods sold by some of the biggest junk food chains in the country.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (4, Interesting)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601279)

I was "diagnosed" with irritable bowel in '91. Basically the doctor listened to the symptoms and proclaimed that was it. I got scoped a little while later but he didn't see anything to prove him wrong.

So while it has gotten worse every year there was nothing that could really be done about it. The next family doctor I had just reiterated the first and said that there were no real effective treatments, just live with it and try to avoid triggers.

He retired and I have a new doctor now. Oddly enough, I started dating a nurse and she wrote down a whole battery of tests (that I was never given) and told me to take that to the new doctor. I did. Turns out it's not IBS after all. Now I'm going through more tests to find out why my white blood cell count is high, and B12 is low.

How many doctors have you seen regarding the diagnosis? Out of all the tests I was given, I only had to pay $60 for one (Canada), but if you're in the US I'm thinking it would be about 3 grand for all of em. Parasites, white blood cells, full blood workup, the whole bit.

IBS is the diagnosis they give when they don't want to work for a real cause.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (3, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596925)

Yeah but quite frankly, I'd rather have hardcopy. When my computer dies, or when I'm not around electronic devices to entertain me, having a couple of back issues of say, EGM(RIP), or MAD was a great way to kill time.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (5, Funny)

mad_minstrel (943049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597179)

The last time I read a hardcopy of a magazine I was really upset Ctrl+F and AdBlock weren't working and I couldn't click the links.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (2, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597187)

What the fuck.

This is the first I hear of EGM closing. A general letter out to the subscribers would have really been appreciated. I had like a year left on my subscription. ):<

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (5, Insightful)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596929)

I see a future without hardcopy magazines at all.

Odds are that you don't commute by rail. Commuting by rail has its advantages, and the magazine format coincides nicely with a hard day's use of the laptop. Especially given boot times, logins, possibly a connecting train. You get the idea.

Also, like in the movie The Accidental Tourist, its often times nice to have reading material on public transport. Gives your eyes a socially-acceptable place to focus.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597433)

Odds are that you don't commute by rail. Commuting by rail has its advantages, and the magazine format coincides nicely with a hard day's use of the laptop. Especially given boot times, logins, possibly a connecting train. You get the idea.

I usually take two trains, and two 10 minute bike rides, on the way to work (sometimes It's one train and a 40 minute ride).

I use my laptop every day, usually to work (means I can leave earlier), but sometimes to waste time on the internet with a 3g dongle.

I have this nifty command called "suspend" for the bike rides and changing train. If the train gets cancelled/delays etc I've got a book in my bag.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (2, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597447)

Odds are that you don't commute by rail. Commuting by rail has its advantages, and the magazine format coincides nicely with a hard day's use of the laptop. Especially given boot times, logins, possibly a connecting train. You get the idea.

Meet Kindle [amazon.com] , which answers all of your concerns.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (5, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598343)

Odds are that you don't commute by rail. Commuting by rail has its advantages, and the magazine format coincides nicely with a hard day's use of the laptop. Especially given boot times, logins, possibly a connecting train. You get the idea.

Meet Kindle [amazon.com] , which answers all of your concerns.

Well, except that nothing I want to read is published for it. I guess I could change all of my reading habits just to be cool, though.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602405)

Well, except that nothing I want to read is published for it.

Doesn't matter, considering you can read .pdf and plain text files on it.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (4, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26599545)

Meet the average American, for whom a $350 device on which to read his $20/year magazine subscription (minus the color photos that are half the point of a magazine) is not a budget priority.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26600681)

$350 for a terrible substitute for actual paper reading material, no thanks

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601195)

And it will always cost $350, because electronics don't get cheaper over time. Oh, wait.

So wake me when it is $50 and non-DRM... (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602679)

...and can reproduce the same color, format size, and dot pitch of the average full color magazine.

Oh, and I won't care if I drop it or lose it rushing for my connection.

Kindle is a nice toy...but really...that's all it is so far.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601151)

Kindle and its like are interesting, but not perfect replacements for magazines. A mag can be rolled/folded/wedged into a pocket, and if you leave it behind somewhere, sit on it, someone spills coffee on it, etc, you're out $3 not $300.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26601649)

Give me an e-book reader without DRM that is based on open standards rather than being one company's proprietary platform, and we can start talking.

(Although you probably won't convince *me*, still - I just like the smell and feel of dead tree books.)

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602119)

I have an e-book reader like that. It's a laptop running Ubuntu.

Yeah it's heavy and the battery dies after three hours, but you can't have everything. Unfortunately.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26602425)

The Cybook Gen3 sounds nice.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597877)

Yes, I agree... For now. I go to work by either:

-45 minutes by bus

-10 minutes walk to train station and 25 mins in train
...And both followed by 15 mins of walking (or a few mins waiting for subway and then 5 mins there and a few mins more walking, or some similar variation).

Even though I carry my laptop with me, it is a lot easier to grab a magazine than begin waking the comp up. etc. for the 25 mins train trip or trying to see something on the screen as the bus turns every once in a while and sunlight comes from yet another annoying angle...

But the problems of laptops compared to magazines are all just technical. Weight, cost, booting/waking up time, battery duration, screen readability, etc... All are things that can be fixed. And I am sure that they will be fixed.

So magazines are still a dying format. Maybe not now but in five, ten or fifteen years.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596945)

Magazines are still perfect for the toilet, travel and even night time reading.

The problem is Mad Magazine used to be good. It used to push the edge a bit and have good writing.

Now it's just a bit bland and tiresome. I, for one, would have never thought they'd do a kid version of Mad. That just goes to s how how much it's change, imo.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597047)

I used to be a subscriber. Not for a few years now. The quality of their writing has gone way downhill, even back when Gaines was still alive. Without him it's gone straight down the drain. When the moved the magazine to color and started accepting advertisers it just seemed to lose its soul.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600015)

A new Administration should give them some new material, instead of the same stale BS (really, how many times can you say "Bush is an idiot" before it isn't funny anymore?). Moving to quarterly publication should help concentrate the funny again. They'll be able to drop 2/3 of the chaff and pack 3-issues worth of the good stuff into one.

Imagine if Guns and Roses had only produced one CD for "Use Your Illusion" instead of diluting the album to make a box set. Sometimes less is more.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600419)

Whatever song you want to dump from Use Your Illusion I/II was at one point my favorite song. (Except 'My World' and 'Coma'- those were just fillers)

I've got HEAPS of code with queries/variables with names like, 'TheGarden' and 'SoFine'. I would say that anything I wrote in the 90's would make a lot more sense to a person who is intimately familiar with those albums. I mean, you need to know that 'Back' contains 'Off' which contains 'Bitch'. Not knowing the order would be problematic.

(Yes, I know, I should use better names for variables, and now I do.)

On the other hand...Mad Magazine is still pretty funny, but I never understood the switch to color. I felt it actually took away from the magazine.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601191)

I agree about My World, but Coma was one of my favorites. Not all the time, but there was a lot going on in it and it was good sorta background. Overall I thought the albums worked well. Yeah, not every song was a hit single, but (other than My World) together they made up a nice complete work. Also, I don't think you can combine the two into a single very well. The two parts had very different tones-- 1 really felt "red" and 2 really felt "blue" to me, matching the cover artwork.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

slashtivus (1162793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602199)

No kidding. I was an avid reader when I was 8, 9 and 10 back in the mid-late 70's when MAD still had the original team of writers. I always kind of thought of it as a kid's magazine I guess. I thought it was really well written back then. I bought a copy a few years back and a lot of it seemed re-cycled and really bland. Then again, maybe I just got older / changed :P

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596985)

Dying is too strong a word. The format is being refined. The wheat is being separated from the chaff.

It's the magazines that use filler info in order to sell advertising that are losing out to the internet. These magazines aren't offering any substance of their own, so they're losing out to the free websites that are doing the same thing for less. Their entire cost is based on their method of distribution. The internet comes along with virtually free distribution and no cost to subscribers, it's a no-brainer that the magazines are going to tank.

The magazines I still subscribe to are primary sources of news, information, or analysis that cannot otherwise easily be had online. They all have online components which are available for free or a small extra charge. They carry few or no advertisements and recognize that their subscribers are their customers rather than the product (e.g. stories are not split up to cram more ads in better positions).

These magazines are more expensive, but you're paying more for the content than the delivery mechanism. These magazines can continue to thrive both as magazines and as websites because they have a monopoly on their content and their distribution costs are much smaller relative to their operating cost than the filler mags.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598797)

You know there are still those of us who object to using our laptops in the bathroom or in bed, would rather not bring them out on the bus. Or simply just want a break from their eye strain inducing monitors. Ill keep my printed media thank you very much.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26598291)

Yawn, another "print is dead" comment. We've seen them for years. Meanwhile, my subscriptions keep coming to the mailbox. I'm not holding my breath.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598495)

"Obviously some titles, like Old Person Weekly or Luddite News, "

MAD magazine is among them. It was amazing and culture-changing in its heyday, but society has moved forward. The people who made MAD special are elderly or dead. It's audience is old. Be glad it's preserved on electronic media, because it's a piece of cultural history.

"After Mad, drugs were nothing."
                                                            Patti Smith

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

majorgoodvibes (1228026) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598525)

I used to imagine that in the future instead of news-stands there will be "news-butchers" who just print up publications quickly on demand.

I've gotten so used to getting my news online that when I'm reading an actual print publication I automatically go looking for the comments section at the end of every article.

I think there's always going to have to be a hardcopy option.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#26599837)

If it were on sale in the UK, I would definitely buy it - I used to read it when in the US - we do have "Private Eye" [private-eye.co.uk] , but Mad magazine had a far wider area of focus.

Whatever happened to Mad TV?

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (2, Informative)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26599963)

Whatever happened to Mad TV?

It's still there on Saturday nights, but it sold out a long time ago.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600893)

MadTV is in its final season on Fox. [foxflash.com] It might continue on a cable network, and never had a connection to the magazine other than the rights to the name and Alfred character.

Re:Magazines are dying as a format. (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601773)

The early seasons also had Spy vs. Spy.

Quality versus quantity, perhaps. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596831)

Better than going bi-semiannually.

Re:Quality versus quantity, perhaps. (2, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598571)

If you only go bi semi-annually, are your really bi?

old fashioned, old schmasioned (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596833)

What do you mean? Is the world running out of 8 year olds?

Going digital might help, but the target audience is still there.

Re:old fashioned, old schmasioned (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596897)

But the target audience has changed. 1950-1980s Mad was actually pretty edgy for its time. Today, it seems kind of... tame and unfunny, especially with all the internet has to offer our 8 year-olds.

Re:old fashioned, old schmasioned (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596939)

Woof! Woof! Do not forget us Dogs on the Interweb!

Re:old fashioned, old schmasioned (2, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597389)

No, the worlds 8 year olds are on /b.

Got help the next generation...

Re:old fashioned, old schmasioned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26598451)

Looks like the current generation has trouble with spelling 'God'.

My favorite part (4, Interesting)

broothal (186066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596839)

One of the things I always enjoyed from MAD was the fold-in images (they have a name, but that escapes me right now).

I found this overview - very interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/03/28/arts/20080330_FOLD_IN_FEATURE.html [nytimes.com]

Re:My favorite part (3, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596965)

I hope this means that very flexible displays are coming soon!

Re:My favorite part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26598247)

Forgot the name of MAD's fold-in image features? Er, MAD Fold-In?

This sucks.. I hope they make the mag 200+ pages (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596885)

I have been a mad subscriber for about 20 years now, and i love the mad. this really sucks. I hope they at least expand the issues to 200+ pages with extra content to make up for the extra few months of missing out. I wonder if dedicated mad subscribers will cancle their subscriptions because of this drastic change? anyhow I am going to keep mine until I determine this new format is the right direction to take the company.

Lets hope mad exceeds our lame expectations and continues their tradition far into the 21st century..

KAPUTNICK

Re:This sucks.. I hope they make the mag 200+ page (2, Informative)

jfim (1167051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596933)

From TFA:

On the bright side, anyone with a subscription to Mad will find that it now lasts longer.

Re:This sucks.. I hope they make the mag 200+ page (3, Informative)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596987)

8 more pages per issue (48 to 56) is what I've read.

The change to quarterly shifts their nearly inevitable demise a little further into the future; to next year, if they're lucky.

Ron

Re:This sucks.. I hope they make the mag 200+ page (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597077)

This is really sad news. I've been reading Mad Magazine for the past 20 years aswell. I got my first Mad Mag when I was 8 years old and I've been reading them ever since. I hope they change their minds, I need my monthly Mad fix.

OK, Just one thing... (1)

800DeadCCs (996359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596937)

OK, Just one thing,
make 'em bigger.
sure, not the equivalent of 3 months worth of stuff, but more content than in just a single issue.

evolve or die! (2, Interesting)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596943)

publications like MAD will need to evolve into new communication media in order to stay in business. They already have the formula, the characters, the jokes and the artists... just throw in some 2D animators and a few web programmers and voila'! cash made out of internet traffic.

Something curious is that Manga Magazines like Shonen Jump do not appear to be lowering their sales.

Re:evolve or die! (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597001)

Technology won't fix this. Unfunny is unfunny whether or not it's online and the cost of putting all their old but good material online would probably kill them.

It just desperately needs a better "usual gang of idiots".

Re:evolve or die! (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598629)

and the cost of putting all their old but good material online would probably kill them.

They can't afford a $150 sheet feed scanner? Wow, they ARE hurting! ;)

Re:evolve or die! (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602653)

You can already buy damn near every issue in digital form on Amazon for next to nothing. 50+ years on a DVD or two. "Absolutely Mad" it's called, and Amazon has it listed for $32, which is probably less than a year's subscription to the mag.

Re:evolve or die! (1)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601875)

It is already [amazon.com] online. Scanned in nice PDF format files, even runs Linux.

Re:evolve or die! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597551)

The manga compilation mags are doing fine (at least here in Japan) because everyone has time to read on the train going to work or school. I doubt they will ever cease publication on this side of the Pacific. If there was a decent mass transportation system in America newspapers and magazine would probably not be suffering as much, but currently in America, you are usually somewhere that has Internet access when you have time to waste so why pay for something else to read when you already pay for the endless variety on the net?

Captcha is smutty...irony +1?

Spy vs. Spy (4, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596949)

Since Obama said OK to Warrantless Wiretapping it kind of put a kink in the whole Spy v. Spy thing permanently. Now it's just sorta ___vs. Us.

Re:Spy vs. Spy (3, Funny)

pnevin (168332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597329)

"Spy vs Valerie Plame" just doesn't have the same ring to it

Mad? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26596975)

I was surprised to find out they even still made the magazine. I never read them when I was a kid, but I've never even seen a single copy at any magazine stand since I was in the "demographic", which was quite a while ago.

Re:Mad? Really? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597755)

Same here. It used to appear regularly on the newsstands here in the UK, and I used to read it avidly, but I've not seen it for over 20 years.

I stopped reading it (4, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596977)

I stopped reading Mad when Don Martin [wikipedia.org] died. His cartoons were pure, unadulterated, fun. He had that rare insight that humor must be fun, it needs not always carry a transcendental message...

Re:I stopped reading it (5, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597033)

Why'd you stop reading it when he died, rather than when he stopped making comics for Mad? Wouldn't that have made a lot more sense? I mean, there was 13 years in that period that you read Mad that he didn't contribute a single thing.

Re:I stopped reading it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597967)

Back issues. GP read 1956's MADs in 1968. So when Don Martin died in 2000, GP just finished the 1988's MADs.

Sad sign on the status of comedy (4, Insightful)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26596981)

It's unfortunate that a staple of American culture has gone in this direction. For years, Mad Magazine was one of the last holdouts to not run ads, but now they do.

Since then, the quality of the humor has dipped significantly, but it's still better than other junk that passes for comedy these days. They're even now recycling classic "Lighter Side Of..." segments in their issues.

Whomever tagged this "nothing of value was lost" needs a history lesson. Mad has its original roots as a satire of horror comics today. Mad Magazine still exists, and so do a lot of your tenets of free speech with comics and video games, because Bill Gaines stood up to those who wanted to censor horror comics, against those who were "thinking of the children." Does that sound familiar to anyone else?

60 Minutes has several profiles on the writing staff over the years. There are numerous books by the same writers about working at Mad and Bill Gaines.

If Mad Magazine goes under, we lose an American icon.

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597061)

If Mad Magazine goes under, we lose an American icon.

Damn. First Stephen King and now this :(

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597209)

The problem is that there is plenty of places to find potty humor on the internet these days, why buy a magazine for it??

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (3, Informative)

popmaker (570147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597667)

On the lighter side though, we now have www.cracked.com. Cracked used to be a kind of a Mad rip-off, but is now doing fantastic as an internet magazine.

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598177)

Unfortunately, there still isn't anything funny there.

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (2, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598891)

Whomever tagged this "nothing of value was lost" needs a history lesson. Mad has its original roots as a satire of horror comics today. Mad Magazine still exists, and so do a lot of your tenets of free speech with comics and video games, because Bill Gaines stood up to those who wanted to censor horror comics, against those who were "thinking of the children."

Methinks it's you who need a history lesson.
 
Bill Gaines lost that fight and comics were censored for decades because of it. His 'standing up' accomplished nothing. Bill was forced to concentrate on Mad because the other comics in his line were censored out of existence.

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (1)

Anonymous Drunkard (691025) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600743)

For years, Mad Magazine was one of the last holdouts to not run ads, but now they do.

This is a popular conception, but not true. The MAD comic book took real advertising, as did MAD Magazine until the Spring of 1957. Because MAD also parodied ads, these were always marked with the words "REAL ADVERTISEMENT". If you have access to the CD or DVD "complete back issues of MAD" package, you'll see them.

I honestly don't remember whether the advertising was discontinued because it wasn't profitable enough, or because Bill Gaines felt it might be a conflict of interest considering he was spoofing ads in MAD, but advertising did not return until after Gaines passed away and MAD was brought firmly under the DC corporate umbrella.

Re:Sad sign on the status of comedy (1)

Kulilin (170982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26602567)

MAD started losing it the day William M. Gaines passed away. He was the heart and soul of the magazine and, when he was no longer there to say what made it and what didn't make it into print, the quality of the magazine suffered. A lot. So much so that I didn't renew my subscription after William's death.

The problem is not that only one out of three issues is funny but rather than only one third of every issue is.

My impression of mad was always (2, Insightful)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597063)

The "parody" pieces were rarely funny but stuff like the "lighter side of..." was always quite decent.

If they had a daily "lighter side of" (or perhaps spy vs spy) online I'm sure they'd build up a decent following and stream for ad impressions. Comic magazines like Mad and Viz (British) are missing the electronic boat.

Re:My impression of mad was always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26600967)

If they had a daily "lighter side of" (or perhaps spy vs spy) online I'm sure they'd build up a decent following and stream for ad impressions...

Unfortunately, the guys who did both those features died. Dave Berg [wikipedia.org] , Antonio Prohias [wikipedia.org] , RIP.

Potrzebie! (1)

Exidor (119947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597067)

...

Re:Potrzebie! (1)

dpiven (518007) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597741)

Just think of where computer science would be without Mad Magazine [crossmyt.com] ...

Re:Potrzebie! (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598125)

Legalize it.

wrong one (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597069)

They should have canceled standard MAD and left MADkids and Classic MAD The problem with mad is that its gone stale, every joke is just a copy of a joke they used on another TV show that was based on another TV show. With MADkids they could have thrown in a fart toy (or something else vulgar), put the latest cartoon character on the cover and they were pretty much guaranteed sales. with MAD classics, they could have appealed to the die hard part of their audience thats been buying MAD for 50 years religiously.

Oh shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597135)

I didn't realise MAD was comedy. I thought it was aa American Current Affairs magzine.

Re:Oh shit! (0, Flamebait)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598005)

I didn't realise MAD was comedy. I thought it was aa American Current Affairs magzine.

Until last week, the two concepts were one. Now "Ebony" is the official American current affairs journal.

Gotcha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26597409)

Starting in April, huh? Just what would the First Day of April be?

I have one grunch....... (1)

rogeroger (1125533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597495)

but the eggplant over there.

Official responce from Alfred E. Neuman: (1)

strredwolf (532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597837)

"Along w/MAD going quarterly after issue 500, our dental plan has been eliminated-so my idea of getting my missing tooth replaced is on hold!"

--- From http://twitter.com/AlfredENeuman [twitter.com] (and I do have it from a good authority [twitter.com] that it is the real Alfred E. Neuman.

MAD Super Special (2, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26597879)

They only put out 12 of those a year! Oh, wait...
  That does it, I'm switching to "Cracked".

        Brett

Yes, me worry... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26598737)

...I let my MAD subscription lapse a few months ago, more out of laziness than anything else.
There could have been more content, but what there was I still found pretty funny, at least the first few times around.

The compilation books of old stuff are still solid gold funny stuff; I received one yesterday

What surprised me (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26599943)

was that MAD magazine stayed in publication even after National Lampoon stopped publishing its mag. I thought the Lampoon generally had much more sophisticated humor than MAD. In my opinion, MAD was more for the kids.

Of course, the movies put out since then by National Lampoon belie the "sophisticated" opinion I gave above, but the movies are not the same thing as their magazine. I watched a couple of their movies, and that was plenty. But I would buy their magazine again, if it were anything like the quality of old.

MAD is a victim of it's own success (1)

InterGuru (50986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600017)

When I started reading MAD in the 50's ( shows my age! ) its cool sardonic madcap view of the world was unique, and a breath of fresh air in the stultifying climate of the times.

Now its outlook is mainstream, on shows such as SNL, on Jon Stewart's arched eyebrows.

It is hard for MAD to stand out in this environment.

Bookwormhole.net [bookwormhole.net] -- over 7000 published book reviews.

Great Idea (1)

Orbital Sander (237340) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600299)

Perhaps Saturday Night Live should consider this approach.

The original folks are long gone. (5, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26600405)

I loved Don Martin's stuff as a kid, but it's aged beyond relevance. Husbands don't come home and hang their business hat, (business hat??) and say, "Honeeeey, I'm Hoooome!" anymore. The whole psychological connection of the strip is lost. It didn't age well.

Spy vs Spy suffers from the same thing. The cold war is OVER. --Once brilliant, that strip is about as relevant and engaging today as Beetle Baily. (Which also once connected with people in a relevant way but which has become meaningless and prosaic.)

The only guy who still has the chops to fit today is Aragones. His "Side Lines" and basic style still shine.

I can't even remember any of the other guys doing stuff in Mad, but the collection of that bunch all at the same place and time was what floated Mad Magazine. The last issue I looked at, a couple of months ago as it happens, was just a bunch of re-tread attempts by no-name artists to copy old formulas.

It read the way the new Kermit sounds. False and without spark or meaning.

Sorry, but artistic collectives must die or change with their creators passing. The only way Mad could shine again would be if they hired on a bunch of luminary geniuses versed in comic observation and satire, (of the Jon Stewart caliber), who also happen to be able to draw in awesome, engaging styles. Not only that, but the editors would have to be willing to allow such new talent to re-invent the whole look of the magazine so that it reflected themselves. --Because anybody willing to copy a dead format and a dead style which last-gasped sometime around the 1980's is certainly not going to be particularly luminary. Any real genius would have been driven mad (ahem) over the restrictions and left asap.

And Intelligent cartoon satire hasn't vanished. There are new guys doing awesome things which don't try to be Kermit, but which are unique and genuinely exciting. XKCZ, for example, is fresh and new and. . , bloody cynical. (Imagine; there was a time when Beetle Baily was just as electric!) The big difference today is that the luminaries aren't all gathered in one convenient place anymore, and certainly not exclusively on paper. You have to go looking. --That's the part which I find most difficult. I enjoyed concentrations of work which I knew everybody else was experiencing. There was something tribal and culture-defining about it which I really drew energy from as a reader. These days, it's easy to feel disconnected.

Thank-goodness for Slashdot, eh?

-FL

April fools! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26600791)

Wow you folks have totally missed the boat.

This is nothing but an early April Fools joke.

Good old days (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26601549)

For all you guys out there pining for the fjords, just go back and read some of those classic, black-and-white, pre-advertising MAD magazines. A lot of the material was *terrible*. I'm thinking particularly of the movie parodies. They were just frame after frame of bad pun or joke. But hey, at age 9, it makes you feel very grown up and rebellious to be reading such critical literature.

What you are experience is the nostalgia of youth. Watching an 80s transformers cartoon today, at my age, just doesn't invoke the sense of awesomeness it did when I was young. The cheesy plots, dialogue, ans sometimes crappy animation shine through.

Cracked magazine, however, seems to have come of age in the internet. The magazine always seemed like an un-funny knock off of mad magazine back in the day. Now, I find their online top-ten lists hilarious.
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