I haven’t bought a copy of Mad magazine for decades, but it still hit me hard today to read that the humor magazine is dead. Although the owners will continue to republish material from the 67-year archives, no new material will be produced, except for an annual year-in-review issue. For teens of my era — almost exclusively guys, in my experience — Mad was a rebellious and subversive influence that broke the rules of our everyday lives. Mad was willing to make fun of pretty much anything, and it was a joyous sense of relief for those of us who felt repressed by a conformist culture around us. It wasn’t always funny, but when it was, it could be brilliant. The biggest single influence on my adult understanding of humor was the movie “Airplane!” but Mad magazine was a close second. Rest in peace, Alfred E. Neuman. It’s finally time to worry.
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