MAD is an American humor magazine founded by editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952. Launched as a comic book before it became a magazine, it was widely imitated and influential, impacting not only satirical media but the entire cultural landscape of the 20th century. The magazine offers satire on all aspects of life and popular culture, politics, entertainment, and public figures. Its format is divided into a number of recurring segments such as TV and movie parodies, as well as freeform articles.
The image most strongly associated with MAD magazine is that of Alfred E. Neuman, a boy with large ears, one eye lower than the other and a gap-toothed grin, an image that had already existed for several years before appearing in the magazine. Alfred E. Neuman first appeared in MAD issue #24 from July 1955, appearing with what has become his signature motto, "What, me worry?" (written as "What? Me worry?" for that first appearance). The boy first appeared on the cover of issue #30 from December 1955 and has appeared on the cover of nearly all subsequent editions.
On September 6, 2010, a MAD TV show debuted on Cartoon Network.
References to Peanuts in MAD
- In the MAD TV show theme song, a clay-animated version of Charlie Brown is shown.
- In the episode, "FROST / Undercover Claus", there is a parody of A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Peanuts gang gets spoofed, along with American actor Charlie Sheen.
- Charlie Brown appears in "Garfield of Dreams", as one of the comic heroes.
- Charlie Brown hurts himself online to become an Internet celebrity in "iCharlie" (a parody of iCarly).
- A Charlie Brown balloon is seen at a parade in "The Blunder Games".
- In the episode "Frankenwinnie / ParaMorgan", there is a parody of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. "The Legend of Snoopy Hollow" is a parody of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
- In the episode "The Bourne Leg-a-Turkey / PilGrimm", A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was mentioned in MAD moments.
References to MAD in Peanuts
In a storyline from June and July 1973, Charlie Brown worries that he is cracking up when he sees a huge baseball instead of the sun. He goes on to see more baseballs in place of other round objects. He also develops a rash on his head which makes him look like a baseball and wears a sack over his face to hide it. Nevertheless, he becomes camp president at his summer camp while wearing the sack. In the strip from July 5, 1973, after the rash on his head has disappeared, Charlie Brown goes outside to see if the sun still looks like a baseball to him. He sees Alfred E. Neuman in place of the sun. The storyline also appears as a segment in the 1983 TV special It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown.