Mad Magazine was a witty, often insightful, and popular publication for Baby Boomers. This was definitely true through the 1960s as it waged its own war against a government that was fighting in Vietnam. Mad Magazine has died — for all practical purposes — at the age of 67. Sure, it continues to exist, but as a shadow of its former self. The Tribune Star reports “as of the end of August, ‘MAD’ will only be re-printing old content between new covers, an end-of-the-year special, and a few features. It will be sold only in comic book stores and through subscription.”
With its motto of “What, Me Worry?” — the magazine laughed at everything — both sacred and secular. It was never afraid, up to the very end.
It is hard to say what, exactly, killed it. In fact, it is likely it died several deaths:
- For most Baby Boomers, this magazine was “hush hush.” It was seen as very inappropriate and thus, it was often valued for its taboo value. In recent decades, however, “Mad” is seen as very tame.
- It has become very difficult for “Mad” and other humor (or entertainment in general) publications to compete with the huge amounts of free content available online. Stumbling on anything made by a neighbor on YouTube is often more shocking and ridiculous than anything one would find in a “Mad” magazine.
- Early on “Mad” appealed to the romantic notion that young people really could make a difference. Therefore, the content was not merely humorous, but social commentary that set an agenda for the young Baby Boomer. It lost that edge with the rise of cynicism about the political influence of anyone, let alone those who were young.
- The sensitivity driven by political correctness made the publication “unacceptable” to those easily offended — which is virtually everyone under the age of 40.
By the way, The Times USA knows this announcement came in July. We refrained from writing about it until now because it is very sad news to this largely Baby Boomer publication. In addition, there was always the possibility of an announcement of “JUST KIDDING!”. Remember, we are talking about Mad Magazine here.
This is how the passing was reflected in various media.