Although I love MAD MEN, there’s another MAD I’m mad about.

MAD Magazine.  A big shout-out to my mom for recognizing the brilliance of MAD way back in the 1960s.  She – a Midwestern Baptist Sunday School teacher with a degree in English and zero tolerance for pomposity – used to be our supplier when we were kids.  She bought it off the rack at the drugstore, probably shocking the neighbors who happened to see her at the check-out counter.  We didn’t realize it at the time, but MAD magazine was our introduction to the world of Jewish humor.   All we knew was that this was hysterically funny stuff. 

Yesterday, the latest edition arrived in the mail:  The 20 DUMBEST People, Events and Things of 2009.  After finally shooing Hugh and Malcolm out of the house to rake leaves, I flopped on the couch with MAD and a cup of tea.  And did a lot of laughing out loud.  (You can’t abbreviate that.  LingOL looks wrong, but is right).

The genius of these writers and artists cannot be denied.  I’ll share a few pages with you.

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#1. The Canonization of Michael Jackson:  The Kids Stay Out of the Picture.  Michael Jackson’s personal and professional lives were filled with countless peaks and valleys.  He was tremendously talented, but also tremendously f*@$ed up.  Now, we don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but here goes anyway:  Jacko was a self-important, over-medicated, emotionally-stunted, borderline pedophile who hadn’t recorded a good song in 20 years.  There, we said it.  Now the grieving can begin.

(Here is MAD’s Gothic inscription under his stained glass window)  St. Michael of Neverland, Son of Joseph, Heavenly Moonwalker.  Thou shalt be remembered always as the singer of songs, the dancer of dances – and not as the changer of noses, the dangler of infants, the toucher of children.  For thous hast proclaimed thineself the King of Pop – and thou shalt be remembered thusly.  May all who forsake you suffere a fate worse than Tito’s solo career, for thine life shall be everlasting through the endless reissuing and exploitation of thine earthly works.  Amen.  Shamon. 

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#3.  FAMILY GUISE:  Jon & Kate Plus 8 – The Parent Crap

It was a charade!  It was a sham!  It was a ruse!  It was season 5 of Jon and Kate Plus 8!  This season we learned than when your marriage is crumbling and your family is in danger of falling apart, the best thing to do is to keep those cameras rolling and act like nothing’s wrong!  To be fair, lots of couples going through a divorce will put on a brave face for the ones they love.  It’s just that in this case, the loved ones were the networks and their sponsors.  We hope Jon and Kate made a lot of dough this season – because the cost of 8 child therapists is really going to add up.

(At the very bottom of the blue box, it says “8 children were harmed in the making of this video.”

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#6:  Angry Town Hall Meetings:  Loud to be an American

If the LIBERALS have their way, TUMS SMOOTH DISSOLVE will be BANNED, forcing SENIORS to take the harder-to-chew TABLETS!


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 #8:  Caught with His Worldwide Pants Down:  Stupid Human Trysts.

And so it goes on, through all of MAD’s top 20 picks for the dumbest stuff of 2009.  And the year is not even over! 

I love MAD for saying what everyone else is afraid to say.  For instance, remember what Al Sharpton said to Michael Jackson’s children at his funeral?  “Ain’t nothing strange about your daddy!”  Thank you, Mr. Credibility.  In my experience, I’ve found that lies are never comforting.   At least MAD has set the Congressional record straight. 

Two things I know for sure:   Michael Jackson was deeply weird.  And MAD is brilliantly funny.

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