I was a fan of Mad in the '70s, and had that Alfred E. Newman for President poster on my wall as a kid. I wish I had kept the issues I had, especially now that Mad is no longer being published. Spy vs. Spy was probably my favorite, but I was a fan of Sergio Aragones panels as well, they were often kind of a warped Family Circle. I didn’t like Family Circle, I didn’t get it because I was a kid, but I got what Sergio was doing, and loved it.
Of course, Don Martin was the mainstay of Mad, it owed so much of its style to his artwork during that time. I also just watched The Girl in Lovers Lane MST3k episode last night, with the Doc Martens/ Don Martin boots segment. It definitely shows that connection between MST and Mad.
The movie parodies were definitely a direct influence. They were always a mixed bag for me, as they were often sending up movies I had not seen. MST3K did just about come full circle on that, however, with the MST3K comics.
You hit on all of my favorite things about Mad Magazine - Don Martin, snappy answers, and Aragones doodles. The tv show/movie parodies were also great.
In the mid 80’s, one issue had a Mad computer program. They gave the Basic code for various computer systems to have Alfred E. Neuman on your computer screen. I had a Commodore and was going to try it, until I saw how much typing was involved. It didn’t seem worth it just to see his image. Plus, that would have been time away from playing Ultima III: Exodus. I think the next couple of Mad Magazines has corrections for the programming, so I was kind of happy I didn’t attempt it and it not work.
Major MAD fan here, too. I was being a spoiled brat child in 1970 wanting a comic book really bad. My grandfather pointed out this magazine with Snoopy on the cover (I had a lot of Peanuts paperbacks), but it wasn’t a comic, so no dice. By '72 I was checking small books and came across a collection of comic book stories including one called “Poopeye”. The idea of an alternate universe version of a favorite cartoon was fascinating, so I bought it - my 1st MAD. Got many collections like that since, plus a MAD Special for a under the tree on Christmas 1973. Didn’t get my 1st regular issue till winter-spring '74.
Favorites: Mort Drucker’s my favorite artist (as you can see from my MST3K fan art in that section), enjoyed the Don Martin and Spy vs. Spy pages. Loved the “chicken fat” (hidden gags). But the part of MAD with the most influence on me is the “made up” words throughout, esp. the classics (potrzebie, axolotl, furshluginner, osszefogva, etc.) Adds surreal quality. Finding out the sources of them is fun. Contrary to my opinion of its source, I’ve always thought “covfefe” would’ve made a great MAD nonsense word.