Between the ages of about 9 and 13, virtually every kid in the country went MAD, and I was certainly no exception. Unlike the comics, I didn't hang onto my collection, but fortunately the folks at EC put out a massive CD set about 10 years ago, with something like 500 issues of the seminal American humor magazine. Here are some of the bits I remember reading back then.
For some reason, the song parodies always worked with me:
The Spy Vs. Spy series was always hilarious, and I suppose most of us remember that the morse code under the splash reads "By Prohias". But how many remember that there was a short-lived third spy, the grey woman?
Everybody remembers the terrific movie and TV parodies, often illustrated by the incomparable Mort Drucker:
The covers were mostly forgettable; even though I bought lots of issues in the 1964-1967 timeframe, this is the only one I specifically remember:
Of course, MAD did lots of stuff we didn't understand; a lot of the political humor went right over my head. But that was okay; we were used to not getting the joke all the time, and MAD prepared us for National Lampoon in the 1970s, where, for the most part, we did.
MAD had so much more; those terrific little gags in the margins that I'd need a magnifying glass to see nowadays. Or Dave Berg's endless "The Lighter Side of..." series. Or MAD's maddest artist, Don Martin. Or those amusing fold-ins on the inside back cover.
I'm sure that most of you know that MAD actually started as a regular-sized comic book. One thing that I was not aware of until recently was just how many imitators there were. Everybody remembers Cracked, but there were easily a dozen others.