The other day, while cleaning & sorting through the accumulated “stuff” in my office (something I do religiously at least once every quarter century), I ran across the following in a box marked “MAD” – evidently from the early 90s (and hardly touched since then):
- A random MAD issue with a back cover piece credited to me…that I have no recollection of having written! Hmm. Could be the Old-Timer’s Disease acting up…but more likely it’s: “You KNOW you’ve written Way Too Much MAD-crap WHEN…”
- A VHS videotape (!!) of the Memorial for MAD Publisher Bill Gaines held a few days after his death in 1992, which the magazine office sent out to freelancers, etc. who weren’t there in person. Just as sad to watch now, even though most speakers were trying to keep it ‘light’ like “Bill would’ve wanted.” Hard to believe it’s been 18 years since he died. (Also hard to believe how much VHS tapes deteriorate in that time! Be sure and copy your family videos over to DVD before it’s too late…so they’ll be there for your kids or grandkids to copy over to whatever new video format totally replaces DVDs!)
- A photo taken on the 1993 MAD trip to Monte Carlo of myself, John Caldwell, and several of the “OG” Usual Gang of Idiots – y’know, marquee names associated with MAD going back to the 50s when it was a comic book — sitting at an outdoor cafe, drinking & shmoozing. This photo jogged my memory of conversation that took place at that table (see, it’s NOT the Old-Timer’s Disease!): Everyone was lamenting Bill’s death the previous year, and one of the OGs (I can’t recall which) offered the opinion, “…without Bill, I don’t see MAD surviving more than a couple years.” Then, to my moderate surprise, all of the other OGs nodded in agreement, as if this were a foregone conclusion. Let’s see: Bill died in 1992; the “couple years” until these MAD Founding Fathers assumed it would go ‘belly up’ would’ve been 1994/95…so, actually, when you look at it: MAD has had another unexpected, “free” 15 years of life! There. That’s just something for you “glass is half-full” people.