MAD AL
April 22, 2015 10:17 AM   Subscribe

For the first time in its 63 year history, MAD Magazine has just put out an issue with a Guest Editor: "Weird Al" Yankovic. And he's not just a figurehead*; the issue includes "Pages from Weird Al's Notebook", several of Al's celebrity friends including Patton Oswalt and John Hodgman as guest writers, and caricatures of Al from 11 different MAD artists. The best online collection of sample pages is here.

As part of the inevitable 'media tour', Al and MAD's usual editor John Ficarra were joint-interviewed at ComicBookResources and PasteMagazine, and he did a not-a-book signing at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in NYC that includes a group pic of Al with much of MAD's current 'Cast of Idiots'. Of course, the Washington Post's "Comics Riffs" chimes in. A segment of a video interview addresses the issue of "amateur dentistry", and Al met with fictional media coach Janessa Slater (portrayed by SNL's Vanessa Bayer) on whether he should change his image to "Norm Al".

*He reportedly also did an obsessive amount of proofreading for the issue, which would be consistent with his recently recorded "Word Crimes" and his hobby of sign correcting.

And if you think MetaFilter loves its Janelle Monáe, it loves its Al Yankovic more.
posted by oneswellfoop (28 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I actually know one of the cast of idiots (Des Devlin, who is the guy about 4th from the left in the second row, looking like he's saying "ooh!"). I'm going to have to ask him for inside dirt.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:37 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cartoonist Box Brown, who worked on the issue, had some related tweets on having Al as your editor.


Weird Al was a really harsh editor. He kept saying my strip was lacking in song parodies

Make it more wacky!!" - @alyankovic , comic editor

posted by emjaybee at 10:37 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do I buy two copies (one to keep, one to let the kids read), or do I buy all of the copies to encourage everyone involved? Choices, choices...
posted by Etrigan at 10:43 AM on April 22, 2015


Just substitute the word "lunch" for "love" and...

I lunch that page!
posted by chavenet at 10:43 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


That is just a goddamn perfect match.
posted by ignignokt at 10:52 AM on April 22, 2015


I just really don't understand the target audience for any of this kind of humor. It seems too juvenile for most adults and too tongue-in-cheek meta for kids.
posted by lattiboy at 10:58 AM on April 22, 2015


* Confetti falls from ceiling *

yay, lattiboy wins the "First Pooper To The Party" award! Your prize is this gold-plated whoopie cushion and a rubber chicken!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:03 AM on April 22, 2015 [23 favorites]


I just really don't understand the target audience for any of this kind of humor. It seems too juvenile for most adults and too tongue-in-cheek meta for kids.

Yes because as soon as you turn 18 you're supposed to turn in any and all sources of fun to the Department of Being an Adult and act your god damn age.
posted by Talez at 11:06 AM on April 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yes because as soon as you turn 18 you're supposed to turn in any and all sources of fun to the Department of Being an Adult and act your god damn age.

And kids are stupid!
posted by chavenet at 11:14 AM on April 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


and too tongue-in-cheek meta for kids

It's not, and as an adult I have great fondness for it.
posted by easter queen at 11:14 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]



yay, lattiboy wins the "First Pooper To The Party" award! Your prize is this gold-plated whoopie cushion and a rubber chicken!

Clearly the gold-plated whoopie cushion is given so that the gold may be melted down and used for something dignified such as a proper pocket watch, but I fail to understand the practical intent of an item the likes of a rubber chicken. It seems as utterly impractical and improper a gift for any adult and I while it be improper to do so publicly, I would scoff at such a presentation in private. Might I suggest an alternative such as a set of exquisite cuff-links or a fine set of brandy glasses? Yes, I believe those would be much more suitable gifts instead.
posted by dances with hamsters at 11:22 AM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Too juvenile for most adults and too tongue-in-cheek meta for kids.
posted by DiscountDeity at 11:40 AM on April 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


Can we *please* get back to discussing our retirement planning?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:43 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want to know where 55-year-old Weird Al is investing HIS retirement money... or why Al Jaffee is still working at MAD at the age of 94.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:01 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


MAD was something I enjoyed as a kid and my brother's son (age 13) continues to enjoy. Some of the humor didn't work for me, some of it was puerile and too obvious for my very refined my twelve-year-old tastes, and some of it flew right over my head. I remember one fake ad about a device to enable fisherfolk to put worms on hooks quickly and neatly. *sigh* I was like That is not funny, it's the dumbest invention ever.. Didn't get it until years later, when I sat down to read Gulliver's Travels. (Thank you, Mr. James Bates, eminent surgeon in London, for allowing me to finally get why it was, indeed, funny.)

Weird Al would be a good fit for the magazine and I hope he had as much fun with it as he says he did.
posted by which_chick at 12:06 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


oneswellfoop: "or why Al Jaffee is still working at MAD at the age of 94."

He's not the first Al Jaffee
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


"It seems too juvenile for most adults and too tongue-in-cheek meta for kids."
Which was one of the motivations of National Lampoon, declared as a "MAD, but for grown-ups" upon its arrival, but more like "MAD with nipples and Carlin's Seven Words". Yes, it did produce many of the minds behind Saturday Night Live when it was good (but remember, one of them was Chevy Chase), while the late-night sketch comedy show "MAD TV" that debuted in 1995 was majorly embarrassing. But the thing that made it so was its failure to live up to the meager standard of the magazine... the 'animated-in-multiple-styles' MAD on Cartoon Network is much better - in fact, I like it more than the similar "Robot Chicken" show (and one of the 'celebrity friends' Weird Al brought in to his MAD issue was Robot Chicken's Seth Green). What goes around, comes around, bites you in the ass and punches you in the dick.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:15 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I remember one fake ad about a device to enable fisherfolk to put worms on hooks quickly and neatly.

i still don't get...

...

oooohhh.
heh, heh, heh.
posted by bitteroldman at 12:23 PM on April 22, 2015


... or why Al Jaffee is still working at MAD at the age of 94.

What, him worry?
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:01 PM on April 22, 2015


Or, in the style of SATSQ:

why Al Jaffee is still working at MAD at the age of 94

- He's no longer an employee per se; he now acts as the office pet.
- After all these years, his pens and pencils conform to his hands so uniquely that nobody else is able to use them; so they let him stay.
- Every time they try to fire him, he comes back with such a snappy answer that they retreat in fear.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:09 PM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Al Feldstein is rolling in his grave. (Not because of Weird Al, he just had an itch.)
posted by jfuller at 1:50 PM on April 22, 2015


Another reason The Weird One was perfect to guest edit MAD... it's Al friendly! Between 50-year cartoonist Jaffee, 30-year editor Feldstein and 60-year mascot E. Neuman.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:24 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another reason The Weird One was perfect to guest edit MAD... it's Al friendly! Between 50-year cartoonist Jaffee, 30-year editor Feldstein and 60-year mascot E. Neuman.

One of the very, very few situations where Yankovic might not actually be the weirdest Al in the room.
posted by Etrigan at 2:28 PM on April 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Weird Al is amazing. Anyone who hasn't heard his recent couple appearances on Comedy Bang Bang should listen to them. He brings a really interesting sensibility to the show that's 100% Weird Al but not what you'd expect if you only know him from his music. Like, he actually is pretty weird in a way that fits in amazingly with Scott Aukerman's more dorky, silly, side.

Also he looks AMAZING With the mustache back. I missed it over the last decade, it made him look 'off' to me. Of course he is a handsy man to begin with, but he looks fucking awesome for someone who tours so hard at 55.
posted by kittensofthenight at 9:48 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I still don't get the fishhook joke, help?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:26 PM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Too meta for kids? I missed some of the jokes, sure; but twelve year old me found a treasure trove of old MADs, and everything I know about the sixties and seventies is from them. Since they made fun of everyone, I got a very balanced view.
posted by notsnot at 4:52 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


No, seriously, someone memail me and explain the fishhook thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:04 AM on April 24, 2015


It's about the baiting of hooks, and mastery of the related skills, and what you might call someone who had done so.
posted by rifflesby at 10:13 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


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