Mad Magazine cartoonist David Berg dies at 81.
May 25, 2002 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Mad Magazine cartoonist David Berg dies at 81. One of the "gang of idiots" that were part of the Mad '60's: Sergio Aragones, Don Martin, Antonio Prohias, Mort Drucker, et al.

Ah, well. Another piece of my childhood slips away. What stands out in my mind was that many of his characters bore an uncanny resemblance to my neighbors. But now I'm troubled: did I have a post-modern childhood?
posted by groundhog (8 comments total)
I would swear that everyone’s neighbors were like “lighter side” characters at one point during my childhood.

I never really liked Berg’s stuff when I was of Mad-reading age, but when I pick up old ones now, those are the most fun to read (apart from the Aragones sidelines).
posted by sherman at 12:19 PM on May 25, 2002

When I was a kid in the 70s, there was a guy who lived on the block next to mine that I always swore was Dave Berg. With his horn-rimmed glasses, he looked kinda like Berg, smoked a pipe, seemed to have that quizzical nature. Of course, he wasn't, but I think that's the point being made -- that his characters reflected people we knew from our own lives. Of course I was always more partial to Don Martin anyway, re-reading my copy of "Captain Klutz" until it was dog-eared and yellow...
posted by schmedeman at 12:58 PM on May 25, 2002

Rest In Peace, Roger Kaputnik.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:55 PM on May 25, 2002

Berg was probably the least weird of the Mad crew, but that was kind of his charm, he was great and I'll miss him. As were Aragones, Drucker, Martin and my main man Prohias. I'm also surprised nobody's mentioned Al Jaffee of Snappy Answers.. fame(and the father of all internet debate style, if you ask me) or Ernie Kovacs, who was a contributing writer in Mad's early days and who died the ultimate '50s playboy death, crashing his car into a telephone pole while trying to light a cigar.
posted by jonmc at 4:00 PM on May 25, 2002

I remember as a kid trying to see how many dave berg multi-panels ended, on the last panel, with someone saying something regretful or ironic with a sorrowful look on their face - usually also someone else, in the same panel, expresses surprise. Berg was exploring life's ironies through cartoons.

Prohias was like a revelation - beautiful, cryptic, packed with meaning.
posted by vacapinta at 5:15 PM on May 25, 2002

That's too bad. Godspeed to whatever heaven he believed in. I too was a huge Mad fan as a kid, and have a couple of the trade paperbacks that came out as collections in the 80's and 90's of the 60's and 70's stuff. I think tonight I'll snuggle up with one and light a candle.
posted by dejah420 at 5:48 PM on May 25, 2002

Am I the only person who thinks that Ted Johnson is a lineal descendant of Toger Kaputnik?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:37 PM on May 25, 2002


posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:37 PM on May 25, 2002

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