TV Guise (Aron Mayer Larkin) - More Trash From Mad 6th Annual Edition - 1963 (16 pages)

This TV Guide parody was included as a bonus insert original in the annual volume of Mad reprints.  The cover is a photo of two Mad staffers (Nick Meglin and John Putnam) posing as "Hobart Smedley and Albert Schweitzer of 'The Hillbilly Doctors'."  Putnam is holding a jug of "CORNMYCIN".  Meglin is wearing suspenders and a stethoscope.  Inside are photos of Mad staffers Albert Feldstein, Jerry DeFuccio, Leonard Brenner and others portraying various television stars.  The back cover is the excellent ad parody ("Marble-Row Country") showing the graveyard of cigarette smokers ("Settle back in a Marble-Row. You get a plot you like").

The body of the parody is the weekly tv listings written by Aron Larkin.  The listings fill eight pages of silly or preposterous series plots and several jokes about news programs and "Sermonette".  For example, in the Monday night "Lucille Brawl" show "Lucy gets trapped in a burning coal mine, then dangles from an 80-story window, then confronts an escaped boa constrictor in her apartment, and then enjoys a few other hilarious experiences."

This is the second parody of TV Guide by the Mad folks.  The first (also titled "TV Guise") was the five-page article that appeared in 1957 in issue number 34 of the regular magazine with drawings by Bob Clarke.  The cover of the 1957 parody shows Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) and exposes the fact that he "does not smoke.  He just holds those cigarettes for the effect!"  On the second page, Murrow is holding two cigarettes, smoking one and has two in his ears. 

Although Harvard Lampoon and other college humor magazines set the standard for magazine parodies, the editors of Mad (and later National Lampoon) took the art to a higher (and sillier) level usually with short five-to-eight page articles within their magazines.  TV Guise is one of the longer and more complete magazine parodies offered by the brilliant (Mad) "usual gang of idiots." [JAM 9/6/2009]

TV Guise Fall Preview (Tom Koch) - Mad Special Number Eight - 1972 - 16 pages

This is the third Mad parody of TV Guide (See also Mad #34 and More Trash #6) but it is clearly not as good as the first two.  The tv-size book is an insert of new material for the reprint "Special" except that the back cover is a Kelly Freas drawing ("RGA Victim") from Mad #46.  The Koch parody consists only of synopses of new shows from the three networks and and a two-page "TV Tell-A-Tripe."  Apparently, NBC will have a sit-com with Lassie and Hitler, CBS will try to counter Hawaii Five-Oh with "Alaska Four-Nine," and ABC is banking on the success of "Monday Night Croquet."  Unfortunately, this TV Guise does not include the individual daily listings that are usually the funniest part of the parody.  Mr. Koch is an excellent writer  but he seems to have fallen into a rut of mediocrity with 21 new shows that are not really as odd as the current television fare.  However, it is interesting that Mad presaged Ugly Betty with its "Ugly Face" about "a career girl in the big city."  Methinks the Mad readers of 1972 have become the television writers of the 21st century. [JAM 3/28/2010]