Mad #161 (Albert Feldstein) - Red Tennis Shoes Issue - September 1973

The face of Alfred E. Neuman (then just known as "idiot kid") first appeared on the cover of the comic book, Mad #21.  Editor Kurtzman then put the face center top on the border of the magazine where it stayed for Mad #24-29.  Then new editor, Feldstein put him in the cover center in Mad #30 where he has stayed (with a very few exceptions) until the present day.  Norman Mingo's cover drawing for issue number 161 is unique in that Alfred can be identified by his feet alone as he floats upside down in an "S.S. Poseidon" life preserver.  Curiously, the Kurtzman logo characters reappeared for this issue only.  This was done by editor Feldstein as a special favor to the students of Yale University.

The movie parody ("The Poopsidedown Adventure") was not so good and the television parody ("Idjit Loves Ernie") was also rather bland, but there were many good articles between them.  Al Jaffee (the inventor) gave us 16 creative devices for crime fighting in "Crime Spoilers for the Average Citizen."  Frank Jacobs provided two clever bits with "Fairy Tales Continued" and "Protest Songs for Life's Everyday Complaints."  Jacobs put 20 Mad gang members in his last song parody.  Also, Jack Davis became the sixth artist (after Severin, Wood, Torres, Rickard and Drucker) to draw a Tarzan parody for Mad and proved that maybe he should have been the one to draw "Melvin of the Apes!" back in 1952.  Davis found room for the name "MIKE" in the jungle grass.  Does anyone know why he did that? [JAM 5/12/2010]

[From Reader Anthony Perodeau] "When Davis wrote "MIKE" in the grass [page 26 first panel] he was honoring Mike Henry, who played Tarzan in three 1960s movies starting with 'Tarzan and the Valley of Gold.'"

[Also from Reader Perodeau] "The Martin cartoons [pages 21, 35, 48] were inspired by a Gaines-led group trip to Europe and North Africa in 1972.  'One Evening in Spain' reworks Martin's thank-you gag in which Gaines is seared by Brenner's garlic breath."

Look for Mark Spitz and a giant rat in "The Poopsidedown Adventure."  Also, helm has "port" and "sherry" directional settings.

Tidal Wave of Nausea - The Poopsidedown Adventure
Photo-Finishes - More Mad Photoons
Props And Robbers - Crime Foilers for the Average Citizen
Money Squawks - An Offer They Could Refuse
Don Martin - One Morning in Marrakesh; One Afternoon in Switzerland; One Evening in Spain
Twice Upon a Time - Fairy Tales - Continued
Lord of the Bungle - A Mad Look at Tarzan
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side of Fun in the Sun
Refrain in the Neck - Protest Songs for Life's Everyday Complaints
Letter Openers - What's in a Name? (Part I - People)
Fortune Kookie - The Old Ball Game
Ecchnic Humor - Idjit Loves Ernie

Fold-In - Capitol Building