Mad #17 (Harvey Kurtzman) - Army-McCarthy Issue - 1954

By issue number 17, Mad was a comic book in size only.  It would take Kurtzman six more issues to convince publisher Gaines that Mad had evolved to a higher form.  The story format (Mad 1-10) was completely gone.  The first article ("Bringing Back Father!") looked at the comic strip as viewed by the parody cartoonist (Elder) and the serious cartoonist (Krigstein) who uncovered a seriously dysfunctional family.  The second article was a combination parody of the Army-McCarthy hearings as game show.  The third article brought Basil Wolverton back for the "Miss Potgold" contest.

The fourth article ("Cut Your Own Throat Dept.") presented a "how-to" lesson for those who would copy the Mad style.  Mad again proved that nothing was sacred as a humor subject by doing a parody of its own style.  However, Kurtzman knew that competitors (including Panic) could only copy Mad's old style.  The real Mad was now a moving target that had discovered a whole universe of parody, satire and lampoon subjects.

The cover of No. 17 was the first to be upside down on purpose.  Feldstein would later add refinements to this joke with issues 46, 60 and 61. [PSA1]

"This sign was not meant to be funny."  ("Julius Caesar!") - page 4

Newspaper Comic - Bringing Back Father! (Elder/Krigstein)
Television - What's My Shine! (Davis)
Advertising - Meet Miss Potgold (Wolverton)
Cut Your Own Throat - Julius Caesar! (Wood)