Mad #217 (Albert Feldstein) - Inflation Issue - September 1980

The rate of inflation in the United States reached 13.5% in 1980.  I remember that everyone was rushing to the bank to open certificates of deposit that were earning 10% that year.  This economic anomaly could not have come at a worst time for Jimmy Carter and the Democrats.  Inflation and the hostage crisis swept former-actor Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) into office beginning 12 years of record-breaking ($four trillion) deficit spending.  Mad artist/writer Dave Berg echoed the populace with his "The Lighter Side of Inflation" that included a lecture to his Playboy-reading son.  I wonder if the other members of the "usual gang of idiots" were ever upset by the fact that the favorite artist of the publisher & editor always had five pages in the middle of every issue?

The running joke of the issue was "Alfred E. Neuman for President" again.  The Mad editors seemed to like this joke so much that they brought it back every four years.  The first campaign for Alf began in issue #56 (July 1960) in the year that John Kennedy (1917-1963) defeated Richard Nixon (1913-1994).  Mad artists also brought back Arthur the avocado tree (pages 5 and 44) and Flip the bird (page 43) who we have not seen for a long time.  Now where is that zeppelin and, my favorite, the aeolipile?

The best art of the issue was by Jack Davis ("The Mad Soccer Primer").  Note that the Playboy-reading goalie on page 33 is also in the background on page 34.  Jack is the best at drawing action and conflicts. The best article of the issue was "The Crockford Files."  I can tell that writer Lou Silverstone was a fan.  His script could have been one of the episodes. [JAM 11/2/2010]

Look for Charlie Brown and Popeye in "Crymore vs. Crymore" and Smokey Bear, Donald & Daisy Duck and Mickey & Minnie Mouse in George Woodbridge's back-cover "Noah's Ark."

Crockford rewashes his bandages (page 43.)

Custody's Last Stand - Crymore vs. Crymore
Anthem Is As Anthem Does - Mad's Updated Do-It-Yourself "American the Beautiful"
Opposites Detract - The Mad "They" And "You" Book
Don Martin - One Fine Day in Prehistoric Times; One Fine Day in the Middle Ages; One Fine Day About Two Weeks Ago
Give Us This Day Our Daily Dread - Horror Movies Based on Everyday Disasters
Berg's-Eye View - The Lighter Side of Inflation
Blowing Their Coverage - Examples of Celebrities' High-Value Insurance Policies
Bent Offerings - More Legendary Wire Hangers
Feet Acompli - The Mad Soccer Primer
Rockin' the Rollers - A Mad Look at Skating
Retal-Elation - Just Once ... Wouldn't You Like To ...
He's a Garner! - The Crockford Files

Fold-In - Capitol Building